Thursday, 14 March 2019

Swiss civil aviation regulator calls time on vintage aircraft commercial passenger flights - Ju-52

Photo Ju-Air
The Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation has called a halt to normal commercial pleasure flights on the fleet of Junkers Ju-52 aircraft by Ju-Air, it has confirmed this week.

The regulator says that be following the fatal crash of a Ju-52 of Ju-Air it had reviewed the facts of the investigation (which is ongoing) and because there is no manufacturer with responsibility for the airworthiness of the Ju 52 aircraft, the regulator was “not in a position to take on this task”. it was calling a halt to all commercial passenger flights with type.

However, this does not mean that the Ju-52's won't be in the air again with passengers, the regulator says the historic aircraft can still fly - even with passengers,  however, these passengers would need to be members of a dedicated club, and have been members for at least 30 days prior to the flight.

Ju-Air said that it was continuing to invest in its future and has begun the complete restoration of its three historic Junkers JU-52 aircraft and will return one of the craft to the skies this summer.

The firm has conducted complete investigations on the grounded historic aircraft, including with special x-rays of the framework and has not found any safety-relevant defects. The company said "The JU-AIR is preparing for the long-term continued operation of its three historic Junkers JU-52 and is investing in its future. For this purpose, today's 70 and 80-year-old aircraft are completely dismantled and overhauled. For the most comprehensive revision work in JU-AIR's 36-year history, operations will have to be reduced in the summer of 2019 and 2020."

"For the summer of 2019 it is planned to use only one aircraft. These are the HB-HOS, which has undergone comprehensive corrosion tests in addition to the annual maintenance since November. New, high-resolution borescope cameras were used to illuminate and examine the wing spars and even the smallest cavities in the wings, tail units and fuselage."