• BRM Aero Bristell Classic. (BRM Aero)
    BRM Aero Bristell Classic. (BRM Aero)

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority yesterday issued a second Safety Notice warning owners against stalling Bristell light sport aircraft.

CASA previously issued a Safety Notice on 19 February this year stating their intention to ban stalls in Bristells, though the ban was not implemented pending further input from the manufacturer.

Today CASA stated that they were applying the ban via a second Safety Notice.

"Based on information received to date, we have not received sufficient assurance from the manufacturer as to compliance with the relevant safety standards," CASA said."We are also concerned as to the reliability of some of the information already provided.

"The operational limitations prohibit the conduct of intentional stalls of the aircraft during training or from any activities that could reasonably lead to an unintended stall."

The text of the Safety Notice details two parts to the limitations:

  1. A pilot in command of or student under instruction in, a BRM Aero Light Sport Aircraft (including the NG4, NG5 and TDO design variants) engaged in a flight training operation, is prohibited from conducting an intentional stall of the aircraft, or from performing any flight training activities that could reasonably lead to an unintended stall (for example, performance limit turns which occur at high angle of bank, high angles of attack and low airspeed).
  2. A copy of these operating limitations must be attached to the Special Certificate of Airworthiness, be carried at all times in the aircraft and be readily accessible.

"Several fatal accidents have occurred worldwide (including in Australia) where Bristell aircraft appear to have entered a ‘flat’ spin (including during stall flight training) and failed to recover," CASA says.

"CASA has previously sought confirmation from the manufacturer as to compliance with the ASTM LSA standards and, in particular, spin compliance flight testing. At the present time, CASA has not received sufficient assurance as to the extent of such testing, including testing covering each design variant."

BRM Aero engaged Australian company Edge Aerospace to help with the issue, prompting a letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport Michael McCormack asking him to intervene in the matter.

A spokesperson for the minister told Australian Flying "Noting CASA’s update to its 19 February 2020 Safety Notice, the Government is currently considering the issues raised in Edge Aviation’s recent correspondence and will reply in due course.”

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