CASA – the Australian equivalent of the US Federal Aviation Administration – issued draft documents that would severely limit operations for aircraft equipped with Jabiru engines, at least until addition study and investigation into a significant number of engine failures is conducted. Quoting the CASA web site:
CASA is responding to a high, and increasing, rate of engine failures among aircraft that are powered by engines manufactured by, or under licence from, Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd (Jabiru). Such aircraft are referred to in this document as ‘Jabiru powered aircraft’.
The issues appear to be the result of several failure modes, which require separate investigation.
CASA has formed the view that its functions under the Civil Aviation Act 1988 require it to mitigate certain risks to passengers, trainee pilots and persons on the ground.
Accordingly, while CASA works with Jabiru to identify the causes of these engine failures and to implement appropriate corrective actions, CASA proposes a set of operating limitations on Jabiru powered aircraft.
Since the Jabiru engine is not certified in the United States, and is used on experimental aircraft, it is unlikely that similar limitations would be imposed by the FAA, but pilots of Jabiru-equipped aircraft should be aware of these investigations.
The proposed regulation will:
1. only permit operations by day under the visual flight rule, unless approved by CASA;
2. require that Jabiru powered aircraft are operated in a manner that minimises the risk of a forced landing into a populous areas;
3. define ‘populous area’ by reference to whether an area is populous at the time of the operation, meaning that (for example) a sports field would generally be a populous area at a time when that field is in use;
4. prohibit the carriage of passengers;
5. prohibit the use of Jabiru powered aircraft for solo operations by student pilots, who generally are less able to respond effectively to an engine failure event;
6. require that a notice be located in each Jabiru powered aircraft, conspicuous to each occupant of the aircraft, that states the limitations in paragraphs (4) and (5) above and notes that the occupants fly at their own risk.
See the documents below for complete details.