Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Notice of Extension of Comment Period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the SpaceX Texas Launch Site
A Notice of Availability (NOA) for the FAA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the SpaceX Texas Launch Site (Draft EIS) was published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on April 19, 2013 (78 FR 23558). The FAA also published an NOA of the Draft EIS in the Federal Register on the same day (78 FR 23629). The comment period for the Draft EIS was to end on June 3, 2013 (45 days after publication of the proposal in the Federal Register). This notice extends the comment period to June 24, 2013 to allow the public additional time to comment on the Draft EIS.
Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model Helicopters
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Model EC 155B and EC155B1 helicopters. This proposed AD would require repetitively inspecting the lower and upper front and rear fittings (fittings) that attach the upper fin to the fenestron for a crack. If there is a crack, this AD would require removing all four fittings from service. This proposed AD would also require, within a specified time, removing all fittings from service, and the fittings would not be eligible to be installed on any helicopter. This AD is prompted by the loss of an upper fin in flight. The proposed actions are intended to detect a crack in the fittings to prevent loss of the upper fin and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell), Model Helicopters
This document proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for the Bell Model 412, 412CF, and 412EP helicopters. The AD currently requires reidentifying each affected part-numbered main rotor yoke (yoke) on its data plate, reducing the retirement life of the reidentified yoke, and revising the Airworthiness Limitations section of the maintenance manual or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAs) accordingly. Since we issued the AD, we have discovered that the affected yokes do not have a data plate, making compliance with the part-marking requirements of the existing AD impossible. This proposed AD would retain the current requirements with the exception of the P/N marking location. The actions specified in this AD are intended to prevent fatigue cracking of a yoke, failure of the yoke, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Consensus Standards, Light-Sport Aircraft
This notice announces the availability of one new and seven revised consensus standards relating to the provisions of the Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft rule issued July 16, 2004, and effective September 1, 2004. ASTM International Committee F37 on Light Sport Aircraft developed the new and revised standards with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) participation. By this notice, the FAA finds the new and revised standards acceptable for certification of the specified aircraft under the provisions of the Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft rule.
Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements for Vision Systems
The FAA is proposing to permit operators to use an Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) in lieu of natural vision to continue descending from 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation to the runway and land on certain straight-in instrument approach procedures under instrument flight rules (IFR). This proposal would also permit certain operators using EFVS-equipped aircraft to dispatch, release, or takeoff under IFR, and to initiate and continue an approach, when the destination airport weather is below authorized visibility minimums for the runway of intended landing. Under this proposal, pilot training, recent flight experience, and proficiency would be required for operators who use EFVS in lieu of natural vision to descend below decision altitude, decision height, or minimum descent altitude. EFVS- equipped aircraft conducting operations to touchdown and rollout would be required to meet additional airworthiness requirements. This proposal would also revise pilot compartment view certification requirements for vision systems using a transparent display surface located in the pilot's outside view. The proposal would take advantage of advanced vision capabilities thereby achieving the NextGen goals of increasing access, efficiency, and throughput at many airports when low visibility is the limiting factor. Additionally, it would enable EFVS operations in reduced visibilities on a greater number of approach procedure types while maintaining an equivalent level of safety.