Special Conditions: AmSafe, Incorporated; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47; Inflatable Three-Point Restraint Safety Belt With an Integrated Airbag Device, 74456-74459 [E6-21018]

Download as PDF jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 74456 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 238 / Tuesday, December 12, 2006 / Rules and Regulations of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register at 71 FR 52013–52014. In the Nursery Crop Provisions, FCIC proposed to amend the definition of ‘‘liners’’ to remove language that specifies an established root system for a liner plant must reach the sides of the container and removed language regarding the firm root ball. These changes were necessary because liners are also known as starter plants, which often have not developed a root system that reaches the sides of the containers. In the Nursery Peak Inventory Endorsement, FCIC proposed to amend provisions to clarify that the maximum increase in the amount of insurance under the Nursery Peak Inventory Endorsement is limited to twice the amount of insurance under the Nursery Crop Insurance Provisions. As currently written in the Nursery Peak Inventory Endorsement, the peak amount of insurance is limited to 200 percent of the basic unit value. This means that if a basic unit value is $50 the producer could increase the peak amount of insurance to $100 (200 percent of $50 basic unit value), which is a four fold increase in liability. FCIC never intended to allow such an increase. It meant to only allow increases up to twice the amount of insurance under the policy, not on a per unit basis. The public was afforded 60 days to submit written comments after the regulation was published in the Federal Register. One comment was received from three commenters. The commenters were a reinsured company, an insurance services organization and a grower association. The comment received and FCIC’s response are as follows: Comment: All three commenters stated they are in agreement with the proposed changes. One commenter also commends FCIC’s willingness to move forward with the amendment to the definition of ‘‘liners.’’ The commenter states the current language has been an obstacle for most liner producers from purchasing nursery crop insurance policies. Another commenter agrees the amendment to the policy provisions is necessary and a major improvement to the nursery program. Response: FCIC agrees the changes to the Peak Inventory Endorsement and the definition of ‘‘liners’’ in the Nursery Crop Insurance Provisions will provide a better risk management tool to nursery producers. Final Rule DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Accordingly, as set forth in the preamble, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation amends 7 CFR part 457 the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, for the 2008 and succeeding crop years, as follows: Federal Aviation Administration I PART 457—COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 457 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1506(l), 1506(p). 2. Revise the definition of ‘‘liners’’ in section 1 of § 457.162 to read as follows: I § 457.162 Nursery crop insurance provisions. * * * * * 1. Definitions. * * * * * Liners. Plants produced in standard nursery containers that are equal to or greater than 1 inch in diameter (including trays containing 200 or fewer individual cells, unless specifically provided by the Special Provisions) but less than 3 inches in diameter at the widest point of the container or cell interior, have an established root system, and meet all other conditions specified in the Special Provisions. * * * * * 3. Revise paragraph 7 of § 457.163 to read as follows: I § 457.163 Nursery peak inventory endorsement. * * * * * 7. Liability Limit. The peak amount of insurance is limited to 200 percent of the amount of insurance established under the Nursery Crop Insurance Provisions. Signed in Washington, DC, on November 30, 2006. Eldon Gould, Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. [FR Doc. E6–21033 Filed 12–11–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–08–P List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 457 Crop insurance, Nursery, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:58 Dec 11, 2006 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No. CE262; Special Conditions No. 23–202–SC] Special Conditions: AmSafe, Incorporated; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/ 47; Inflatable Three-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 Three-Point Restraint Safety Belt with an Integrated Airbag Device on Pilatus models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47. These airplanes, as modified by AmSafe, Inc. for the installation of this inflatable safety belt, will have novel and unusual design features associated with the lap-belt restraint portions of the three-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 November 29, 2006. We must receive your comments on or before January 11, 2007. ADDRESSES: Mail two copies of your comments on these special conditions to: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Regional Counsel, ACE–7, Attention: Rules Docket, Docket No. CE262, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, or delivered two copies to the Regional Counsel at the above address. Mark your comments: Docket No. CE262. You may inspect comments in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bob Stegeman, Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE–111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri, 816–329–4140, fax 816–329– 4090, e-mail Robert.Stegeman@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA has determined that notice and E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 238 / Tuesday, December 12, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 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 on issuance. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Comments Invited We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments. We will file in the docket all comments we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel about these special conditions. You can inspect the docket before and after the comment closing date. If you wish to review the docket in person, go to the address in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive. If you want us to let you know we received your comments on these special conditions, send us a preaddressed, stamped postcard on which the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the postcard and mail it back to you. Background On May 4, 2006, AmSafe, Inc., applied for a supplemental type certificate. The application covers the installation of a three-point safety belt restraint system incorporating an inflatable airbag for the pilot, co-pilot, and passenger seats of the Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47 airplanes. The Pilatus models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47 are single engine, two-pilot, ninepassenger airplanes. The inflatable restraint system is a three-point safety belt restraint system consisting of a lap belt and shoulder harness. An inflatable airbag is attached to the lap belt. The inflatable portion of the restraint system will rely on sensors VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:58 Dec 11, 2006 Jkt 211001 to electronically activate the inflator for deployment. The inflatable restraint system will be installed on the pilot, copilot, and passenger seats. If an emergency landing occurs, the airbag will inflate and provide a protective cushion between the occupant’s head and the structure within the airplane. This will reduce the potential for head and torso injury. The inflatable restraint behaves in a manner similar to an automotive airbag; however, in this case, the airbag is integrated into the lap belt. While airbags and inflatable restraints are standard in the automotive industry, the use of an inflatable three-point restraint system is novel for general aviation operations. The FAA has determined that this project will be accomplished by providing the same current level of safety as the Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47 airplane 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 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. AmSafe, Inc., 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. The potential for inadvertent deployment may PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 74457 increase as a result of this cumulative damage. Therefore, the impact of wear and tear on inadvertent deployment must be considered. The effect of this cumulative damage means 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 Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC–12, PC– 12/45 and PC–12/47 occupant restraints, the inflatable restraint system must show that it will offer an equivalent level of protection for an emergency landing. If an inadvertent deployment occurs, 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 an emergency landing condition. The seats of the models PC– 12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47 are certificated to the structural requirements of § 23.562; therefore, the test emergency landing pulses identified in § 23.562 must be used to satisfy this requirement. A wide range of occupants may use the inflatable restraint; therefore, the E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 74458 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 238 / Tuesday, December 12, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 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. AmSafe, Inc., may establish inspection intervals where they have demonstrated the system to be reliable between these intervals. An inflatable restraint may 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 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. AmSafe, Inc., may show that such deployment is not hazardous to the occupant and will still provide the required protection. The cabins of the Pilatus model airplanes identified in these special conditions are confined areas, and the FAA is concerned that noxious gasses may accumulate if the airbag deploys. When deployment occurs, 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 to avoid creating an additional hazard by, for example, a rupture of the inflator. Finally, the airbag is likely to have a large volume displacement, and it could 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 reasonable time. This time limit will offer a level of protection throughout the impact event. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:58 Dec 11, 2006 Jkt 211001 Type Certification Basis Under 14 CFR 21.101, AmSafe, Inc., must show the Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47, as changed, continue to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. A78EU (Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC– 12/47) 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 following models are covered by this special condition: Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47: Type Certificate No. A78EU, Revision 14, dated April 13, 2006. For the models 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. If the Administrator determines 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 these Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under § 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 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 § 21.101. Novel or Unusual Design Features The Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC– 12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature: The AmSafe, Inc., Three-Point Safety Belt Restraint System incorporates an inflatable airbag for the pilot, co-pilot, and passenger 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 the lap belt, in a manner similar to an automotive airbag. The airbag will deploy between the head of the occupant and airplane interior structure, PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 which 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. Therefore, these special conditions are adopted for the Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. models equipped with the AmSafe, Inc., three-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 Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47 equipped with the AmSafe, Inc., three-point inflatable restraint system. Conclusion This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on the previously identified Pilatus models. 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. Therefore, and because a delay would significantly affect the delivery of the airplane(s), the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions on 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. E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 238 / Tuesday, December 12, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Citation The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: 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. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES The Special Conditions The FAA has determined that this project will be accomplished without lowering the current level of safety of the Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47 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 Three-Point Restraint Safety Belt with an Integrated Airbag Device for the Pilot, Co-pilot, and Passenger Seats of the Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Models PC–12, PC–12/45 and PC–12/47. 1. It must be shown that the inflatable restraint will deploy and provide protection under emergency landing 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), or vertical dynamic loads, as required by § 23.562(b)(1). 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:58 Dec 11, 2006 Jkt 211001 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) certificated belt and shoulder harness. 6. It must be shown that deployment of the inflatable restraint system is not hazardous to the occupant or 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. To comply 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. 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 November 29, 2006. John Colomy, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E6–21018 Filed 12–11–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 74459 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2006–26527; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–220–AD; Amendment 39–14850; AD 2006–25–09] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD–11F Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD–11F airplanes. This AD requires a general visual inspection for installation of conduit and chafing damage on the auxiliary power unit (APU) power feeder wires and the upper surface of the auxiliary fuel tank and repair if necessary. This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct unprotected APU power feeder wires that come into close proximity to the upper surface of the auxiliary ‘‘piggy back’’ fuel tank, which could result in a potential ignition source, and in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could cause a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane. DATES: This AD becomes effective December 27, 2006. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of December 27, 2006. We must receive comments on this AD by February 12, 2007. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this AD. • DOT Docket Web site: Go to https://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 238 (Tuesday, December 12, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 74456-74459]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-21018]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 23

[Docket No. CE262; Special Conditions No. 23-202-SC]


Special Conditions: AmSafe, Incorporated; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., 
Models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47; Inflatable Three-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 Three-Point Restraint 
Safety Belt with an Integrated Airbag Device on Pilatus models PC-12, 
PC-12/45 and PC-12/47. These airplanes, as modified by AmSafe, Inc. for 
the installation of this inflatable safety belt, will have novel and 
unusual design features associated with the lap-belt restraint portions 
of the three-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 November 29, 
2006. We must receive your comments on or before January 11, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Mail two copies of your comments on these special conditions 
to: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Regional Counsel, ACE-7, 
Attention: Rules Docket, Docket No. CE262, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas 
City, Missouri 64106, or delivered two copies to the Regional Counsel 
at the above address. Mark your comments: Docket No. CE262. You may 
inspect comments in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, 
between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bob Stegeman, Federal Aviation 
Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane 
Directorate, ACE-111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri, 816-329-4140, 
fax 816-329-4090, e-mail Robert.Stegeman@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA has determined that notice and

[[Page 74457]]

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 on issuance.

Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by 
sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments 
reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask 
that you send us two copies of written comments.
    We will file in the docket all comments we receive, as well as a 
report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel 
about these special conditions. You can inspect the docket before and 
after the comment closing date. If you wish to review the docket in 
person, go to the address in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble 
between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.
    We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for 
comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do 
so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special 
conditions based on the comments we receive.
    If you want us to let you know we received your comments on these 
special conditions, send us a pre-addressed, stamped postcard on which 
the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the postcard and 
mail it back to you.

Background

    On May 4, 2006, AmSafe, Inc., applied for a supplemental type 
certificate. The application covers the installation of a three-point 
safety belt restraint system incorporating an inflatable airbag for the 
pilot, co-pilot, and passenger seats of the Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., 
models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 airplanes. The Pilatus models PC-
12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 are single engine, two-pilot, nine-passenger 
airplanes.
    The inflatable restraint system is a three-point safety belt 
restraint system consisting of a lap belt and shoulder harness. An 
inflatable airbag is attached to the lap belt. 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 the pilot, co-pilot, and passenger seats.
    If an emergency landing occurs, the airbag will inflate and provide 
a protective cushion between the occupant's head and the structure 
within the airplane. This will reduce the potential for head and torso 
injury. The inflatable restraint behaves in a manner similar to an 
automotive airbag; however, in this case, the airbag is integrated into 
the lap belt. While airbags and inflatable restraints are standard in 
the automotive industry, the use of an inflatable three-point restraint 
system is novel for general aviation operations.
    The FAA has determined that this project will be accomplished by 
providing the same current level of safety as the Pilatus Aircraft 
Ltd., models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 airplane 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 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. AmSafe, Inc., 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. The potential for inadvertent 
deployment may increase as a result of this cumulative damage. 
Therefore, the impact of wear and tear on inadvertent deployment must 
be considered. The effect of this cumulative damage means 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 Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., 
models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 occupant restraints, the inflatable 
restraint system must show that it will offer an equivalent level of 
protection for an emergency landing. If an inadvertent deployment 
occurs, 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 an emergency landing condition. The seats of 
the models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 are certificated to the 
structural requirements of Sec.  23.562; therefore, the test emergency 
landing pulses identified in Sec.  23.562 must be used to satisfy this 
requirement.
    A wide range of occupants may use the inflatable restraint; 
therefore, the

[[Page 74458]]

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. AmSafe, Inc., 
may establish inspection intervals where they have demonstrated the 
system to be reliable between these intervals.
    An inflatable restraint may 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 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. AmSafe, Inc., may show that such deployment is not 
hazardous to the occupant and will still provide the required 
protection.
    The cabins of the Pilatus model airplanes identified in these 
special conditions are confined areas, and the FAA is concerned that 
noxious gasses may accumulate if the airbag deploys. When deployment 
occurs, 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 to avoid creating an additional 
hazard by, for example, a rupture of the inflator.
    Finally, the airbag is likely to have a large volume displacement, 
and it could 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 
reasonable time. This time limit will offer a level of protection 
throughout the impact event.

Type Certification Basis

    Under 14 CFR 21.101, AmSafe, Inc., must show the Pilatus Aircraft 
Ltd., models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47, as changed, continue to meet 
the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference 
in Type Certificate No. A78EU (Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC-12, PC-
12/45 and PC-12/47) 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 following models are covered 
by this special condition:
    Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47:
    Type Certificate No. A78EU, Revision 14, dated April 13, 2006.
    For the models 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.
    If the Administrator determines 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 these Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models because of a novel 
or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under 
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 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 Sec.  
21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 will 
incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:
    The AmSafe, Inc., Three-Point Safety Belt Restraint System 
incorporates an inflatable airbag for the pilot, co-pilot, and 
passenger 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 the lap belt, in a manner similar to an automotive 
airbag. The airbag will deploy between the head of the occupant and 
airplane interior structure, which 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.
    Therefore, these special conditions are adopted for the Pilatus 
Aircraft Ltd. models equipped with the AmSafe, Inc., three-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 
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 equipped 
with the AmSafe, Inc., three-point inflatable restraint system.

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on the previously identified Pilatus models. 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. 
Therefore, and because a delay would significantly affect the delivery 
of the airplane(s), the FAA has determined that prior public notice and 
comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for 
adopting these special conditions on 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.

[[Page 74459]]

Citation

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    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 
without lowering the current level of safety of the Pilatus Aircraft 
Ltd., models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 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 Three-Point Restraint Safety Belt with an Integrated 
Airbag Device for the Pilot, Co-pilot, and Passenger Seats of the 
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Models PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47.
    1. It must be shown that the inflatable restraint will deploy and 
provide protection under emergency landing 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), or vertical dynamic loads, 
as required by Sec.  23.562(b)(1). 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) certificated belt and shoulder harness.
    6. It must be shown that deployment of the inflatable restraint 
system is not hazardous to the occupant or 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. To comply 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.
    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 November 29, 2006.
John Colomy,
Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
 [FR Doc. E6-21018 Filed 12-11-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P