AUSTRALIA'S CIVIL Aviation Authority has imposed a take-off-weight restriction on the Eagle XT-S sports trainer, which effectively limits it to single-seat operation. The aircraft is manufactured in Perth, Western Australia, by Malaysian interests (Flight International, 9-15 March, 1994)

The move apparently resulted from an ACAA review of the Eagle's stall speed, when it was found to exceed the European Joint Aviation Rules Very Light Aircraft maximum stall speed of 45kt (85km/h) at gross weight with a forward centre of gravity.

The reduced weight represents the maximum at which the Eagle can meet the requirement.

Eagle's launch customer, the Western Australia Department of Conservation & Land Management (CALM), is not yet operating the type. CALM had ordered six Eagles to replace its nine-strong Piper Super Cub fleet.

The ACAA has yet to explain why the aircraft was certificated at the higher weight before it was downgraded. Eagle has not commented on the decision.

Source: Flight International