Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787 Series Airplanes; Single-place Side-facing Seats With Inflatable Lapbelts, 16910-16914 [2012-6957]

Download as PDF 16910 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 57 / Friday, March 23, 2012 / Rules and Regulations 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. The system must be protected from lightning and HIRF. The threats specified in existing regulations regarding lighting and HIRF, are incorporated by reference for the purpose of measuring lightning and HIRF protection. Also, for purposes of complying with these requirements, the airbag system is considered a critical system at pilot/co-pilot positions only. 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 March 16, 2012. James E. Jackson, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–6956 Filed 3–22–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0311; Special Conditions No. 25–458–SC] Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787 Series Airplanes; Single-place Sidefacing Seats With Inflatable Lapbelts Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final special conditions; request for comments. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES AGENCY: These special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 787 series airplanes. These airplanes have a novel or unusual design feature associated with single-place side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Mar 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 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 March 12, 2012. We must receive your comments by April 23, 2012. ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA–2012–0311 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M–30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12–140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202–493–2251. Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–19478), as well as at http:// DocketsInfo.dot.gov/. Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Gardlin, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM–115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–2136; facsimile 425–227–1149. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The FAA has determined that notice of, and opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions are impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay delivery of the affected aircraft. In addition, the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public-comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance. 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 consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive. Background On March 28, 2003, Boeing Commercial Airplanes applied for an FAA type certificate for its new Model 787 series airplane (hereafter referred to as ‘‘787’’). The 787 is an all-new, twinengine jet transport airplane with a twoaisle cabin which is currently approved under Type Certificate No. T000215E. The maximum takeoff weight is 476,000 pounds, with a maximum passenger count of 381. These airplanes have a novel or unusual design feature associated with single-place side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts. The inflatable lapbelt is designed to limit occupant forward excursion in the event of an accident. This will reduce the potential for head injury, thereby reducing the Head Injury Criteria (HIC) measurement. The inflatable lapbelt behaves similarly to an automotive airbag, but in this case the airbag is integrated into the lapbelt, and inflates away from the seated occupant. While airbags are now standard in the automotive industry, the use of an inflatable lapbelt is novel for commercial aviation. Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 121.311(j) requires that no person may operate a transport category airplane type certificated after January 1, 1958, and manufactured on or after October 27, 2009, in passenger-carrying operations, after October 27, 2009, unless all passenger and flight attendant side-facing seats on an airplane operated under part 121 rules meet the E:\FR\FM\23MRR1.SGM 23MRR1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 57 / Friday, March 23, 2012 / Rules and Regulations requirements of 14 CFR 25.562 in effect on or after June 16, 1988. Amendment 25–15 to part 25, dated October 24, 1967, introduced the subject of side-facing seats and a requirement that each occupant in a side-facing seat must be protected from head injury by a safety belt and a cushioned rest that will support the arms, shoulders, head, and spine. Subsequently, Amendment 25–20 to part 25, dated April 23, 1969, clarified the definition of side-facing seats to require that each occupant of a seat that makes more than an 18 degree angle with the vertical plane containing the airplane centerline, must be protected from head injury by a safety belt and an energy absorbing rest that will support the arms, shoulders, head, and spine, or by a safety belt and shoulder harness that will prevent the head from contacting any injurious object. The FAA concluded that an 18-degree angle would provide an adequate level of safety based on tests that were performed at that time and thus adopted that standard. Part 25 was amended June 16, 1988, by Amendment 25–64, to revise the emergency landing conditions that must be considered in the design of the airplane. Amendment 25–64 revised the static load conditions in § 25.561, and added a new § 25.562 that required dynamic testing for all seats approved for occupancy during takeoff and landing. The intent of Amendment 25– 64 is to provide an improved level of safety for occupants on transport category airplanes. Because most seating is forward-facing on transport category airplanes, the pass/fail criteria developed in Amendment 25–64 focused primarily on these seats. As a result, the FAA issued Policy Memorandums ANM–03–115–30 and PS–ANM–100–2000–00123 to provide the additional guidance necessary to demonstrate the level of safety required by the regulations for side-facing seats. The 787, operated under part 121, must meet all of the requirements of § 25.562 for passenger and flight attendant seats. Therefore it is in the interest of installers to show full compliance to § 25.562, so that an operator under part 121 may be able to use the aircraft without having to do additional certification work. It is also noted that some foreign civil airworthiness authorities have invoked these same operator requirements in the form of airworthiness directives. Section 25.785 requires that occupants be protected from head injury by either the elimination of any injurious object within the striking radius of the head, or by padding. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Mar 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 Traditionally, this has required a set back of 35 inches from any bulkhead or other rigid interior feature or, where not practical, specified types of padding. The relative effectiveness of these means of injury protection was not quantified. With the adoption of Amendment 25–64 to part 25, specifically § 25.562, a new standard that quantifies required head injury protection was created. Section 25.562 specifies that each seat type design approved for crew or passenger occupancy during takeoff and landing must successfully complete dynamic tests or be shown to be compliant by rational analysis based on dynamic tests of a similar type seat. In particular, the regulations require that persons not suffer serious head injury under the conditions specified in the tests, and that protection must be provided or the seat be designed so that the head impact does not exceed a HIC of 1000 units. While the test conditions described for HIC are detailed and specific, it is the intent of the requirement that an adequate level of head injury protection be provided for passengers in a severe crash. Because §§ 25.562 and 25.785 and associated guidance do not adequately address side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts, the FAA recognizes that appropriate pass/fail criteria need to be developed that do fully address the safety concerns specific to occupants of these seats. These criteria were to be implemented via special conditions. The inflatable lapbelt has two potential advantages over other means of head impact protection. First, it can provide significantly greater protection than would be expected with energyabsorbing pads, and second, it can provide essentially equivalent protection for occupants of all stature. These are significant advantages from a safety standpoint, since such devices will likely provide a level of safety that exceeds the minimum standards of the CFR. Conversely, inflatable lapbelts in general are active systems and must be relied upon to activate properly when needed, as opposed to an energyabsorbing pad or upper torso restraint that is passive, and always available. Therefore, the potential advantages must be balanced against this and other potential disadvantages in order to develop standards for this design feature. The FAA has considered the installation of inflatable lapbelts to have two primary safety concerns: First, that they perform properly under foreseeable operating conditions, and second, that they do not perform in a manner or at such times as would constitute a hazard PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 16911 to the airplane or occupants. This latter point has the potential to be the more rigorous of the requirements, owing to the active nature of the system. The inflatable lapbelt will rely on electronic sensors for signaling and a stored gas canister for inflation. These same devices could be susceptible to inadvertent activation, causing deployment in a potentially unsafe manner. The consequences of inadvertent deployment as well as failure to deploy must be considered in establishing the reliability of the system. Boeing must substantiate that the effects of an inadvertent deployment in flight either would not cause injuries to occupants or that such deployment(s) meet the requirement of § 25.1309(b). The effect of an inadvertent deployment on a passenger or crewmember that might be positioned close to the inflatable lapbelt should also be considered. The person could be either standing or sitting. A minimum reliability level will have to be established for this case, depending upon the consequences, even if the effect on the airplane is negligible. The potential for an inadvertent deployment could be increased as a result of conditions in service. The installation must take into account wear and tear so that the likelihood of an inadvertent deployment is not increased to an unacceptable level. In this context, an appropriate inspection interval and self-test capability are considered necessary. Other outside influences are lightning and high intensity radiated fields (HIRF). Existing regulations regarding lightning, § 25.1316, and existing HIRF special condition for the 787 series airplanes, Special conditions No. 25–354A–SC, are applicable. Finally, the inflatable lapbelt installation should be protected from the effects of fire, so that an additional hazard is not created by, for example, a rupture of the pyrotechnic squib. In order to be an effective safety system, the inflatable lapbelt must function properly and must not introduce any additional hazards to occupants as a result of its functioning. There are several areas where the inflatable lapbelt differs from traditional occupant protection systems, and requires special conditions to ensure adequate performance. Because the inflatable lapbelt is essentially a single use device, there is the potential that it could deploy under crash conditions that are not sufficiently severe as to require head injury protection from the inflatable lapbelt. Since an actual crash is frequently composed of a series of impacts before the airplane comes to rest, this could E:\FR\FM\23MRR1.SGM 23MRR1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES 16912 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 57 / Friday, March 23, 2012 / Rules and Regulations render the inflatable lapbelt useless if a larger impact follows the initial impact. This situation does not exist with energy absorbing pads or upper torso restraints, which tend to provide continuous protection regardless of severity or number of impacts in a crash event. Therefore, the inflatable lapbelt installation should provide protection when it is required, by not expending its protection during a less severe impact. Also, it is possible to have several large impact events during the course of a crash, but there is no requirement for the inflatable lapbelt to provide protection for multiple impacts. Since each occupant’s restraint system provides protection for that occupant only, the installation must address seats that are unoccupied. It will be necessary to show that the required protection is provided for each occupant regardless of the number of occupied seats, and considering that unoccupied seats may have lapbelts that are active. The inflatable lapbelt should be effective for a wide range of occupants. The FAA has historically considered the range from the fifth percentile female to the ninety-fifth percentile male as the range of occupants that must be taken into account. In this case, the FAA is proposing consideration of a broader range of occupants, due to the nature of the lapbelt installation and its close proximity to the occupant. In a similar vein, these persons could have assumed the brace position, for those accidents where an impact is anticipated. Test data indicate that occupants in the brace position do not require supplemental protection, and so it would not be necessary to show that the inflatable lapbelt will enhance the brace position. However, the inflatable lapbelt must not introduce a hazard in that case when deploying into the seated, braced occupant. Another area of concern is the use of seats, so equipped, by children whether lap-held, in approved child safety seats, or occupying the seat directly. Although specifically prohibited by the FAA operating regulations, the use of the supplementary loop belt (‘‘belly belt’’) may be required by other civil aviation authorities, and should also be considered with the end goal of meeting those regulations. Similarly, if the seat is occupied by a pregnant woman, the installation needs to address such usage, either by demonstrating that it will function properly, or by adding appropriate limitation on usage. Since the inflatable lapbelt will be electrically powered, there is the possibility that the system could fail due to a separation in the fuselage. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Mar 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 Since this system is intended as crash/ post-crash protection means, failure to deploy due to fuselage separation is not acceptable. As with emergency lighting, the system should function properly if such a separation occurs at any point in the fuselage. Since the inflatable lapbelt is likely to have a large volume displacement, the inflated bag could potentially impede egress of passengers. Since the bag deflates to absorb energy, it is likely that an inflatable lapbelt would be deflated at the time that persons would be trying to leave their seats. Nonetheless, it is considered appropriate to specify a time interval after which the inflatable lapbelt may not impede rapid egress. Ten seconds has been chosen as a reasonable time since this corresponds to the maximum time allowed for an exit to be openable (§ 25.809). In actuality, it is unlikely that an exit would be prepared by a flight attendant this quickly in an accident severe enough to warrant deployment of the inflatable lapbelt, and the inflatable lapbelt is expected to deflate much quicker than ten seconds. In addition, during the development of the inflatable lapbelt, the manufacturer was unable to develop a fabric that would meet the inflation requirements for the bag and the flammability requirements of Part I(a)(1)(ii) of appendix F to part 25. The fabrics that were developed that meet the flammability requirement did not produce acceptable deployment characteristics. However, the manufacturer was able to develop a fabric that meets the less stringent flammability requirements of Part I(a)(1)(iv) of appendix F to part 25 and has acceptable deployment characteristics. Part I of appendix F to part 25 specifies the flammability requirements for interior materials and components. There is no reference to inflatable restraint systems in appendix F, because such devices did not exist at the time the flammability requirements were written. The existing requirements are based on both material types, as well as use, and have been specified in light of the state-of-the-art of materials available to perform a given function. In the absence of a specific reference, the default requirement would be for the type of material used to construct the inflatable restraint, which is a fabric in this case. However, in writing special conditions, the FAA must also consider the use of the material, and whether the default requirement is appropriate. In this case, the specialized function of the inflatable restraint means that highly specialized materials are needed. The PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 standard normally applied to fabrics is a 12-second vertical ignition test. However, materials that meet this standard do not perform adequately as inflatable restraints. Since the safety benefit of the inflatable restraint is very significant, the flammability standard appropriate for these devices should not screen out suitable materials, thereby effectively eliminating use of inflatable restraints. The FAA will need to establish a balance between the safety benefit of the inflatable restraint and its flammability performance. At this time, the 2.5-inch per minute horizontal test is considered to provide that balance. As the state-of-the-art in materials progresses (which is expected), the FAA may change this standard in subsequent special conditions to account for improved materials. Finally, it should be noted that the special conditions are applicable to single-place side-facing seats with an inflatable lapbelt system installed. The special conditions are not an installation approval. Therefore, while the special conditions relate to each such system installed, the overall installation approval is a separate finding, and must consider the combined effects of all such systems installed. Type Certification Basis Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Boeing Commercial Airplanes must show that the 787 series airplanes meet the applicable provisions of part 25, as amended by Amendments 25–1 through 25–120, 25.125, 25–125, and 25–128 with the following exception: § 25.1309 remains at Amendment 25–119 for cargo fire protection systems. If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the 787 series airplanes because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16. Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model. In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the 787 series airplanes must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36; and the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory E:\FR\FM\23MRR1.SGM 23MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 57 / Friday, March 23, 2012 / Rules and Regulations adequacy under § 611 of Public Law 92– 574, the ‘‘Noise Control Act of 1972.’’ The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type-certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2). Novel or Unusual Design Features The 787 series airplanes incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: Boeing Commercial Airplanes is installing single-place side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts on certain seats of 787 series airplanes, in order to reduce the potential for head and neck injury in the event of an accident. The inflatable lapbelt works similar to an automotive airbag, except that the airbag is integrated with the lapbelt of the restraint system. The CFR states the performance criteria for head injury protection in objective terms. However, none of these criteria are adequate to address the specific issues raised concerning singleplace side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts. The FAA has therefore determined that, in addition to the requirements of part 25, special conditions are needed to address requirements particular to installation of single-place side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts. Accordingly, in addition to the passenger injury criteria specified in § 25.785, these special conditions are adopted for the 787 series airplanes equipped with single-place side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts. Other conditions may be developed, as needed, based on further FAA review and discussions with the manufacturer and civil aviation authorities. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES Discussion From the standpoint of a passenger safety system, the inflatable lapbelt is unique in that it is both an active and entirely autonomous device. While the automotive industry has good experience with airbags, the conditions of use and reliance on the inflatable lapbelt as the sole means of injury protection are quite different. In automobile installations, the airbag is a supplemental system and works in conjunction with an upper torso restraint. In addition, the crash event is more definable and of typically shorter duration, which can simplify the activation logic. The airplane operating environment is also quite different from automobiles and includes the potential for greater wear and tear, and unanticipated abuse conditions (due to galley loading, passenger baggage, etc.); airplanes also operate where exposure VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Mar 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 to high intensity electromagnetic fields could affect the activation system. The following special conditions can be characterized as addressing either the safety performance of the system, or the system’s integrity against inadvertent activation. Because a crash requiring use of the inflatable lapbelts is a relatively rare event, and because the consequences of an inadvertent activation are potentially quite severe, these latter requirements are probably the more rigorous from a design standpoint. Applicability As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the 787 series airplane. Should Boeing Commercial Airplanes apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well. Conclusion This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on 787 series of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability. 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, because a delay would significantly affect the certification of the airplane, which is imminent, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25 Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 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, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Boeing Model 787 series airplanes. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 16913 1. Existing Criteria: All injury protection criteria of § 25.562(c)(1) through (c)(6) apply to the occupant of a side facing seat. Head Injury Criterion (HIC) assessments are only required for head contact with the seat and/or adjacent structures. 2. Body-to-Wall/Furnishing Contact: Under the load condition defined in § 25.562(b)(2), the seat must be installed aft of a structure such as an interior wall or furnishing that will support the pelvis, upper arm, chest, and head of an occupant seated next to the structure. A conservative representation of the structure and its stiffness must be included in the tests. 3. Thoracic Trauma: Under the load condition defined in § 25.562(b)(2), Thoracic Trauma Index (TTI) injury criterion must be substantiated by dynamic test or by rational analysis based on previous test(s) of a similar seat installation. Testing must be conducted with a Side Impact Dummy (SID), as defined by Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 572, subpart F, or its equivalent. TTI must be less than 85, as defined in 49 CFR part 572, subpart F. The SID TTI data must be processed as defined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) § 571.214, section S6.13.5. 4. Pelvis: Under the load condition defined in § 25.562(b)(2), pelvic lateral acceleration must be shown by dynamic test or by rational analysis based on previous test(s) of a similar seat installation to not exceed 130g. Pelvic acceleration data must be processed as defined in FMVSS § 571.214, section S6.13.5. 5. Shoulder Strap Loads: Where upper torso straps (shoulder straps) are used for occupants, tension loads in individual straps must not exceed 1,750 pounds. If dual straps are used for restraining the upper torso, the total strap tension loads must not exceed 2,000 pounds. 6. Neck Injury Criteria: The seating system must protect the occupant from experiencing serious neck injury. General Test Guidelines 1. One longitudinal test with the SID Anthropomorphic Test Dummy (ATD), undeformed floor, no yaw, and with all lateral structural supports (armrests/ walls). 2. Pass/fail injury assessments: TTI and pelvic acceleration. One longitudinal test with the Hybrid II ATD, deformed floor, with 10 degrees yaw, and with all lateral structural supports (armrests/walls). Pass/fail injury assessments: HIC, and upper torso restraint load, restraint system retention and pelvic acceleration. E:\FR\FM\23MRR1.SGM 23MRR1 16914 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 57 / Friday, March 23, 2012 / Rules and Regulations 3. Vertical (14 G’s) test is to be conducted with modified Hybrid II ATDs with existing pass/fail criteria. Note: It must be demonstrated that the installation of seats via plinths or pallets meets all applicable requirements. Compliance with the guidance contained in FAA Policy Memorandum PS–ANM–100– 2000–00123, dated February 2, 2000, titled ‘‘Guidance for Demonstrating Compliance with Seat Dynamic Testing for Plinths and Pallets’’ will be acceptable to the FAA. Inflatable Lapbelt Conditions If inflatable lapbelts are installed on single-place side-facing seats, the inflatable lapbelt(s) must meet the final inflatable lapbelt special conditions (Special Conditions No. 25–431–SC (76 FR 35324, June 17, 2011). Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 12, 2012. John Piccola, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, ANM–100. [FR Doc. 2012–6957 Filed 3–22–12; 8:45 am] Examining the AD Docket BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0272; Directorate Identifier 2011–NM–042–AD; Amendment 39–16989; AD 2012–06–08] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A340–211, –212, –311, and –312 airplanes. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking at the fastener hole area just above stringer 28, of both left- and right-hand fuselage frame 39.1, and repair if necessary. This AD was prompted by a determination that certain airplanes were not included in a certain airworthiness limitation item (ALI) task (inspections for cracking of the fuselage frame 39.1) and that the inspections must be done to address the identified unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the fuselage that could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Mar 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 This AD becomes effective April 9, 2012. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of April 9, 2012. We must receive comments on this AD by May 7, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. DATES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–1138; fax (425) 227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2010–0245, dated November 26, 2010 (referred to after this as ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states: Airworthiness Limitation Item (ALI) task 533105–01–01 is applicable to aeroplanes on which Airbus modification 40391 has not been embodied in production. The requirements associated to this task are applicable to aeroplanes on which Modification Proposal (MP–S10437) has not been embodied. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Following a query from an operator, investigations revealed that some MSN [manufacturer serial number], for which Airbus modification 40391 was indicated as fully embodied inside the Aircraft Inspection Report (AIR), did not have Modification Proposal (MP–S10437) which is part of this modification embodied in production. As a result, ALI task 533105–01–01 has not been taken into account for some MSN listed in the applicability section of this AD, which constitutes an unsafe condition. For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive special detailed inspections [for cracking] corresponding to ALI task 533105–01–01 and the accomplishment of the associated corrective actions [repair], for all aeroplanes to which this task is applicable. Airworthiness Limitation Item (ALI) task 533105–01–01 will be deleted in the next ALS [Airworthiness Limitations Section] Part 2 revision. The unsafe condition is cracking in the fuselage that could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket. Relevant Service Information Airbus has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin A340–53–4184, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated October 5, 2010. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of This AD This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. There are no products of this type currently registered in the United States. However, this rule is necessary to ensure that the described unsafe condition is addressed if any of these products are placed on the U.S. Register in the future. FAA’s Determination of the Effective Date Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are unnecessary. E:\FR\FM\23MRR1.SGM 23MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 57 (Friday, March 23, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 16910-16914]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6957]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 25

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0311; Special Conditions No. 25-458-SC]


Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787 Series Airplanes; Single-
place Side-facing Seats With Inflatable Lapbelts

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final special conditions; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: These special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 787 
series airplanes. These airplanes have a novel or unusual design 
feature associated with single-place side-facing seats with inflatable 
lapbelts. 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 March 12, 
2012. We must receive your comments by April 23, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2012-0311 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and follow the online instructions for sending 
your comments electronically.
     Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room 
W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket 
Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
     Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.
Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to 
http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the 
commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, 
anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received 
into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the 
comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor 
union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as 
well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov/.
    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at 
http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions 
for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 
of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Gardlin, FAA, Airframe and Cabin 
Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft 
Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-
3356; telephone 425-227-2136; facsimile 425-227-1149.

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

Comments Invited

    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 consider all comments we receive by the closing date for 
comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments 
we receive.

Background

    On March 28, 2003, Boeing Commercial Airplanes applied for an FAA 
type certificate for its new Model 787 series airplane (hereafter 
referred to as ``787''). The 787 is an all-new, twin-engine jet 
transport airplane with a two-aisle cabin which is currently approved 
under Type Certificate No. T000215E. The maximum takeoff weight is 
476,000 pounds, with a maximum passenger count of 381. These airplanes 
have a novel or unusual design feature associated with single-place 
side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts. The inflatable lapbelt is 
designed to limit occupant forward excursion in the event of an 
accident. This will reduce the potential for head injury, thereby 
reducing the Head Injury Criteria (HIC) measurement. The inflatable 
lapbelt behaves similarly to an automotive airbag, but in this case the 
airbag is integrated into the lapbelt, and inflates away from the 
seated occupant. While airbags are now standard in the automotive 
industry, the use of an inflatable lapbelt is novel for commercial 
aviation.
    Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 121.311(j) requires 
that no person may operate a transport category airplane type 
certificated after January 1, 1958, and manufactured on or after 
October 27, 2009, in passenger-carrying operations, after October 27, 
2009, unless all passenger and flight attendant side-facing seats on an 
airplane operated under part 121 rules meet the

[[Page 16911]]

requirements of 14 CFR 25.562 in effect on or after June 16, 1988.
    Amendment 25-15 to part 25, dated October 24, 1967, introduced the 
subject of side-facing seats and a requirement that each occupant in a 
side-facing seat must be protected from head injury by a safety belt 
and a cushioned rest that will support the arms, shoulders, head, and 
spine.
    Subsequently, Amendment 25-20 to part 25, dated April 23, 1969, 
clarified the definition of side-facing seats to require that each 
occupant of a seat that makes more than an 18 degree angle with the 
vertical plane containing the airplane centerline, must be protected 
from head injury by a safety belt and an energy absorbing rest that 
will support the arms, shoulders, head, and spine, or by a safety belt 
and shoulder harness that will prevent the head from contacting any 
injurious object. The FAA concluded that an 18-degree angle would 
provide an adequate level of safety based on tests that were performed 
at that time and thus adopted that standard.
    Part 25 was amended June 16, 1988, by Amendment 25-64, to revise 
the emergency landing conditions that must be considered in the design 
of the airplane. Amendment 25-64 revised the static load conditions in 
Sec.  25.561, and added a new Sec.  25.562 that required dynamic 
testing for all seats approved for occupancy during takeoff and 
landing. The intent of Amendment 25-64 is to provide an improved level 
of safety for occupants on transport category airplanes. Because most 
seating is forward-facing on transport category airplanes, the pass/
fail criteria developed in Amendment 25-64 focused primarily on these 
seats. As a result, the FAA issued Policy Memorandums ANM-03-115-30 and 
PS-ANM-100-2000-00123 to provide the additional guidance necessary to 
demonstrate the level of safety required by the regulations for side-
facing seats.
    The 787, operated under part 121, must meet all of the requirements 
of Sec.  25.562 for passenger and flight attendant seats. Therefore it 
is in the interest of installers to show full compliance to Sec.  
25.562, so that an operator under part 121 may be able to use the 
aircraft without having to do additional certification work. It is also 
noted that some foreign civil airworthiness authorities have invoked 
these same operator requirements in the form of airworthiness 
directives.
    Section 25.785 requires that occupants be protected from head 
injury by either the elimination of any injurious object within the 
striking radius of the head, or by padding. Traditionally, this has 
required a set back of 35 inches from any bulkhead or other rigid 
interior feature or, where not practical, specified types of padding. 
The relative effectiveness of these means of injury protection was not 
quantified. With the adoption of Amendment 25-64 to part 25, 
specifically Sec.  25.562, a new standard that quantifies required head 
injury protection was created.
    Section 25.562 specifies that each seat type design approved for 
crew or passenger occupancy during takeoff and landing must 
successfully complete dynamic tests or be shown to be compliant by 
rational analysis based on dynamic tests of a similar type seat. In 
particular, the regulations require that persons not suffer serious 
head injury under the conditions specified in the tests, and that 
protection must be provided or the seat be designed so that the head 
impact does not exceed a HIC of 1000 units. While the test conditions 
described for HIC are detailed and specific, it is the intent of the 
requirement that an adequate level of head injury protection be 
provided for passengers in a severe crash.
    Because Sec. Sec.  25.562 and 25.785 and associated guidance do not 
adequately address side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts, the FAA 
recognizes that appropriate pass/fail criteria need to be developed 
that do fully address the safety concerns specific to occupants of 
these seats. These criteria were to be implemented via special 
conditions.
    The inflatable lapbelt has two potential advantages over other 
means of head impact protection. First, it can provide significantly 
greater protection than would be expected with energy-absorbing pads, 
and second, it can provide essentially equivalent protection for 
occupants of all stature. These are significant advantages from a 
safety standpoint, since such devices will likely provide a level of 
safety that exceeds the minimum standards of the CFR. Conversely, 
inflatable lapbelts in general are active systems and must be relied 
upon to activate properly when needed, as opposed to an energy-
absorbing pad or upper torso restraint that is passive, and always 
available. Therefore, the potential advantages must be balanced against 
this and other potential disadvantages in order to develop standards 
for this design feature.
    The FAA has considered the installation of inflatable lapbelts to 
have two primary safety concerns: First, that they perform properly 
under foreseeable operating conditions, and second, that they do not 
perform in a manner or at such times as would constitute a hazard to 
the airplane or occupants. This latter point has the potential to be 
the more rigorous of the requirements, owing to the active nature of 
the system.
    The inflatable lapbelt will rely on electronic sensors for 
signaling and a stored gas canister for inflation. These same devices 
could be susceptible to inadvertent activation, causing deployment in a 
potentially unsafe manner. The consequences of inadvertent deployment 
as well as failure to deploy must be considered in establishing the 
reliability of the system. Boeing must substantiate that the effects of 
an inadvertent deployment in flight either would not cause injuries to 
occupants or that such deployment(s) meet the requirement of Sec.  
25.1309(b). The effect of an inadvertent deployment on a passenger or 
crewmember that might be positioned close to the inflatable lapbelt 
should also be considered. The person could be either standing or 
sitting. A minimum reliability level will have to be established for 
this case, depending upon the consequences, even if the effect on the 
airplane is negligible.
    The potential for an inadvertent deployment could be increased as a 
result of conditions in service. The installation must take into 
account wear and tear so that the likelihood of an inadvertent 
deployment is not increased to an unacceptable level. In this context, 
an appropriate inspection interval and self-test capability are 
considered necessary. Other outside influences are lightning and high 
intensity radiated fields (HIRF). Existing regulations regarding 
lightning, Sec.  25.1316, and existing HIRF special condition for the 
787 series airplanes, Special conditions No. 25-354A-SC, are 
applicable. Finally, the inflatable lapbelt installation should be 
protected from the effects of fire, so that an additional hazard is not 
created by, for example, a rupture of the pyrotechnic squib.
    In order to be an effective safety system, the inflatable lapbelt 
must function properly and must not introduce any additional hazards to 
occupants as a result of its functioning. There are several areas where 
the inflatable lapbelt differs from traditional occupant protection 
systems, and requires special conditions to ensure adequate 
performance.
    Because the inflatable lapbelt is essentially a single use device, 
there is the potential that it could deploy under crash conditions that 
are not sufficiently severe as to require head injury protection from 
the inflatable lapbelt. Since an actual crash is frequently composed of 
a series of impacts before the airplane comes to rest, this could

[[Page 16912]]

render the inflatable lapbelt useless if a larger impact follows the 
initial impact. This situation does not exist with energy absorbing 
pads or upper torso restraints, which tend to provide continuous 
protection regardless of severity or number of impacts in a crash 
event. Therefore, the inflatable lapbelt installation should provide 
protection when it is required, by not expending its protection during 
a less severe impact. Also, it is possible to have several large impact 
events during the course of a crash, but there is no requirement for 
the inflatable lapbelt to provide protection for multiple impacts.
    Since each occupant's restraint system provides protection for that 
occupant only, the installation must address seats that are unoccupied. 
It will be necessary to show that the required protection is provided 
for each occupant regardless of the number of occupied seats, and 
considering that unoccupied seats may have lapbelts that are active.
    The inflatable lapbelt should be effective for a wide range of 
occupants. The FAA has historically considered the range from the fifth 
percentile female to the ninety-fifth percentile male as the range of 
occupants that must be taken into account. In this case, the FAA is 
proposing consideration of a broader range of occupants, due to the 
nature of the lapbelt installation and its close proximity to the 
occupant. In a similar vein, these persons could have assumed the brace 
position, for those accidents where an impact is anticipated. Test data 
indicate that occupants in the brace position do not require 
supplemental protection, and so it would not be necessary to show that 
the inflatable lapbelt will enhance the brace position. However, the 
inflatable lapbelt must not introduce a hazard in that case when 
deploying into the seated, braced occupant.
    Another area of concern is the use of seats, so equipped, by 
children whether lap-held, in approved child safety seats, or occupying 
the seat directly. Although specifically prohibited by the FAA 
operating regulations, the use of the supplementary loop belt (``belly 
belt'') may be required by other civil aviation authorities, and should 
also be considered with the end goal of meeting those regulations. 
Similarly, if the seat is occupied by a pregnant woman, the 
installation needs to address such usage, either by demonstrating that 
it will function properly, or by adding appropriate limitation on 
usage.
    Since the inflatable lapbelt will be electrically powered, there is 
the possibility that the system could fail due to a separation in the 
fuselage. Since this system is intended as crash/post-crash protection 
means, failure to deploy due to fuselage separation is not acceptable. 
As with emergency lighting, the system should function properly if such 
a separation occurs at any point in the fuselage.
    Since the inflatable lapbelt is likely to have a large volume 
displacement, the inflated bag could potentially impede egress of 
passengers. Since the bag deflates to absorb energy, it is likely that 
an inflatable lapbelt would be deflated at the time that persons would 
be trying to leave their seats. Nonetheless, it is considered 
appropriate to specify a time interval after which the inflatable 
lapbelt may not impede rapid egress. Ten seconds has been chosen as a 
reasonable time since this corresponds to the maximum time allowed for 
an exit to be openable (Sec.  25.809). In actuality, it is unlikely 
that an exit would be prepared by a flight attendant this quickly in an 
accident severe enough to warrant deployment of the inflatable lapbelt, 
and the inflatable lapbelt is expected to deflate much quicker than ten 
seconds.
    In addition, during the development of the inflatable lapbelt, the 
manufacturer was unable to develop a fabric that would meet the 
inflation requirements for the bag and the flammability requirements of 
Part I(a)(1)(ii) of appendix F to part 25. The fabrics that were 
developed that meet the flammability requirement did not produce 
acceptable deployment characteristics. However, the manufacturer was 
able to develop a fabric that meets the less stringent flammability 
requirements of Part I(a)(1)(iv) of appendix F to part 25 and has 
acceptable deployment characteristics.
    Part I of appendix F to part 25 specifies the flammability 
requirements for interior materials and components. There is no 
reference to inflatable restraint systems in appendix F, because such 
devices did not exist at the time the flammability requirements were 
written. The existing requirements are based on both material types, as 
well as use, and have been specified in light of the state-of-the-art 
of materials available to perform a given function. In the absence of a 
specific reference, the default requirement would be for the type of 
material used to construct the inflatable restraint, which is a fabric 
in this case. However, in writing special conditions, the FAA must also 
consider the use of the material, and whether the default requirement 
is appropriate. In this case, the specialized function of the 
inflatable restraint means that highly specialized materials are 
needed. The standard normally applied to fabrics is a 12-second 
vertical ignition test. However, materials that meet this standard do 
not perform adequately as inflatable restraints. Since the safety 
benefit of the inflatable restraint is very significant, the 
flammability standard appropriate for these devices should not screen 
out suitable materials, thereby effectively eliminating use of 
inflatable restraints. The FAA will need to establish a balance between 
the safety benefit of the inflatable restraint and its flammability 
performance. At this time, the 2.5-inch per minute horizontal test is 
considered to provide that balance. As the state-of-the-art in 
materials progresses (which is expected), the FAA may change this 
standard in subsequent special conditions to account for improved 
materials.
    Finally, it should be noted that the special conditions are 
applicable to single-place side-facing seats with an inflatable lapbelt 
system installed. The special conditions are not an installation 
approval. Therefore, while the special conditions relate to each such 
system installed, the overall installation approval is a separate 
finding, and must consider the combined effects of all such systems 
installed.

Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Boeing Commercial Airplanes 
must show that the 787 series airplanes meet the applicable provisions 
of part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-120, 25.125, 25-
125, and 25-128 with the following exception: Sec.  25.1309 remains at 
Amendment 25-119 for cargo fire protection systems.
    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness 
regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for the 787 series airplanes because of a 
novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed 
under the provisions of Sec.  21.16.
    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which 
they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended 
later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or 
unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the 
other model.
    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special 
conditions, the 787 series airplanes must comply with the fuel vent and 
exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise 
certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36; and the FAA must issue a 
finding of regulatory

[[Page 16913]]

adequacy under Sec.  611 of Public Law 92-574, the ``Noise Control Act 
of 1972.''
    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in 
accordance with Sec.  11.38, and they become part of the type-
certification basis under Sec.  21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The 787 series airplanes incorporate the following novel or unusual 
design features: Boeing Commercial Airplanes is installing single-place 
side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts on certain seats of 787 
series airplanes, in order to reduce the potential for head and neck 
injury in the event of an accident. The inflatable lapbelt works 
similar to an automotive airbag, except that the airbag is integrated 
with the lapbelt of the restraint system.
    The CFR states the performance criteria for head injury protection 
in objective terms. However, none of these criteria are adequate to 
address the specific issues raised concerning single-place side-facing 
seats with inflatable lapbelts. The FAA has therefore determined that, 
in addition to the requirements of part 25, special conditions are 
needed to address requirements particular to installation of single-
place side-facing seats with inflatable lapbelts.
    Accordingly, in addition to the passenger injury criteria specified 
in Sec.  25.785, these special conditions are adopted for the 787 
series airplanes equipped with single-place side-facing seats with 
inflatable lapbelts. Other conditions may be developed, as needed, 
based on further FAA review and discussions with the manufacturer and 
civil aviation authorities.

Discussion

    From the standpoint of a passenger safety system, the inflatable 
lapbelt is unique in that it is both an active and entirely autonomous 
device. While the automotive industry has good experience with airbags, 
the conditions of use and reliance on the inflatable lapbelt as the 
sole means of injury protection are quite different. In automobile 
installations, the airbag is a supplemental system and works in 
conjunction with an upper torso restraint. In addition, the crash event 
is more definable and of typically shorter duration, which can simplify 
the activation logic. The airplane operating environment is also quite 
different from automobiles and includes the potential for greater wear 
and tear, and unanticipated abuse conditions (due to galley loading, 
passenger baggage, etc.); airplanes also operate where exposure to high 
intensity electromagnetic fields could affect the activation system.
    The following special conditions can be characterized as addressing 
either the safety performance of the system, or the system's integrity 
against inadvertent activation. Because a crash requiring use of the 
inflatable lapbelts is a relatively rare event, and because the 
consequences of an inadvertent activation are potentially quite severe, 
these latter requirements are probably the more rigorous from a design 
standpoint.

Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the 
787 series airplane. Should Boeing Commercial Airplanes apply at a 
later date for a change to the type certificate to include another 
model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the 
special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on 787 series of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability.
    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, because a delay would 
significantly affect the certification of the airplane, which is 
imminent, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment 
are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting 
these special conditions upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments 
to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been 
submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described 
above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    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, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of 
the type certification basis for Boeing Model 787 series airplanes.
    1. Existing Criteria: All injury protection criteria of Sec.  
25.562(c)(1) through (c)(6) apply to the occupant of a side facing 
seat. Head Injury Criterion (HIC) assessments are only required for 
head contact with the seat and/or adjacent structures.
    2. Body-to-Wall/Furnishing Contact: Under the load condition 
defined in Sec.  25.562(b)(2), the seat must be installed aft of a 
structure such as an interior wall or furnishing that will support the 
pelvis, upper arm, chest, and head of an occupant seated next to the 
structure. A conservative representation of the structure and its 
stiffness must be included in the tests.
    3. Thoracic Trauma: Under the load condition defined in Sec.  
25.562(b)(2), Thoracic Trauma Index (TTI) injury criterion must be 
substantiated by dynamic test or by rational analysis based on previous 
test(s) of a similar seat installation. Testing must be conducted with 
a Side Impact Dummy (SID), as defined by Title 49 Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR) part 572, subpart F, or its equivalent. TTI must be 
less than 85, as defined in 49 CFR part 572, subpart F. The SID TTI 
data must be processed as defined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) Sec.  571.214, section S6.13.5.
    4. Pelvis: Under the load condition defined in Sec.  25.562(b)(2), 
pelvic lateral acceleration must be shown by dynamic test or by 
rational analysis based on previous test(s) of a similar seat 
installation to not exceed 130g. Pelvic acceleration data must be 
processed as defined in FMVSS Sec.  571.214, section S6.13.5.
    5. Shoulder Strap Loads: Where upper torso straps (shoulder straps) 
are used for occupants, tension loads in individual straps must not 
exceed 1,750 pounds. If dual straps are used for restraining the upper 
torso, the total strap tension loads must not exceed 2,000 pounds.
    6. Neck Injury Criteria: The seating system must protect the 
occupant from experiencing serious neck injury.

General Test Guidelines

    1. One longitudinal test with the SID Anthropomorphic Test Dummy 
(ATD), undeformed floor, no yaw, and with all lateral structural 
supports (armrests/walls).
    2. Pass/fail injury assessments: TTI and pelvic acceleration. One 
longitudinal test with the Hybrid II ATD, deformed floor, with 10 
degrees yaw, and with all lateral structural supports (armrests/walls). 
Pass/fail injury assessments: HIC, and upper torso restraint load, 
restraint system retention and pelvic acceleration.

[[Page 16914]]

    3. Vertical (14 G's) test is to be conducted with modified Hybrid 
II ATDs with existing pass/fail criteria.

    Note: It must be demonstrated that the installation of seats via 
plinths or pallets meets all applicable requirements. Compliance 
with the guidance contained in FAA Policy Memorandum PS-ANM-100-
2000-00123, dated February 2, 2000, titled ``Guidance for 
Demonstrating Compliance with Seat Dynamic Testing for Plinths and 
Pallets'' will be acceptable to the FAA.

Inflatable Lapbelt Conditions

    If inflatable lapbelts are installed on single-place side-facing 
seats, the inflatable lapbelt(s) must meet the final inflatable lapbelt 
special conditions (Special Conditions No. 25-431-SC (76 FR 35324, June 
17, 2011).

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 12, 2012.
John Piccola,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service, ANM-100.
[FR Doc. 2012-6957 Filed 3-22-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P