A32 Vixxen – going well in Australia

8759 A blog A32 8703 01 blogThe ‘new’ Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen seems to have really caught the eye of pilots and buyers in Australia over the last 12 months, with 15 either delivered or on order since the first one arrived in Australia late last year.

New owners include three flying schools, a couple of country pilots (aircraft complete with UHF radios and sirens!) as well as private pleasure pilot owners – one already flew his A32 from southern Australia up through the Kimberley and back. For those unfamiliar with the geography of Australia, the Kimberley is a region of north western Australia famous for its scenic beauty and wild life, several thousand kilometres from the south coast.

So far we have the usual mix of colours – with yellow still the favourite, and orange not far behind. Then there are a couple of whites a red and a ‘flat’ green. But no blue as yet. And of course, there is the bright metallic green A32, which so many people have commented on. The videos and photos of this plane don’t do it justice – it really glows, particularly in the sunshine!

Interestingly, a higher proportion of A32s have been ordered with ballistic rescue systems fitted. In the A22 Foxbat fleet, maybe 1 in 15 has a parachute. So far, 1 in 3 of the A32s have parachutes. Why this should be is uncertain, as customers are quoting the same reason as for the A22 – passenger preservation should the pilot become incapacitated. Personally, I think it’s probably for the same reasons most of the parachutes in the 22 Foxbat are in earlier versions – owners wanted the extra insurance that the airframe is strong and reliable. In the last 40 A22 Foxbat orders, I think there has only been one request for a parachute – and one owner has actually removed the ‘chute to gain that extra 20 kilos of usable load.

Finally, the highest time A32 has now just passed 400 hours flight time – not bad in less than a year, although still a long way off the highest time A22 in Australia, which has now logged close to 6,500 hours!

Ballistic rescue systems for aircraft

BRSA ballistic rescue system (BRS) is an option available on Foxbat aircraft – about 15 of the Australian fleet of 125 are fitted with them. Thankfully, no-one has needed to deploy a BRS on an Australia Foxbat.

However, the pilot of this Cirrus was not so lucky, although due to the BRS, he and his passengers all walked away from what otherwise might have been a nasty incident.

It was around 2pm on Saturday afternoon, 10 December 2014 at Lawson, west of Sydney in New South Wales when some sort of problem occurred with the aircraft and the BRS was deployed – an excellent example of how modern technology can dramatically improve the safety of light aircraft.

Here’s a link for more information, including a short piece of video: Sydney Morning Herald