Jabiru business manager Sue Woods.
Jabiru business manager Sue Woods. Scottie Simmonds

Jabiru hopes proposed limitations do not come to fruition

AFTER 40 engine failures in the past 12 months, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has proposed to limit operations on Jabiru powered aircraft.

Under the consultation draft proposal CASA stated that all aircraft powered by engines manufactured by, or under licence from, Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd should be limited to day flights under the visual flight rule, unless approved by CASA, prohibit the carriage of passengers, prohibit the use of Jabiru powered aircraft for solo operations by student pilots and restrict flying over populace areas.

Jabiru production manager Jamie Cook said it disagreed with the draft proposal.

"They're not grounding the aircraft or engine but they are severely limiting the use of the aircraft," he said.

Mr Cook said CASA conducted a routine audit in July to ensure it was still complying with all the standards which it was.

"Then two weeks ago CASA advised us that it required an urgent audit which we agreed to," he said.

"Last week Jabiru was advised of this proposed instrument which it wanted Jabiru to self-impose and we disagreed and refused."

A spokesman for CASA said it had spoken to Jabiru about what needed to be done to fix the problem.

"While that process is being worked through we believe that we need to take steps to protect aviation safety," he said.

"It is still a consultation draft and until we make a decision Jabiru can operate normally."

Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus), the peak body in Australia responsible for administering ultra light, recreational and Light Sport Aircraft operations, said in a letter to its members that it had not been notified of CASA's intended actions.

"It would appear the proposed actions by CASA are disproportionate to the risks faced by owners and operators," the letter said.

"Of more than 90,000 Jabiru movements recorded by RA-Aus in the year to date approximately 0.03% has resulted in some form of engine malfunction with no fatalities being attributable to these events."

Closing date for comments on the proposal is close of business Thursday, November 20.

Comments must be forwarded to CASA project leader Lee Ungermann at sport@casa.gov.au.

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