Australian manufacturer Gippsland Aeronautics (GA) has sold 16 of its eight-seat GA-8 Airvan single-engined utility aircraft in the USA.

The sale follows GA's acceptance as an approved supplier to the US Air Force's Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which operates over 500 light aircraft on search and rescue and surveillance operations throughout the USA. GA has a three-year contract to supply aircraft to its US distributor Airvan on an "as required" basis. GA chief executive Michael Hall says the contract follows a CAP invitation to tender followed by a three-day fly-off by US test pilots between the Airvan and Cessna's 206 stationair at the 7,800ft (2,400m) airfield at Buena Vista in the Rocky Mountains, and at Leadville (9,800ft) near Aspen, Colorado.

Following the contract award, the aircraft has also been demonstrated to a number of other US government agencies.

Source: Flight International