The Civil Aviation Safety Authority today has issued a notice to owners of BRM Aero Bristell LSAs that it intends to ban the type from being stalled in training or general flight.
Last month, CASA issued a Safety Notice for the Bristell advising owners and operators not to stall the aircraft and has follow up with the notice of intent after it says the manufacturer failed to provide satisfactory evidence that the type complied with testing standards.
LSAs like the Bristell are not checked for certification by National Aviation Authorities, but rather rely on a statement from the manufacturer that the aircraft complies with a specific ASTM standard.
The notice of intent, signed by CASA General, Recreational and Sport Branch Manager Anthony Stantion, states that CASA will take the action as a precautionary measure.
"In view of the ongoing lack of certainty as to the extent of spin testing conducted and whether all variants have been tested in accordance with ASTM F2245, CASA considers that it is in the interests of aviation safety that operational limitations be imposed upon BLSA [Bristell LSA] variants until it has been established that they (including all variants) have been spin tested in accordance with F2245," the notice states.
"This precautionary measure is further recommended by the fact that there have been a number of recent accidents involving BLSA variants in Australia and internationally, where the accident aircraft entered into a spin which was not able to be recovered before the aircraft impacted with terrain."
According to the notice, CASA will impose the following limitations on Bristells.
- the aircraft must not be stalled, whether intentionally or unintentionally, during flight, except as part of the terminal landing phase [touch down]
- the aircraft must not be operated in a manner that could lead to an aerodynamic stall
- the aircraft is not to be used for any flight training for stalls
- the owner and operator of the aircraft must ensure that, prior to flight, any pilot and passengers are informed of the above operating limitations and that written confirmation is provided demonstrating that the pilot and/or passengers have been so informed
- a copy of these operating limitations must be carried at all times in the aircraft and be readily accessible.
The notice goes on to say that CASA will review the limitation once it receives "sufficient assurance as to compliance with the requirements of section 4.5.9 of ASTM standard F2245."
CASA has given Certificate of Registration holders seven days to submit responses before it imposes the limitations.