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Silverstone ordered to suspend Dash 8 flights after audit

Kenyan regional carrier Silverstone Air Services has suspended operations of its Bombardier Dash 8 fleet following an audit from the country's civil aviation regulator.

The Kenyan civil aviation authority initiated a series of ad hoc compliance audits on the carrier over the course of the past three weeks.

It started the checks on 24 October, in the aftermath of an 11 October accident in which a Silverstone Fokker 50 suffered a runway excursion during take-off from Nairobi's Wilson airport.

Silverstone then experienced another safety incident involving the loss of a wheel from a Dash 8-300 on 28 October.

There is also evidence that, the day before, one of its Fokker 50s struck a light aircraft's rudder with its wing-tip while taxiing.

The civil aviation authority has ordered Silverstone to suspend Dash 8 services for seven days, effective 12 November.

It states that it has taken the action "after findings from the audits", without elaborating.

All other aircraft in the Silverstone fleet remain operational for the time being, it adds, while it awaits the outcome of continuing surveillance activity. Safety within Kenyan airspace is a "paramount priority", says the authority.

Silverstone says it is "temporarily" halting services with the Dash 8s, of which it has six according to Cirium fleets data.

"The safety of our crew, passengers and aircraft remains our highest first priority," it states.

Silverstone adds that it is working with customers to minimise disruption arising from the fleet restrictions. The carrier operates four Fokker 50s.

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