Working on Fire's aircraft grounded

Johannesburg – Working on Fire’s helicopters and small aircraft have been grounded, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) said on Thursday.

The organisation’s air operating certificates had been suspended for alleged failure to comply with legal requirements, SACAA spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu said in a statement.

“Recent surveillance conducted on FFA Aviation yielded various findings, which according to the SACAA, were serious in nature,” she said.

Working on Fire trades as FFA Aviation (Pty) Ltd.

“Following a recent spate of incidents and accidents involving aircraft operated by FFA Aviation, the SACAA had intensified its oversight and audit obligations to determine whether aviation safety was being compromised in any way by this operator and maintenance organisation,” she said.

The audits were being undertaken parallel to ongoing accident investigations by the transport department’s aircraft accident division.

Working on Fire CEO Johan Heine could not immediately be reached for comment.

The organisation was started as a government initiative in 2003 to train people to fight veld and forest fires.

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