Piper announced on 24 July that the fleet of delivered Meridian M600 turboprops is grounded while the company investigates the extent of a supplier production mistake, chief executive Simon Caldecott says.

The mandatory service bulletin grounds 32 M600s delivered to customers, plus six more in possession of dealers, he says.

“I anticipate the planes will be back in the air soon,” Caldecott says.

Piper discovered a flaw in a component delivered from a supplier in final assembly, he explains. A section of one aft wing spar fell “below required design measurements in one area,” he reveals.

The supplier lacks records of detailed measurements of delivered aft wing spars by section, he says. As a result, Piper believes it is necessary to ground the fleet until each aircraft can be inspected.

“We think it was one rogue part,” he notes.

Despite the grounding, the M600 has driven a rebound in Piper’s financial performance. Since the first delivery in July 2016, the single-engined turboprop has helped the company improve revenues by $11 million in the second quarter compared with last year, Caldecott says.

Source: FlightGlobal.com