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NZ's aviation authority lifts ban on aircraft model involved in Swedish crash that killed nine

A six-day ban on all 21 Gippsland GA8 aircraft operations in New Zealand has been lifted today, the Civil Aviation Authority says.

The temporary suspension was put in place on last Saturday as a safety precaution following a recent parachuting accident in Sweden where nine people died. The action was also taken by the airworthiness authorities in Europe and Australia.

"Based on the limited information available immediately after the accident, the 21 GA8 aircraft operating in New Zealand were grounded, as well as a number operating overseas. There were 63 aircraft grounded in Australia for the same reasons," Director of Civil Aviation Graeme Harris said.

The precautionary suspension was triggered after initial information from the Swedish showed the aircraft had broken up in flight.

However, the director said he had received further information that there was no evidence to indicate a potential unsafe condition. As a consequence, the GA8 aircraft type would now be safely allowed to return to normal operations.

"They can now be assured that the initial concerns expressed following the accident in Sweden have been addressed."

"We do not take these steps lightly," he added. "The flying public, operators and pilots of the affected aircraft need to be satisfied that these aircraft are now safe to fly."

CAA's Australian counterpart, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, has an airworthiness engineer in Sweden observing the accident investigation.

Mr Harris said feedback had been beneficial. "We will continue to monitor the investigation into the GA8 accident and will take appropriate action should any related safety issues become apparent in the future," he said.

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The small planes, which are generally used for scenic flights, have been grounded by the Civil Aviation Authority, after the crash in Sweden which killed nine people. Source: 1 NEWS