Given a recent fatal crash and the withdrawal of funds by the Canadian government, Seawind Aircraft has been forced to interrupt development of the amphibious aircraft. Development will be on hold until the cause of the fatal crash of a certification test airplane in Canada last month is known and at least $2 million in funding is secured.
The interruption in business was first reported by the company in August. This week rumors emerged that the company would terminate efforts to develop the aircraft.
"We never said that," said Seawind President Richard Silva. The Canadian government withdrew funding based on delays in certification and the accident, but it is not known if the withdrawal is permanent, Silva said. The company is based near Philadelphia with a plant in Canada. Silva is approaching other investors and "making headway." The company laid off all 32 employees on August 1.
Accident investigators have told the company that there was nothing mechanically wrong with the airplane, but Silva said there is a mystery over 45 gallons of gas that were supposedly in the aircraft and can't be confirmed by investigators. There was no fuel leak prior to the accident. A preliminary report should be available in a month, but the interruption could continue until a final report is available. The company needs a total of $4 million to complete certification and place the aircraft in accelerated production. — Alton K. Marsh
(September 13, 2007)