Special Conditions: Eurocopter France (ECF) Model EC225LP Helicopter, Installation of a Search and Rescue (SAR) Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), 79312-79317 [2010-31867]

Download as PDF 79312 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 75, No. 243 Monday, December 20, 2010 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 73 [NRC–2008–0619] RIN 3150–AI25 Requirements for Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Records Checks for Individuals Seeking Unescorted Access to Research or Test Reactors Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is reopening the public comment period for the proposed rule that was published on July 10, 2010. 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Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission. [FR Doc. 2010–31852 Filed 12–17–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 29 [Docket No. SW022; Special Conditions No. 29–022A–SC] Special Conditions: Eurocopter France (ECF) Model EC225LP Helicopter, Installation of a Search and Rescue (SAR) Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 243 / Monday, December 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules This document proposes amended special conditions for the ECF model EC225LP helicopter. This helicopter, as modified by ECF, will have novel or unusual design features associated with installing an optional SAR AFCS. Special conditions No. 29– 022–SC, published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2008 (73 FR 65968), addressed these issues. The proposed amendment revises the original final special conditions to address comments and to clarify the intent of some requirements. The applicable airworthiness standards do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards the Administrator considers necessary to show a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards. DATES: We must receive your comments by January 19, 2011. ADDRESSES: You must mail two copies of your comments to: Federal Aviation Administration, Rotorcraft Directorate, Attn: Special Conditions Docket (ASW– 111), Docket No. SW022, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137. You may deliver two copies to the Rotorcraft Directorate at the above address. You must mark your comments: Docket No. SW022. You can inspect comments in the Docket on weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FAA, Aircraft Certification Service, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group (ASW–111), Attn: Stephen Barbini, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222–5196; facsimile (817) 222–5961. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS 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 will file in the special conditions docket all comments we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning 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 document between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 Dec 17, 2010 Jkt 223001 We will consider all comments we receive on or before 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 the FAA to acknowledge receipt of your mailed comments on this proposal, include with your comments 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 March 27, 2006, ECF applied for a change to Type Certificate (TC) No. H4EU to install an optional SAR AFCS in the model EC225LP helicopter. The model EC225LP is a transport category helicopter certified to Category A requirements when configured for more than nine passengers and Category A or B requirements when configured for nine or less passengers. This helicopter is also certified for instrument flight under the requirements of Appendix B of 14 CFR part 29, Amendment 29–47. The use of dedicated AFCS upper modes, in which a fully coupled autopilot provides operational SAR profiles, is needed for SAR operations conducted over water in offshore areas clear of obstructions. The SAR modes enable the helicopter pilot to fly fully coupled maneuvers, to include predefined search patterns during cruise flight, and to transition from cruise flight to a stabilized hover and departure (transition from hover to cruise flight). The SAR AFCS also includes an auxiliary crew control that allows another crewmember (such as a hoist operator) to have limited authority to control the helicopter’s longitudinal and lateral position during hover operations. Flight operations conducted over water at night may have an extremely limited visual horizon with little visual reference to the surface even when conducted under Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC). Consequently, the certification requirements for SAR modes must meet Appendix B to 14 CFR part 29. While Appendix B to 14 CFR part 29 prescribes airworthiness criteria for instrument flight, it does not consider operations below instrument flight minimum speed (VMINI), whereas the SAR modes allow for coupled operations at low speed, all-azimuth flight to zero airspeed (hover). Since SAR operations have traditionally been a public use mission, the use of SAR modes in civil operations requires special airworthiness standards (special PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 79313 conditions) to ensure that a level of safety consistent with Category A and Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) certification is maintained. In this regard, 14 CFR part 29 lacks adequate airworthiness standards for AFCS SAR mode certification to include flight characteristics, performance, and installed equipment and systems. Type Certification Basis Under 14 CFR 21.101, ECF must show the EC225LP, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the rules incorporated by reference in TC No. H4EU or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change. The regulations incorporated by reference in the TC are commonly referred to as the ‘‘original type certification basis.’’ The regulations incorporated by reference in H4EU are as follows: a. 14 CFR 21.29. b. 14 CFR part 29 Amendments 29–1 to 29–25; plus § 29.785 through Amendment 29–28; plus §§ 29.963, 29.967, 29.973, 29.975 through Amendment 29–34; plus §§ 29.25, 29.865 through Amendment 29–42; plus §§ 29.1, 29.2, 29.49, 29.51, 29.53, 29.55, 29.59, 29.60, 29.61, 29.62, 29.64, 29.65, 29.67, 29.73, 29.75, 29.77, 29.79, 29.81, 29.83, 29.85, 29.87, 29.307, 29.337, 29.351, 29.361, 29.391, 29.395, 29.397, 29.401, 29.403, 29.413, 29.427, 29.501, 29.519, 29.547, 29.549, 29.561(c), 29.561(d), 29.563, 29.602, 29.610, 29.613, 29.621, 29.625, 29.629, 29.631, 29.663, 29.674, 29.727, 29.755, 29.775, 29.783, 29.787, 29.803, 29.805, 29.807, 29.809, 29.811, 29.855, 29.861, 29.901, 29.903, 29.908, 29.917, 29.923, 29.927, 29.954, 29.961, 29.965, 29.969, 29.971, 29.991, 29.997, 29.999, 29.1001, 29.1011, 29.1019, 29.1027, 29.1041, 29.1043, 29.1045, 29.1047, 29.1093, 29.1125, 29.1141, 29.1143, 29.1163, 29.1181, 29.1189, 29.1193, 29.1305, 29.1309, 29.1323, 29.1329, 29.1337, 29.1351, 29.1359, 29.1415, 29.1521, 29.1549, 29.1557, 29.1587, A29, B29, C29, D29 through Amendment 29–47; plus 29.1317 through Amendment 29– 49. c. 14 CFR part 36 Amendment 21 (ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Chapter 8). d. Equivalent Safety Findings: (1) TC2899RD–R–F–01; § 29.1303(j), Vne aural warning. (2) TC2899RD–R–F–02; § 29.1545(b)(4), Airspeed indicators markings. (3) TC2899RD–R–F–03; § 29.1549(b), Powerplant instruments markings. (4) TC2899RD–R–F–05; §§ 29.173, 29,175, Static Longitudinal Stability. (5) TC2899RD–R–F–06; 14 CFR part 29, Appendix B, paragraph IV; IFR E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 79314 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 243 / Monday, December 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules Static Longitudinal Stability–Airspeed stability. (6) TC2899RD–R–A–01; § 29.807(d)(2), Ditching emergency exits for passengers. (7) TC2899RD–R–P–01; § 29.923(a)(2), Rotor drive system and control mechanism tests. In addition to the applicable airworthiness standards and special conditions, the ECF model EC225LP must comply with the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Regulatory Basis for Special Conditions If the Administrator finds the applicable airworthiness standards (that is, 14 CFR part 29) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the ECF model EC225LP helicopter because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under § 21.16. The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in § 11.19, under § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101. Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the TC for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same TC be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model. Novel or Unusual Design Features The ECF model EC225LP helicopter will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: The SAR system is composed of a navigation computer with SAR modes, an AFCS that provides coupled SAR functions, hoist operator control, a hover speed reference system, and two radio altimeters. The AFCS coupled SAR functions include: (a) Hover hold at selected height above the surface. (b) Ground speed hold. (c) Transition down and hover to a waypoint under guidance from the navigation computer. (d) SAR pattern, transition down, and hover near a target over which the helicopter has flown. (e) Transition up, climb, and capture a cruise height. (f) Capture and track SAR search patterns generated by the navigation computer. (g) Monitor the preselected hover height with automatic increase in collective if the aircraft height drops below the safe minimum height. These SAR modes are intended to be used over large bodies of water in areas VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 Dec 17, 2010 Jkt 223001 clear of obstructions. Further, use of the modes that transition down from cruise to hover will include operation at airspeeds below VMINI. The SAR system only entails navigation, flight control, and coupled AFCS operation of the helicopter. The system does not include the extra equipment that may be required for over water flight or external loads to meet other operational requirements. Discussion of Comments Final special conditions; request for comments, No. 29–022–SC for ECF model EC225LP helicopters was published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2008 (73 FR 65968), with the comment period closing December 22, 2008. One commenter, AgustaWestland (AW), responded to our request for comments and submitted various comments and recommendations. Referring to subparagraph (a)(3), which deals with a Go Around mode, AW states that they do not agree with a requirement for a function that possibly performs an automatic ascent in case of a detected failure. They state that this could be even an unsafe maneuver during hover while operating the winch. They point out that EASA states in CRI B–03 ‘‘The automatic collective control should provide a high integrity function that flies up whenever a SAR mode is coupled and the aircraft is below the minimum safety height, if needed to satisfy the failure demonstrations in § G, 2. The minimum safety height must not rely on crew setting only.’’ They state there are more generic requirements that address the safety aspects induced by SAR operation at low height. We disagree with the commenter’s interpretation of the requirement. The intent of the requirement is for the goaround mode to be manually activated by the pilot in order to avoid a hazardous situation. This action would interrupt any coupled SAR mode and automatically command the helicopter to ascend and accelerate to the instrument flight rules (IFR) envelope. The intent is that the go-around mode be provided in any low-speed environment, such as during hover operations or while transitioning to a hover. The requirement of subparagraph (a)(3) differs from the requirement of automatic transition of the helicopter to the instrument flight envelope in subparagraph (a)(2). Subparagraph (a)(2) requires an automatic transition to the IFR flight envelope when a departure from hover mode is activated as part of the normal SAR mode sequencing. Subparagraph (a)(3) requires a means for PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 the pilot to interrupt the normal SAR modes sequencing, commanding the AFCS to automatically transition the helicopter to the IFR flight envelope. Subparagraph (a)(3) is not intended to require automatic initiation of a goaround following a single failure of the AFCS. Failure modes are addressed in subparagraph (a)(9). While we disagree with AW’s interpretation of the requirement, we recognize the wording may be unclear. We have therefore made a change to subparagraph (a)(3) to reflect that the required go-around mode is pilot-selectable and the purpose is to interrupt any other coupled mode. We have also clarified in subparagraph (a)(2) that this requirement pertains to normal SAR mode sequencing. With respect to subparagraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of the SAR Mode System Architecture, the commenter asks if both the sensor variables and the AFCS mode references should be presented to the crew. We concur with these recommendations, which is consistent with the requirement of subparagraph (b)(2). Therefore, subparagraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) are revised to additionally require the actual groundspeed and actual heading to be displayed to the pilot. For subparagraph (b)(5) of the special conditions, AW asks why the wind indication should be available only when the automatic modes are engaged, or transitioning from one mode to another. They state that the wind information should be made available, independently from any AFCS engaged mode, at the beginning of the transition from cruise to hover. We disagree. Subparagraph (b)(5) requires wind speed and wind direction only when SAR automatic piloting modes are engaged or transitioning from one SAR mode to another. This requirement is intended to be a minimum requirement to ensure wind speed and direction is available for operations near the surface when coupled to the SAR modes. Thus, the requirement is unchanged. In reference to subparagraph (c)(3), the commenter states that AC 29– 1329.d.(5) explains how the deviations caused by a malfunction should be evaluated during an instrument landing system (ILS) approach. The commenter believes that malfunction testing for SAR modes should be evaluated in the same manner since the SAR-mandatory 15-foot buffer above the surface is equivalent to the buffer provided in ILS approaches. Likewise, penetration of this 15-foot buffer does not guarantee a catastrophic event, but should be treated as a hazardous event as long as impact E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 243 / Monday, December 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules with the surface is avoided. Therefore, the commenter requests subparagraph (c)(3) be modified to require failures not shown to be extremely remote (a safety objective for hazardous failures) must not result in a loss of height that is greater than half of the MUH with a minimum of 15 feet above the surface. We disagree with the commenter. The intent of the requirement to have a 15foot minimum height above the surface, following an AFCS failure, was to provide an acceptable safety margin. The requirement for such a margin stems from the likelihood of encountering hazards such as inconsistent wave heights, floating debris, and other unforeseen obstacles that would create a catastrophic condition if the helicopter penetrated the 15-foot buffer. Therefore, we consider SAR AFCS failure conditions that result in recovery closer than 15 feet above the surface to be catastrophic. We have made non-substantive changes to improve the intent of the requirement. Additional wording was added to subparagraph (f)(1)(i)(C) that provides linkage to the MUH determination made in subparagraph (c)(3). This change was made for clarification purposes only and is not intended to increase or alleviate the current requirements. We have also defined MUH in subparagraph (c)(3). We do not intend for the SAR AFCS to decouple automatically if the helicopter descends below MUH. The commenter states that in subparagraphs (g)(4) and (g)(5), the inflight demonstration of failures should be required only for failures that cannot be shown to be extremely remote. AW states that this requirement would provide some alleviation for the malfunction flight validation. They state that this should be allowed because SAR missions are normally conducted by trained pilots and they should be able to complete the mission even after some malfunction has occurred in flight. Because of the considerable crew workload involved in a SAR mission, the commenter believes that it is important to permit coupling of the Flight Director modes even after a malfunction affecting the AFCS. The commenter believes that the reduction in pilot workload provided by a coupled Flight Director ‘‘would considerably reduce the risk of inadvertent pilot operation, a benefit that should be considered in comparison to the probability of ‘‘an extremely remote’’ failure.’’ We do not agree with commenter. The existing requirement does not require flight testing for failure modes not shown to be extremely improbable; VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 Dec 17, 2010 Jkt 223001 rather, subparagraphs (g)(4) and (g)(5) permit ground or flight testing to demonstrate compliance for failure modes not shown to be extremely improbable. This is consistent with the methodology prescribed in the advisory circular guidance for AFCS failure modes testing. We made some other minor changes to improve and clarify wording, with no substantive increase or decrease to the current requirements. In subparagraph (a)(1) we added ‘‘(within the maximum demonstrated wind envelope)’’ to highlight that safe and controlled flight is required throughout the wind envelope. Adding this phrase does not change our intent of SAR envelope definition. We added, ‘‘Pilot-commanded descent below the safe minimum height is acceptable provided the alerting requirements in (b)(7)(i) are sufficient to alert the pilot of this encroachment’’ to subparagraph (a)(4). This clarifies that the SAR AFCS is permitted to descend below the stored or pilot-selected safe minimum height only when commanded by the pilot, provided the alerting requirements are sufficient to alert the pilot of the descent. We modified subparagraph (b)(6) to indicate that the AFCS system must monitor for all deviations and failures, not just those that create a hazard, which was our original intent. The alerting requirement does not change; a pilot alert is still required for all deviations and all failures that require pilot-corrective action. Clarifications were made to subparagraph (b)(7) by adding subparagraph (iii) for normal transitions. We have also denoted the remainder of the subparagraph as a note. This makes the requirement more specific. We clarified in subparagraph (b)(8) that the hoist operator control has limited authority. Subparagraph (b)(8)(iii) of the current special condition contains two requirements. We have separated them, so subparagraph (b)(8)(iii) only contains the hoist operator control noninterference requirement and subparagraph (b)(8)(iv) contains the pilot override criteria for the hoist control. We modified subparagraph (d)(2) by deleting ‘‘danger of ’’ from the first sentence. This change does not alter the intent of this requirement. Subparagraph (d)(3)(iii)(B) was modified to incorporate more general terms to clarify the requirement. We have changed subparagraph (b)(10) to state a functional hazard assessment must address all failure PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 79315 conditions, not just those that represent catastrophic failure conditions. This change makes this SAR special condition requirement consistent with the requirements of § 29.1309. We have changed the second paragraph in subparagraph (e)(1)(ii) to a note. This ‘‘note’’ provides information only and is better characterized as a ‘‘note.’’ The original wording was always intended to stand as a note, but it was not previously marked as one. We removed the parenthetical from subparagraph (g)(4) as it is not needed. The intent of this requirement has not changed. Finally, we clarified subparagraphs (g)(4)(i) and (g)(4)(ii), by changing ‘‘transition,’’ ‘‘hover,’’ and ‘‘cruise’’ to ‘‘transition modes,’’ ‘‘hover modes,’’ and ‘‘cruise modes,’’ respectively. This general wording allows an applicant more flexibility in the use of SAR mode terminology. Applicability These special conditions apply to the ECF model EC225LP helicopters. Should ECF apply at a later date for a change to the TC to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well under the provisions of § 21.101(d). Conclusion This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of helicopter. It is not a rule of general applicability. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 29 Aircraft, Aviation safety. The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701– 44702, 44704. The Special Conditions Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes replacing Special Conditions No. 29– 022–SC, Docket No. SW022 (73 FR 65968, November 6, 2008) with the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Eurocopter France model EC225LP helicopters when the optional Search and Rescue (SAR) Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) is installed: In addition to the part 29 certification requirements for Category A and helicopter instrument flight (Appendix B), the following additional requirements must be met for certification of the SAR AFCS: (a) SAR Flight Modes. The coupled SAR flight modes must provide: E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS 79316 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 243 / Monday, December 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules (1) Safe and controlled flight in three axes (lateral and longitudinal position/ speed and height/vertical speed) at all airspeeds from instrument flight minimum speed (VMINI) to a hover (within the maximum demonstrated wind envelope). (2) Automatic transition to the helicopter instrument flight (Appendix B) envelope as part of the normal SAR mode sequencing. (3) A pilot-selectable Go-Around mode that safely interrupts any other coupled mode and automatically transitions to the helicopter instrument flight (Appendix B) envelope. (4) A means to prevent unintended flight below a safe minimum height. Pilot-commanded descent below the safe minimum height is acceptable provided the alerting requirements in (b)(7)(i) are sufficient to alert the pilot of this descent below safe minimum height. (b) SAR Mode System Architecture. To support the integrity of the SAR modes, the following system architecture is required: (1) A system for limiting the engine power demanded by the AFCS when any of the automatic piloting modes are engaged, so FADEC power limitations, such as torque and temperature, are not exceeded. (2) A system providing the aircraft height above the surface and final pilotselected height at a location on the instrument panel in a position acceptable to the FAA that will make it plainly visible to and usable by any pilot at their station. (3) A system providing the aircraft heading and the pilot-selected heading at a location on the instrument panel in a position acceptable to the FAA that will make it plainly visible to and usable by any pilot at their station. (4) A system providing the aircraft longitudinal and lateral ground speeds and the pilot-selected longitudinal and lateral ground speeds when used by the AFCS in the flight envelope where airspeed indications become unreliable. This information must be presented at a location on the instrument panel in a position acceptable to the FAA that is plainly visible to and usable by any pilot at their station. (5) A system providing wind speed and wind direction when automatic piloting modes are engaged or transitioning from one mode to another. (6) A system that monitors for flight guidance deviations and failures with an appropriate alerting function that enables the flight crew to take appropriate corrective action. (7) An alerting system must provide visual or aural alerts, or both, to the VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 Dec 17, 2010 Jkt 223001 flight crew under any of the following conditions: (i) When the stored or pilot-selected safe minimum height is reached. (ii) When a SAR mode system malfunction occurs. (iii) When the AFCS changes modes automatically from one SAR mode to another. Note: For normal transitions from one SAR mode to another, a single visual or aural alert may suffice. For a SAR mode malfunction or a mode having a time-critical component, the flight crew alerting system must activate early enough to allow the flight crew to take timely and appropriate action. The alerting system means must be designed to alert the flight crew in order to minimize crew errors that could create an additional hazard. (8) The SAR system hoist operator control is considered a flight control with limited authority and must comply with the following: (i) The hoist operator control must be designed and located to provide for convenient operation and to prevent confusion and inadvertent operation. (ii) The helicopter must be safely controllable by the hoist operator control throughout the range of that control. (iii) The hoist operator control may not interfere with the safe operation of the helicopter. (iv) Pilot and copilot flight controls must be able to smoothly override the control authority of the hoist operator control, without exceptional piloting skill, alertness, or strength, and without the danger of exceeding any other limitation because of the override. (9) The reliability of the AFCS must be related to the effects of its failure. The occurrence of any failure condition that would prevent continued safe flight and landing must be extremely improbable. For any failure condition of the AFCS which is not shown to be extremely improbable: (i) The helicopter must be safely controllable and capable of continued safe flight without exceptional piloting skill, alertness, or strength. Additional unrelated probable failures affecting the control system must be evaluated. (ii) The AFCS must be designed so that it cannot create a hazardous deviation in the flight path or produce hazardous loads on the helicopter during normal operation or in the event of a malfunction or failure, assuming corrective action begins within an appropriate period of time. Where multiple systems are installed, subsequent malfunction conditions must be evaluated in sequence unless their occurrence is shown to be improbable. (10) A functional hazard assessment (FHA) and a system safety assessment PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 must be provided to address the failure conditions associated with SAR operations. For SAR catastrophic failure conditions, changes may be required to the following: (i) System architecture. (ii) Software and complex electronic hardware design assurance levels. (iii) HIRF test levels. (iv) Instructions for continued airworthiness. The assessments must consider all the systems required for SAR operations to include the AFCS, all associated AFCS sensors (for example, radio altimeter), and primary flight displays. Electrical and electronic systems with SAR catastrophic failure conditions (for example, AFCS) must comply with the § 29.1317(a)(4) High Intensity Radiated Field (HIRF) requirements. (c) SAR Mode Performance Requirements. (1) The SAR modes must be demonstrated in the requested flight envelope for the following minimum sea-state and wind conditions: (i) Sea-State: Wave height of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet), considering both short and long swells. (ii) Wind: 25 knots headwind; 17 knots for all other azimuths. (2) The selected hover height and hover velocity must be captured (to include the transition from one captured mode to another captured mode) accurately and smoothly and not exhibit any significant overshoot or oscillation. (3) For any single failure or any combination of failures of the AFCS that is not shown to be extremely improbable, the recovery must not result in a loss of height greater than half of the minimum use height (MUH) with a minimum margin of 15 feet above the surface. MUH is the minimum height at which any SAR AFCS mode can be engaged. (4) The SAR mode system must be usable up to the maximum certified gross weight of the aircraft or to the lower of the following weights: (i) Maximum emergency flotation weight. (ii) Maximum hover Out-of-Ground Effect (OGE) weight. (iii) Maximum demonstrated weight. (d) Flight Characteristics. (1) The basic aircraft must meet all the part 29 airworthiness criteria for helicopter instrument flight (Appendix B). (2) For SAR mode coupled flight below VMINI, at the maximum demonstrated winds, the helicopter must be able to maintain any required flight condition and make a smooth transition from any flight condition to any other flight condition without E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 243 / Monday, December 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules requiring exceptional piloting skill, alertness, or strength, and without exceeding the limit load factor. This requirement also includes aircraft control through the hoist operator’s control. (3) For SAR modes at airspeeds below VMINI, the following requirements of Appendix B to part 29 must be met and will be used as an extension to the IFR certification envelope of the basic aircraft: (i) Static Longitudinal Stability: The requirements of paragraph IV of Appendix B are not applicable. (ii) Static Lateral-Directional Stability: The requirements of paragraph V of Appendix B are not applicable. (iii) Dynamic Stability: The requirements of paragraph VI of Appendix B are replaced with the following two paragraphs: (A) Any oscillation must be damped and any aperiodic response must not double in amplitude in less than 10 seconds. This requirement must also be met with degraded upper mode(s) of the AFCS. An ‘‘upper mode’’ is a mode that utilizes a fully coupled autopilot to provide an operational SAR profile. (B) After any upset, the AFCS must return the aircraft to the last commanded position within 10 seconds or less. (4) With any of the upper mode(s) of the AFCS engaged, the pilot must be able to manually recover the aircraft and transition to the normal (Appendix B) IFR flight profile envelope without exceptional skill, alertness, or strength. (e) One-Engine Inoperative (OEI) Performance Information. (1) The following performance information must be provided in the Rotorcraft Flight Manual Supplement (RFMS): (i) OEI performance information and emergency procedures, providing the maximum weight that will provide a minimum clearance of 15 feet above the surface, following failure of the critical engine in a hover. The maximum weight must be presented as a function of the hover height for the temperature and pressure altitude range requested for certification. The effects of wind must be reflected in the hover performance information. (ii) Hover OGE performance with the critical engine inoperative for OEI continuous and time-limited power ratings for those weights, altitudes, and temperatures for which certification is requested. Note: These OEI performance requirements do not replace performance requirements that may be needed to comply with the airworthiness or operational standards VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 Dec 17, 2010 Jkt 223001 (§ 29.865 or 14 CFR part 133) for external loads or human external cargo. (f) RFMS. (1) The RFMS must contain, at a minimum: (i) Limitations necessary for safe operation of the SAR system to include: (A) Minimum crew requirements. (B) Maximum SAR weight. (C) Engagement criteria for each of the SAR modes to include MUH (as determined in subparagraph (c)(3)). (ii) Normal and emergency procedures for operation of the SAR system (to include operation of the hoist operator control), with AFCS failure modes, AFCS degraded modes, and engine failures. (iii) Performance information: (A) OEI performance and height-loss. (B) Hover OGE performance information, utilizing OEI continuous and time-limited power ratings. (C) The maximum wind envelope demonstrated in flight test. (g) Flight Demonstration. (1) Before approval of the SAR system, an acceptable flight demonstration of all the coupled SAR modes is required. (2) The AFCS must provide fail-safe operations during coupled maneuvers. The demonstration of fail-safe operations must include a pilot workload assessment associated with manually flying the aircraft to an altitude greater than 200 feet above the surface and an airspeed of at least the best rate of climb airspeed (Vy). (3) For any failure condition of the SAR system not shown to be extremely improbable, the pilot must be able to make a smooth transition from one flight mode to another without exceptional piloting skill, alertness, or strength. (4) Failure conditions that are not shown to be extremely improbable must be demonstrated by analysis, ground testing, or flight testing. For failures demonstrated in flight, the following normal pilot recovery times are acceptable: (i) Transition modes (Cruise-to-Hover/ Hover-to-Cruise) and Hover modes: Normal pilot recognition plus 1 second. (ii) Cruise modes: Normal pilot recognition plus 3 seconds. (5) All AFCS malfunctions must include evaluation at the low-speed and high-power flight conditions typical of SAR operations. Additionally, AFCS hard-over, slow-over, and oscillatory malfunctions, particularly in yaw, require evaluation. AFCS malfunction testing must include a single or a combination of failures (for example, erroneous data from and loss of the PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 79317 radio altimeter, attitude, heading, and altitude sensors) which are not shown to be extremely improbable. (6) The flight demonstration must include the following environmental conditions: (i) Swell into wind. (ii) Swell and wind from different directions. (iii) Cross swell. (iv) Swell of different lengths (short and long swell). Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 14, 2010. Bruce E. Cain, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2010–31867 Filed 12–17–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2010–1199; Directorate Identifier 2010–NM–225–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to the products listed above. The existing AD currently requires replacement of the power control relays in the P91 and P92 power distribution panels for the fuel boost and override pumps with new, improved relays having a ground fault interrupter (GFI) feature, or installation and maintenance of universal fault interrupters (UFIs) using a certain supplemental type certificate. Since we issued that AD, we have determined that we need to clarify which relays may be replaced by installation of UFIs. This proposed AD would continue to require the actions of the existing AD and also specify which relays may be replaced by GFIs or UFIs. We are proposing this AD to prevent pump housing burn-through due to electrical arcing, which could create a potential ignition source inside a fuel tank. This condition, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 3, 2011. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 243 (Monday, December 20, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 79312-79317]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-31867]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 29

[Docket No. SW022; Special Conditions No. 29-022A-SC]


Special Conditions: Eurocopter France (ECF) Model EC225LP 
Helicopter, Installation of a Search and Rescue (SAR) Automatic Flight 
Control System (AFCS)

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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

[[Page 79313]]

SUMMARY: This document proposes amended special conditions for the ECF 
model EC225LP helicopter. This helicopter, as modified by ECF, will 
have novel or unusual design features associated with installing an 
optional SAR AFCS. Special conditions No. 29-022-SC, published in the 
Federal Register on November 6, 2008 (73 FR 65968), addressed these 
issues. The proposed amendment revises the original final special 
conditions to address comments and to clarify the intent of some 
requirements. The applicable airworthiness standards do not contain 
adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. 
These special conditions contain the additional safety standards the 
Administrator considers necessary to show a level of safety equivalent 
to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES: We must receive your comments by January 19, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You must mail two copies of your comments to: Federal 
Aviation Administration, Rotorcraft Directorate, Attn: Special 
Conditions Docket (ASW-111), Docket No. SW022, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort 
Worth, Texas 76137. You may deliver two copies to the Rotorcraft 
Directorate at the above address. You must mark your comments: Docket 
No. SW022. You can inspect comments in the Docket on weekdays, except 
Federal holidays, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FAA, Aircraft Certification Service, 
Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group (ASW-111), Attn: 
Stephen Barbini, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone 
(817) 222-5196; facsimile (817) 222-5961.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 will file in the special conditions docket all comments we 
receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public 
contact with FAA personnel concerning 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 document between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.
    We will consider all comments we receive on or before 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 the FAA to acknowledge receipt of your mailed comments 
on this proposal, include with your comments 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 March 27, 2006, ECF applied for a change to Type Certificate 
(TC) No. H4EU to install an optional SAR AFCS in the model EC225LP 
helicopter. The model EC225LP is a transport category helicopter 
certified to Category A requirements when configured for more than nine 
passengers and Category A or B requirements when configured for nine or 
less passengers. This helicopter is also certified for instrument 
flight under the requirements of Appendix B of 14 CFR part 29, 
Amendment 29-47.
    The use of dedicated AFCS upper modes, in which a fully coupled 
autopilot provides operational SAR profiles, is needed for SAR 
operations conducted over water in offshore areas clear of 
obstructions. The SAR modes enable the helicopter pilot to fly fully 
coupled maneuvers, to include predefined search patterns during cruise 
flight, and to transition from cruise flight to a stabilized hover and 
departure (transition from hover to cruise flight). The SAR AFCS also 
includes an auxiliary crew control that allows another crewmember (such 
as a hoist operator) to have limited authority to control the 
helicopter's longitudinal and lateral position during hover operations.
    Flight operations conducted over water at night may have an 
extremely limited visual horizon with little visual reference to the 
surface even when conducted under Visual Meteorological Conditions 
(VMC). Consequently, the certification requirements for SAR modes must 
meet Appendix B to 14 CFR part 29. While Appendix B to 14 CFR part 29 
prescribes airworthiness criteria for instrument flight, it does not 
consider operations below instrument flight minimum speed 
(VMINI), whereas the SAR modes allow for coupled operations 
at low speed, all-azimuth flight to zero airspeed (hover).
    Since SAR operations have traditionally been a public use mission, 
the use of SAR modes in civil operations requires special airworthiness 
standards (special conditions) to ensure that a level of safety 
consistent with Category A and Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) 
certification is maintained. In this regard, 14 CFR part 29 lacks 
adequate airworthiness standards for AFCS SAR mode certification to 
include flight characteristics, performance, and installed equipment 
and systems.

Type Certification Basis

    Under 14 CFR 21.101, ECF must show the EC225LP, as changed, 
continues to meet the applicable provisions of the rules incorporated 
by reference in TC No. H4EU or the applicable regulations in effect on 
the date of application for the change. The regulations incorporated by 
reference in the TC are commonly referred to as the ``original type 
certification basis.'' The regulations incorporated by reference in 
H4EU are as follows:
    a. 14 CFR 21.29.
    b. 14 CFR part 29 Amendments 29-1 to 29-25; plus Sec.  29.785 
through Amendment 29-28; plus Sec. Sec.  29.963, 29.967, 29.973, 29.975 
through Amendment 29-34; plus Sec. Sec.  29.25, 29.865 through 
Amendment 29-42; plus Sec. Sec.  29.1, 29.2, 29.49, 29.51, 29.53, 
29.55, 29.59, 29.60, 29.61, 29.62, 29.64, 29.65, 29.67, 29.73, 29.75, 
29.77, 29.79, 29.81, 29.83, 29.85, 29.87, 29.307, 29.337, 29.351, 
29.361, 29.391, 29.395, 29.397, 29.401, 29.403, 29.413, 29.427, 29.501, 
29.519, 29.547, 29.549, 29.561(c), 29.561(d), 29.563, 29.602, 29.610, 
29.613, 29.621, 29.625, 29.629, 29.631, 29.663, 29.674, 29.727, 29.755, 
29.775, 29.783, 29.787, 29.803, 29.805, 29.807, 29.809, 29.811, 29.855, 
29.861, 29.901, 29.903, 29.908, 29.917, 29.923, 29.927, 29.954, 29.961, 
29.965, 29.969, 29.971, 29.991, 29.997, 29.999, 29.1001, 29.1011, 
29.1019, 29.1027, 29.1041, 29.1043, 29.1045, 29.1047, 29.1093, 29.1125, 
29.1141, 29.1143, 29.1163, 29.1181, 29.1189, 29.1193, 29.1305, 29.1309, 
29.1323, 29.1329, 29.1337, 29.1351, 29.1359, 29.1415, 29.1521, 29.1549, 
29.1557, 29.1587, A29, B29, C29, D29 through Amendment 29-47; plus 
29.1317 through Amendment 29-49.
    c. 14 CFR part 36 Amendment 21 (ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Chapter 
8).
    d. Equivalent Safety Findings:
    (1) TC2899RD-R-F-01; Sec.  29.1303(j), Vne aural 
warning.
    (2) TC2899RD-R-F-02; Sec.  29.1545(b)(4), Airspeed indicators 
markings.
    (3) TC2899RD-R-F-03; Sec.  29.1549(b), Powerplant instruments 
markings.
    (4) TC2899RD-R-F-05; Sec. Sec.  29.173, 29,175, Static Longitudinal 
Stability.
    (5) TC2899RD-R-F-06; 14 CFR part 29, Appendix B, paragraph IV; IFR

[[Page 79314]]

Static Longitudinal Stability-Airspeed stability.
    (6) TC2899RD-R-A-01; Sec.  29.807(d)(2), Ditching emergency exits 
for passengers.
    (7) TC2899RD-R-P-01; Sec.  29.923(a)(2), Rotor drive system and 
control mechanism tests.
    In addition to the applicable airworthiness standards and special 
conditions, the ECF model EC225LP must comply with the noise 
certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

Regulatory Basis for Special Conditions

    If the Administrator finds the applicable airworthiness standards 
(that is, 14 CFR part 29) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety 
standards for the ECF model EC225LP helicopter because of a novel or 
unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under Sec.  
21.16.
    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in Sec.  11.19, under 
Sec.  11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under 
Sec.  21.101.
    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which 
they are issued. Should the TC for that model be amended later to 
include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual 
design feature, or should any other model already included on the same 
TC be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, 
these special conditions would also apply to the other model.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The ECF model EC225LP helicopter will incorporate the following 
novel or unusual design features:
    The SAR system is composed of a navigation computer with SAR modes, 
an AFCS that provides coupled SAR functions, hoist operator control, a 
hover speed reference system, and two radio altimeters. The AFCS 
coupled SAR functions include:
    (a) Hover hold at selected height above the surface.
    (b) Ground speed hold.
    (c) Transition down and hover to a waypoint under guidance from the 
navigation computer.
    (d) SAR pattern, transition down, and hover near a target over 
which the helicopter has flown.
    (e) Transition up, climb, and capture a cruise height.
    (f) Capture and track SAR search patterns generated by the 
navigation computer.
    (g) Monitor the preselected hover height with automatic increase in 
collective if the aircraft height drops below the safe minimum height.
    These SAR modes are intended to be used over large bodies of water 
in areas clear of obstructions. Further, use of the modes that 
transition down from cruise to hover will include operation at 
airspeeds below VMINI.
    The SAR system only entails navigation, flight control, and coupled 
AFCS operation of the helicopter. The system does not include the extra 
equipment that may be required for over water flight or external loads 
to meet other operational requirements.

Discussion of Comments

    Final special conditions; request for comments, No. 29-022-SC for 
ECF model EC225LP helicopters was published in the Federal Register on 
November 6, 2008 (73 FR 65968), with the comment period closing 
December 22, 2008. One commenter, AgustaWestland (AW), responded to our 
request for comments and submitted various comments and 
recommendations.
    Referring to subparagraph (a)(3), which deals with a Go Around 
mode, AW states that they do not agree with a requirement for a 
function that possibly performs an automatic ascent in case of a 
detected failure. They state that this could be even an unsafe maneuver 
during hover while operating the winch. They point out that EASA states 
in CRI B-03 ``The automatic collective control should provide a high 
integrity function that flies up whenever a SAR mode is coupled and the 
aircraft is below the minimum safety height, if needed to satisfy the 
failure demonstrations in Sec.  G, 2. The minimum safety height must 
not rely on crew setting only.'' They state there are more generic 
requirements that address the safety aspects induced by SAR operation 
at low height.
    We disagree with the commenter's interpretation of the requirement. 
The intent of the requirement is for the go-around mode to be manually 
activated by the pilot in order to avoid a hazardous situation. This 
action would interrupt any coupled SAR mode and automatically command 
the helicopter to ascend and accelerate to the instrument flight rules 
(IFR) envelope. The intent is that the go-around mode be provided in 
any low-speed environment, such as during hover operations or while 
transitioning to a hover. The requirement of subparagraph (a)(3) 
differs from the requirement of automatic transition of the helicopter 
to the instrument flight envelope in subparagraph (a)(2). Subparagraph 
(a)(2) requires an automatic transition to the IFR flight envelope when 
a departure from hover mode is activated as part of the normal SAR mode 
sequencing. Subparagraph (a)(3) requires a means for the pilot to 
interrupt the normal SAR modes sequencing, commanding the AFCS to 
automatically transition the helicopter to the IFR flight envelope. 
Subparagraph (a)(3) is not intended to require automatic initiation of 
a go-around following a single failure of the AFCS. Failure modes are 
addressed in subparagraph (a)(9). While we disagree with AW's 
interpretation of the requirement, we recognize the wording may be 
unclear. We have therefore made a change to subparagraph (a)(3) to 
reflect that the required go-around mode is pilot-selectable and the 
purpose is to interrupt any other coupled mode. We have also clarified 
in subparagraph (a)(2) that this requirement pertains to normal SAR 
mode sequencing.
    With respect to subparagraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of the SAR Mode 
System Architecture, the commenter asks if both the sensor variables 
and the AFCS mode references should be presented to the crew.
    We concur with these recommendations, which is consistent with the 
requirement of subparagraph (b)(2). Therefore, subparagraphs (b)(3) and 
(b)(4) are revised to additionally require the actual groundspeed and 
actual heading to be displayed to the pilot.
    For subparagraph (b)(5) of the special conditions, AW asks why the 
wind indication should be available only when the automatic modes are 
engaged, or transitioning from one mode to another. They state that the 
wind information should be made available, independently from any AFCS 
engaged mode, at the beginning of the transition from cruise to hover.
    We disagree. Subparagraph (b)(5) requires wind speed and wind 
direction only when SAR automatic piloting modes are engaged or 
transitioning from one SAR mode to another. This requirement is 
intended to be a minimum requirement to ensure wind speed and direction 
is available for operations near the surface when coupled to the SAR 
modes. Thus, the requirement is unchanged.
    In reference to subparagraph (c)(3), the commenter states that AC 
29-1329.d.(5) explains how the deviations caused by a malfunction 
should be evaluated during an instrument landing system (ILS) approach. 
The commenter believes that malfunction testing for SAR modes should be 
evaluated in the same manner since the SAR-mandatory 15-foot buffer 
above the surface is equivalent to the buffer provided in ILS 
approaches. Likewise, penetration of this 15-foot buffer does not 
guarantee a catastrophic event, but should be treated as a hazardous 
event as long as impact

[[Page 79315]]

with the surface is avoided. Therefore, the commenter requests 
subparagraph (c)(3) be modified to require failures not shown to be 
extremely remote (a safety objective for hazardous failures) must not 
result in a loss of height that is greater than half of the MUH with a 
minimum of 15 feet above the surface.
    We disagree with the commenter. The intent of the requirement to 
have a 15-foot minimum height above the surface, following an AFCS 
failure, was to provide an acceptable safety margin. The requirement 
for such a margin stems from the likelihood of encountering hazards 
such as inconsistent wave heights, floating debris, and other 
unforeseen obstacles that would create a catastrophic condition if the 
helicopter penetrated the 15-foot buffer. Therefore, we consider SAR 
AFCS failure conditions that result in recovery closer than 15 feet 
above the surface to be catastrophic. We have made non-substantive 
changes to improve the intent of the requirement.
    Additional wording was added to subparagraph (f)(1)(i)(C) that 
provides linkage to the MUH determination made in subparagraph (c)(3). 
This change was made for clarification purposes only and is not 
intended to increase or alleviate the current requirements. We have 
also defined MUH in subparagraph (c)(3). We do not intend for the SAR 
AFCS to decouple automatically if the helicopter descends below MUH.
    The commenter states that in subparagraphs (g)(4) and (g)(5), the 
in-flight demonstration of failures should be required only for 
failures that cannot be shown to be extremely remote. AW states that 
this requirement would provide some alleviation for the malfunction 
flight validation. They state that this should be allowed because SAR 
missions are normally conducted by trained pilots and they should be 
able to complete the mission even after some malfunction has occurred 
in flight. Because of the considerable crew workload involved in a SAR 
mission, the commenter believes that it is important to permit coupling 
of the Flight Director modes even after a malfunction affecting the 
AFCS. The commenter believes that the reduction in pilot workload 
provided by a coupled Flight Director ``would considerably reduce the 
risk of inadvertent pilot operation, a benefit that should be 
considered in comparison to the probability of ``an extremely remote'' 
failure.''
    We do not agree with commenter. The existing requirement does not 
require flight testing for failure modes not shown to be extremely 
improbable; rather, subparagraphs (g)(4) and (g)(5) permit ground or 
flight testing to demonstrate compliance for failure modes not shown to 
be extremely improbable. This is consistent with the methodology 
prescribed in the advisory circular guidance for AFCS failure modes 
testing.
    We made some other minor changes to improve and clarify wording, 
with no substantive increase or decrease to the current requirements.
    In subparagraph (a)(1) we added ``(within the maximum demonstrated 
wind envelope)'' to highlight that safe and controlled flight is 
required throughout the wind envelope. Adding this phrase does not 
change our intent of SAR envelope definition.
    We added, ``Pilot-commanded descent below the safe minimum height 
is acceptable provided the alerting requirements in (b)(7)(i) are 
sufficient to alert the pilot of this encroachment'' to subparagraph 
(a)(4). This clarifies that the SAR AFCS is permitted to descend below 
the stored or pilot-selected safe minimum height only when commanded by 
the pilot, provided the alerting requirements are sufficient to alert 
the pilot of the descent.
    We modified subparagraph (b)(6) to indicate that the AFCS system 
must monitor for all deviations and failures, not just those that 
create a hazard, which was our original intent. The alerting 
requirement does not change; a pilot alert is still required for all 
deviations and all failures that require pilot-corrective action.
    Clarifications were made to subparagraph (b)(7) by adding 
subparagraph (iii) for normal transitions. We have also denoted the 
remainder of the subparagraph as a note. This makes the requirement 
more specific.
    We clarified in subparagraph (b)(8) that the hoist operator control 
has limited authority.
    Subparagraph (b)(8)(iii) of the current special condition contains 
two requirements. We have separated them, so subparagraph (b)(8)(iii) 
only contains the hoist operator control noninterference requirement 
and subparagraph (b)(8)(iv) contains the pilot override criteria for 
the hoist control.
    We modified subparagraph (d)(2) by deleting ``danger of '' from the 
first sentence. This change does not alter the intent of this 
requirement.
    Subparagraph (d)(3)(iii)(B) was modified to incorporate more 
general terms to clarify the requirement.
    We have changed subparagraph (b)(10) to state a functional hazard 
assessment must address all failure conditions, not just those that 
represent catastrophic failure conditions. This change makes this SAR 
special condition requirement consistent with the requirements of Sec.  
29.1309.
    We have changed the second paragraph in subparagraph (e)(1)(ii) to 
a note. This ``note'' provides information only and is better 
characterized as a ``note.'' The original wording was always intended 
to stand as a note, but it was not previously marked as one.
    We removed the parenthetical from subparagraph (g)(4) as it is not 
needed. The intent of this requirement has not changed.
    Finally, we clarified subparagraphs (g)(4)(i) and (g)(4)(ii), by 
changing ``transition,'' ``hover,'' and ``cruise'' to ``transition 
modes,'' ``hover modes,'' and ``cruise modes,'' respectively. This 
general wording allows an applicant more flexibility in the use of SAR 
mode terminology.

Applicability

    These special conditions apply to the ECF model EC225LP 
helicopters. Should ECF apply at a later date for a change to the TC to 
include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design 
feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well 
under the provisions of Sec.  21.101(d).

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on one model of helicopter. It is not a rule of general applicability.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 29

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702, 44704.

The Special Conditions

    Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes 
replacing Special Conditions No. 29-022-SC, Docket No. SW022 (73 FR 
65968, November 6, 2008) with the following special conditions as part 
of the type certification basis for Eurocopter France model EC225LP 
helicopters when the optional Search and Rescue (SAR) Automatic Flight 
Control System (AFCS) is installed:
    In addition to the part 29 certification requirements for Category 
A and helicopter instrument flight (Appendix B), the following 
additional requirements must be met for certification of the SAR AFCS:
    (a) SAR Flight Modes. The coupled SAR flight modes must provide:

[[Page 79316]]

    (1) Safe and controlled flight in three axes (lateral and 
longitudinal position/speed and height/vertical speed) at all airspeeds 
from instrument flight minimum speed (VMINI) to a hover 
(within the maximum demonstrated wind envelope).
    (2) Automatic transition to the helicopter instrument flight 
(Appendix B) envelope as part of the normal SAR mode sequencing.
    (3) A pilot-selectable Go-Around mode that safely interrupts any 
other coupled mode and automatically transitions to the helicopter 
instrument flight (Appendix B) envelope.
    (4) A means to prevent unintended flight below a safe minimum 
height. Pilot-commanded descent below the safe minimum height is 
acceptable provided the alerting requirements in (b)(7)(i) are 
sufficient to alert the pilot of this descent below safe minimum 
height.
    (b) SAR Mode System Architecture. To support the integrity of the 
SAR modes, the following system architecture is required:
    (1) A system for limiting the engine power demanded by the AFCS 
when any of the automatic piloting modes are engaged, so FADEC power 
limitations, such as torque and temperature, are not exceeded.
    (2) A system providing the aircraft height above the surface and 
final pilot-selected height at a location on the instrument panel in a 
position acceptable to the FAA that will make it plainly visible to and 
usable by any pilot at their station.
    (3) A system providing the aircraft heading and the pilot-selected 
heading at a location on the instrument panel in a position acceptable 
to the FAA that will make it plainly visible to and usable by any pilot 
at their station.
    (4) A system providing the aircraft longitudinal and lateral ground 
speeds and the pilot-selected longitudinal and lateral ground speeds 
when used by the AFCS in the flight envelope where airspeed indications 
become unreliable. This information must be presented at a location on 
the instrument panel in a position acceptable to the FAA that is 
plainly visible to and usable by any pilot at their station.
    (5) A system providing wind speed and wind direction when automatic 
piloting modes are engaged or transitioning from one mode to another.
    (6) A system that monitors for flight guidance deviations and 
failures with an appropriate alerting function that enables the flight 
crew to take appropriate corrective action.
    (7) An alerting system must provide visual or aural alerts, or 
both, to the flight crew under any of the following conditions:
    (i) When the stored or pilot-selected safe minimum height is 
reached.
    (ii) When a SAR mode system malfunction occurs.
    (iii) When the AFCS changes modes automatically from one SAR mode 
to another.

    Note:  For normal transitions from one SAR mode to another, a 
single visual or aural alert may suffice. For a SAR mode malfunction 
or a mode having a time-critical component, the flight crew alerting 
system must activate early enough to allow the flight crew to take 
timely and appropriate action. The alerting system means must be 
designed to alert the flight crew in order to minimize crew errors 
that could create an additional hazard.

    (8) The SAR system hoist operator control is considered a flight 
control with limited authority and must comply with the following:
    (i) The hoist operator control must be designed and located to 
provide for convenient operation and to prevent confusion and 
inadvertent operation.
    (ii) The helicopter must be safely controllable by the hoist 
operator control throughout the range of that control.
    (iii) The hoist operator control may not interfere with the safe 
operation of the helicopter.
    (iv) Pilot and copilot flight controls must be able to smoothly 
override the control authority of the hoist operator control, without 
exceptional piloting skill, alertness, or strength, and without the 
danger of exceeding any other limitation because of the override.
    (9) The reliability of the AFCS must be related to the effects of 
its failure. The occurrence of any failure condition that would prevent 
continued safe flight and landing must be extremely improbable. For any 
failure condition of the AFCS which is not shown to be extremely 
improbable:
    (i) The helicopter must be safely controllable and capable of 
continued safe flight without exceptional piloting skill, alertness, or 
strength. Additional unrelated probable failures affecting the control 
system must be evaluated.
    (ii) The AFCS must be designed so that it cannot create a hazardous 
deviation in the flight path or produce hazardous loads on the 
helicopter during normal operation or in the event of a malfunction or 
failure, assuming corrective action begins within an appropriate period 
of time. Where multiple systems are installed, subsequent malfunction 
conditions must be evaluated in sequence unless their occurrence is 
shown to be improbable.
    (10) A functional hazard assessment (FHA) and a system safety 
assessment must be provided to address the failure conditions 
associated with SAR operations. For SAR catastrophic failure 
conditions, changes may be required to the following:
    (i) System architecture.
    (ii) Software and complex electronic hardware design assurance 
levels.
    (iii) HIRF test levels.
    (iv) Instructions for continued airworthiness.
    The assessments must consider all the systems required for SAR 
operations to include the AFCS, all associated AFCS sensors (for 
example, radio altimeter), and primary flight displays. Electrical and 
electronic systems with SAR catastrophic failure conditions (for 
example, AFCS) must comply with the Sec.  29.1317(a)(4) High Intensity 
Radiated Field (HIRF) requirements.
    (c) SAR Mode Performance Requirements.
    (1) The SAR modes must be demonstrated in the requested flight 
envelope for the following minimum sea-state and wind conditions:
    (i) Sea-State: Wave height of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet), considering 
both short and long swells.
    (ii) Wind: 25 knots headwind; 17 knots for all other azimuths.
    (2) The selected hover height and hover velocity must be captured 
(to include the transition from one captured mode to another captured 
mode) accurately and smoothly and not exhibit any significant overshoot 
or oscillation.
    (3) For any single failure or any combination of failures of the 
AFCS that is not shown to be extremely improbable, the recovery must 
not result in a loss of height greater than half of the minimum use 
height (MUH) with a minimum margin of 15 feet above the surface. MUH is 
the minimum height at which any SAR AFCS mode can be engaged.
    (4) The SAR mode system must be usable up to the maximum certified 
gross weight of the aircraft or to the lower of the following weights:
    (i) Maximum emergency flotation weight.
    (ii) Maximum hover Out-of-Ground Effect (OGE) weight.
    (iii) Maximum demonstrated weight.
    (d) Flight Characteristics.
    (1) The basic aircraft must meet all the part 29 airworthiness 
criteria for helicopter instrument flight (Appendix B).
    (2) For SAR mode coupled flight below VMINI, at the 
maximum demonstrated winds, the helicopter must be able to maintain any 
required flight condition and make a smooth transition from any flight 
condition to any other flight condition without

[[Page 79317]]

requiring exceptional piloting skill, alertness, or strength, and 
without exceeding the limit load factor. This requirement also includes 
aircraft control through the hoist operator's control.
    (3) For SAR modes at airspeeds below VMINI, the 
following requirements of Appendix B to part 29 must be met and will be 
used as an extension to the IFR certification envelope of the basic 
aircraft:
    (i) Static Longitudinal Stability: The requirements of paragraph IV 
of Appendix B are not applicable.
    (ii) Static Lateral-Directional Stability: The requirements of 
paragraph V of Appendix B are not applicable.
    (iii) Dynamic Stability: The requirements of paragraph VI of 
Appendix B are replaced with the following two paragraphs:
    (A) Any oscillation must be damped and any aperiodic response must 
not double in amplitude in less than 10 seconds. This requirement must 
also be met with degraded upper mode(s) of the AFCS. An ``upper mode'' 
is a mode that utilizes a fully coupled autopilot to provide an 
operational SAR profile.
    (B) After any upset, the AFCS must return the aircraft to the last 
commanded position within 10 seconds or less.
    (4) With any of the upper mode(s) of the AFCS engaged, the pilot 
must be able to manually recover the aircraft and transition to the 
normal (Appendix B) IFR flight profile envelope without exceptional 
skill, alertness, or strength.
    (e) One-Engine Inoperative (OEI) Performance Information.
    (1) The following performance information must be provided in the 
Rotorcraft Flight Manual Supplement (RFMS):
    (i) OEI performance information and emergency procedures, providing 
the maximum weight that will provide a minimum clearance of 15 feet 
above the surface, following failure of the critical engine in a hover. 
The maximum weight must be presented as a function of the hover height 
for the temperature and pressure altitude range requested for 
certification. The effects of wind must be reflected in the hover 
performance information.
    (ii) Hover OGE performance with the critical engine inoperative for 
OEI continuous and time-limited power ratings for those weights, 
altitudes, and temperatures for which certification is requested.

    Note:  These OEI performance requirements do not replace 
performance requirements that may be needed to comply with the 
airworthiness or operational standards (Sec.  29.865 or 14 CFR part 
133) for external loads or human external cargo.

    (f) RFMS.
    (1) The RFMS must contain, at a minimum:
    (i) Limitations necessary for safe operation of the SAR system to 
include:
    (A) Minimum crew requirements.
    (B) Maximum SAR weight.
    (C) Engagement criteria for each of the SAR modes to include MUH 
(as determined in subparagraph (c)(3)).
    (ii) Normal and emergency procedures for operation of the SAR 
system (to include operation of the hoist operator control), with AFCS 
failure modes, AFCS degraded modes, and engine failures.
    (iii) Performance information:
    (A) OEI performance and height-loss.
    (B) Hover OGE performance information, utilizing OEI continuous and 
time-limited power ratings.
    (C) The maximum wind envelope demonstrated in flight test.
    (g) Flight Demonstration.
    (1) Before approval of the SAR system, an acceptable flight 
demonstration of all the coupled SAR modes is required.
    (2) The AFCS must provide fail-safe operations during coupled 
maneuvers. The demonstration of fail-safe operations must include a 
pilot workload assessment associated with manually flying the aircraft 
to an altitude greater than 200 feet above the surface and an airspeed 
of at least the best rate of climb airspeed (Vy).
    (3) For any failure condition of the SAR system not shown to be 
extremely improbable, the pilot must be able to make a smooth 
transition from one flight mode to another without exceptional piloting 
skill, alertness, or strength.
    (4) Failure conditions that are not shown to be extremely 
improbable must be demonstrated by analysis, ground testing, or flight 
testing. For failures demonstrated in flight, the following normal 
pilot recovery times are acceptable:
    (i) Transition modes (Cruise-to-Hover/Hover-to-Cruise) and Hover 
modes: Normal pilot recognition plus 1 second.
    (ii) Cruise modes: Normal pilot recognition plus 3 seconds.
    (5) All AFCS malfunctions must include evaluation at the low-speed 
and high-power flight conditions typical of SAR operations. 
Additionally, AFCS hard-over, slow-over, and oscillatory malfunctions, 
particularly in yaw, require evaluation. AFCS malfunction testing must 
include a single or a combination of failures (for example, erroneous 
data from and loss of the radio altimeter, attitude, heading, and 
altitude sensors) which are not shown to be extremely improbable.
    (6) The flight demonstration must include the following 
environmental conditions:
    (i) Swell into wind.
    (ii) Swell and wind from different directions.
    (iii) Cross swell.
    (iv) Swell of different lengths (short and long swell).

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 14, 2010.
Bruce E. Cain,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-31867 Filed 12-17-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P