Italian airframer Blackshape Aircraft is confident that the grounding of its BS 115 and BK 160 single-engined trainers will shortly be resolved, as it supports regulatory investigations into two accidents which triggered the decision.

The manufacturer is participating in the Aero Friedrichshafen 2024 show, which begins on 17 April, where it will highlight its Prime 915iS as well as the BK 160-200.

Blackshape remains dismayed at the March grounding by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, describing the measure to suspend the fleet as “unexpected” and “exceedingly conservative”.

The company says this resulted in knock-on actions by US and Malaysian regulators, and claims its BS 100 – an aircraft unrelated in design – faced a precautionary suspension by the Italian Aero Club.

“It is self-evident how all these events had negative impact on the company’s business which is in a strong phase of relaunch and international positioning,” it tells FlightGlobal.

Blackshape BK 160TR-c-Blackshape Aircraft

Source: Blackshape Aircraft

Blackshape describes the fleet suspension as an ‘extreme’ measure

EASA grounded the BS 115 and BK 160 after two fatal accidents, in the Netherlands and Malaysia, citing concerns that the latter might have involved a structural wing failure.

Blackshape argues that the suspension was an “extreme measure” that required “deeper analysis of the facts”.

It acknowledges that investigation into the Malaysian accident, which occurred on 13 February, mentions detachment of the right wing.

But the company adds that the cause has not yet been determined – stressing that the inquiry has turned up evidence of possible maintenance and operational irregularities.

Blackshape also insists that “no in-flight break-up occurred” during the Dutch accident, in June 2022, and that the two events appear unrelated.

It says it is “pro-actively working” with EASA to conduct all tests required to demonstrate the safety of its aircraft, and remains “completely available” to authorities for further information.

“A detailed report on the potential causes of the Malaysian accident – not linked to any design problems or structural failures – has been already shared,” it says.

Blackshape states that it is “fully confident” that the matter will be “positively solved soon”, given the “recognised excellence” of the company’s design and production capabilities.