14 Sep 2010

Skydiver numbers on crash plane now restricted

12:36 pm on 14 September 2010

The Civil Aviation Authority has issued a directive limiting to six the number of skydivers who can be carried on the type of plane involved in the Fox Glacier air crash.

The pilot and eight skydivers died when the Fletcher aircraft crashed at the end of the runway at Fox Glacier airport on 4 September.

The CAA says the Fletcher aircraft may now carry a maximum of six sky divers plus the pilot on any flight where centre of gravity calculations need to be done using actual weights of passengers and equipment.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission, which is investigating the cause of the crash, says the emergency air worthiness directive issued by the CAA is precautionary and should not be interpreted as confirming the cause of the accident.

TAIC says it is too early to confirm whether weight and balance issues contributed to the Fox Glacier accident, but there is sufficient concern that a safety issue exists.