CASA safety fears ground light planes

A Beechcraft Bonanza . . . CASA has grounded hundreds of light planes over safety concerns.
A Beechcraft Bonanza . . . CASA has grounded hundreds of light planes over safety concerns.

MELBOURNE - The aviation watchdog has effectively grounded hundreds of light planes over concerns about their safety.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority issued an airworthiness directive late yesterday requiring the mandatory inspection of flight control cables on the Beechcraft Debonair and Bonanza aircraft.

CASA has ordered owners and operators of the planes to replace any damaged forward elevator control cables before any more flights are taken.

If the cables are older than 15 years, they must be replaced regardless of whether or not they are damaged.

All work must be done within 60 days.

The only exception is for a pilot to fly the plane to a place where the inspection can take place.

``CASA decided to issue this directive after damaged and frayed flight control cables were recently discovered on two aircraft,'' the safety authority said in a statement.

CASA said there are hundreds of Beechcraft Debonair and Bonanza planes in Australia.