Special Conditions: Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B Helicopters, Installation of HeliSAS Autopilot and Stabilization Augmentation System (AP/SAS), 74282-74285 [2016-25786]

Download as PDF 74282 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 207 / Wednesday, October 26, 2016 / Rules and Regulations write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative. Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email: Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250–9410, Fax: (202) 690–7442, Email: program.intake@usda.gov. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Additional Public Notification Lhorne on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES [FR Doc. 2016–24754 Filed 10–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:02 Oct 25, 2016 Jkt 241001 Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 27 [Docket No. FAA–2016–9308; Special Conditions No. 27–040–SC] Special Conditions: Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B Helicopters, Installation of HeliSAS Autopilot and Stabilization Augmentation System (AP/SAS) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final special conditions; request for comments. AGENCY: These special conditions are issued for the modification of the Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter. This model helicopter will have a novel or unusual design feature after installation of the S–TEC Corporation (S–TEC) HeliSAS helicopter autopilot/ stabilization augmentation system (AP/ SAS) that has potential failure conditions with more severe adverse consequences than those envisioned by the existing applicable airworthiness regulations. These special conditions contain the added safety standards the Administrator considers necessary to ensure the failures and their effects are sufficiently analyzed and contained. DATES: The effective date of these special conditions is October 26, 2016. We must receive your comments on or before December 12, 2016. ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number [FAA–2016–9308] 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 of Courier: Deliver comments 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. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202–493–2251. Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://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 SUMMARY: Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http:// www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register. FSIS will also make copies of this Federal Register publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to constituents and stakeholders. The Update is communicated via Listserv, a free electronic mail subscription service for industry, trade groups, consumer interest groups, health professionals, and other individuals who have asked to be included. The Update is also available on the FSIS Web page. In addition, FSIS offers an electronic mail subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http:// www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information to regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts. Dated: October 6, 2016. Alfred V. Almanza, Acting Administrator. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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. 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: Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group (ASW–111), 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222–4859; facsimile (817) 222–5961; or email to Gary.Roach@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Reason for No Prior Notice and Comment Before Adoption The FAA has determined that notice and opportunity for public comment are unnecessary because the substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period previously and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. As it is unlikely that we will receive new comments, the FAA finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance. Comments Invited While we did not precede this with a notice of proposed special conditions, we invite interested people to take part in this action 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 will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive. If you want us to let you know we received your mailed comments on these special conditions, send us a preaddressed, stamped postcard on which the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the postcard and mail it back to you. E:\FR\FM\26OCR1.SGM 26OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 207 / Wednesday, October 26, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Background Novel or Unusual Design Features On January 25, 2016, S–TEC applied for a supplemental type certificate No. SR11230SC to install a HeliSAS AP/ SAS on the Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter. The Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter is a 14 CFR part 27 normal category rotorcraft, single turbine engine, conventional helicopter designed for civil operations. This helicopter model is capable of carrying up to four passengers with one pilot, and has a maximum gross weight of up to 3,700 pounds, depending on the model configuration. The major design features include a 3-blade, fully articulated main rotor, an anti-torque tail rotor system, a skid landing gear, and a visual flight rule basic avionics configuration. S–TEC proposes to modify these model helicopters by installing a twoaxis HeliSAS AP/SAS. The S–TEC HeliSAS SAS/AP is intended only for operations under Visual Flight Rules. The system is designed to reduce pilot workload by stabilizing the pitch and roll attitudes of the helicopter in all flight conditions. The HeliSAS AP/SAS incorporates novel or unusual design features for installation in an Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter. This HeliSAS AP/SAS performs non-critical control functions, since this model helicopter has been certificated to meet the applicable requirements independent of this system. However, the possible failure conditions for this system, and their effect on the continued safe flight and landing of the helicopters, are more severe than those envisioned by the present rules. Therefore, a high level of integrity for failure protection is required. Lhorne on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES Type Certification Basis Under 14 CFR 21.115, S–TEC must show that the Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter, as modified by the installed HeliSAS AP/SAS, continues to meet the requirements specified in 14 CFR 21.101. The baseline of the certification basis for the unmodified Airbus Helicopters model EC120B helicopter is listed in Type Certificate No. R0001RD. Additionally, compliance must be shown to any applicable equivalent level of safety findings, exemptions, and special conditions prescribed by the Administrator as part of the certification basis. The Administrator has determined the applicable airworthiness regulations (that is, 14 CFR part 27), as they pertain to this STC, do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter because of a novel or unusual design feature. Therefore, special conditions are prescribed under § 21.16. In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, S–TEC must show compliance of the HeliSAS AP/SAS STC altered Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter with the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in § 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38 and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101(d). VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:02 Oct 25, 2016 Jkt 241001 Discussion The effect on safety is not adequately covered under § 27.1309 for the application of new technology and new application of standard technology. Specifically, the present provisions of § 27.1309(c) do not adequately address the safety requirements for systems whose failures could result in catastrophic or hazardous/severe-major failure conditions, or for complex systems whose failures could result in major failure conditions. The current regulations are inadequate because when § 27.1309(c) was promulgated, it was not envisioned that this type of rotorcraft would use systems that are complex or whose failure could result in ‘‘catastrophic’’ or ‘‘hazardous/severemajor’’ effects on the rotorcraft. This is particularly true with the application of new technology, new application of standard technology, or other applications not envisioned by the rule that affect safety. To comply with the provisions of the special conditions, we require that S– TEC provide the FAA with a systems safety assessment (SSA) for the final HeliSAS AP/SAS installation configuration that will adequately address the safety objectives established by a functional hazard assessment (FHA) and a preliminary system safety assessment (PSSA), including the fault tree analysis (FTA). This will ensure that all failure conditions and their resulting effects are adequately addressed for the installed HeliSAS AP/ SAS. The SSA process, FHA, PSSA, and FTA are all parts of the overall safety assessment process discussed in FAA Advisory Circular 27–1B (Certification of Normal Category Rotorcraft) and Society of Automotive Engineers document Aerospace Recommended Practice 4761 (Guidelines and Methods for Conducting the Safety Assessment Process on Civil Airborne Systems and Equipment). PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 74283 These special conditions require that the HeliSAS AP/SAS installed on an Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter meet the requirements to adequately address the failure effects identified by the FHA, and subsequently verified by the SSA, within the defined design integrity requirements. Failure Condition Categories. Failure conditions are classified, according to the severity of their effects on the rotorcraft, into one of the following categories: 1. No Effect—Failure conditions that would have no effect on safety. For example, failure conditions that would not affect the operational capability of the rotorcraft or increase crew workload; however, could result in an inconvenience to the occupants, excluding the flight crew. 2. Minor—Failure conditions which would not significantly reduce rotorcraft safety, and which would involve crew actions that are well within their capabilities. Minor failure conditions would include, for example, a slight reduction in safety margins or functional capabilities, a slight increase in crew workload such as routine flight plan changes or result in some physical discomfort to occupants. 3. Major—Failure conditions which would reduce the capability of the rotorcraft or the ability of the crew to cope with adverse operating conditions to the extent that there would be, for example, a significant reduction in safety margins or functional capabilities, a significant increase in crew workload or result in impairing crew efficiency, physical distress to occupants, including injuries, or physical discomfort to the flight crew. 4. Hazardous/Severe-Major. a. Failure conditions which would reduce the capability of the rotorcraft or the ability of the crew to cope with adverse operating conditions to the extent that there would be: (1) A large reduction in safety margins or functional capabilities; (2) physical distress or excessive workload that would impair the flight crew’s ability to the extent that they could not be relied on to perform their tasks accurately or completely; or (3) possible serious or fatal injury to a passenger or a cabin crewmember, excluding the flight crew. b. ‘‘Hazardous/severe-major’’ failure conditions can include events that are manageable by the crew by the use of proper procedures, which, if not implemented correctly or in a timely manner, may result in a catastrophic event. 5. Catastrophic—Failure conditions which would result in multiple fatalities E:\FR\FM\26OCR1.SGM 26OCR1 74284 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 207 / Wednesday, October 26, 2016 / Rules and Regulations to occupants, fatalities or incapacitation to the flight crew, or result in loss of the rotorcraft. Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, Inc. (RTCA) Document DO–178C (Software Considerations in Airborne Systems And Equipment Certification) provides software design assurance levels most commonly used for the major, hazardous/severe-major, and catastrophic failure condition categories. The HeliSAS AP/SAS system equipment must be qualified for the expected installation environment. The test procedures prescribed in RTCA Document DO–160G (Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment) are recognized by the FAA as acceptable methodologies for finding compliance with the environmental requirements. Equivalent environment test standards may also be acceptable. This is to show that the HeliSAS AP/SAS system performs its intended function under any foreseeable operating condition, which includes the expected environment in which the HeliSAS AP/SAS is intended to operate. Some of the main considerations for environmental concerns are installation locations and the resulting exposure to environmental conditions for the HeliSAS AP/SAS system equipment, including considerations for other equipment that may be affected environmentally by the HeliSAS AP/ SAS equipment installation. The level of environmental qualification must be related to the severity of the considered failure conditions and effects on the rotorcraft. Applicability These special conditions are applicable to the HeliSAS AP/SAS installed as an STC approval in Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters, Type Certificate No. R0001RD. Conclusion This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features for a HeliSAS AP/SAS STC installed on the specified model helicopter. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features. Lhorne on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 27 Aircraft, Aviation safety. ■ The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7572, 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40105, 40113, 44701–44702, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44713, 44715, 45303. The Special Conditions ■ Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:02 Oct 25, 2016 Jkt 241001 the following special conditions are issued as part of the S–TEC Corporation (S–TEC) supplemental type certificate basis for the installation of a HeliSAS helicopter autopilot/stabilization augmentation system (AP/SAS) on the Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter. In addition to the requirement of § 27.1309(c), HeliSAS AP/SAS installations on Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters must be designed and installed so that the failure conditions identified in the functional hazard assessment (FHA) and verified by the system safety assessment (SSA), after design completion, are adequately addressed in accordance with the following requirements. Requirements S–TEC must comply with the existing requirements of § 27.1309 for all applicable design and operational aspects of the HeliSAS AP/SAS with the failure condition categories of ‘‘no effect,’’ and ‘‘minor,’’ and for noncomplex systems whose failure condition category is classified as ‘‘major.’’ S–TEC must comply with the requirements of these special conditions for all applicable design and operational aspects of the HeliSAS AP/SAS with the failure condition categories of ‘‘catastrophic’’ and ‘‘hazardous severe/ major,’’ and for complex systems whose failure condition category is classified as ‘‘major.’’ A complex system is a system whose operations, failure conditions, or failure effects are difficult to comprehend without the aid of analytical methods (for example, FTA, Failure Modes and Effect Analysis, FHA). System Design Integrity Requirements Each of the failure condition categories defined in these special conditions relate to the corresponding aircraft system integrity requirements. The system design integrity requirements, for the HeliSAS AP/SAS, as they relate to the allowed probability of occurrence for each failure condition category and the proposed software design assurance level, are as follows: 1. ‘‘Major’’—For systems with ‘‘major’’ failure conditions, failures resulting in these major effects must be shown to be remote, a probability of occurrence on the order of between 1 × 10¥5 to 1 × 10¥7 failures/hour, and associated software must be developed, at a minimum, to the Level C software design assurance level. 2. ‘‘Hazardous/Severe-Major’’—For systems with ‘‘hazardous/severe-major’’ failure conditions, failures resulting in these hazardous/severe-major effects PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 must be shown to be extremely remote, a probability of occurrence on the order of between 1 × 10¥7 to 1 × 10¥ failures/ hour, and associated software must be developed, at a minimum, to the Level B software design assurance level. 3. ‘‘Catastrophic’’—For systems with ‘‘catastrophic’’ failure conditions, failures resulting in these catastrophic effects must be shown to be extremely improbable, a probability of occurrence on the order of 1 × 10¥9 failures/hour or less, and associated software must be developed, at a minimum, to the Level A design assurance level. System Design Environmental Requirements The HeliSAS AP/SAS system equipment must be qualified to the appropriate environmental level for all relevant aspects to show that it performs its intended function under any foreseeable operating condition, including the expected environment in which the HeliSAS AP/SAS is intended to operate. Some of the main considerations for environmental concerns are installation locations and the resulting exposure to environmental conditions for the HeliSAS AP/SAS system equipment, including considerations for other equipment that may be affected environmentally by the HeliSAS AP/SAS equipment installation. The level of environmental qualification must be related to the severity of the considered failure conditions and effects on the rotorcraft. Test and Analysis Requirements Compliance with the requirements of these special conditions may be shown by a variety of methods, which typically consist of analysis, flight tests, ground tests, and simulation, as a minimum. Compliance methodology is related to the associated failure condition category. If the HeliSAS AP/SAS is a complex system, compliance with the requirements for failure conditions classified as ‘‘major’’ may be shown by analysis, in combination with appropriate testing to validate the analysis. Compliance with the requirements for failure conditions classified as ‘‘hazardous/severe-major’’ may be shown by flight-testing in combination with analysis and simulation, and the appropriate testing to validate the analysis. Flight tests may be limited for ‘‘hazardous/severe-major’’ failure conditions and effects due to safety considerations. Compliance with the requirements for failure conditions classified as ‘‘catastrophic’’ may be shown by analysis, and appropriate testing in combination with simulation to validate the analysis. Very limited E:\FR\FM\26OCR1.SGM 26OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 207 / Wednesday, October 26, 2016 / Rules and Regulations flight tests in combination with simulation are used as a part of a showing of compliance for ‘‘catastrophic’’ failure conditions. Flight tests are performed only in circumstances that use operational variations, or extrapolations from other flight performance aspects to address flight safety. These special conditions require that the HeliSAS AP/SAS system installed on an Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter meet these requirements to adequately address the failure effects identified by the FHA, and subsequently verified by the SSA, within the defined design system integrity requirements. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 17, 2016. Scott A. Horn, Assistant Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–25786 Filed 10–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2015–3821; Directorate Identifier 2014–SW–025–AD; Amendment 39–18696; AD 2016–22–07] Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 75–26–05 for Bell Helicopter Textron (Bell) Model 204B, 205A–1 and 212 helicopters. AD 75–26–05 required removing and visually inspecting each main rotor (M/R) blade and, depending on the inspection’s outcome, repairing or replacing the M/R blades. This new AD requires more frequent inspections of certain M/R blades and applies to Model 205A helicopters. This AD does not require that helicopter blades be removed to conduct the initial visual inspections. We are issuing this AD to detect a crack and prevent failure of an M/R blade and subsequent loss of helicopter control. DATES: This AD is effective November 30, 2016. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone (817) 280–3391; fax (817) 280–6466; or at SUMMARY: Lhorne on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA–2015–3821; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles Harrison, Project Manager, Fort Worth Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222– 5140; email charles.c.harrison@faa.gov. Discussion Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron 15:02 Oct 25, 2016 Examining the AD Docket SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RIN 2120–AA64 VerDate Sep<11>2014 http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Jkt 241001 We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to remove AD 75–26–05, Amendment 39–2457 (40 FR 57783, December 12, 1975) and add a new AD. AD 75–26–05 applied to Bell Model 204B, 205A–1, and 212 helicopters. AD 75–26–05 required removing and visually inspecting each M/R blade and, depending on the inspection’s outcome, repairing or replacing the M/R blade. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 5, 2016 (81 FR 27055). The NPRM was prompted by a report of an M/R blade with multiple fatigue cracks around the retention bolt hole. The NPRM proposed to require more frequent inspections of certain M/R blades and proposed to remove the requirement that helicopter blades be removed to conduct the initial visual inspections. The NPRM also proposed to include the Model 205A in the applicability but remove the Model 212 because similar inspections are required by AD 2011–23–02 (76 FR 68301, November 4, 2011). Finally, the NPRM included specific part-numbered blades in the applicability so that the proposed AD would no longer be required if a new blade is designed that is not subject to the unsafe condition. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 74285 Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM (81 FR 27055, May 5, 2016). FAA’s Determination We have reviewed the relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed. Related Service Information Bell issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. UH–1H–13–09, dated January 14, 2013, for the Model UH–1H helicopter (ASB UH–1H–13–09). ASB UH–1H–13–09 specifies a one-time visual inspection, within 10 hours timein-service (TIS), of the lower grip pad and upper and lower grip plates for cracks, edge voids, and loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out. ASB UH–1H–13–09 also specifies a repetitive visual inspection, daily and at every 150 hours TIS of the lower grip pad, upper and lower grip plates, and all upper and the lower doublers for cracks, corrosion, edge voids, and loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out. Similar inspections are contained in Bell ASB No. 204–75–1 (ASB 204–75–1) and No. 205–75–5 (ASB 205–75–5), both Revision C and both dated April 25, 1979, for Bell Model 204B and 205A–1 helicopters, respectively. ASB 204–75–1 and ASB 205–75–5 call for daily inspections and for inspections, rework, and refinishing every 1,000 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first. Differences Between This AD and the Service Information This AD requires all inspections every 25 hours TIS or 2 weeks, whichever occurs first. ASB UH–1H–13–09 specifies a one-time inspection within 10 hours TIS, and then a second repetitive inspection daily and at every 150 hours TIS, while ASB 204–75–1 and ASB 205–75–5 call for daily visual inspections, and inspections, rework, and refinishing every 1,000 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first. This AD contains more detailed inspection requirements and a more specific inspection area than the instructions in ASB UH–1H–13–09. The service information applies to M/R blade, part number (P/N) 204–011–250, and was issued for Model 204B and 205A–1 helicopters. This AD also applies to P/N 204–011–200 because this blade is of the same type and susceptible to the unsafe condition. This AD also applies E:\FR\FM\26OCR1.SGM 26OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 207 (Wednesday, October 26, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 74282-74285]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-25786]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 27

[Docket No. FAA-2016-9308; Special Conditions No. 27-040-SC]


Special Conditions: Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B Helicopters, 
Installation of HeliSAS Autopilot and Stabilization Augmentation System 
(AP/SAS)

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final special conditions; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: These special conditions are issued for the modification of 
the Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter. This model helicopter 
will have a novel or unusual design feature after installation of the 
S-TEC Corporation (S-TEC) HeliSAS helicopter autopilot/stabilization 
augmentation system (AP/SAS) that has potential failure conditions with 
more severe adverse consequences than those envisioned by the existing 
applicable airworthiness regulations. These special conditions contain 
the added safety standards the Administrator considers necessary to 
ensure the failures and their effects are sufficiently analyzed and 
contained.

DATES: The effective date of these special conditions is October 26, 
2016. We must receive your comments on or before December 12, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number [FAA-2016-9308] 
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 of Courier: Deliver comments 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.
     Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.
    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without 
change, to http://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. 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: Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, 
FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group (ASW-111), 
10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-
4859; facsimile (817) 222-5961; or email to Gary.Roach@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Reason for No Prior Notice and Comment Before Adoption

    The FAA has determined that notice and opportunity for public 
comment are unnecessary because the substance of these special 
conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period 
previously and has been derived without substantive change from those 
previously issued. As it is unlikely that we will receive new comments, 
the FAA finds that good cause exists for making these special 
conditions effective upon issuance.

Comments Invited

    While we did not precede this with a notice of proposed special 
conditions, we invite interested people to take part in this action 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 will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do 
so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special 
conditions based on the comments we receive.
    If you want us to let you know we received your mailed comments on 
these special conditions, send us a pre-addressed, stamped postcard on 
which the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the postcard 
and mail it back to you.

[[Page 74283]]

Background

    On January 25, 2016, S-TEC applied for a supplemental type 
certificate No. SR11230SC to install a HeliSAS AP/SAS on the Airbus 
Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter. The Airbus Helicopters Model 
EC120B helicopter is a 14 CFR part 27 normal category rotorcraft, 
single turbine engine, conventional helicopter designed for civil 
operations. This helicopter model is capable of carrying up to four 
passengers with one pilot, and has a maximum gross weight of up to 
3,700 pounds, depending on the model configuration. The major design 
features include a 3-blade, fully articulated main rotor, an anti-
torque tail rotor system, a skid landing gear, and a visual flight rule 
basic avionics configuration.
    S-TEC proposes to modify these model helicopters by installing a 
two-axis HeliSAS AP/SAS. The S-TEC HeliSAS SAS/AP is intended only for 
operations under Visual Flight Rules. The system is designed to reduce 
pilot workload by stabilizing the pitch and roll attitudes of the 
helicopter in all flight conditions.

Type Certification Basis

    Under 14 CFR 21.115, S-TEC must show that the Airbus Helicopters 
Model EC120B helicopter, as modified by the installed HeliSAS AP/SAS, 
continues to meet the requirements specified in 14 CFR 21.101. The 
baseline of the certification basis for the unmodified Airbus 
Helicopters model EC120B helicopter is listed in Type Certificate No. 
R0001RD. Additionally, compliance must be shown to any applicable 
equivalent level of safety findings, exemptions, and special conditions 
prescribed by the Administrator as part of the certification basis.
    The Administrator has determined the applicable airworthiness 
regulations (that is, 14 CFR part 27), as they pertain to this STC, do 
not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Airbus 
Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter because of a novel or unusual 
design feature. Therefore, special conditions are prescribed under 
Sec.  21.16.
    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special 
conditions, S-TEC must show compliance of the HeliSAS AP/SAS STC 
altered Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter with the noise 
certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.
    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in Sec.  11.19, in 
accordance with Sec.  11.38 and they become part of the type 
certification basis under Sec.  21.101(d).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The HeliSAS AP/SAS incorporates novel or unusual design features 
for installation in an Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter. This 
HeliSAS AP/SAS performs non-critical control functions, since this 
model helicopter has been certificated to meet the applicable 
requirements independent of this system. However, the possible failure 
conditions for this system, and their effect on the continued safe 
flight and landing of the helicopters, are more severe than those 
envisioned by the present rules. Therefore, a high level of integrity 
for failure protection is required.

Discussion

    The effect on safety is not adequately covered under Sec.  27.1309 
for the application of new technology and new application of standard 
technology. Specifically, the present provisions of Sec.  27.1309(c) do 
not adequately address the safety requirements for systems whose 
failures could result in catastrophic or hazardous/severe-major failure 
conditions, or for complex systems whose failures could result in major 
failure conditions. The current regulations are inadequate because when 
Sec.  27.1309(c) was promulgated, it was not envisioned that this type 
of rotorcraft would use systems that are complex or whose failure could 
result in ``catastrophic'' or ``hazardous/severe-major'' effects on the 
rotorcraft. This is particularly true with the application of new 
technology, new application of standard technology, or other 
applications not envisioned by the rule that affect safety.
    To comply with the provisions of the special conditions, we require 
that S-TEC provide the FAA with a systems safety assessment (SSA) for 
the final HeliSAS AP/SAS installation configuration that will 
adequately address the safety objectives established by a functional 
hazard assessment (FHA) and a preliminary system safety assessment 
(PSSA), including the fault tree analysis (FTA). This will ensure that 
all failure conditions and their resulting effects are adequately 
addressed for the installed HeliSAS AP/SAS. The SSA process, FHA, PSSA, 
and FTA are all parts of the overall safety assessment process 
discussed in FAA Advisory Circular 27-1B (Certification of Normal 
Category Rotorcraft) and Society of Automotive Engineers document 
Aerospace Recommended Practice 4761 (Guidelines and Methods for 
Conducting the Safety Assessment Process on Civil Airborne Systems and 
Equipment).
    These special conditions require that the HeliSAS AP/SAS installed 
on an Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter meet the requirements 
to adequately address the failure effects identified by the FHA, and 
subsequently verified by the SSA, within the defined design integrity 
requirements.
    Failure Condition Categories. Failure conditions are classified, 
according to the severity of their effects on the rotorcraft, into one 
of the following categories:
    1. No Effect--Failure conditions that would have no effect on 
safety. For example, failure conditions that would not affect the 
operational capability of the rotorcraft or increase crew workload; 
however, could result in an inconvenience to the occupants, excluding 
the flight crew.
    2. Minor--Failure conditions which would not significantly reduce 
rotorcraft safety, and which would involve crew actions that are well 
within their capabilities. Minor failure conditions would include, for 
example, a slight reduction in safety margins or functional 
capabilities, a slight increase in crew workload such as routine flight 
plan changes or result in some physical discomfort to occupants.
    3. Major--Failure conditions which would reduce the capability of 
the rotorcraft or the ability of the crew to cope with adverse 
operating conditions to the extent that there would be, for example, a 
significant reduction in safety margins or functional capabilities, a 
significant increase in crew workload or result in impairing crew 
efficiency, physical distress to occupants, including injuries, or 
physical discomfort to the flight crew.
    4. Hazardous/Severe-Major.
    a. Failure conditions which would reduce the capability of the 
rotorcraft or the ability of the crew to cope with adverse operating 
conditions to the extent that there would be:
    (1) A large reduction in safety margins or functional capabilities;
    (2) physical distress or excessive workload that would impair the 
flight crew's ability to the extent that they could not be relied on to 
perform their tasks accurately or completely; or
    (3) possible serious or fatal injury to a passenger or a cabin 
crewmember, excluding the flight crew.
    b. ``Hazardous/severe-major'' failure conditions can include events 
that are manageable by the crew by the use of proper procedures, which, 
if not implemented correctly or in a timely manner, may result in a 
catastrophic event.
    5. Catastrophic--Failure conditions which would result in multiple 
fatalities

[[Page 74284]]

to occupants, fatalities or incapacitation to the flight crew, or 
result in loss of the rotorcraft.
    Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, Inc. (RTCA) Document 
DO-178C (Software Considerations in Airborne Systems And Equipment 
Certification) provides software design assurance levels most commonly 
used for the major, hazardous/severe-major, and catastrophic failure 
condition categories. The HeliSAS AP/SAS system equipment must be 
qualified for the expected installation environment. The test 
procedures prescribed in RTCA Document DO-160G (Environmental 
Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment) are recognized 
by the FAA as acceptable methodologies for finding compliance with the 
environmental requirements. Equivalent environment test standards may 
also be acceptable. This is to show that the HeliSAS AP/SAS system 
performs its intended function under any foreseeable operating 
condition, which includes the expected environment in which the HeliSAS 
AP/SAS is intended to operate. Some of the main considerations for 
environmental concerns are installation locations and the resulting 
exposure to environmental conditions for the HeliSAS AP/SAS system 
equipment, including considerations for other equipment that may be 
affected environmentally by the HeliSAS AP/SAS equipment installation. 
The level of environmental qualification must be related to the 
severity of the considered failure conditions and effects on the 
rotorcraft.

Applicability

    These special conditions are applicable to the HeliSAS AP/SAS 
installed as an STC approval in Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B 
helicopters, Type Certificate No. R0001RD.

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
for a HeliSAS AP/SAS STC installed on the specified model helicopter. 
It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the 
applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 27

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.


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

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7572, 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40105, 40113, 
44701-44702, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44713, 44715, 45303.

The Special Conditions

0
Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of 
the S-TEC Corporation (S-TEC) supplemental type certificate basis for 
the installation of a HeliSAS helicopter autopilot/stabilization 
augmentation system (AP/SAS) on the Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B 
helicopter.
    In addition to the requirement of Sec.  27.1309(c), HeliSAS AP/SAS 
installations on Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters must be 
designed and installed so that the failure conditions identified in the 
functional hazard assessment (FHA) and verified by the system safety 
assessment (SSA), after design completion, are adequately addressed in 
accordance with the following requirements.

Requirements

    S-TEC must comply with the existing requirements of Sec.  27.1309 
for all applicable design and operational aspects of the HeliSAS AP/SAS 
with the failure condition categories of ``no effect,'' and ``minor,'' 
and for non-complex systems whose failure condition category is 
classified as ``major.'' S-TEC must comply with the requirements of 
these special conditions for all applicable design and operational 
aspects of the HeliSAS AP/SAS with the failure condition categories of 
``catastrophic'' and ``hazardous severe/major,'' and for complex 
systems whose failure condition category is classified as ``major.'' A 
complex system is a system whose operations, failure conditions, or 
failure effects are difficult to comprehend without the aid of 
analytical methods (for example, FTA, Failure Modes and Effect 
Analysis, FHA).

System Design Integrity Requirements

    Each of the failure condition categories defined in these special 
conditions relate to the corresponding aircraft system integrity 
requirements. The system design integrity requirements, for the HeliSAS 
AP/SAS, as they relate to the allowed probability of occurrence for 
each failure condition category and the proposed software design 
assurance level, are as follows:
    1. ``Major''--For systems with ``major'' failure conditions, 
failures resulting in these major effects must be shown to be remote, a 
probability of occurrence on the order of between 1 x 10-5 
to 1 x 10-7 failures/hour, and associated software must be 
developed, at a minimum, to the Level C software design assurance 
level.
    2. ``Hazardous/Severe-Major''--For systems with ``hazardous/severe-
major'' failure conditions, failures resulting in these hazardous/
severe-major effects must be shown to be extremely remote, a 
probability of occurrence on the order of between 1 x 10-7 
to 1 x 10- failures/hour, and associated software must be 
developed, at a minimum, to the Level B software design assurance 
level.
    3. ``Catastrophic''--For systems with ``catastrophic'' failure 
conditions, failures resulting in these catastrophic effects must be 
shown to be extremely improbable, a probability of occurrence on the 
order of 1 x 10-9 failures/hour or less, and associated 
software must be developed, at a minimum, to the Level A design 
assurance level.

System Design Environmental Requirements

    The HeliSAS AP/SAS system equipment must be qualified to the 
appropriate environmental level for all relevant aspects to show that 
it performs its intended function under any foreseeable operating 
condition, including the expected environment in which the HeliSAS AP/
SAS is intended to operate. Some of the main considerations for 
environmental concerns are installation locations and the resulting 
exposure to environmental conditions for the HeliSAS AP/SAS system 
equipment, including considerations for other equipment that may be 
affected environmentally by the HeliSAS AP/SAS equipment installation. 
The level of environmental qualification must be related to the 
severity of the considered failure conditions and effects on the 
rotorcraft.

Test and Analysis Requirements

    Compliance with the requirements of these special conditions may be 
shown by a variety of methods, which typically consist of analysis, 
flight tests, ground tests, and simulation, as a minimum. Compliance 
methodology is related to the associated failure condition category. If 
the HeliSAS AP/SAS is a complex system, compliance with the 
requirements for failure conditions classified as ``major'' may be 
shown by analysis, in combination with appropriate testing to validate 
the analysis. Compliance with the requirements for failure conditions 
classified as ``hazardous/severe-major'' may be shown by flight-testing 
in combination with analysis and simulation, and the appropriate 
testing to validate the analysis. Flight tests may be limited for 
``hazardous/severe-major'' failure conditions and effects due to safety 
considerations. Compliance with the requirements for failure conditions 
classified as ``catastrophic'' may be shown by analysis, and 
appropriate testing in combination with simulation to validate the 
analysis. Very limited

[[Page 74285]]

flight tests in combination with simulation are used as a part of a 
showing of compliance for ``catastrophic'' failure conditions. Flight 
tests are performed only in circumstances that use operational 
variations, or extrapolations from other flight performance aspects to 
address flight safety.
    These special conditions require that the HeliSAS AP/SAS system 
installed on an Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter meet these 
requirements to adequately address the failure effects identified by 
the FHA, and subsequently verified by the SSA, within the defined 
design system integrity requirements.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 17, 2016.
Scott A. Horn,
Assistant Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-25786 Filed 10-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P