• One of the Bristell aircraft used in spin testing. (BRM Aero)
    One of the Bristell aircraft used in spin testing. (BRM Aero)

The controversy over CASA's handling of the Bristell LSA stall/spin issue has resulted in the matter being referred to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Anderson Aviation, Australian agent for the Bristell, made the announcement to all Bristell owners today.

CASA currently has a ban in place to prevent the aircraft from being used for intentional stalls over fears that the aircraft doesn't comply with the standards, something manufacturer BRM Aero has consistently disputed.

"We do understand the frustrations for some of you who have your aircraft in commercial operations and the limitations this has caused in the operation of your aircraft," CEO Brett  Anderson said in the letter issued on behalf of BRM.

"We again wish to reassure you that the Bristell does comply in respect of stall/spin performance, it has always complied, and it is a safe and reliable, quality aircraft.

"We can now report to you that the whole matter has been referred to the Commonwealth Ombudsman for investigation and consideration with respect to the conduct of CASA in dealing with BRM Aero and Anderson Aviation in respect of the Bristell.

"We await a response from the Ombudsman. Given the extensive and detailed documentation that has been provided to the Ombudsman, we understand that it will take some time for the matter to be investigated thoroughly, but a recent communication with the Ombudsman indicated they hope to have an initial response to us by the end of this month.

"We have been working with BRM Aero on the way forward, in particular with the spin testing again of the Bristell to prove to CASA that they are wrong in what they have done; however, the factory was already heavily committed to completing the certification of the B23 Bristell.

"This is now complete where it passed with flying colours and that is fantastic news as it once again proves CASA wrong yet again when they stated that BRM Aero were ‘willing but not capable’ in the April 2020 teleconference."

CASA applied the stall ban in July this year, stating that they had not received "sufficient assurance from the manufacturer as to compliance with the relevant safety standards."

BRM, through Anderson Aviation and consultant Edge Aerospace, has insisted that it has provided CASA with all necessary proof that stall/spin testing shows that the aircraft complies with the standard.

"Currently there are matters related to our issue that we believe are serious that we have been investigating that will come to the notice of the public that will assist greatly in providing evidence of this unjustified attack on the Bristell aircraft," Anderson said.

"We are committed to supporting you all and the Bristell aircraft and intend to continue the campaign until we get action regarding the removal of these operating limitations."

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