CASA has approved an Australian developed supplemental type certificate (STC) for the Cessna Conquest, which will allow the aircraft to be operate up to 40,000 flying hours, well beyond the current 22,500 hour limit.
The STC, in development by TAE in conjunction with Aeronautical Engineers Australia since 2008, comprises a program of major modifications to the Conquest, including replacing fuselage frames, reinforcing other components and external straps to spread loads and provide redundant load paths, plus a new maintenance program.
Cessna set the 22,500 hour life limit for the Conquest in 2007 after it decided not to develop an ageing aircraft maintenance program for the aircraft. As a consequence CASA immediately moved to ground Conquests that had flown beyond that life limit.
“The Conquest is a popular aircraft in Australia with charter and aerial work operators, with 32 aircraft currently on the civil aircraft register,” CASA Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick said.
“Careful and detailed work by Australian aeronautical engineers, with safety oversight from CASA’s engineers, has created a program that will see the Conquest fly safely in our skies for many years to come.”