Special Conditions: AMSAFE, Incorporated; Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500; Inflatable Four-Point Restraint Safety Belt With an Integrated Airbag Device, 35511-35514 [05-12148]

Download as PDF 35511 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 70, No. 118 Tuesday, June 21, 2005 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No. CE225; Special Conditions No. 23–165–SC] Special Conditions: AMSAFE, Incorporated; Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500; Inflatable Four-Point Restraint Safety Belt With an Integrated Airbag Device Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final special conditions; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: These special conditions are issued to AMSAFE, Inc. for the installation of an AMSAFE, Inc., Inflatable Four-Point Restraint Safety Belt with an Integrated Airbag Device on the Adam Model A500. These airplanes, as modified by the installation of this Inflatable Safety Belt, will have novel and unusual design features associated with the upper-torso restraint portions of the four-point safety belt, which contains an integrated airbag device. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards. DATES: The effective date of these special conditions is June 8, 2005. Comments must be received on or before July 21, 2005. ADDRESSES: Comments on these special conditions may be mailed in duplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Regional Counsel, ACE–7, Attention: Rules Docket, Docket No. CE225, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, or delivered in VerDate jul<14>2003 15:18 Jun 20, 2005 Jkt 205001 duplicate to the Regional Counsel at the above address. Comments must be marked: CE225. Comments may be inspected in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mark James, Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE–111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri, 816–329–4137, fax 816–329– 4090, e-mail mark.james@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA has determined that notice and opportunity for prior public comment is impractical because these procedures would significantly delay issuance of approval and thus delivery of the affected aircraft. In addition, the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA, therefore, finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance. Comments Invited Interested persons are invited to submit such written data, views or arguments, as they may desire. Communications should identify the regulatory docket or special condition number and be submitted in duplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments will be considered by the Administrator. The special conditions may be changed in light of the comments received. All comments received will be available in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons, both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking will be filed in the docket. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this notice must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ‘‘Comments to CE225.’’ The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter. Background On May 24, 2005, Adam Aircraft Industries applied for a type design change, to include the new Adam PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Aircraft Industries Model A500 airplane for the installation of an AMSAFE fourpoint safety belt restraint system incorporating an inflatable airbag for the pilot and co-pilot seats. The Adam Model A500 is a twin engine, six-place airplane, currently approved under Type Certificate No. A00009DE. The inflatable restraint system is fourpoint safety belt restraint system consisting of a lap belt and dual shoulder harnesses. An inflatable airbag is attached to one of the shoulder harnesses, and the other shoulder harness is of conventional construction. The inflatable portion of the restraint system will rely on sensors to electronically activate the inflator for deployment. The inflatable restraint system will be installed on both the pilot and co-pilot seats. In the event of an emergency landing, the airbag will inflate and provide a protective cushion between the occupant’s head and structure within the airplane. This will reduce the potential for head and torso injury. The inflatable restraint behaves in a manner that is similar to an automotive airbag, but, in this case, the airbag is integrated into one of the shoulder harnesses. While airbags and inflatable restraints are standard in the automotive industry, the use of an inflatable four-point restraint system is novel for general aviation operations. The FAA has determined that this project will be accomplished on the basis of providing the same current level of safety of the Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500 occupant restraint systems. The FAA has two primary safety concerns with the installation of airbags or inflatable restraints: • That they perform properly under foreseeable operating conditions; and • That they do not perform in a manner or at such times as to impede the pilot’s ability to maintain control of the airplane or constitute a hazard to the airplane or occupants. The latter point has the potential to be the more rigorous of the requirements. An unexpected deployment while conducting the takeoff or landing phases of flight may result in an unsafe condition. The unexpected deployment may either startle the pilot or generate a force sufficient to cause a sudden movement of the control yoke. Either action could result in a loss of control of the airplane, the consequences of E:\FR\FM\21JNR1.SGM 21JNR1 35512 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 118 / Tuesday, June 21, 2005 / Rules and Regulations which are magnified due to the low operating altitudes during these phases of flight. The FAA has considered this when establishing these special conditions. The inflatable restraint system relies on sensors to electronically activate the inflator for deployment. These sensors could be susceptible to inadvertent activation, causing deployment in a potentially unsafe manner. The consequences of an inadvertent deployment must be considered in establishing the reliability of the system. Adam Aircraft Industries must show that the effects of an inadvertent deployment in flight are not a hazard to the airplane or that an inadvertent deployment is extremely improbable. In addition, general aviation aircraft are susceptible to a large amount of cumulative wear and tear on a restraint system. It is likely that the potential for inadvertent deployment increases as a result of this cumulative damage. Therefore, the impact of wear and tear on inadvertent deployment must be considered. Due to the effects of this cumulative damage, a life limit must be established for the appropriate system components in the restraint system design. There are additional factors to be considered to minimize the chances of inadvertent deployment. General aviation airplanes are exposed to a unique operating environment, since the same airplane may be used by both experienced and student pilots. The effect of this environment on inadvertent deployment must be understood. Therefore, qualification testing of the firing hardware/software must consider the following: • The airplane vibration levels appropriate for a general aviation airplane; and • The inertial loads that result from typical flight or ground maneuvers, including gusts and hard landings. Any tendency for the firing mechanism to activate as a result of these loads or acceleration levels is unacceptable. Other influences on inadvertent deployment include high intensity electromagnetic fields (HIRF) and lightning. Since the sensors that trigger deployment are electronic, they must be protected from the effects of these threats. To comply with HIRF and lightning requirements, the AMSAFE, Inc., inflatable restraint system is considered a critical system, since its inadvertent deployment could have a hazardous effect on the airplane. Given the level of safety of the current Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500 occupant restraints, the inflatable VerDate jul<14>2003 15:18 Jun 20, 2005 Jkt 205001 restraint system must show that it will offer an equivalent level of protection in the event of an emergency landing. In the event of an inadvertent deployment, the restraint must still be at least as strong as a Technical Standard Order approved belt and shoulder harnesses. There is no requirement for the inflatable portion of the restraint to offer protection during multiple impacts, where more than one impact would require protection. The inflatable restraint system must deploy and provide protection for each occupant under a crash condition. The seats of the model A500 are certificated to the structural requirements of § 23.562. Therefore, the test crash pulses identified in § 23.562 must be used to satisfy this requirement. It is possible a wide range of occupants will use the inflatable restraint. Thus, the protection offered by this restraint should be effective for occupants that range from the fifth percentile female to the ninety-fifth percentile male. Energy absorption must be performed in a consistent manner for this occupant range. In support of this operational capability, there must be a means to verify the integrity of this system before each flight. As an option, AMSAFE, Inc., can establish inspection intervals where they have demonstrated the system to be reliable between these intervals. It is possible that an inflatable restraint will be ‘‘armed’’ even though no occupant is using the seat. While there will be means to verify the integrity of the system before flight, it is also prudent to require that unoccupied seats with active restraints not constitute a hazard to any occupant. This will protect any individual performing maintenance inside the cockpit while the aircraft is on the ground. The restraint must also provide suitable visual warnings that would alert rescue personnel to the presence of an inflatable restraint system. In addition, the design must prevent the inflatable seatbelt from being incorrectly buckled and/or installed such that the airbag would not properly deploy. As an alternative, Adam Aircraft Industries may show that such deployment is not hazardous to the occupant and will still provide the required protection. The cabins of the Adam Model A500 airplanes identified in these special conditions are confined areas, and the FAA is concerned that noxious gases may accumulate in the event of airbag deployment. When deployment does occur, either by design or inadvertently, there must not be a release of hazardous PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 quantities of gas or particulate matter into the cockpit. An inflatable restraint should not increase the risk already associated with fire. Therefore, the inflatable restraint should be protected from the effects of fire, so that an additional hazard is not created by, for example, a rupture of the inflator. Finally, the airbag is likely to have a large volume displacement, and possibly impede the egress of an occupant. Since the bag deflates to absorb energy, it is likely that the inflatable restraint would be deflated at the time an occupant would attempt egress. However, it is appropriate to specify a time interval after which the inflatable restraint may not impede rapid egress. Ten seconds has been chosen as a reasonable time. This time limit will offer a level of protection throughout the impact event. Type Certification Basis Under the provisions of § 21.101, Adam Aircraft Industries, must show that the Adam Aircraft Model A500, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. A00009DE or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change. The regulations incorporated by reference in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the ‘‘original type certification basis.’’ The regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. A00009DE are as follows: Adam A500: Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 23, dated February 1, 1965, as amended by Amendment 23–1 through 23–55. For the model listed above, the certification basis also includes all exemptions, if any; equivalent level of safety findings, if any; and special conditions not relevant to the special conditions adopted by this rulemaking action. The Administrator has determined that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., part 23 as amended) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the AMSAFE, Inc., inflatable restraint, as installed on this Adam Aircraft Industries model because of a novel or unusual design feature. Therefore, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16. Special conditions, as appropriate, as defined in § 11.19, are issued in accordance with § 11.38, and become part of the type certification basis in accordance with § 21.101. Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they E:\FR\FM\21JNR1.SGM 21JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 118 / Tuesday, June 21, 2005 / Rules and Regulations are issued. Should the applicant apply for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to that model under the provisions of § 21.101. Novel or Unusual Design Features The Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature: The AMSAFE, Inc., Four-Point Safety Belt Restraint System incorporating an inflatable airbag for the pilot and copilot seats. The purpose of the airbag is to reduce the potential for injury in the event of an accident. In a severe impact, an airbag will deploy from one shoulder harness, in a manner similar to an automotive airbag. The airbag will deploy between the head of the occupant and airplane interior structure. Therefore, this will provide some protection to the head of the occupant. The restraint will rely on sensors to electronically activate the inflator for deployment. The Code of Federal Regulations state performance criteria for seats and restraints in an objective manner. However, none of these criteria are adequate to address the specific issues raised concerning inflatable restraints. Therefore, the FAA has determined that, in addition to the requirements of part 21 and part 23, special conditions are needed to address the installation of this inflatable restraint. Accordingly, these special conditions are adopted for the Adam Aircraft Industries models equipped with the AMSAFE, Inc., four-point inflatable restraint. Other conditions may be developed, as needed, based on further FAA review and discussions with the manufacturer and civil aviation authorities. Applicability As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500 equipped with the AMSAFE, Inc., fourpoint inflatable restraint system. Should Adam Aircraft Industries, at a later date, request to modify any other model on the Type Certificate identified in these special conditions to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well under the provisions of § 21.101. Conclusion This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on the previously identified Adam model. It is VerDate jul<14>2003 15:18 Jun 20, 2005 Jkt 205001 not a rule of general applicability, and it affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane. Under standard practice, the effective date of final special conditions would be 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register; however, the substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. For this reason, and because a delay would significantly affect the certification of the airplane, which is imminent, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23 Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols. Citation The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: I PART 23—[AMENDED] Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113 and 44701; 14 CFR 21.16 and 21.101; and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19. The Special Conditions The FAA has determined that this project will be accomplished on the basis of not lowering the current level of safety of the Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500 occupant restraint system. Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for these models, as modified by AMSAFE, Incorporated. Inflatable Four-Point Restraint Safety Belt with an Integrated Airbag Device on the Pilot and Copilot Seats of the Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500. 1. It must be shown that the inflatable restraint will deploy and will provide protection under crash conditions. Compliance will be demonstrated using the dynamic test condition specified in 14 CFR part 23, § 23.562(b)(2). It is not necessary to account for floor warpage, as required by § 23.562(b)(3). The means PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 35513 of protection must take into consideration a range of stature from a 5th percentile female to a 95th percentile male. The inflatable restraint must provide a consistent approach to energy absorption throughout that range. 2. The inflatable restraint must provide adequate protection for each occupant. In addition, unoccupied seats that have an active restraint must not constitute a hazard to any occupant. 3. The design must prevent the inflatable restraint from being incorrectly buckled and/or incorrectly installed such that the airbag would not properly deploy. Alternatively, it must be shown that such deployment is not hazardous to the occupant and will provide the required protection. 4. It must be shown that the inflatable restraint system is not susceptible to inadvertent deployment as a result of wear and tear or the inertial loads resulting from in-flight or ground maneuvers (including gusts and hard landings) that are likely to be experienced in service. 5. It must be extremely improbable for an inadvertent deployment of the restraint system to occur, or an inadvertent deployment must not impede the pilot’s ability to maintain control of the airplane or cause an unsafe condition (or hazard to the airplane). In addition, a deployed inflatable restraint must be at least as strong as a Technical Standard Order (C114) four-point harness. 6. It must be shown that deployment of the inflatable restraint system is not hazardous to the occupant and will not result in injuries that could impede rapid egress. This assessment should include occupants whose restraint is loosely fastened. 7. It must be shown that an inadvertent deployment that could cause injury to a standing or sitting person is improbable. In addition, the restraint must also provide suitable visual warnings that would alert rescue personnel to the presence of an inflatable restraint system. 8. It must be shown that the inflatable restraint will not impede rapid egress of the occupants 10 seconds after its deployment. 9. For the purposes of complying with HIRF and lightning requirements, the inflatable restraint system is considered a critical system since its deployment could have a hazardous effect on the airplane. 10. It must be shown that the inflatable restraints will not release hazardous quantities of gas or particulate matter into the cabin. E:\FR\FM\21JNR1.SGM 21JNR1 35514 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 118 / Tuesday, June 21, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 11. The inflatable restraint system installation must be protected from the effects of fire such that no hazard to occupants will result. 12. There must be a means to verify the integrity of the inflatable restraint activation system before each flight or it must be demonstrated to reliably operate between inspection intervals. 13. A life limit must be established for appropriate system components. 14. Qualification testing of the internal firing mechanism must be performed at vibration levels appropriate for a general aviation airplane. Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on June 8, 2005. John Colomy, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–12148 Filed 6–20–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2005–20869; Directorate Identifier 2004–NM–09–AD; Amendment 39– 14139; AD 2005–13–03] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; AvCraft Dornier Model 328–100 and –300 Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain SUMMARY: AvCraft Dornier Model 328–100 and –300 airplanes. This AD requires operators to install colored identification strips on the pulley brackets, fairlead bracket assemblies, operational assemblies, and flight control cables. This AD is prompted by a report that the flight control systems do not have elements that are distinctively identified. We are issuing this AD to prevent the incorrect reassembly of the flight control system during maintenance, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane. Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4056; telephone (425) 227–2125; fax (425) 227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 with an AD for certain AvCraft Dornier Model 328–100 and –300 airplanes. That action, published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2005 (70 FR 17370), proposed to require operators to install colored identification strips on the pulley brackets, fairlead bracket assemblies, operational assemblies, and flight control cables. This AD becomes effective July 26, 2005. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 26, 2005. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact AvCraft Aerospace GmbH, P.O. Box 1103, D– 82230 Wessling, Germany. Docket: The AD docket contains the proposed AD, comments, and any final disposition. You can examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647–5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., room PL–401, Washington, DC. This docket number is FAA–2005–20869; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2004–NM– 09–AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Comments DATES: We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. No comments have been submitted on the proposed AD or on the determination of the cost to the public. Explanation of Change to Applicability We have revised the applicability of the proposed AD to identify model designations as published in the most recent type certificate data sheet for the affected models. Conclusion We have carefully reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the change described previously. We have determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD. Costs of Compliance The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD. ESTIMATED COSTS Average labor rate per hour Work hours Action Installation ................................................ 16 The following table provides the estimated costs for operators to comply with this AD if they have airplanes that Parts $65 Cost per airplane $291 $1,331 Number of U.S.registered airplanes 112 Fleet cost $149,072 are subject to the concurrent requirements. ESTIMATED COSTS—CONCURRENT REQUIREMENTS Concurrent Dornier Service Bulletin SB–328–27–290 ............................................. SB–328–27–291 ............................................. SB–328–27–292 ............................................. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:18 Jun 20, 2005 Jkt 205001 Average labor rate per hour Work hours PO 00000 5 5 5 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 $65 65 65 Sfmt 4700 Parts Operator Supplied .......................................... Operator Supplied .......................................... Operator Supplied .......................................... E:\FR\FM\21JNR1.SGM 21JNR1 Cost per airplane $325 325 325

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 118 (Tuesday, June 21, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 35511-35514]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-12148]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 118 / Tuesday, June 21, 2005 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 35511]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 23

[Docket No. CE225; Special Conditions No. 23-165-SC]


Special Conditions: AMSAFE, Incorporated; Adam Aircraft 
Industries Model A500; Inflatable Four-Point Restraint Safety Belt With 
an Integrated Airbag Device

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final special conditions; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: These special conditions are issued to AMSAFE, Inc. for the 
installation of an AMSAFE, Inc., Inflatable Four-Point Restraint Safety 
Belt with an Integrated Airbag Device on the Adam Model A500. These 
airplanes, as modified by the installation of this Inflatable Safety 
Belt, will have novel and unusual design features associated with the 
upper-torso restraint portions of the four-point safety belt, which 
contains an integrated airbag device. The applicable airworthiness 
regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for 
this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional 
safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to 
establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the 
existing airworthiness standards.

DATES: The effective date of these special conditions is June 8, 2005. 
Comments must be received on or before July 21, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Comments on these special conditions may be mailed in 
duplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Regional Counsel, 
ACE-7, Attention: Rules Docket, Docket No. CE225, 901 Locust, Room 506, 
Kansas City, Missouri 64106, or delivered in duplicate to the Regional 
Counsel at the above address. Comments must be marked: CE225. Comments 
may be inspected in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, 
between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mark James, Federal Aviation 
Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane 
Directorate, ACE-111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri, 816-329-4137, 
fax 816-329-4090, e-mail mark.james@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA has determined that notice and 
opportunity for prior public comment is impractical because these 
procedures would significantly delay issuance of approval and thus 
delivery of the affected aircraft. In addition, the substance of these 
special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in 
several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA, 
therefore, finds that good cause exists for making these special 
conditions effective upon issuance.

Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to submit such written data, views 
or arguments, as they may desire. Communications should identify the 
regulatory docket or special condition number and be submitted in 
duplicate to the address specified above. All communications received 
on or before the closing date for comments will be considered by the 
Administrator. The special conditions may be changed in light of the 
comments received. All comments received will be available in the Rules 
Docket for examination by interested persons, both before and after the 
closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public 
contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking will be filed in 
the docket. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their 
comments submitted in response to this notice must include a self-
addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: 
``Comments to CE225.'' The postcard will be date stamped and returned 
to the commenter.

Background

    On May 24, 2005, Adam Aircraft Industries applied for a type design 
change, to include the new Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500 airplane 
for the installation of an AMSAFE four-point safety belt restraint 
system incorporating an inflatable airbag for the pilot and co-pilot 
seats. The Adam Model A500 is a twin engine, six-place airplane, 
currently approved under Type Certificate No. A00009DE.
    The inflatable restraint system is four-point safety belt restraint 
system consisting of a lap belt and dual shoulder harnesses. An 
inflatable airbag is attached to one of the shoulder harnesses, and the 
other shoulder harness is of conventional construction. The inflatable 
portion of the restraint system will rely on sensors to electronically 
activate the inflator for deployment. The inflatable restraint system 
will be installed on both the pilot and co-pilot seats.
    In the event of an emergency landing, the airbag will inflate and 
provide a protective cushion between the occupant's head and structure 
within the airplane. This will reduce the potential for head and torso 
injury. The inflatable restraint behaves in a manner that is similar to 
an automotive airbag, but, in this case, the airbag is integrated into 
one of the shoulder harnesses. While airbags and inflatable restraints 
are standard in the automotive industry, the use of an inflatable four-
point restraint system is novel for general aviation operations.
    The FAA has determined that this project will be accomplished on 
the basis of providing the same current level of safety of the Adam 
Aircraft Industries Model A500 occupant restraint systems. The FAA has 
two primary safety concerns with the installation of airbags or 
inflatable restraints:
     That they perform properly under foreseeable operating 
conditions; and
     That they do not perform in a manner or at such times as 
to impede the pilot's ability to maintain control of the airplane or 
constitute a hazard to the airplane or occupants.
    The latter point has the potential to be the more rigorous of the 
requirements. An unexpected deployment while conducting the takeoff or 
landing phases of flight may result in an unsafe condition. The 
unexpected deployment may either startle the pilot or generate a force 
sufficient to cause a sudden movement of the control yoke. Either 
action could result in a loss of control of the airplane, the 
consequences of

[[Page 35512]]

which are magnified due to the low operating altitudes during these 
phases of flight. The FAA has considered this when establishing these 
special conditions.
    The inflatable restraint system relies on sensors to electronically 
activate the inflator for deployment. These sensors could be 
susceptible to inadvertent activation, causing deployment in a 
potentially unsafe manner. The consequences of an inadvertent 
deployment must be considered in establishing the reliability of the 
system. Adam Aircraft Industries must show that the effects of an 
inadvertent deployment in flight are not a hazard to the airplane or 
that an inadvertent deployment is extremely improbable. In addition, 
general aviation aircraft are susceptible to a large amount of 
cumulative wear and tear on a restraint system. It is likely that the 
potential for inadvertent deployment increases as a result of this 
cumulative damage. Therefore, the impact of wear and tear on 
inadvertent deployment must be considered. Due to the effects of this 
cumulative damage, a life limit must be established for the appropriate 
system components in the restraint system design.
    There are additional factors to be considered to minimize the 
chances of inadvertent deployment. General aviation airplanes are 
exposed to a unique operating environment, since the same airplane may 
be used by both experienced and student pilots. The effect of this 
environment on inadvertent deployment must be understood. Therefore, 
qualification testing of the firing hardware/software must consider the 
following:
     The airplane vibration levels appropriate for a general 
aviation airplane; and
     The inertial loads that result from typical flight or 
ground maneuvers, including gusts and hard landings.
    Any tendency for the firing mechanism to activate as a result of 
these loads or acceleration levels is unacceptable.
    Other influences on inadvertent deployment include high intensity 
electromagnetic fields (HIRF) and lightning. Since the sensors that 
trigger deployment are electronic, they must be protected from the 
effects of these threats. To comply with HIRF and lightning 
requirements, the AMSAFE, Inc., inflatable restraint system is 
considered a critical system, since its inadvertent deployment could 
have a hazardous effect on the airplane.
    Given the level of safety of the current Adam Aircraft Industries 
Model A500 occupant restraints, the inflatable restraint system must 
show that it will offer an equivalent level of protection in the event 
of an emergency landing. In the event of an inadvertent deployment, the 
restraint must still be at least as strong as a Technical Standard 
Order approved belt and shoulder harnesses. There is no requirement for 
the inflatable portion of the restraint to offer protection during 
multiple impacts, where more than one impact would require protection.
    The inflatable restraint system must deploy and provide protection 
for each occupant under a crash condition. The seats of the model A500 
are certificated to the structural requirements of Sec.  23.562. 
Therefore, the test crash pulses identified in Sec.  23.562 must be 
used to satisfy this requirement.
    It is possible a wide range of occupants will use the inflatable 
restraint. Thus, the protection offered by this restraint should be 
effective for occupants that range from the fifth percentile female to 
the ninety-fifth percentile male. Energy absorption must be performed 
in a consistent manner for this occupant range.
    In support of this operational capability, there must be a means to 
verify the integrity of this system before each flight. As an option, 
AMSAFE, Inc., can establish inspection intervals where they have 
demonstrated the system to be reliable between these intervals.
    It is possible that an inflatable restraint will be ``armed'' even 
though no occupant is using the seat. While there will be means to 
verify the integrity of the system before flight, it is also prudent to 
require that unoccupied seats with active restraints not constitute a 
hazard to any occupant. This will protect any individual performing 
maintenance inside the cockpit while the aircraft is on the ground. The 
restraint must also provide suitable visual warnings that would alert 
rescue personnel to the presence of an inflatable restraint system.
    In addition, the design must prevent the inflatable seatbelt from 
being incorrectly buckled and/or installed such that the airbag would 
not properly deploy. As an alternative, Adam Aircraft Industries may 
show that such deployment is not hazardous to the occupant and will 
still provide the required protection.
    The cabins of the Adam Model A500 airplanes identified in these 
special conditions are confined areas, and the FAA is concerned that 
noxious gases may accumulate in the event of airbag deployment. When 
deployment does occur, either by design or inadvertently, there must 
not be a release of hazardous quantities of gas or particulate matter 
into the cockpit.
    An inflatable restraint should not increase the risk already 
associated with fire. Therefore, the inflatable restraint should be 
protected from the effects of fire, so that an additional hazard is not 
created by, for example, a rupture of the inflator.
    Finally, the airbag is likely to have a large volume displacement, 
and possibly impede the egress of an occupant. Since the bag deflates 
to absorb energy, it is likely that the inflatable restraint would be 
deflated at the time an occupant would attempt egress. However, it is 
appropriate to specify a time interval after which the inflatable 
restraint may not impede rapid egress. Ten seconds has been chosen as a 
reasonable time. This time limit will offer a level of protection 
throughout the impact event.

Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of Sec.  21.101, Adam Aircraft Industries, 
must show that the Adam Aircraft Model A500, as changed, continues to 
meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by 
reference in Type Certificate No. A00009DE or the applicable 
regulations in effect on the date of application for the change. The 
regulations incorporated by reference in the type certificate are 
commonly referred to as the ``original type certification basis.'' The 
regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. A00009DE 
are as follows:
    Adam A500: Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 23, dated 
February 1, 1965, as amended by Amendment 23-1 through 23-55.
    For the model listed above, the certification basis also includes 
all exemptions, if any; equivalent level of safety findings, if any; 
and special conditions not relevant to the special conditions adopted 
by this rulemaking action.
    The Administrator has determined that the applicable airworthiness 
regulations (i.e., part 23 as amended) do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for the AMSAFE, Inc., inflatable 
restraint, as installed on this Adam Aircraft Industries model because 
of a novel or unusual design feature. Therefore, special conditions are 
prescribed under the provisions of Sec.  21.16.
    Special conditions, as appropriate, as defined in Sec.  11.19, are 
issued in accordance with Sec.  11.38, and become part of the type 
certification basis in accordance with Sec.  21.101.
    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which 
they

[[Page 35513]]

are issued. Should the applicant apply for a supplemental type 
certificate to modify any other model included on the same type 
certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, 
the special conditions would also apply to that model under the 
provisions of Sec.  21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500 will incorporate the 
following novel or unusual design feature:
    The AMSAFE, Inc., Four-Point Safety Belt Restraint System 
incorporating an inflatable airbag for the pilot and co-pilot seats. 
The purpose of the airbag is to reduce the potential for injury in the 
event of an accident. In a severe impact, an airbag will deploy from 
one shoulder harness, in a manner similar to an automotive airbag. The 
airbag will deploy between the head of the occupant and airplane 
interior structure. Therefore, this will provide some protection to the 
head of the occupant. The restraint will rely on sensors to 
electronically activate the inflator for deployment.
    The Code of Federal Regulations state performance criteria for 
seats and restraints in an objective manner. However, none of these 
criteria are adequate to address the specific issues raised concerning 
inflatable restraints. Therefore, the FAA has determined that, in 
addition to the requirements of part 21 and part 23, special conditions 
are needed to address the installation of this inflatable restraint.
    Accordingly, these special conditions are adopted for the Adam 
Aircraft Industries models equipped with the AMSAFE, Inc., four-point 
inflatable restraint. Other conditions may be developed, as needed, 
based on further FAA review and discussions with the manufacturer and 
civil aviation authorities.

Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the 
Adam Aircraft Industries Model A500 equipped with the AMSAFE, Inc., 
four-point inflatable restraint system. Should Adam Aircraft 
Industries, at a later date, request to modify any other model on the 
Type Certificate identified in these special conditions to incorporate 
the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would 
apply to that model as well under the provisions of Sec.  21.101.

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on the previously identified Adam model. It is not a rule of general 
applicability, and it affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA 
for approval of these features on the airplane.
    Under standard practice, the effective date of final special 
conditions would be 30 days after the date of publication in the 
Federal Register; however, the substance of these special conditions 
has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior 
instances and has been derived without substantive change from those 
previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would 
result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. For 
this reason, and because a delay would significantly affect the 
certification of the airplane, which is imminent, the FAA has 
determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and 
impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special 
conditions upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow 
interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in 
response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

Citation

0
The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

PART 23--[AMENDED]

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113 and 44701; 14 CFR 21.16 and 
21.101; and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19.

The Special Conditions

    The FAA has determined that this project will be accomplished on 
the basis of not lowering the current level of safety of the Adam 
Aircraft Industries Model A500 occupant restraint system. Accordingly, 
pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the 
following special conditions are issued as part of the type 
certification basis for these models, as modified by AMSAFE, 
Incorporated.
    Inflatable Four-Point Restraint Safety Belt with an Integrated 
Airbag Device on the Pilot and Copilot Seats of the Adam Aircraft 
Industries Model A500.
    1. It must be shown that the inflatable restraint will deploy and 
will provide protection under crash conditions. Compliance will be 
demonstrated using the dynamic test condition specified in 14 CFR part 
23, Sec.  23.562(b)(2). It is not necessary to account for floor 
warpage, as required by Sec.  23.562(b)(3). The means of protection 
must take into consideration a range of stature from a 5th percentile 
female to a 95th percentile male. The inflatable restraint must provide 
a consistent approach to energy absorption throughout that range.
    2. The inflatable restraint must provide adequate protection for 
each occupant. In addition, unoccupied seats that have an active 
restraint must not constitute a hazard to any occupant.
    3. The design must prevent the inflatable restraint from being 
incorrectly buckled and/or incorrectly installed such that the airbag 
would not properly deploy. Alternatively, it must be shown that such 
deployment is not hazardous to the occupant and will provide the 
required protection.
    4. It must be shown that the inflatable restraint system is not 
susceptible to inadvertent deployment as a result of wear and tear or 
the inertial loads resulting from in-flight or ground maneuvers 
(including gusts and hard landings) that are likely to be experienced 
in service.
    5. It must be extremely improbable for an inadvertent deployment of 
the restraint system to occur, or an inadvertent deployment must not 
impede the pilot's ability to maintain control of the airplane or cause 
an unsafe condition (or hazard to the airplane). In addition, a 
deployed inflatable restraint must be at least as strong as a Technical 
Standard Order (C114) four-point harness.
    6. It must be shown that deployment of the inflatable restraint 
system is not hazardous to the occupant and will not result in injuries 
that could impede rapid egress. This assessment should include 
occupants whose restraint is loosely fastened.
    7. It must be shown that an inadvertent deployment that could cause 
injury to a standing or sitting person is improbable. In addition, the 
restraint must also provide suitable visual warnings that would alert 
rescue personnel to the presence of an inflatable restraint system.
    8. It must be shown that the inflatable restraint will not impede 
rapid egress of the occupants 10 seconds after its deployment.
    9. For the purposes of complying with HIRF and lightning 
requirements, the inflatable restraint system is considered a critical 
system since its deployment could have a hazardous effect on the 
airplane.
    10. It must be shown that the inflatable restraints will not 
release hazardous quantities of gas or particulate matter into the 
cabin.

[[Page 35514]]

    11. The inflatable restraint system installation must be protected 
from the effects of fire such that no hazard to occupants will result.
    12. There must be a means to verify the integrity of the inflatable 
restraint activation system before each flight or it must be 
demonstrated to reliably operate between inspection intervals.
    13. A life limit must be established for appropriate system 
components.
    14. Qualification testing of the internal firing mechanism must be 
performed at vibration levels appropriate for a general aviation 
airplane.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on June 8, 2005.
John Colomy,
Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 05-12148 Filed 6-20-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P