Air Transportation: May 8, 2002


Australia has decided to keep its fourteen DHC-4 Caribou light transports in service through 2010 without upgrading them or replacing their engines. None of the proposed upgrades made any sense for old aircraft that will only fly eight more years. Instead of an upgrade, the Australians will increase the maintenance and component repair to improve reliability and availability. Currently, too many of the DHC-4s are grounded at any given time for maintenance problems. The Australians had planned to buy a new aircraft this year -- delayed to 2010 for budget reasons -- and so have not bought spare parts for them.--Stephen V Cole


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