BY BEN BILUA
THE Solomon Airlines’ A320 airbus has been operating without maintenance and proper inspection, it is revealed; SolAir’s CEO Brett Gebers has denied this.
A well-placed source says the airbus has never undergone proper maintenance and checks as required by the international aviation laws.
There is a procedure for an airbus to undergo checks in certain periods, and the checks are called A, B and C.
“Aviation Law requires that an Airbuses must undergo check (A) after 400-600 flight hours or 200–300 cycles, Check (B) every 6-8 months and Check (C) 20–24 months.
“I don’t think the Airbus A320 has lived up to these checks.
“If you remember they had both the Dash 8 and the Airbus on a C-check last year and the company went broke to try to get both aircrafts back,” the source says.
The source adds that the failure of Solomon Airlines A320 to undergo these important processes is a concern.
It is understood that commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is an essential requirement to ensure that aircraft are maintained in pre-determined conditions of airworthiness to safely transport passengers and cargo.
And, according to insiders, the incidents in Brisbane (last week) and Tarawa last month is an indication that the airbus has been overused without proper maintenance and checks.
“I know what was going on during our Brisbane – Honiara Flight in December.
“Officials told us that the tyre of the plane were at fault, but according to my investigation, the real issue was the plane’s emergency lights.
“Aviation officials from Australia want the plane grounded due to the issues but it was said the top officials within Solomon Airlines want the plane to take the flight to Honiara.
“This is risky as I’m concerned,” the source says.
Island Sun is told the carrier has been operating without emergency lights as the plane’s power supply is unable to charge the batteries to foot the emergency lights.
And, the issue painted a bad image for Solomon Airlines and that some international visitors are aware of the report and no longer trust SolAir.
Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Airlines Mr Brett Gebers has rubbished the reports saying that queries sent to him were ‘full of vague incorrect terminology’.
He said the aircraft underwent a “C” check from March to May 2016 and has since had daily, weekly, and 6 “A” Checks.
Gebers said the airbus is due to have another “C” check at the end of February this year.
“All checks are set out in the Airbus and our manuals of procedure.
“We would not be so stupid as to operate without having carried out the required checks and without repairing the defects as we would be contravening the legislation and possibly invalidating our insurance,” Gebers retorts.