• A Bristell LSA pictured at Ausfly in 2015. The type has been in service with several flying schools. (Steve Hitchen)
    A Bristell LSA pictured at Ausfly in 2015. The type has been in service with several flying schools. (Steve Hitchen)

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) today issued a safety notice on the operation of Bristell light sport aircraft.

The notice states that operators should not stall the aircraft and claims that CASA has evidence that the type was not sufficiently tested for spin recovery.

"Pilots and operators of Bristell light sport aircraft (LSA) are strongly advised to avoid conducting any manoeuvre that may lead to an aerodynamic stall of the aircraft – either intentionally or unintentionally," the safety notice states. "This includes any flight training for stalls.

"The manufacturer has previously declared to CASA that the Bristell LSA meets the applicable certification requirements for LSA. Recent information received by CASA from the aircraft manufacturer shows that the aircraft may not meet the LSA standards as it does not appear to have been adequately tested (as required by the certification standards) for its ability to recover from spins.

LSAs 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.

"Light Sport Aircraft are required to meet a range of international standards for certification," CASA states. "The manufacturer has declared that the aircraft meets the standards published by ASTM International. The standard (ASTM Standard F2245, section 4.5.9) specifies the spinning performance requirements, including the ability to recover from a spin.

"CASA has been engaging with the aircraft manufacturer, BRM Aero which is based in the Czech Republic, seeking to confirm that the four variants presently operating in Australia meet the standard. We are concerned that contrary to the formal declarations made by the manufacturer, the aircraft may not have been adequately tested for compliance with the ASTM standard for spin recovery."

Bristell's have been involved in several incidents in Australia, including one at Clyde and another at Stawell in Victoria where the aircraft appeared not to have recovered from spins.

CASA said it is continuing to engage with the manufacturer, but that at the moment they have not been shown satisfactory evidence that the type is compliant.

CASA is also believed to be looking more closely at other LSA designs.

BRM Aero has yet to issue any comment on the safety notice.

The full safety notice can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

Bristell Safety Notice 19 February 2020

comments powered by Disqus