Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has backed down on its decision to prohibit the use of the Cirrus Design SR20 and SR22 piston singles for commercial pilot licence (CPL) training.

CASA had blocked the use of the new-generation SR20 and SR22, saying the aircraft did not meet its constant speed propeller requirements. Although the aircraft have a constant speed propeller unit, its functionality is different to that of older types because the unit combines the throttle and propeller pitch control into one lever instead of separate items.

After reviewing its original decision, the authority says that the Cirrus aircraft can be used for CPL training and tests. Students who train on Cirrus aircraft will also need a constant speed propeller endorsement on their licence and an endorsement gained on the Cirrus aircraft will be limited to this type. "To fly older aircraft with 'manual' constant speed propeller controls, a pilot would need additional training," CASA adds. The decision will shortly be published as an aviation ruling, it says.

CASA is seeking to address the shortage of aircraft maintenance engineers in regional Australia by sponsoring eight scholarships for apprentices. The scholarships will help one student from each state and territory.

Source: Flight International