Planes at risk of 'in-flight break-up' grounded

The new addition to the Glenorchy Air fleet, a refurbished GA8 Airvan. Photo supplied.
A refurbished GA8 Airvan, part of the Glenorchy Air fleet. PHOTO: SUPPLIED.

A possible risk of in-flight break-up is the reason for the grounding of 21 sightseeing planes in New Zealand yesterday.

The Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the airworthiness certificates of 21 GippsAero GA-8 Airvans currently being operated until more is known about a GA-8 crash in Sweden earlier this week.

All nine people on board the skydiving flight were killed. Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority has also grounded the 63 GA-8s operating there.

Aviation authorities do not know how long it will take for the planes grounded in New Zealand to be able to fly again.

The CAA's airworthiness manager, Shaun Johnson, said public safety was the primary concern.

"This is an unusual incident in that the information we have would suggest there's been some form of in-flight break-up and we have no information to suggest why that might be.

"That's exactly why the European Aviation Safety Authority is conducting an investigation," Mr Johnson said.

"Australia as the state of design for the aircraft are now also involved and have a person on the ground in Sweden."

The Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the airworthiness certificates of 21 GippsAero GA-8 Airvans currently being operated until more is known about a GA-8 crash in Sweden earlier this week.

All nine people on board the skydiving flight were killed. Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority has also grounded the 63 GA-8s operating there.

Aviation authorities do not know how long it will take for the planes grounded in New Zealand to be able to fly again.

The CAA's airworthiness manager, Shaun Johnson, said public safety was the primary concern.

"This is an unusual incident in that the information we have would suggest there's been some form of in-flight break-up and we have no information to suggest why that might be.

"That's exactly why the European Aviation Safety Authority is conducting an investigation," Mr Johnson said.

"Australia as the state of design for the aircraft are now also involved and have a person on the ground in Sweden."

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