CASA Issues Jabiru Final Rule

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Australia has softened restrictions on the operation of aircraft flying with Jabiru engines in its final ruling on measures to deal with what it considers to be a high rate of engine failures. As we reported in November, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority proposed banning passengers and solo students from flying behind the engines while it sorts out the causes of the failures. The engines are popular in Australia and the proposed rule got lots of comments. CASA said it reflected some of those views in the final rule, mainly by ensuring students and passengers know the risks and sign off on them before flying. Jabiru-equipped aircraft are also restricted to day VFR and over terrain where they can glide to unpopulated areas if things get quiet.

The final rule also gives some insight into the kinds of issues being experienced and they run a wide gamut of problems. "Problems with Jabiru engines include failures of through bolts, flywheel bolts and valve train assemblies, as well as cylinder cracking," CASA said in its release. "The failures affect a range of Jabiru engine models and have occurred in aircraft used in different flying activities, although many have been reported in aircraft used for flying training." There is no word on whether any action will be taken on Jabiru-equipped aircraft elsewhere but aviation authorities always keep each other informed about such actions.