Monday, December 10, 2012

Hardy is flying high

Hardy Aviation is back flying again, ending a day of confusion over the airline's apparent grounding.

Owner John Hardy grounded all planes on Saturday, believing he was required to after receiving a letter from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

But the planes were back in the sky yesterday after CASA confirmed no grounding order had been issued.

The move came a week after CASA had suspended the airline's regular scheduled services, which are run through Fly Tiwi.

Mr Hardy said yesterday there had been confusion about a letter sent to Hardy on Friday, which they interpreted as an order to stop flying. 

When the NT News contacted CASA on Saturday, spokesman Peter Gibson said the letter was not a stop-flight notice.

He said CASA had identified a number of problems and had sent a list of proposals about what could be done to fix them. 

Mr Gibson said what happened next depended on how Hardy responded. Hardy have until 2.30pm today to respond. In the meantime the company has permission to fly 26 planes.

"We've been told that we can do our charter flying," Mr Hardy said.

"This is the situation at the moment, but it may change tomorrow, we don't know yet." 

He said many people in his organization, including lawyers, had read CASA's letter and interpreted it as meaning the airline could not fly.

"On Saturday we had to notify out staff we couldn't fly. It wasn't the best news to receive a few weeks before Christmas." 

Mr Hardy said he held a press conference on Saturday because he was concerned customers would not know what was going on.

He said he had been contacted by CASA senior executives who said they were "trying to help" the airline.

The initial problem started more than a week ago when Hardy's chief pilot failed an "instrument rating" test. Mr Hardy said he had since re-sat the test and passed. 

There has since been an issue with maintenance records.


Hardy Aviation:

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