High-time Cessna Conquest IIs Grounded Down Under
Australia’s Civil Aviation Authority (CASA) has grounded several Cessna 441 Conquest II turboprops, citing the potential for in-flight structural failures on aircraft that have surpassed 22,500 hours. CASA stated that the defect, located near the rear pressure dome, could cause the tail to separate during flight. A Cessna spokeswoman told AIN that the company issued a supplemental inspection document for the Conquest, which recommends the 22,500-hour limit, after reviewing test and field data as part of its continuing safety process. “While most of the Conquests operating around the world are well below this structural limit, several aircraft in Australia have exceeded the 22,500-hour limit,” the spokeswoman said. There are currently 34 Conquests operating in Australia, and four have been grounded. The Conquest is powered by two Honeywell TPE331-8 turboprop engines and was certified and began deliveries in 1977. Cessna built 359 Conquest IIs by the time production halted in the mid-1980s.