Fourteen Airlink planes grounded

Airlink’s Jetstream aircraft have been grounded, the Star newspaper reported on Thursday.

Late on Wednesday night, the Civil Aviation Authority said it was grounding the fleet following an audit after “a series of serious aircraft incidents and accidents” over the past three months.

The CAA suspended the air-worthiness certificates of 14 Jetstream aircraft from midnight on Wednesday. They may not fly again until the CAA had re-certified each one.

The rest of Airlink’s fleet—a total of nine planes—may still operate.

“SA Airlink produced a corrective action plan (CAP) which the CAA reviewed and accepted as being sufficient to address the findings, if it were to be implemented fully.

“However, it is important to highlight the fact that this corrective action plan would only be fully implemented by the end of January 2010,” said the CAA.

The CAA was inspecting the Airlink operation when another incident occurred on Wednesday with an aircraft aborting take-off from Nelspruit due to low oil pressure and smoke coming out of the left-hand engine.

“As a result of this second incident, which is similar in nature to the one that occurred in Durban in September 2009, resulting in one fatality, the CAA resolved that the safety and airworthiness of the SA Airlink Jetstream aircraft fleet could no longer be
guaranteed,” the CAA said. - Sapa

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