Australia Grounds Older Bonanzas


Australia has grounded all older-model Beech Bonanzas, Debonairs and Twin Bonanzas with the single pole style yoke attachment. The Civil Aviation Safety Administration (CASA) issued an airworthiness directive (AD) (PDF, one of four) on Beech model 33, 35-33, 35, 36 and 50 aircraft banning further flight (except for a single positioning flight) until the forward elevator cables have been inspected. The AD was issued after a cable failed on a Bonanza just before takeoff and inspection of a similar aircraft revealed damage to its cable in the same location. If the cable is frayed, it must be replaced before further flight and cables not showing any damage that are more than 15 years old have to be replaced within 60 days. Only aircraft that have had new cables since their last annual are exempt. Although the AD applies only to Australian-registered aircraft, things like this tend to spread.

In most cases when an agency in one country discovers a significant safety-of-flight issue and takes action, parallel agencies in other countries follow suit. The FAA has not issued an AD so far but the Australian action will be on someone’s desk Monday morning. Australian authorities say the AD affects hundreds of aircraft there and similar action by the FAA will ground thousands of Bonanzas.