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Aircraft construction and certification

Issue number: AO-2011-126-SI-03
Who it affects: All manufacturers of light sport aircraft
Issue owner: Recreational Aviation Australia Incorporated
Operation affected: Aviation: Other
Background: Investigation Report AO-2011-126
Date: 17 April 2014

Safety issue description

The manufacture of, and the processes used to certify and register the Morgan Aero Works Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft, resulted in an increased risk to persons entering the recreational aviation community and using the aircraft for flight training, and also to the general public.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Recreational Aviation Australia Incorporated
Action number: AO-2011-126-NSA-076
Date: 17 April 2014
Action status: Closed

Recreational Aviation Australia Incorporated (RA-Aus) action in response to this safety issue was twofold, addressing the aircraft construction and certification aspects of the issue separately. These actions are discussed in the following sections.

Aircraft construction

RA-Aus reported that the Morgan Aero Works Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft involved in the accident was grounded following the accident and its subsequent rebuild. It will not be re-registered unless under the RA-Aus 19- (amateur built) category.

Issuing of certificate of type acceptance

A routine Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) audit of RA-Aus in November 2011 resulted in the identification by RA-Aus that:

  •  the Morgan Aero Works Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft involved in the accident at Old Bar was not constructed to a known standard
  • the aircraft manufacturer did not hold a production certificate issued by CASA
  • the Morgan Aero Works Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft type was not a light sport aircraft (LSA) category aircraft and did not possess a special certificate of airworthiness.

In response to these findings, RA-Aus:

  • grounded the fleet of Morgan Aero Works Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft
  • removed the factory built status from the aircraft manufacturer
  • advised the aircraft manufacturer to comply with LSA standards in order to regain factory build status
  • deregistered all 24- (factory built) Morgan Aero Works Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft and re-registered them under the 19- (amateur built) category.

RA-Aus also employed a new Technical Manager.

ATSB response:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by RA-Aus should lead to improvements that adequately address the safety issue.

   
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by RA-Aus should lead to improvements that adequately address the safety issue.

 
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Last update 01 July 2014