[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 46 (Friday, March 7, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12542-12573]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-3949]



[[Page 12541]]

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

Part III





Department of Transportation





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



Federal Aviation Administration



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



14 CFR Parts 23, 25, 27 et al.



Revisions to Cockpit Voice Recorder and Digital Flight Data Recorder 
Regulations; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 46 / Friday, March 7, 2008 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 12542]]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 23, 25, 27, 29, 91, 121, 125, 129 and 135

[Docket No. FAA-2005-20245; Amendment No. 23-58, 25-124, 27-43, 29-50, 
91-300, 121-338, 125-54, 129-45, and 135-113]
RIN 2120-AH88


Revisions to Cockpit Voice Recorder and Digital Flight Data 
Recorder Regulations

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule amends cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and 
digital flight data recorder (DFDR) regulations affecting certain air 
carriers, operators, and aircraft manufacturers. This final rule 
increases the duration of certain CVR recordings, increases the data 
recording rate for certain DFDR parameters, requires physical 
separation of the DFDR and CVR, improves the reliability of the power 
supplies to both the CVR and DFDR, and requires that certain datalink 
communications received on an aircraft be recorded if datalink 
communication equipment is installed. This final rule is based on 
recommendations issued by the National Transportation Safety Board 
following its investigations of several accidents and incidents, and 
includes other revisions the FAA has determined are necessary. These 
changes to CVR and DFDR systems are intended to improve the quality and 
quantity of information recorded, and increase the potential for 
retaining important information needed for accident and incident 
investigations.

DATES: These amendments become effective April 7, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions contact: 
Timothy W. Shaver, Avionics Systems Branch, Aircraft Certification 
Service, AIR-130, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 385-4686; facsimile 
(202) 385-4651; e-mail tim.shaver@faa.gov. For legal questions contact: 
Karen L. Petronis, Regulations Division, Office of the Chief Counsel, 
Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3073; facsimile (202) 267-
3073; e-mail karen.petronis@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is 
found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 
describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, 
Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's 
authority.
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701. Under that section, 
the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations providing minimum 
standards for other practices, methods and procedures necessary for 
safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that 
authority since flight data recorders are the only means available to 
account for aircraft movement and flight crew actions critical to 
finding the probable cause of incidents or accidents, including data 
that could prevent future incidents or accidents.

Background

A. Statement of the Problem

    For many years, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has 
experienced difficulties while investigating aircraft accidents and 
incidents. The information recorded on cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) 
and Digital Flight Data Recorders (DFDRs) has not always been 
sufficient to support the NTSB's investigations. The problems 
encountered by the NTSB include the limited duration of CVR recordings 
preceding an incident, and the loss of power to both CVRs and DFDRs. 
These issues arose in the investigation of the following accidents and 
incidents: Alaska Airlines, Inc. flight 261 on January 31, 2000; 
EgyptAir flight 990 on October 31, 1999; Delta Air Lines, Inc. flight 
2461 on December 15, 1998; Swissair flight 111 on September 2, 1998; 
SilkAir flight 185 on December 19, 1997; ValuJet Airlines flight 592 on 
May 11, 1996; Trans World Airlines, Inc. flight 800 on July 17, 1996; 
and ValuJet Airlines flight 597 on June 8, 1995. The notice of proposed 
rulemaking that preceded this final rule was published on February 28, 
2005 (``Revisions to Cockpit Voice Recorder and Digital Flight Data 
Recorder Regulations,'' 70 FR 9752) and discusses these accidents and 
incidents in more detail, starting on page 9753.

B. NTSB Recommendations

    Based on its findings following these investigations, the NTSB 
issued five safety recommendations for improving the flight recorder 
systems on all aircraft required to carry a CVR and a DFDR.
    Recommendation No. A-96-89. Within two years, require all aircraft 
required to have a CVR to be retrofitted with a CVR that receives, on 
dedicated channels, (1) uninterrupted input from the boom or mask 
microphone and headphones of each crewmember; and (2) uninterrupted 
input from an area microphone. During these recordings, a sidetone must 
be produced only when the transmitter or interphone is selected. 
Finally, all audio signals received by hand-held microphones must be 
recorded on the respective flight crewmember's channel when keyed to 
the ``ON'' position.
    Recommendation No. A-96-171. Require that all newly manufactured 
CVRs intended for use on airplanes have a minimum recording duration of 
two hours.
    Recommendation No. A-99-16. By January 1, 2005, retrofit all 
airplanes that are required to carry a CVR and an FDR with a CVR that 
(1) meets the standards of the Technical Standard Order on Cockpit 
Voice Recorder Systems, TSO-C123a, or later revision; (2) is capable of 
recording the last two hours of audio; and (3) is fitted with a 10-
minute independent power source that is located with the CVR and that 
automatically engages and provides 10 minutes of operation whenever 
power to the recorder ceases, either by normal shutdown or by a loss of 
power to the bus.
    Recommendation No. A-99-17. Require all aircraft manufactured after 
January 1, 2003, that are required to carry a CVR and a DFDR, to be 
equipped with two combination (CVR/DFDR) recording systems. One system 
should be located as close to the cockpit as practicable and the other 
as far aft as practicable. Both recording systems should be capable of 
recording all mandatory data parameters covering the previous 25 hours 
of operation and all cockpit audio and controller-pilot datalink 
communications for the previous two hours of operation. The system 
located near the cockpit should be provided with an independent power 
source that engages automatically and provides 10 minutes of operation 
whenever normal aircraft power ceases. The aft system should be powered 
by the bus that provides the maximum reliability for operation without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The system near 
the cockpit should be powered by the bus that provides the second 
highest reliability for operation without jeopardizing service to 
essential or emergency loads.
    Recommendation No. A-99-18. Amend Sec.  25.1457 (for CVRs) and

[[Page 12543]]

Sec.  25.1459 (for DFDRs) to require that CVRs, DFDRs, and redundant 
combination CVR/DFDR units be powered from separate generator buses 
with the highest reliability.

C. Summary of the NPRM

    In February 2005, we proposed changes to the regulations that 
address the NTSB's recommendations (70 FR 9752; February 28, 2005)(the 
NPRM). We agreed with recommendation Nos. A-96-89, A-96-171, A-99-18, 
and parts of Nos. A-99-16 and A-99-17.
    In the NPRM, we proposed that all CVRs be able to retain the last 
two hours of cockpit conversation, and that a better technical standard 
for equipment be mandatory. We proposed that aircraft carry an 
independent power source to power CVRs for 10 minutes after main power 
sources fail. We also proposed language to standardize across operating 
parts when a CVR is operated.
    We proposed wiring requirements that would ensure that each CVR and 
DFDR receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of each recorder without jeopardizing 
service to essential or emergency loads. Each recorder also must remain 
powered for as long as possible without jeopardizing emergency 
operation of the aircraft. These requirements would apply to newly 
manufactured aircraft.
    We proposed that CVRs and DFDRs be installed in separate containers 
in all airplanes; rotorcraft would be allowed to have a single combined 
unit for both recorders. For aircraft that have both a CVR and a DFDR, 
we proposed that the interphone communications requirements described 
in the certification rules apply to all part 23 and part 25 airplanes.
    We proposed increased data recording rates for certain flight 
control parameters that would apply to both airplanes and rotorcraft.
    We proposed that datalink communications be recorded when datalink 
systems are installed on airplanes after a certain date, and we sought 
comment on the nature and scope of what should be required to be 
recorded, acknowledging that the state of the technology is still 
developing.
    We did not propose to adopt the NTSB recommendation that the 10-
minute CVR power supply be installed as a retrofit on current aircraft, 
that aircraft carry a deployable recorder system, or that each airplane 
carry two complete recording systems. In evaluating these 
recommendations, we determined that the anticipated costs were too 
great to justify any potential benefit, or that there was insufficient 
data to compare probable costs and benefits. We did request comment on 
each of these items.
    A more detailed discussion of each proposed change can be found in 
the NPRM document on pages 9755-9762.

Discussion of Comments

A. General Summary

    The FAA received 55 submissions from 53 commenters (two commenters 
each submitted two comments) in response to the NPRM.
    Six commenters supported the proposal in its entirety. Thirty-two 
commenters generally supported the intent, but offered detailed 
alternatives or changes to various sections. The supporting commenters 
included airframe manufacturers, aircraft operators, industry 
associations, an accident investigator, and several individuals.
    Three commenters opposed the proposal in its entirety and requested 
that we either abandon or postpone the proposed requirements. One 
commenter did not specifically state opposition, but it was inferred 
from the comment. Eight commenters objected to the proposed changes 
specifically for part 27 and part 29 rotorcraft, for part 91 and part 
135 aircraft, or for aircraft with fewer than 60 seats. Some of these 
commenters also questioned the FAA's analysis of the effect of the 
proposed rule on small businesses. The opposing commenters included 
aircraft operators, industry associations, and individuals.
    In the three remaining comments, one individual commenter offered a 
specific language change to the proposed rule without stating support 
or opposition to the rest of it. The other two comments were joint 
submissions from four members of the U.S. House of Representatives that 
expressed strong support for the use of deployable recorder systems.

B. Proposed Retrofits for Part 91 and Part 135 Aircraft

    Two parts of the proposed rule would affect aircraft currently 
operating under parts 91 and 135 by requiring equipment retrofits. 
These include the requirements that CVRs use solid state memory 
(replacing magnetic tape) and have two hours of recording capability, 
up from as little as 15 minutes in part 91.
    The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) expressed 
disappointment with what it considers the agency's failure to include a 
meaningful review of the impact of these two proposed requirements on 
part 91 and part 135 operators. The NATA provided examples of aircraft 
models it does not believe were considered, as well as the types of 
information that the association asserts should have been collected by 
the FAA for analysis. The NATA suggested itself as a source of the 
data, but did not include with its comment any of the data it suggested 
the FAA collect.
    The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) submitted a 
similar comment, indicating that a broad segment of on-demand operators 
would have to comply with the proposed regulations, but that there was 
no indication that we properly evaluated their effect on those 
operators. As an example, the NBAA noted that the cost of development 
of a supplemental type certificate that would be needed for more than 
15,000 aircraft was not determined or accounted for in the regulatory 
evaluation.
    Similarly, the Regional Airline Association (RAA) said that the 
regulatory evaluation does not adequately describe the benefits of the 
proposed equipment retrofit, and does not feel that there is enough 
information in the regulatory evaluation for them to comment on 
adequately.
    These associations urged the FAA to retract those parts of the rule 
that affect these operators, or to take no further action until more 
comprehensive data can be gathered and analyzed. Each commenter 
believes that the cost estimates would be significantly higher than 
those presented in the NPRM.
    We reviewed our analysis of the impact of the two CVR changes 
proposed as retrofits for part 91 and 135 airplanes (2-hour recorders 
and independent power supply), and we have concluded that our 
regulatory evaluation did not include several issues raised by the 
commenters. Since we are not able to quantify the potential burden of 
the two CVR retrofit requirements on these operators, we have removed 
the two CVR requirements from the final rule for aircraft operating 
under parts 91 and 135. For other reasons discussed below, we are also 
not adopting the proposed `checklist to checklist' language for part 91 
or part 135. New applicability sections will retain the same checklist 
language as exists in the affected part.
    However, we are adopting the datalink recording requirement for 
these two operating parts. If an operator of an aircraft under part 91 
or 135 voluntarily installs datalink equipment after two years from the 
effective date of the rule, the requirement for datalink recordation 
will apply. This is consistent with the requirement facing operators 
under parts 121 and 125, and we have no

[[Page 12544]]

reason to discriminate between these operating rules. We are also 
adopting the requirement for separate containers for CVRs and DFDRs 
(except for rotorcraft) as it imposes no cost since it is a 
codification of current FAA policy and no combined recorder has ever 
been approved for installation on an airplane.
    The NPRM also contained several other requirements that will affect 
only newly manufactured airplanes that may operate under parts 91 and 
135. The commenters provided no reason why those upgrades that must be 
incorporated at the time of aircraft manufacture should not be 
applicable to all categories of aircraft regardless of the eventual 
operator. In general, the proposed CVR and DFDR upgrades on wiring, 
data rates, and interphone communications will be adopted as proposed 
for all newly manufactured aircraft. Similarly, the CVR requirements 
for 2-hour solid state recorders and the addition of a backup power 
system will remain for all newly manufactured aircraft. Again, we are 
unable to draw a distinction between the eventual operating regulations 
for aircraft of any size that have yet to be manufactured.

C. CVR Recording Duration

    The FAA proposed that all CVRs be able to retain the last two hours 
of cockpit audio. Both the NTSB and the Transportation Safety Board of 
Canada noted that the short duration of available cockpit audio 
hindered the investigation of several accidents.
    The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) did not support the proposal 
to increase CVR recording time because the FAA did not propose any 
increase in the privacy protections regarding the access and use of 
information recorded on a CVR. The ALPA stated that existing 
protections are inadequate despite years of its attempts to change the 
standard.
    We recognize that ALPA and others have concerns about the use of 
CVR data, and we continue to work to address these concerns. We are 
unable to concur with the conclusion that those concerns outweigh the 
investigative need for more information, especially when it is so 
readily available and affordable. The history of accident investigation 
contains several examples of CVR recordings that begin well into a 
conversation of the problem under investigation. The adverse effect on 
safety of these abbreviated recordings cannot be ignored.
    Boeing Commercial Airplanes (Boeing) agreed that the additional 
data from a longer duration recorder would have been a significant 
benefit in accident investigation. Boeing notes that the proposed 
requirement for part 129 airplanes, however, does not specify a 
recording duration, which it noted may have been an omission.
    The language we proposed for Sec.  129.22 (now Sec.  129.24) would 
require the CVR on a U.S. registered airplane to record the information 
that would be required to be recorded if the aircraft were operated 
under part 121, 125, or 135. This requirement captures the proposed 
requirement in those parts for two hours of CVR recording time. No 
change to the final rule is necessary for the two-hour duration to 
apply to part 129 airplanes.
    In addition to its comment on the economic value of the retrofit, 
the RAA questioned the value of a two hour recorder on flights that are 
on average much shorter. Since many of the RAA's constituents operate 
flights of less than 60 minutes, the RAA stated that the current 30 
minute recording time is sufficient to capture relevant voice data.
    Although we agreed with the commenters concerning the evaluation of 
retrofit costs, the FAA cannot agree that a different standard should 
apply to certain aircraft when they are in regional operation. The 
benefit of this additional information is the same regardless of 
individual flight duration. Further, aircraft transfer between routes 
and operating parts, and none of the aircraft cited by the RAA are 
limited by design to flights of 30 minutes or less.
    Smiths Aerospace, LLC (Smiths) commented that the standard proposed 
in the final rule for CVRs, TSO-C123a, mirrors the standard set forth 
in EUROCAE document ED-56, which allows for the combined (merged) 
recording of three non-area microphone signals into a single recording 
after the first 30 minutes. Smiths suggested that allowing combined 
audio for 90 of the proposed 120 minutes will reduce the quality and 
effectiveness of the recording. Smiths also proposed language that 
would specifically prohibit the use of magnetic tape recorders, since 
it was the agency's stated intent in the NPRM.
    While an interesting technical consideration, the FAA did not 
propose a change to the TSO standard (which is based on ED-56) in the 
NPRM, and the process for changing TSOs is separate and complex. We 
also believe that a requirement for two hours of recording time is 
enough to eliminate the use of magnetic tape recorders for those 
aircraft subject to the requirement. Further, Smiths did not indicate 
where this language would be inserted, and a change in the retrofit 
applicability for parts 91 and 135 would simply add to the confusion 
about current requirements.
    No change to the 2-hour recording duration has been made in the 
final rule based on these comments.

D. CVR Independent Power Supply

    Seven commenters (ALPA, Boeing, Smiths, the NTSB, the Aerospace 
Industries Association (AIA), Radiant Power Corporation (Radiant) and 
Airbus) expressed concern that the proposed requirement for a Recorder 
Independent Power Supply (RIPS) for CVRs did not address installation 
issues. These commenters want to minimize the possibility of an 
inadvertent disconnect from the CVR that could result from damage to 
the RIPS or to exposed, lengthy wiring. These commenters suggested 
several installation solutions, including:
     Installing a combination kit of the CVR plus the RIPS 
(AIA), or integrating the RIPS in the CVR (Airbus, Radiant, Smiths); 
and
     Co-locating the CVR and the RIPS (ALPA) or locating the 
RIPS as close as practical to the CVR (Airbus, Boeing, NTSB).
    The FAA agrees with the concern raised by these commenters. We have 
considered the various installation solutions suggested by the 
commenters, and have determined that requiring the RIPS to be installed 
as close as practicable to the CVR is the best solution. This 
configuration will minimize the distance between the CVR and the RIPS 
and the amount of wiring necessary, decreasing the potential for a 
power failure affecting the CVR when main power is lost and the RIPS 
unit engages. Therefore, the final rule contains a requirement that the 
RIPS be installed as close as practicable to the CVR.
    As to the integration of the RIPS into the CVR unit, we do not have 
enough data to support either mandating or prohibiting a combined RIPS/
CVR unit. The decision to combine the units is best left to the system 
designer for individual aircraft. Our TSO-C155 and other industry 
standards allow for certification of RIPS as either a combined or 
stand-alone unit. Combined units would meet the ``as close as 
practicable'' standard of the regulation.
    Boeing noted the term ``independent'' could be interpreted to mean 
the RIPS must be a separate piece of equipment and cannot be 
incorporated into the CVR. Boeing suggested adding a new subparagraph 
to Sec.  25.1457 that would allow, but does not require, incorporation 
of the RIPS as part of the CVR.

[[Page 12545]]

    As stated, the purpose of the RIPS equipment is to ensure the CVR 
continues to function for 10 minutes following the loss of its main 
power source by having its own independent power source. The term 
``independent'' does not describe the location of the RIPS as it 
relates to the CVR. In TSO-C155, we state that the RIPS may be a part 
of the CVR or separate from it.
    Five commenters (AIA, ALPA, Boeing, L3 Communications (L3) and the 
NTSB) suggested the final rule should contain a 4-year retrofit RIPS 
requirement similar to that proposed for the 30-minute-to-2-hour CVR 
conversion. The NTSB stated the benefits of such a requirement vastly 
outweigh the additional costs. Boeing agreed, stating that a RIPS 
retrofit would have significant value for in-service aircraft. The ALPA 
and AIA support a RIPS retrofit requirement for all aircraft operating 
under part 121, while L3 noted that it had anticipated the need for 
such equipment, and that their product development is complete and 
represents an available, cost-effective solution.
    While the FAA recognizes the benefits of expanding the RIPS 
requirement beyond newly manufactured aircraft, we remain unable to 
mandate retrofit as a cost-beneficial change. When we considered the 
option for the NPRM, we found that the cost of a RIPS retrofit was 
considerable and the burden on current operators would be substantial. 
Even if the equipment is already available, a RIPS retrofit could 
easily require major alterations and extensive aircraft rework. While 
expressing their support, the commenters did not provide any data that 
changes our conclusion.

E. RIPS on Rotorcraft

    Three commenters, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (Bell), Eurocopter 
Deutschland GmbH (Eurocopter) and the Helicopter Association 
International (HAI), recommended the RIPS requirement not apply to part 
27 and 29 rotorcraft. Bell stated the NPRM failed to make a case for 
small to medium rotorcraft (fewer than 20 passengers) and noted that 
these aircraft are much less likely to suffer the types of events and 
failures that occur in fixed wing aircraft.
    Eurocopter stated that a RIPS requirement is not relevant for 
rotorcraft for two reasons, first citing three EUROCAE documents that 
forbid shutdown of a CVR by the crew. Second, when the CVR is already 
powered by the safest electrical power bus, a RIPS would not decrease 
the probability of a failure, but would add substantial installation 
and annual costs.
    The lack of historical data supporting a need for RIPS for CVRs in 
rotorcraft was also cited by HAI. It noted that the proposed rule is 
directed at transport category airplanes, where RIPS can be justified, 
but does not make the case for small to medium rotorcraft certificated 
under part 27 or part 29. The HAI stated that the increase in system 
weight, cost and complexity would provide little or no enhancement to 
safety.
    As a consequence of the proposed RIPS installation, Columbia 
Helicopters, Inc. (Columbia) asked the FAA to consider possible 
unwanted consequences on helicopters operating under part 133 external 
load operation (non-passenger carrying) rules. Columbia noted that the 
added weight and operating cost of a RIPS might discourage these 
operators from voluntarily installing CVRs. Columbia suggested language 
limiting the RIPS requirement to passenger carrying operations.
    The final rule includes part 27 and 29 rotorcraft with fewer than 
20 passengers in the RIPS requirement, as proposed. The purpose of the 
RIPS requirement is to record additional pilot communications, 
environmental noises and other information (such as from a cockpit-
mounted area microphone) if all power is lost. A loss of power is 
possible on aircraft of all types. We are unable to distinguish 
rotorcraft from other aircraft when the possibility of power loss is 
considered, and the benefits are considered the same. We do not require 
compliance with EUROCAE standards; our regulations must reflect our 
requirements.
    The FAA does not agree the RIPS requirement might discourage part 
133 operators from voluntarily installing CVRs. The RIPS requirement is 
for newly manufactured aircraft whose operating rules require a CVR. 
There is no mandated RIPS retrofit if a CVR is installed on an aircraft 
that does not require one for operation.
    The CVR and RIPS TSOs provide the minimum performance standards for 
this equipment. However, neither one requires that RIPS be installed; 
that is done by regulation. If a part 133 operator voluntarily chooses 
to install a CVR, it is not currently required to also install the 
RIPS, nor is the operator prevented from installing a RIPS. This 
decision is totally up to the part 133 operator. Therefore, we do not 
agree with the commenter that adding the RIPS requirement to parts 27 
and 29 would affect the decision to voluntarily install a CVR.

F. RIPS Duration Requirement

    Three commenters (Boeing and two individuals) requested that the 
FAA change the duration of the RIPS power requirement. Boeing requested 
that the requirement be changed from 10 minutes to 101 
minutes, to prevent erasure or overwriting of valuable data, and to be 
consistent with TSO C-155 for RIPS, and other industry standards from 
EUROCAE's ED-112 (Minimum Operational Performance Specification for 
Crash Protected Airborne Recorder Systems) and ARINC 777 (Recorder 
Independent Power Supply). If adopted, Boeing suggested that the final 
rule state that the ``101 minutes'' means the backup power 
source must operate at least 9 minutes, but not longer than 11 minutes.
    One individual commenter suggested increasing the time to 30 
minutes because 10 minutes is too short a time period to record 
everything during a power failure. The commenter provided no details or 
examples of the need for 30 minutes. A second individual stated that 
the 10-minute standard is insufficient, but did not specify what the 
duration should be.
    The FAA agrees with Boeing that the final rule should be consistent 
with the TSO and industry standards. The final rule requires the RIPS 
to provide 101 minutes of electrical power to operate both 
the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit area microphone. We are not 
including the additional suggested language since the documents cited 
by Boeing establish that 101 minutes means the backup power 
source shall run at least 9 minutes, but not longer than 11 minutes, 
and repetition of the language is not necessary.
    The other commenters did not explain why the international standard 
of 10 minutes is not appropriate nor provide any other support for 
their positions.

G. Other RIPS Issues

    Airbus stated that two years is not enough time to integrate a RIPS 
into current aircraft designs. Airbus stated that TSO-C155 requires 
that a RIPS system provide both a failure monitoring function and 
indications to the flightcrew. Airbus requested that the compliance 
time be changed to four years, to account for the modifications, 
qualification and certification of RIPS equipment.
    We agree that RIPS installation on newly manufactured aircraft will 
require integration into the existing warning and indication systems. 
However, Airbus did not provide us with any specific data to support 
its position that this requirement could not

[[Page 12546]]

be accomplished two years after this final rule. Further, no other 
airframe manufacturer expressed this concern. The 2-year compliance 
date for the installation of RIPS into newly manufactured airplanes is 
adopted as proposed.
    Airbus and Boeing each noted that the CVR may also provide power 
for the cockpit area microphone and associated electronics, such as a 
preamplifier. Since the proposed RIPS requirement only applies to the 
CVR, they expressed concern that the additional equipment may not be 
powered and would render the CVR useless despite its own power. Each 
commenter suggested that language be added to Sec.  25.1457 that 
addresses a continuation of power to all parts of the CVR system 
required for recording area microphone audio input.
    The FAA agrees with Boeing and Airbus. In addition to the reference 
for 101 minutes of electrical power discussed above, the 
regulation has been changed to include power to operate both the 
cockpit voice recorder and the cockpit-mounted area microphone.
    AirTran Airways (AirTran) requested that any RIPS requirement 
ensure CVR interchangeability so that operators will not have to 
maintain separate CVR inventories for aircraft that have the RIPS and 
those that do not.
    While we recognize that CVR interchangeability is desirable, the 
type of CVR (and RIPS) on a given aircraft is driven by installation 
and component design, not by regulation. The CVR and RIPS each have a 
TSO (as well as ARINC standards) that will ensure that as long as an 
operator uses these components, interchangeability should not be an 
issue. AirTran and other operators need to provide input to the 
manufacturers of airframes and CVRs during the development of RIPS 
equipment. The final rule does not address CVR interchangeability.

H. CVR and DFDR Wiring Requirements

1. Single Electrical Failure
    We proposed that CVRs and DFDRs be installed so that no single 
electrical failure could disable the recorders.
    Bell requested the FAA exclude part 27 and part 29 rotorcraft with 
fewer than 20 passengers from the requirement that no single electrical 
failure will disable both the CVR and DFDR. Bell referred to historical 
data presented by the United Kingdom Aircraft Accident Investigation 
Board (AAIB) and Bell's own experience with combined recorders, to 
conclude that this requirement is unnecessary and would result in 
significant development and certification costs.
    Bell also stated that the ``no single electrical failure could 
disable both the CVR and DFDR'' language was ambiguous. Bell noted that 
it has been interpreted in different ways, and that if it is applied to 
either the failure of any single electrical component within a combined 
CVR/DFDR, or to a single electrical failure external to the recorder, 
it would make most available recorders obsolete. Bell suggested that if 
the applicability to all rotorcraft is maintained, the language be 
changed to indicate that the single electrical failure at issue is 
external to the recorder.
    Columbia Helicopters made a similar argument, noting that for an 
allowed combined recorder, the requirement is confusing and 
contradictory, and requested that the language be clarified.
    The FAA acknowledges that the separation of electrical power has 
not been an issue on rotorcraft to date. However, the potential problem 
being addressed by the ``no single electrical failure'' requirement 
remains in any tiered electrical power system and may affect all 
aircraft, fixed wing or rotorcraft. We also agree that the language of 
the proposed requirement could be misinterpreted in a combined recorder 
installation. Since the intent of the regulation is to prevent 
electrical failures of aircraft wiring or electrical power external to 
the recorder from disabling both recorder functions, we have changed 
Sec. Sec.  23.1457(d)(4), 25.1459(a)(7), 27.1457(d)(4) and 
29.1459(a)(6) to reflect this interpretation. However, we remain unable 
to distinguish rotorcraft by the number of passengers, and the rule is 
adopted for all helicopters with the modifications described here.
    The NTSB and the AIA recommended the no single electrical failure 
requirement be expanded beyond newly manufactured aircraft to include 
the existing fleet. The NTSB noted that, with this change, the final 
rule would comply with the NTSB recommendation on this subject. The 
NTSB also stated that since most existing aircraft already meet this 
requirement, any retrofit requirement would have a minimal economic 
impact. The AIA suggested the FAA consider including the current fleet 
after conducting a cost-benefit analysis.
    The FAA considered this option while developing the NPRM and found 
that a wiring retrofit represents a significant economic burden, and 
could require extensive aircraft rework in order to rewire not only the 
recorder systems, but other aircraft systems that are affected by 
changes made for the recorders. The commenters did not provide any new 
data for either the costs or benefits that would change our conclusion. 
The final rule remains applicable only to aircraft manufactured two 
years after this final rule.
2. Single Electrical Failure vs. Most Reliable Bus
    In addition to the requirement that no single electrical failure 
disable both recorders discussed above, we proposed that all newly 
manufactured aircraft have a CVR and DFDR installed that receives its 
electrical power from the bus that provides the maximum reliability of 
operation.
    AirTran and Northwest Airlines (Northwest) suggested the proposed 
language for these two requirements is contradictory. AirTran stated 
that, in order to have the DFDR and CVR on different sources to 
preclude a single failure from disabling both units, one of the units 
is likely to be on a less reliable source than the other. Northwest 
asked if requiring both the CVR and FDR to be powered by the most 
reliable bus would create an opportunity for a single point electrical 
failure that disabled both recorders, violating the single failure 
proposal.
    We disagree that the two requirements are contradictory. Proper 
system design will allow the CVR and the FDR to be powered by 
different, but equally reliable, buses. This will ensure that a single 
point failure does not affect both. We recognize that some sensors in 
the DFDR system may be powered by buses that are lower in the 
electrical hierarchy than the recorders. While some information may be 
lost if these lower buses fail, the failure itself could provide 
insight as to the sequence of events occurring during an accident or 
incident and does not create an issue with the failure of power to the 
recorder itself.
3. Most Reliable Bus--Other Comments
    The ATA expressed concern that the proposed language regarding 
power to the recorders from the most reliable bus (Sec. Sec.  
25.1457(d)(1) and 25.1459(a)(3)) is vague, and proposed different 
language for these sections. Northwest expressed the concern that the 
last sentence in each paragraph is redundant and suggested the proposed 
language is redundant with the existing paragraph.
    We have reviewed the proposed language and have concluded it 
properly conveys the intent of the requirements. The language suggested 
by the ATA introduces terms that would be open to numerous 
interpretations, and suggests a requirement for recorder power much 
more restrictive than our intent.

[[Page 12547]]

    Regarding Northwest's comment that the second sentence in each 
paragraph is redundant, we note that, while similar, they address two 
separate issues. The first sentence addresses the source of the 
recorder's power (i.e., the bus). The second sentence addresses the 
situation experienced during Swissair flight 111, in which the 
flightcrew disabled the electric bus that powered both the CVR and the 
DFDR while searching for a source of smoke in the cockpit.
    Smiths suggested that all CVRs on newly manufactured aircraft 
provide dual isolated power bus inputs to provide the recorders with 
the most reliable and available power and reduce the possibility of a 
single electrical failure disabling a recorder.
    We reviewed Smiths' proposal, but the commenter did not provide any 
information comparing its suggestion to the proposed rule, any 
suggestion of the extent to which it might be used, or the cost of such 
a requirement. We concluded that our proposal to require the DFDR and 
the CVR to be powered by separate buses is sufficient and is 
performance-based.

I. Separate Containers

    Boeing noted the proposal stated that each separate container must 
meet the ``crashworthiness requirements already in the regulations.'' 
Boeing assumed this statement refers to Sec. Sec.  25.1457(e) and 
25.1459(b) and requested clarification.
    The phrase ``crashworthiness requirements already in the 
regulations'' refers to the existing requirements in parts 91, 121, 125 
and 135 for installing recorders (both CVR and DFDR) that meet the 
crashworthiness requirements of TSO-C123a or TSO-C124a.
    Columbia sought clarification on the applicability of the proposed 
requirements of Sec. Sec.  27.1459 and 29.1459. Columbia interpreted 
the proposal to require all helicopters currently equipped with 
combination recorders to meet the entirety of the certification 
sections cited four years after the adoption of the final rule, which 
would require a retrofit of several items, including the 10 minute 
RIPS. Columbia suggested this interpretation did not reflect the intent 
of the FAA and recommended rewording the rule to remove any confusion.
    We believe the commenter is misreading the proposal. Columbia 
referred to ``proposed 135.152(1),'' but that is not a valid reference. 
Proposed Sec.  135.152(l) (lower case ``L'') addresses only the 
recorder containers, and means that part 23 and 25 airplanes must 
maintain the recorders in two separate boxes, while part 27 and 29 
rotorcraft may have one combined unit. A combined unit must meet all of 
the requirements for both DFDRs and CVRs, which are determined by 
aircraft age.
    The other DFDR and CVR requirements are mandated in Sec.  
135.152(m)(1), which applies to aircraft manufactured two years after 
the rule, and repeats the new container reference; there is no retrofit 
requirement for the other certification sections referring to wiring if 
the installation is not altered. On this topic, the commenter may also 
have been confused by the discussion in the preamble of the proposed 
rule, which indicates that if a rotorcraft operator changes a current 
two-unit installation to a single combined unit, the new power and 
wiring requirements must be met. Since a single combined unit is 
optional, the rule does not impose the new wiring requirements unless 
the operator chooses to make the change, and the operator must consider 
the cost of the rewiring as part of its decision to change to a single 
combined unit.

J. Dual Combination Recorders

    When the NTSB recommended the installation of two full recording 
systems, it was included as part of a much larger system 
recommendation. The NTSB suggested that each aircraft have a system 
that included two combination recorders, one fore and one aft, with a 
RIPS attached to the forward combination recorder. The NTSB recommended 
this as a retrofit.
    We did not propose the installation of two full sets of recording 
equipment, referred to as ``dual combination recorders,'' as 
recommended by the NTSB because of the substantial costs involved. We 
did propose that a RIPS be installed for the CVRs on newly manufactured 
airplanes.
    Several commenters, including Airbus, ALPA, Boeing, Embraer, 
Honeywell, Smiths, and the NTSB, each suggested some variation on our 
allowing the use of combination recorders. In a related issue, three 
individual commenters recommended placing the CVR and DFDR in separate 
parts of the aircraft to increase the chances of survival. The 
commenters raised issues of cost, survivability, separate location, and 
redundancy in arguing for combination recorders.
    Generally, if two combination recorders are installed, one would be 
designated as the DFDR and one as the CVR in accordance with the 
separate container requirement. As a follow-on to this configuration, 
several commenters requested that one combination recorder be located 
at the front of the airplane to act as the CVR.
    These suggestions bring up several issues when one or more 
combination recorders are installed, including non-functioning 
equipment for Minimum Equipment List (MEL) relief, RIPS units, and the 
regulations on recorder location and separate containers.
    Accordingly, the FAA is revising the regulations to allow for the 
following in the final rule:
    (1) When a single combination recorder is used in place of either a 
DFDR or a CVR, it will only be allowed to function as the chosen unit. 
The combination recorder and the single function recorder must maintain 
the requirements for aft location and separate boxes. No relief from 
any regulation is granted by this configuration. If one combination box 
is used, it cannot be used as a CVR located near the cockpit.
    (2) When two combination recorders are used, one may be located 
near the cockpit. This recorder will function as the CVR and, in newly 
manufactured airplanes, may be co-located with the RIPS. In the event 
of an equipment failure subject to relief under an operator's MEL, no 
further relief is given than for separate units.
    The FAA does not consider the voluntary installation of two 
combination recorders to be the redundant/dual system envisioned by the 
NTSB recommendation. The use of two combination recorders is not 
mandated for any installation. Single-purpose recorders are the 
regulatory minimum, and when used, all of the requirements including 
separate containers, wiring, and aft location remain the same.

K. Increased DFDR Recording Rates

1. Need for 16 Hertz (Hz) Requirement
    The FAA proposed an increase in the recording rate to 16 Hz for 
certain flight control parameters on aircraft manufactured two years 
after the final rule. While acknowledging that parameters recorded at 1 
or 2 Hz are inadequate, five commenters, Airbus, AirTran, ATA, Boeing, 
and Embraer, suggested that a 16 Hz recording rate is excessive and 
could be very costly.
    Airbus argued the proposed rate would not only affect the DFDR and 
associated interface units, but would also require redesign of the 
aircraft's systems providing the parameter data. Airbus stated the 
impact of such a redesign is not covered in the compliance cost 
estimates in the NPRM, nor is the proposed 2-year time frame realistic 
for a redesign of these systems. Therefore, Airbus recommended 
replacing the existing standard with a

[[Page 12548]]

sampling rate appropriate to a given aircraft type and supplied rates 
for each of its aircraft models. Airbus's comment does not include 
information on how the FAA would decide which rate is appropriate for 
any given aircraft, or how such a standard could be established or its 
estimated cost for each model aircraft.
    AirTran noted the proposed sampling rate for each flight control 
unit (nine total) would exceed the capacity of the DFDR system 
installed in its fleet. AirTran recommended a sampling rate equal to 
the recording capacity of the DFDR systems. For AirTran's installed 
DFDR systems, this capacity is roughly 8 Hz.
    The ATA noted that some in-production aircraft do not provide data 
at the 16 Hz rate. These aircraft would require an extensive and costly 
redesign to keep component interchangeability. Therefore, ATA proposed 
changing the 16 Hz recording rate to a recording rate requirement that 
is ``at a maximum rate available from that aircraft system up to 16 
Hz.''
    Boeing stated that 16 Hz is not necessary if the goal is to make 
the recorded control motions unambiguous. Instead, a change to 16 Hz 
would result in unnecessarily large data analysis files and require 
significant added costs to change the signal source. Boeing recommended 
recording at 4 Hz.
    Embraer suggested the 16 Hz recording rate will require a 
substantial amount of data memory capacity on DFDRs that may not be 
available. This would result in the removal of some recorded parameters 
or installing new DFDRs having more data memory. Embraer proposed the 
FAA require a recording rate of 8 Hz, or the maximum sensor output 
frequency, whichever is less.
    The FAA appreciates the detailed comments received on this subject. 
We have reconsidered the proposal and agree that a 16 Hz recording 
rate, while desirable, is not practicable for most installations. We 
remain convinced that existing recording rates for certain primary 
flight controls are lagging behind available technology and that a 
change is necessary. Therefore, in the final rule, the new recording 
rate is 8 Hz for specified parameters on aircraft manufactured two 
years after this final rule. This rate will sufficiently increase the 
reliability of the data received and will not require any modifications 
to the systems that provide the parameter data to the DFDR system. For 
some newly manufactured airplanes, additional recorder capacity may be 
required, but the source equipment will remain as is installed today.
    Boeing recommended that the final rule prohibit interleaving, since 
that practice impacts the true sampling rate. Interleaving is the 
practice of sampling inputs and combining those samples to comply with 
sampling rate requirements. For example, if the left elevator position 
is recorded two times per second, and the right elevator two times per 
second, the total of these two measurements are combined to derive a 
sampling rate of four times per second. This practice was originally 
necessary to meet the sampling rate requirements on DFDR systems with 
smaller memory capacity. This practice is undesirable because, in 
reality, alternating the inputs only provides data at the lower rate 
for each interleaved position. In some cases, such as for inboard and 
outboard aileron surface positions, the inboard surface is locked out 
under certain flight conditions. When the parameters from these 
surfaces are interleaved, the result is no data for half of the 
samples.
    We agree with Boeing and have changed the language of the final 
rule to state that alternately sampling inputs to meet the applicable 
sampling interval is not permitted. The prohibition on interleaving 
applies to those flight control parameters subject to footnote 20 to 
part 121 Appendix M (and its equivalent in other operating parts).
2. 16 Hz Requirement--Applicability
    Four commenters (Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer and Honeywell) 
recommended that any requirement to increase sampling rates apply only 
to new aircraft type certification programs, rather than newly 
manufactured aircraft.
    Bombardier noted that a sampling interval of 0.0625 seconds (16 Hz) 
would require a major redesign of existing equipment from the data 
source through data concentrator units to the FDR. None of the current 
equipment on Bombardier's products was designed to process data at 16 
Hz. Bombardier contended the cost estimates in the NPRM severely 
underestimated the equipment redesign costs and the subsequent test and 
certification costs. These extensive changes would require more than 
two years to develop and certify.
    Dassault stated the proposed 16 Hz requirement could require a 
complete electrical and mechanical modification, and result in a 
recertification of the entire DFDR installation. In addition, Dassault 
noted that a 16 Hz sampling rate is too high for flight controls and 
adds no value.
    Embraer stated that, on some of its airplanes, neither the force 
sensors for the flight controls nor the data acquisition systems can 
support the proposed sample rate of 16 Hz, and would require new 
equipment. Embraer recommended a lower sample rate (8 Hz), and proposed 
that a 16 Hz sample rate apply to new aircraft type certification 
programs only.
    Honeywell noted that, for aircraft in production, any increase in 
the sampling rate of a control surface position or a control input 
would require a change to the systems that provide source data to the 
DFDR system. Honeywell also stated that a sampling rate of 16 times per 
second, while reasonable for some parameters, might be burdensome or 
inefficient for others. Honeywell suggested that a performance-based 
standard for recording would be superior to the one proposed, with the 
actual rate to be established as part of the certification process.
    We are adopting an 8 Hz requirement in the final rule rather than 
the 16 Hz proposed. Based on the comments, we have determined that 8 Hz 
is the maximum rate that can be achieved without requiring modification 
of the systems and equipment that provide individual parameter data to 
the DFDR system. The need for some increase in the sampling rate has 
been addressed in the NTSB recommendations, as well as a study done by 
the FAA and NASA. The study clearly shows that critical control surface 
position data can be lost at the lower sampling rates, and that it is 
true for all aircraft. The final rule requirement for an 8 Hz recording 
rate will apply to all newly manufactured aircraft.
3. 16 Hz Requirement--Other Comments
    The NTSB expressed disappointment that the proposed increase in the 
sampling rate does not address existing aircraft, as called for in NTSB 
Recommendation A-03-49.
    As discussed in the NPRM, the FAA was unable to justify the 
substantial economic burden that would be imposed on current operators 
to apply this as a retrofit requirement. As detailed by the commenters, 
it is anticipated that it could be a significant burden to incorporate 
into newly manufactured aircraft, much less as a retrofit to much older 
aircraft whose recording systems and source equipment are not equipped 
to record at the higher proposed rate. While we recognize the benefits 
of increasing the sampling rates of flight control parameters on 
existing aircraft, we are unable to quantify that benefit or balance it 
against the costs. The NTSB

[[Page 12549]]

has not provided us with data that would change this conclusion.
    An individual commented that the proposed language ``the sampling 
interval per second is 16'' for footnote 5 of Appendix E to part 91 is 
ambiguous. The commenter recommended changing this to ``the minimum 
sampling rate is 16 samples per second'' or ``the maximum sampling 
interval is .0625 second.''
    The proposed language is consistent with industry practice and the 
footnotes already in Appendix E to part 91 and the other applicable 
flight recorder appendices that have been in use for years. No change 
was made based on this comment.

L. 25-Hour Recorder

    Eurocopter stated the proposed increased duration for DFDR 
recording in Sec.  91.609(c)(3) (25 hours) should not be applied to 
rotorcraft, based on its experience that rotorcraft missions do not 
exceed 10 hours.
    Based on its experience in investigating aircraft accidents and 
incidents, the NTSB determined that an FDR duration of 25 hours would 
address many of the issues it has faced. The FAA has chosen to make the 
25-hour DFDR recording retention standard for all new aircraft. As the 
commenter noted, increased recording time is a matter of memory, and is 
not a technical challenge. While we acknowledge Eurocopter's suggestion 
that regulations for fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft might have 
different goals, we believe that the issue of recording time should be 
maintained as a standard regardless of aircraft type. We have no data 
to suggest that recording time needs be specific to aircraft type or 
operation, and believe that standardization makes the regulations less 
complicated and less expensive by using the same available equipment.

M. Datalink Communication (DLC)

1. International Compatibility
    Three commenters, Airbus, Boeing and an individual, noted that the 
Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) is also preparing a regulation on DLC 
recording and requested that the FAA ensure the U.S. regulations are 
harmonized with the JAA's. They expressed concern that as proposed, the 
regulations are incompatible.
    The FAA believes the proposed DLC recording regulation is 
compatible with the DLC regulations proposed by the JAA. The proposed 
rule is designed to be performance-based, with the message set to be 
recorded and approved at the time of aircraft certification. Since we 
do not define the message set, we do not foresee an instance in which a 
DLC system certificated under the regulations proposed by the JAA would 
not be in compliance with our requirement as proposed.
    In response to the JAA's Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA), the 
FAA has sent several comments concerning general and specific 
provisions of the proposal. We acknowledge that the two proposals are 
not harmonized, and we believe the scope of the current NPA would 
result in significant costs on some operators without a resulting 
safety benefit. We have asked that several technical issues be 
clarified, including parts of ED-112 and whether the regulation would 
apply to aircraft with ACARS only. We will continue working with the 
JAA (and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) when it assumes 
responsibility for this issue from the JAA) to make the regulations 
more compatible but will not delay the issuance of this rule since our 
rule is more performance-based and less dependent on the resolution of 
individual technical issues.
    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated that 
before the United States proposes a DLC recording requirement, the 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) should take the lead 
to substantiate the datalink recording requirements and provide clear 
guidance on the data that needs to be recorded (including its relevance 
to accident investigation). The IATA stated that industry cannot 
address the desired architecture for all aircraft types until these two 
issues are resolved.
    Since no specific message set is required, we consider our 
regulation to be adaptable to ICAO or the JAA's proposed requirements 
at the time an aircraft is certificated. We do not believe it is in 
anyone's interest to wait for another international standard to be 
settled before recording is required, and we built the described 
flexibility into our standard.
2. Definitions of DLCs and Approved Message Sets
    Thirteen commenters addressed the issue of what DLCs should be 
recorded and what would constitute an approved message set. These 
commenters criticized the proposed requirement to record ``all datalink 
communications'' as open to interpretation, ambiguous and poorly 
defined. These commenters sought clarification and requested that clear 
guidance material be available when the final rule is published. A 
sampling of the comments on DLC message sets includes suggestions to:
     Record ``flight deck datalink communications'' rather than 
``all'' to eliminate the recording of navigation, surveillance and 
maintenance, and cabin and passenger communications.
     Not require the recording of flight deck crew interaction, 
including cabin terminal messages, maintenance computer messages, 
engine condition monitoring messages, or atmosphere/wind reports.
     Limit recording to communications between aircraft and air 
traffic control via the air traffic network.
     Record all DLCs sent and received regardless of their 
content or format, or whether they are ``approved message sets;'' this 
would be the least restrictive to implement and provide the most 
information to investigators.
     Place the definition of ``approved data message set'' in 
part 121 (and parts 91, 125 and 135 as appropriate), similar to the 
current FDR parameters.
     Make the definition of approved message sets flexible to 
respond to changes in technology, such as higher bandwidth.
    The types of messages and the content of those messages that will 
be recorded will be determined during certification of the DLC system. 
The rule language is performance-based, with the intent that system 
design would be driven by customer needs and regulatory compliance. The 
``approved message set'' will be comprised of the messages provided by 
the system being installed, and will be determined by certification 
personnel. Concurrent with the publication of this rule, we are 
publishing a Notice of Availability of Advisory Circular, AC 20-160. 
The AC identifies Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) as 
one set of messages that are anticipated to be included in the required 
message set. An example of a CPDLC message set can also be found in 
ICAO Document 4444 ``Air Traffic Management Procedures for Air 
Navigation Services'', Appendix 5. However, we anticipate that as new 
datalink systems and capabilities are developed, the message sets of 
that equipment will evolve and will need to be evaluated to determine 
which parts need to be recorded to comply with the regulations. A rule 
that requires approval at certification anticipates this evolution 
without creating regulatory lists that cannot be changed as quickly as 
the technology develops and thus hinders system evolution and 
improvements.
3. Compliance Time
    The NTSB objected to the proposed requirement to record DLCs two 
years after datalink equipment is installed.

[[Page 12550]]

The NTSB failed to see the reason for the delay when the installed 
communications equipment should have the capability of outputting the 
required datalink messages to the voice recorder at the time of 
installation.
    The NTSB's interpretation of the proposed requirement is incorrect. 
The requirement is to record DLCs on any aircraft on which DLC 
equipment is voluntarily installed beginning two years from the 
effective date of the final rule. For the first two years after the 
effective date of the final rule, DLC equipment can be installed on 
aircraft regardless of whether the messages can be recorded. However, 
beginning two years from the date of the final rule, DLC messages must 
be recorded as of the date of equipment installation or certification, 
whether the equipment is installed as a retrofit or at new 
certification.
    Northwest requested that, for newly manufactured aircraft, the 
compliance date be extended to the 2010-2012 timeframe rather than two 
years after the final rule. Northwest stated that more time is needed 
to approve the different message sets that will be used by air carriers 
and to create the required ground infrastructure.
    While developing the NPRM, the FAA considered the factors listed by 
Northwest, but determined that two years from the effective date of the 
final rule is sufficient for airframe and recorder manufacturers to 
develop compliant systems for the DLC recording requirement, especially 
since installation remains optional. No other comments were received 
indicating this time period is insufficient. We also note that the 
topic has been under consideration internationally for years.
4. Existing DLC Capability
    Japan Air Lines (JAL) requested clarification on the applicability 
to airplanes equipped with DLC equipment before the 2-year date, in 
order to properly estimate the anticipated financial impacts and 
effects on production and maintenance.
    Similarly, AirTran requested the final rule specify that aircraft 
that are DLC-equipment capable, but have never had it fully installed, 
are not subject to the recording requirements. AirTran also requested 
that the recording requirement not apply to airplanes on which DLC is 
installed ``post delivery'' or it will deter installation of DLC 
equipment.
    Boeing stated the regulation should require datalink recording only 
if DLCs are used operationally, rather than if DLC equipment is 
installed, noting that many aircraft have the equipment, but it is not 
enabled or used.
    The requirement for recording DLC is determined when the DLC system 
is installed and certified. If the system is installed and certified 
before April 7, 2010, there is no requirement for those systems to 
record messages. If the DLC system is installed and certified (at 
manufacture or by retrofit) after April 7, 2010, the DLC system must be 
examined to determine whether its message set installed at the time 
must be recorded. The messages that must be recorded become the 
approved message set for that installation. If a provisional (inactive) 
system is installed and certificated before April 7, 2010, and requires 
no further certification when the system is activated, then there is no 
recording requirement for that system even if the activation occurs 
after two years. However, a change in such a system (especially a 
change to the message set being used) may trigger the requirement to 
record as though the whole system were a new installation under the 
regulation.
5. Datalink Recording Requirement Applicability
    Several commenters (ATA, AirTran, Airbus, Boeing and RAA) suggested 
that the applicability of the datalink recording requirement be changed 
or that the requirement be completely withdrawn. The ATA proposed that 
on-board recording of datalink communications ``only apply to new 
(datalink system) installations on aircraft in production.'' Airbus 
concurred with the requirement for newly manufactured aircraft, but 
requested that the requirement for recording messages from newly 
installed systems on existing aircraft be delayed until 2010. The RAA 
requested that ``the proposal to retrofit airplanes for recording 
datalink messages also be withdrawn.'' Boeing commented that ``[T]he 
appropriate point to introduce onboard recording is at a new airplane 
type certification program or, for existing production models, at a 
major upgrade to the next generation of datalink communications, such 
as FANS 2 or equivalent.'' The commenters provided the following 
reasons in support of withdrawing the requirement or changing the 
proposed recording applicability:
     High costs of incorporation would delay and/or prevent the 
installation and use of DLCs, diminishing the safety benefits 
associated with datalink operations, and the benefits of reduced 
separation and increased traffic.
     Incorporation during a new type certification program 
lessens the economic impact by allowing it to be introduced during the 
aircraft design process.
     Most DLC applications are related to air traffic control, 
are still evolving, and are not yet sufficient to replace the aircraft/
controller voice communication entirely or to supplement voice 
communication as planned.
     Current DLC systems cannot support recording functions 
without significant upgrades or replacement with newer systems. The 
aircraft modifications required would significantly exceed the expenses 
for changing the CVR and wiring only.
    The FAA recognizes these concerns, but we continue to believe that 
the two year applicability in the rule provides the best balance of 
compliance time and technological development. If an operator cannot 
justify the expense of a recording system for a new DLC installation, 
then it is because the benefits of having the system will be 
outweighed. This is why we tied the requirement to the voluntary 
installation of DLC systems. The recording requirement remains the same 
as proposed--that new installations (at certification or on retrofit) 
of datalink accomplished two years after the compliance date must be 
recorded.
6. Technical Issues
    An individual commenter questioned the amount of memory needed to 
meet the two-hour DLC recording requirement. This commenter noted the 
amount of data that could theoretically be received in two hours will 
increase as developments in DLCs are deployed. Therefore, an agreed 
methodology (for formatting and storing messages in memory) will be 
needed to support certification.
    Smiths concurred with the proposed rule, and noted the capacity of 
DLCs to be recorded is dependent on the aircraft system design (such as 
an ARINC 429 databus or AFDX network). Smiths expressed concern that 
too many messages to be recorded could exceed the capacity of the 
allocated 2-hour recording partition.
    To meet current recorder requirements, recorder manufacturers have 
developed procedures to calculate the necessary memory requirements 
depending on system design and installation. Therefore, the FAA has no 
reason to believe these manufacturers will be unable to determine the 
amount of memory needed to meet the two-hour DLC recording requirement.
    The NTSB noted that adding a properly placed cockpit video camera 
would allow DLCs displayed to the crew to be recorded on the video 
image

[[Page 12551]]

recorder. Since the use of video technology would not require any 
modifications to an aircraft's communication or display systems, the 
NTSB stated that this approach to recording DLCs might greatly reduce 
the time and expense of retrofitting older aircraft.
    Our NPRM did not propose the installation of cockpit video cameras 
and our regulatory evaluation did not include their use in cost 
estimates or benefits analysis, nor has the use of cockpit video been 
proposed for public or industry comment. The issue of cockpit video is 
unsettled and would dramatically delay the implementation of DLC 
recording standards that are already being developed internationally. 
The FAA is not adverse to certification of an image recorder system 
that meets the operational requirements of this rule, but no image 
recording system will be mandated to comply with DLC recording 
requirements.
7. TSO for DLC
    Bombardier recommended that a TSO for CVRs with datalink recording 
capability be prepared and released for comment with any proposed 
operating rule mandating the use of TSO approved equipment where DLC 
recording is required.
    The FAA has issued TSO-C176 which identifies the minimum 
performance standards for a Crash Protected Datalink Recorder. The TSO 
is based on EUROCAE minimum performance standards document ED-112. Our 
TSO allows the certification of a stand-alone recorder or a recorder 
that combines this function with other recorder functions (DFDR, CVR).
    The ALPA disagreed with the proposal to record two hours of DLCs 
and recommends they be recorded for the entire duration of flight. The 
ALPA stated that the importance of DLCs to an investigation makes it 
imperative that these communications be captured for the entire 
duration of flight. The commenter believed this would most easily be 
accomplished by recording these communications on the FDR.
    Since the duration of any particular flight is variable, the FAA 
has established a minimum DLC recording duration of at least two hours 
to match the requirement for the CVR. Ground stations also record CPDLC 
messages, so any messages that occur outside of the 2-hour minimum 
could be retrieved from a ground source.

N. Recordation of Cockpit Communication or Audio Signals

    The NPRM proposed that the expansion of the recordation of cockpit 
audio signals be the same for all part 23 and part 25 aircraft 
regardless of operating part. No comments were received on this portion 
of the NPRM, and the proposal is adopted without change.

O. Checklist-to-Checklist Requirement

    The FAA proposed language to standardize across all operating parts 
when CVRs must be in operation. This is known as the ``checklist to 
checklist'' requirement.
    Five commenters, ATA, Boeing, Dassault, Northwest, and one 
individual, said the proposed language was confusing. The ATA and one 
individual commenter noted the proposed wording could require changes 
to existing CVRs from ones that operate once electrical power is 
applied to the respective power supply bus, to ones that can be 
switched ``on'' or ``off'' by the flight crew when the checklist is 
used.
    Northwest stated that while most of its aircraft appear to meet the 
intent of this language, the proposed language could require an 
automatic shutoff of the CVR on completion of the final checklist. 
Since some CVR systems stop the CVR five minutes after final engine 
shutdown, this situation would require a costly retrofit. Northwest 
added that any such requirement should not be effective at the adoption 
of the final rule, since changes may take longer to implement.
    Boeing proposed changing the language to clarify that the goal is a 
minimum recording time as described. Boeing also suggests a longer 
compliance time. It inferred the intent of the proposal is to record 
cockpit voice communications as soon as possible before the flight and 
as long as possible after the flight.
    The FAA reviewed the proposed language and agrees with the 
commenters that a change in the current language could cause undue 
confusion. It was never our intent to change the current operation of 
CVRs. In preparing the NPRM, we found the existing regulations on CVR 
start/stop criteria lacked consistency between operating parts. We were 
trying to address this issue by proposing a single standard that 
specified the minimum time period for CVR operation (checklist-to-
checklist). CVR operation was not intended to be limited to this 
minimum time period, and existing CVR systems would not need to be 
modified to run only during this minimum time period if their current 
operation had them starting sooner or ending later than the proposed 
criteria.
    We also discovered that providing consistent language throughout 
the operating parts could be more complicated and confusing than 
warranted by the minor inconsistencies that now exist. Questions of 
compliance time, applicability to aircraft of certain age, and the 
differences in the construction of the operating parts have caused us 
to decide not to adopt the proposed language. Since we never intended 
to change how CVRs operate, the decision to leave the current language 
in the rules is not expected to have any negative effects. Where new 
applicability paragraphs are being adopted, they will use the same 
checklist language as had been used previously in that part.
    We received a considerable number of comments regarding specific 
operation of CVRs under the proposed checklist to checklist 
requirement. Since we have decided not to include the proposed change 
in the final rule, we are not including any discussion of those 
comments.

P. Deployable Recorders--Request for Comments

    In the NPRM, the FAA sought comments and information about the 
feasibility of and specifications for a deployable flight recorder 
system. We received 12 comments in response to this request. Eight 
commenters (ALPA, DRS Technologies (DRS), Hall and Associates, LLC 
(Hall), National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation (NADA/F), 
Representatives John J. Duncan, Jr. and William J. Pascrell, Jr. in a 
joint submission, and Representatives Harold Rogers and David Price in 
a joint submission) supported the use of deployable recorder systems. 
These commenters cited a number of reasons for supporting deployable 
flight recorders, including:
     Since fixed and deployable recorders have different 
survivability characteristics, the use of both types would provide 
maximum redundancy and improve the odds of recovering complete, 
undamaged recorders for data analysis.
     Deployable system technology could dramatically reduce the 
time and cost to locate and recover recorders.
     The expansion of aviation practices such as the production 
of larger aircraft, increasing numbers of flights, increased polar and 
over water flights, and the onset of free flight, present new demands 
on investigators and compound the need for immediate access to better 
information.
     The time savings associated with recovery would have a 
dramatic affect on the U.S. economy. Since September

[[Page 12552]]

11, 2001, an airline crash without a known cause is more likely to 
cause the traveling public to lose faith in the air transportation 
system, costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars.
     Current recorder standards no longer meet safety and 
security needs, where heightened security threats demand that officials 
have complete information as quickly as possible to determine the cause 
of a crash.
    Five commenters (Boeing, IATA, Northwest and two individuals) did 
not support the use of deployable recorder systems for several reasons, 
including:
     Since existing recording systems provide enough data and 
are protected from all but the most extreme crash conditions, it is 
doubtful that a deployable flight recorder would significantly increase 
data survivability.
     The survivability and recoverability of the current fixed 
recorders is acceptable and the costs of implementing deployable 
recorder systems are not balanced by sufficient benefits.
     Deployable recorder systems may present a safety hazard if 
the event of an inadvertent deployment over populated areas or active 
runways, or if manual deployment distracts a flightcrew from its 
primary tasks during an emergency.
     The safety hazards to maintenance personnel or the public 
from a misfire are considerable.
    Smiths expressed neither objection to nor support for deployable 
recorder systems, but said that, because of uncertain dynamics, 
deployable systems should be qualified to the identical survivability 
requirements as fixed recorders.
    The FAA appreciates all the information provided in response to our 
request for comments. This information is helpful and will aid us in 
understanding the technology involved, possible future applications for 
deployable recorder systems, and the consequences of their design and 
installation.
    Despite several requests, this final rule does not include a 
requirement for deployable recorder systems. The request for comments 
in the NPRM was made to bring the issue to the public's attention. We 
would need significant amounts of information concerning design and 
cost before we could begin to properly assess such an addition. We will 
not delay the CVR and DFDR improvements promulgated in this final rule 
while we continue our analysis of new technology. Deployable recorder 
systems may be addressed in a future rulemaking action.

Q. Miscellaneous Comments

1. Applicability
    Four commenters (Boeing, Radiant and two individuals) suggested 
changes to the general applicability of the proposed rule. Boeing 
stated that all aircraft operating in the U.S. should be subject to the 
proposed requirements. Boeing noted that accidents and incidents 
involving non-U.S.-registered aircraft (such as EgyptAir 990) have been 
the subject of FAA and NTSB investigations, and stated that the 
additional data gained from investigations involving these aircraft 
would be just as useful as in data gained during investigations of 
U.S.-registered aircraft.
    Two individual commenters suggested that we expand the 
applicability of the proposed rules. One recommended the rule apply to 
all carriers, while another suggested the rule should apply to all 
operators and manufacturers.
    In contrast, Radiant asked us to restrict the final rule to 
aircraft with a ``reasonable service life remaining'' or a 
``foreseeable future in commercial aviation.'' Radiant proposed 
limiting the final rule to those aircraft models being manufactured as 
of December 31, 2005. Radiant stated this change would result in a 
modern CVR and independent power supply being installed in most of the 
world fleet of active commercial aircraft.
    Like all countries, the FAA has limited authority to require the 
installation of particular equipment on aircraft not on our registry 
but merely flying in our airspace.
    Similarly, while the NTSB plays a primary role in investigating 
accidents involving U.S.-registered aircraft, its role in 
investigations involving other countries' aircraft is usually by 
invitation. The accident investigation authority from the country in 
which the aircraft is registered usually leads these investigations and 
may ask the NTSB to participate. Other regulatory authorities are free 
to increase the CVR/DFDR regulations for aircraft of their registry if 
they desire.
    Further, this final rule changes the regulations in both 
certification parts (23, 25, 27, and 29) and operating parts (91, 121, 
125, 129, and 135), affecting anyone who is regulated by those parts. 
While some operators were excluded from certain retrofit requirements 
adopted here, that was done following considerable analysis that showed 
a significant economic burden would be imposed. Our analysis 
demonstrates that the scope of the final rule is sufficient to meet the 
safety goal of more reliable flight information at an acceptable cost.
    Finally, Radiant did not provide any criteria for determining what 
a ``reasonable service life remaining'' would be, nor its proposed 
``foreseeable future in commercial aviation.'' As such, we have no 
response. Radiant's proposed cutoff date (``airplanes that are still 
being produced as of December 31, 2005'') would exclude several popular 
aircraft models from the final rule, including the Boeing 757 and 737 
``Classic,'' and all McDonnell Douglas airplanes. These airplanes are 
expected to remain in the U.S. fleet in large numbers for many years. 
Radiant's proposed date would also exclude seven of the eight aircraft 
models involved in the incidents/accidents cited in the NTSB 
recommendations that are the basis for this rulemaking. No changes to 
the final rule were made based on these comments.
2. Harmonization
    Five commenters (AIA, Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and one 
individual) expressed concern that the proposal in the NPRM is not 
harmonized with parallel activities currently being considered by the 
JAA. These commenters consider it vital that these regulations are 
harmonized or the affected industry could face conflicting 
requirements, significant compliance costs and potentially complex 
system designs in an attempt to satisfy two different sets of 
regulations. The commenters suggest that a common set of technical 
requirements be implemented within a similar time frame. Since both the 
FAA and the JAA are proposing flight recorder changes, the commenters 
urged the FAA to use this opportunity to harmonize the requirements 
before promulgating a final rule.
    The FAA continues to work with JAA (and we will work with the 
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) when it takes over 
responsibility for this issue from the JAA), ICAO and other non-U.S. 
regulatory bodies to harmonize our regulations whenever possible, but 
we do not change our position or our regulations solely for the sake of 
harmonization. When we determine that the need exists for a certain 
regulation, and the other regulatory agencies find that a more 
stringent or lenient requirement is appropriate, we review their 
findings and will revise our regulation if our regulatory goals are 
met, an equivalent level of safety is achieved, and there is no burden 
imposed on the industry if a change is made. This is the approach we 
have taken when drafting the NPRM and this

[[Page 12553]]

final rule, but we will not delay the timing of our rulemaking simply 
to accommodate the continuing consideration of issues by numerous other 
regulatory bodies.
3. Definition of ``Date of Manufacture''
    Dassault noted the ``date of manufacture'' determines the 
applicability of certain requirements and the NPRM does not define this 
term. This omission could lead to different interpretations and 
disagreements between operators, manufacturers and the FAA. Therefore, 
Dassault recommended the FAA define this term in the final rule.
    While we use the term `date of manufacture' in several regulations, 
we do not routinely define it each time. In general, the date of 
manufacture is usually considered the date an aircraft receives its 
airworthiness certificate. There may be other circumstances that modify 
this date, however, and we will not attempt to set a strict definition 
for purposes of this rule.
4. CVRs--Automatic Stop Requirement
    The NTSB and Airbus recommended removal of the existing requirement 
that CVRs have an automatic means of stopping 10 minutes after crash 
impact. They both noted the proposal to replace the 30-minute CVR with 
a 2-hour CVR makes this requirement less important.
    While it may seem appropriate to remove a rule that was originally 
written for short-duration recorders, removal of a certification rule 
has a broader impact than suggested by the commenters. Because the 2-
hour recorder requirement is an operating rule, the effect of removing 
a certification requirement is not parallel. And although the 10-minute 
rule may be considered less important, it is not without merit and 
cannot be considered unnecessary.
    The commenters did not make a case that the current certification 
requirement is burdensome, or that it is a hindrance or inconsistent 
with the proposed new operating requirements, only that it is less 
important than it once was. The NTSB comment indicates that its real 
concern is the use of switches that can be activated prematurely as a 
means of implementing the stop criteria. While the NTSB suggested that 
gravitation accelerator switches (g-switches) can be removed at the 
time of replacement with a 2-hour solid state recorder, their 
suggestion does not include the actual g-switch ban they desire, the 
regulation in which that change might be implemented, or the costs to 
implement it. The two largest aircraft manufacturers are already 
producing airplanes with 2-hour solid state recorders, which means the 
aircraft already comply with the rule. Removing the g-switches would be 
a new retrofit on which we have not solicited comment, including 
alternative technologies for complying with the certification rule, and 
for which we have no cost estimates. The comments are insufficient to 
support the need for, and do not properly estimate the scope of, the 
recommended change. No change has been made to the regulations based on 
this comment.
5. FDRs--Start/Stop Criteria
    The ALPA recommended changing the DFDR start/stop criteria to 
mirror the proposed CVR criteria for newly manufactured and new 
certificated designs. It noted that at least one manufacturer has DFDR 
start/stop criteria based on the status of the parking brake, which can 
adversely affect the ability to obtain complete, accurate or relevant 
DFDR data.
    The NTSB proposed different DFDR start/stop criteria. The NTSB 
stated that the FDR should start operating either before engine start 
for the purpose of flight or by an automatic means when engine oil 
pressure is sensed on any engine. The DFDR should then operate 
continuously until termination of the flight when all engines are shut 
down.
    The NTSB also requested a change to the airworthiness requirements 
in the regulations. This change would provide for the automatic 
application of electrical power to the DFDR at liftoff to safeguard 
against the failure of any automatic or manual means of powering the 
DFDR.
    The FAA is not including the changes to DFDR start/stop criteria. 
There is no historical evidence that the start/stop functions on 
aircraft have interfered with accident investigations. The only 
aircraft cited by ALPA are no longer in production, so requirements for 
newly manufactured airplanes would have no effect. We believe the 
existing regulations on DFDR start/stop criteria are satisfactory. 
These regulations require the DFDR to operate from the instant the 
airplane begins its takeoff roll until it has completed its landing 
roll. We believe this standard allows the DFDR to capture all the 
critical data from the recorded parameters during all phases of flight.
    In addition, neither ALPA nor the NTSB indicated how their proposed 
changes would significantly improve the quality or quantity of 
information recorded, or increase the potential for retaining important 
information needed during accident and incident investigations. As the 
NTSB pointed out, most airframe manufacturers and operators already 
begin DFDR operation at engine start. Therefore, the proposed changes 
would have no effect on these aircraft. As for the Canada Air 
Challenger CL-600 accident cited by the NTSB, this is not an example of 
a drawback of the existing DFDR start/stop criteria. The manufacturer's 
design to start DFDR operation once the anti-collision (strobe) light 
switch is placed in the ``on'' position allows operators to meet the 
existing DFDR start/stop criteria (as long as the switch is ``on'' 
before takeoff roll begins). The fact that the pilots of the CL-600 
involved in the accident failed to take this step implies an 
operational error and not a design problem with the airplane.
    Finally, changing the FDR start/stop criteria was not proposed in 
the NPRM. We did not perform a regulatory evaluation of the impact of 
this change, and no costs for implementation were provided by either 
commenter suggesting it. Since we are unable to support the change as 
necessary, we are not incorporating it in this final rule.
6. DFDR Activation Switch--Request for Comments
    In the NPRM, the FAA requested comments on the cost to retrofit a 
switch for the flight crew to activate the DFDR to record at the start 
of the checklist. We received only one comment in response to this 
request. Boeing asked if there was a typo in the request (CVR rather 
than DFDR), as this subject matter is not discussed elsewhere in the 
NPRM.
    The request for comments on this subject was an error in the NPRM. 
We believe the existing regulations on DFDR start/stop criteria are 
satisfactory.

R. Errors and Inconsistencies in NPRM

    Dassault noted the sampling interval of parameter 23 in Appendix F 
to part 135 would change from 0.5 (= 2 Hz) to 0.25 (= 4 Hz). However, 
the sampling interval for the same parameter in Appendix M to part 121 
and Appendix E to part 125 remains unchanged (0.5 (= 2 Hz)). Dassault 
recommended no change to parameter 23 in Appendix F to part 135 so it 
is consistent with Appendix M to part 121 and Appendix E to part 125.
    The proposed changes to parameter 23 in Appendix F were in error. 
No change is being made to that parameter.
    Airbus and Boeing noted that proposed Sec.  129.1(b) removes the 
requirement that Sec. Sec.  129.16, 129.32, and 129.33 apply to 
operations of U.S.-registered aircraft solely outside the U.S. Those 
sections refer to damage-tolerance inspections, repair assessments and

[[Page 12554]]

aging airplane requirements. Airbus and Boeing assumed this omission 
was inadvertent and recommended the FAA change Sec.  129.1(b) to 
reinsert these requirements.
    The FAA thanks the commenters for bringing this to our attention. 
The proposed rule intended only to add new Sec.  129.22 (now Sec.  
129.24) to the applicability of Sec.  129.1(b), not to eliminate any 
existing requirements. This has been corrected in the final rule.
    Airbus and Boeing noted errors in part 121 Appendix M, part 125 
Appendix E and part 135 Appendix F for the resolution of parameters 
12a, 14a, 15 and 88. They stated that they believe the existing 
resolutions for these parameters are correct and were not meant to be 
changed.
    The FAA agrees. The final rule reflects the resolutions for those 
four parameters without change.
    Boeing stated the new wording in the ``Remarks'' column for 
parameter 1 in part 121 Appendix M is unclear. Boeing noted its 
preference for the existing language and proposed the FAA keep it.
    The published version of the NPRM introduced an error; the 
``Remarks'' column was not intended to be changed except to correct the 
word ``second'' to ``seconds.''
    Boeing recommended the FAA make several editorial changes to part 
121, Appendix M as clarifications:
    (i) In the ``Parameters'' column for Parameter 23, insert the word 
``speed'' before ``brake.''
    (ii) In the ``Parameters'' column for Parameter 19, change the word 
``trime'' to ``trim.''
    (iii) In the ``Resolution'' column for Parameter 26, revise the 
existing wording ``1 ft + 5% above 500 ft'' to read ``1 ft up to and 
including 500 ft, 1 ft + 5% of full range above 500 ft.''
    The Parameter 23 listing is corrected in the final rule. Since the 
Parameter 19 listing is correct in the 2006 Code of Federal 
Regulations, no further action is necessary. Regarding the Parameter 26 
listing, Boeing presented nothing to indicate that the current text is 
a problem or has led to misunderstanding, and has given no reason other 
than its preference why this should be revised. No change has been made 
in the final rule.
    Boeing also stated that the ``Remarks'' column for Parameter 85 
should be corrected, from ``0.5 second'' to ``2 seconds'' because, when 
sampled alternately at 4-second intervals as indicated in the table, 
the result will provide a sample each two seconds.
    The commenter is misreading the rule; the specification is correct 
as published. The suggested rewording would double the sample time. Two 
seconds refers to four interleaved samples of 0.5 seconds each.
    Honeywell had two comments about the language in Sec.  91.609. 
First, Honeywell noted the proposed addition of paragraphs (i), (j) and 
(k) and asked why there is no paragraph (h). Second, Honeywell asked 
why the phrase ``* * * using a recorder that meets the standards of 
TSO-C124a, or later revision'' is missing in Sec.  91.609(c)(2) when it 
is in Sec.  91.609(c)(3) and other proposed similar revisions.
    In 1999, the FAA issued Notice No. 99-19 (64 FR 63140, November 18, 
1999), which proposed to increase the number of DFDR parameters 
required for all Boeing 737 series airplanes. A new paragraph (h) for 
Sec.  91.609 was part of that proposal. When this rule was proposed, 
the next available paragraph was (i). Since this final rule will 
publish before the 1999 proposal, the paragraphs added to Sec.  91.609 
in this rule will be (h), (i) and (j).
    Honeywell is incorrect about including TSO-C124a in Sec.  
91.609(c)(2). Inclusion of the standard would be a retrofit we did not 
intend nor estimate the costs for. The TSO-C124a standard is for newly 
manufactured aircraft only.

S. Items Not Proposed

    Four commenters (ALPA, the NTSB and two individuals) recommended 
the FAA add new CVR and DFDR requirements as part of this final rule.
    The ALPA requested that we require all newly manufactured CVRs and 
DFDRs to meet the underwater locator beacon (ULB) security-of-
attachment standard specified in the EUROCAE ED-112 document. The ALPA 
noted that in some recent accidents there have been cases where the ULB 
has become nearly or fully separated from the CVR or FDR memory module.
    The ULB standard of ED-112 standard is included in all of the new 
FAA TSOs on recorders (numbers 123b, 124b, 166 and 167).
    Three commenters (NTSB, ALPA and L3) recommended that the FAA 
require the replacement of magnetic tape flight recorders in the final 
rule. The commenters noted that magnetic tape FDRs are more problematic 
than magnetic tape CVRs and far less reliable than solid-state DFDRs.
    The replacement of magnetic tape flight recorders was not proposed 
in the NPRM and represents a significant change that is beyond the 
scope of the rulemaking. The commenters did not provide any data on the 
extent of usage or the cost of replacement, nor has the public 
(including affected operators) been allowed to comment. The final rule 
does not contain a provision requiring the replacement of magnetic tape 
FDRs.
    The ALPA expressed concern the FAA did not propose any new 
requirements in response to NTSB Safety Recommendation A-03-050 that 
was issued following the Board's investigation of the American Airlines 
flight 587 accident that occurred at Jamaica Bay, New York on November 
12, 2001. During the investigation, the NTSB determined that the rudder 
(and other) control surface position information recorded on the DFDR 
was filtered before it was recorded. This filtering made it difficult 
for the NTSB to approximate the actual rudder surface movement during 
the accident. The NTSB recommended that the FAA act to remove known 
flight control parameter filtering on three models of aircraft. In its 
comment, ALPA urged the FAA, as part of this rulemaking, to consider 
additional DFDR modifications in response to the NTSB recommendation.
    On July 7, 2004, the FAA hosted a public meeting to discuss the 
NTSB recommendation and the issue of filtered flight data in general. 
The purpose of this meeting was to gather information from industry and 
other interested parties about current practices on processing of data 
as it is recorded on all transport airplanes. Representatives from 
Airbus, ALPA, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), Boeing and the NTSB 
each made presentations at the meeting.
    We completed our analysis of issues surrounding filtered flight 
data and the options available to us to address the NTSB's 
recommendation. On November 15, 2006, we published a proposed rule that 
addresses filtered flight data (71 FR 66634) and this subject is being 
addressed as a separate regulatory issue.
    Six commenters supported the use of a ground recording system. Five 
of these commenters (APA, AirTran, RAA and two individuals) raised this 
issue as part of their objection to the datalink communication (DLC) 
proposal. These commenters noted that ground recording is a more cost 
efficient means of capturing DLCs since the same data that will be 
recorded on the aircraft is available for accident investigation at the 
receiving ground based stations. These commenters see no merit in 
requiring DLC recording on aircraft.
    The remaining individual commenter suggested a ground recording 
system as an alternative to recording any data on an aircraft as this 
would eliminate the loss of data during a crash.
    The FAA agrees that ground recording systems are a useful tool to 
assist in accident investigations. However, these systems cannot be 
adopted as the

[[Page 12555]]

primary source of data recording. In the past, the NTSB and other 
accident investigators have encountered significant problems in 
acquiring ground recorded data. Liability and other legal concerns have 
caused some private entities that perform ground recording and some 
foreign governments to delay the release of recorded data for long 
periods. The NTSB and other accident investigators have repeatedly 
expressed their desire that recorded data remain on the aircraft 
because of the immediate availability of the data once the recorders 
are located.
    Further, for ground recording systems to function as intended, all 
countries or private entities recording data would need compatible 
systems, the specifications for which have not been proposed. There are 
no international standards in place for such recording, and we have no 
way of ensuring that it would happen.
    The ALPA suggested we require a system that provides an electronic 
common time reference information to the CVR, the DFDR, and any other 
onboard recorders. They noted that, as part of every accident 
investigation, the relative timing of the CVR and DFDR events must be 
determined, and that it is a manual, labor-intensive effort by accident 
investigators that could introduce uncertainty into the results. A 
system to provide electronic common time reference information to the 
CVR and DFDR would eliminate these problems.
    The NTSB viewed installing the new 2-hour CVR as an ideal 
opportunity to require all aircraft equipped with a CVR to also have 
pilot boom microphones.
    An individual asked us to consider accelerometer outputs and wheel 
rotation as required parameters. The commenter noted that current 
accelerometer outputs are extremely noisy, making it difficult to 
extract usable data. The commenter suggested that recording wheel 
rotation is an excellent way of determining initial touchdown.
    For the balance of the issues, none of these were included in the 
NPRM and are beyond the scope of the proposed rule changes. The 
commenters did not submit any data on the cost of the suggested 
changes, nor have they been estimated as part of this rulemaking. While 
they may be worthy considerations for future rulemaking, none of the 
suggested changes are necessary as part of the changes being adopted in 
this rulemaking. No changes have been made to the final rule based on 
these suggestions.

T. Comments on Cost/Benefit Analysis

    Empire Airlines said that the FAA's cost-benefit analysis did not 
consider the cumulative economic impact of the several operational and 
equipment rules the agency has issued during the last two years.
    Our regulatory evaluations estimate the cost of each rule 
individually. Different rules affect different parties and the 
cumulative impact on any one operator would be impossible to estimate 
and would not be relevant for any other operator.
    An individual commented that the FAA's economic analysis did not 
include the cost to re-engineer equipment and to install the equipment 
for recording datalink communications if DLC equipment is installed 
after the compliance date.
    In the Initial Regulatory Evaluation, we estimated a cost of 
$762,500 the first time a manufacturer engineers a DLC recording 
system. We estimated a cost of $262,500 for engineering the second 
airplane model, presuming much of the work from the first can carry 
over. Similarly, we estimated an engineering cost of $75,000 for each 
remaining model in a series. Retrofitting an aircraft to be DLC capable 
would require significant engineering, while the cost of engineering to 
record datalink communications would be a minimal extension of the 
overall effort with a resultant minimal cost.
    Bell Helicopter stated that compliance with the ``no single 
electrical failure could disable both the CVR and DFDR'' requirement is 
open to two interpretations--each of which would have different cost 
implications. If the correct interpretation were that ``No failure of a 
single electrical bus shall disable both the CVR and DFDR'', it 
estimates that it would cost $100,000 per ``application'' to comply 
with the rule, plus a recurring cost of approximately $5,000 to the 
operator. If the correct interpretation is that ``No single electrical 
failure external to the recorder, or the failure of any single 
electrical component within a combined CVR/DFDR, shall disable both the 
CVR and DFDR'', Bell states that all or most of the current recorders 
will be obsolete. If this occurs, ``a major industry wide design will 
be required.'' Bell estimates that costs for development of a new 
recorder and TSO would be in the millions of dollars, recertification 
costs will be approximately $250,000 per model, and the recurrent costs 
to operators will approach $50,000 per rotorcraft to replace existing 
recorders.''
    As discussed previously, we have added the phrase ``external to the 
recorder'' to clarify our intent. We accept Bell's estimated cost of 
$100,000 per model with a recurring cost of $5,000 to the operator. The 
IATA commented that the airlines must carry the costs of all the new 
requirements, and that the FAA did not substantiate the benefits of the 
proposed changes in the accidents cited in the NPRM. The IATA also 
noted that the proposed benefits are speculative, in that they ``may 
result in safety benefits,'' and thus do not justify the costs in 
equipment and impact on operations.
    As described in the Initial Regulatory Evaluation, any benefits 
from this final rule are dependent upon investigating authorities 
gaining additional, better quality information that they are able to 
use to determine the causes of future accidents with greater certainty, 
which could result in safety improvements being adopted sooner. We are 
unable to predict with certainty whether this additional information 
will or will not provide incremental benefits in the investigation of 
any future accident or incident. This has always been true for flight 
recorder requirements, which by nature do not fit the traditional cost/
benefit analysis. As always, we rely on the expertise of the NTSB that 
the additional information is important to its ability to fully 
investigate accidents and incidents as aircraft technology evolves.
    Regarding the proposal to require 2-hour solid state CVRs, 
Northwest commented that it would have to modify 105 of its 30-minute 
solid state CVRs at a cost of $767,000 (a per airplane cost of about 
$7,300) and replace 15 CVRs at a cost of $180,000 (a per airplane cost 
of $12,000).
    In the Initial Regulatory Evaluation, we estimated retrofitting a 
30-minute solid state CVR would cost about $8,140 ($7,500 for the 
equipment and $640 for the labor). Since our estimates were based on 
older information, we accept Northwest's estimate of $7,300 per 
airplane and have used it in the Final Regulatory Evaluation. We also 
estimated that it would cost $17,500 to replace a unit, and are 
adopting Northwest's estimate for use in the Final Regulatory 
Evaluation. No other comments on these costs were received.
    Northwest also described three costs it believes should be added to 
the regulatory evaluation: (1) The cost to modify a solid-state CVR 
from TSO-C123 to TSO-C123a; (2) The cost for new test equipment to 
download and decode additional datalink information from the CVR; and 
(3) The additional routine maintenance cost, such as battery 
reconditioning, for the CVR-RIPS installed on new aircraft.

[[Page 12556]]

    Regarding the cost of conversion to TSO-C123a, we contacted four of 
the major equipment vendors, who stated that their CVRs manufactured 
under TSO-C123 already meet the requirements of TSO-C123a, and that if 
necessary, a service bulletin could be issued to re-identify the 
recorder.
    Regarding the cost of DLC test equipment, as we stated in the 
Initial Regulatory Evaluation, we believe this cost would be minimal. 
Northwest did not provide any estimated costs for this item, no other 
commenter raised it as a cost issue, and DLC remains an optional 
installation. Accordingly, we have no basis to change our estimates on 
the cost of this item.
    Regarding additional maintenance costs, in the Initial Regulatory 
Evaluation we estimated that the average RIPS battery would be replaced 
every two years; we will continue to use that estimate in our cost 
calculations. We also estimated that one additional hour would be 
required for the CVR-RIPS system maintenance; we have used that 
estimate in our cost calculations in the Final Regulatory Evaluation.
    Boeing stated that the total cost of all the proposed requirements 
were undervalued by 20 to 35 percent. In making this statement, Boeing 
cites costs associated with equipment, testing, and certification and 
``uncertainties in the statement of work'' such as the DLC requirements 
``are driving a level of assumptions that affect potential cost 
outcomes.''
    We accept that Boeing's information is based on more recent 
information than we used for the Initial Regulatory Evaluation, and 
have revised our Final Regulatory Evaluation to include this estimate. 
No other commenters presented specific information addressing this 
issue.

Section-By-Section Analysis

    The following is a summary of the changes to the current text of 
the regulations. This summary does not include the reasons for these 
changes because we have already discussed them as part of the above 
disposition of comments.

A. Part 23--Airworthiness Standards: Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and 
Commuter Category Airplanes

    Section 23.1457, Cockpit voice recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (a)(6) requiring the recordation of 
datalink communications. No change was made from the language proposed 
in the NPRM.
    (2) Amend paragraph (d)(1) to add the duration of CVR power as a 
sentence at the end of the paragraph. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (d)(4) regarding a single electrical 
failure not disabling the CVR and DFDR. The final rule adds the phrase 
``external to the recorder'' as requested by commenters to clarify 
where the failure may not occur.
    (4) Add a new paragraph (d)(5) that requires an independent power 
source for the CVR and the cockpit-mounted area microphone, the 
capacity for automatic switching to the independent source, and the 
allowable location of the power source. At the request of the 
commenters, the final rule specifies the duration of power as 10 +/-1 
minutes, adds the area microphone, and specifies the location of the 
power source.
    (5) Add a new paragraph (d)(6) requiring that the CVR be in a 
separate container from the flight data recorder. No change was made 
from the language proposed in the NPRM.
    (6) Revise paragraph (e) by expanding the CVR location requirements 
to include the use of a combination recorder that acts as the CVR and 
its location near the cockpit. This was not included in the language 
proposed in the NPRM. Comments concerning the use of combination 
recorders with an independent power source led to the addition of these 
provisions to clarify these possibilities and change the allowable 
location of the CVR.
    Section 23.1459, Flight data recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Revise paragraph (a)(3) to add the duration of DFDR power as a 
sentence at the end of the paragraph. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (a)(6) regarding a single electrical 
failure not disabling the CVR and DFDR. The final rule adds the phrase 
``external to the recorder'' as requested by commenters to clarify 
where the failure may not occur.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (a)(7) requiring that the DFDR be in a 
separate container from the CVR, and that a combination recorder may be 
used. If a combination recorder is used to comply with the CVR 
requirement and located near the cockpit, the aft-mounted DFDR used to 
comply with this paragraph must also be a combination unit. The 
language proposed in the NPRM was changed to mirror the revised 
requirement for CVRs in Sec.  23.1457(d)(6) and (e)(2).

B. Part 25--Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Airplanes

    Section 25.1457, Cockpit voice recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (a)(6) requiring the recordation of 
datalink communications. No change was made from the language proposed 
in the NPRM.
    (2) Amend paragraph (d)(1) to add the duration of CVR power as a 
sentence at the end of the paragraph. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (d)(4) regarding a single electrical 
failure not disabling the CVR and DFDR. The final rule adds the phrase 
``external to the recorder'' as requested by commenters to clarify 
where the failure may not occur.
    (4) Add a new paragraph (d)(5) that requires an independent power 
source for the CVR and the cockpit-mounted area microphone, the 
capacity for automatic switching to the independent source, and the 
allowable location of the power source. At the request of the 
commenters, the final rule specifies the duration of power as 10  1 minutes, adds the area microphone, and specifies the location 
of the power source.
    (5) Add a new paragraph (d)(6) requiring that the CVR be in a 
separate container from the flight data recorder. No change was made 
from the language proposed in the NPRM.
    (6) Revise paragraph (e) by expanding the CVR location requirements 
to include the use of a combination recorder that acts as the CVR and 
its location near the cockpit. This was not included in the language 
proposed in the NPRM. Comments concerning the use of combination 
recorders with an independent power source led to the addition of these 
provisions to clarify these possibilities and change the allowable 
location of the CVR.
    Section 25.1459, Flight data recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Revise paragraph (a)(3) to add the duration of DFDR power as a 
sentence at the end of the paragraph. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (a)(7) regarding a single electrical 
failure not disabling the CVR and DFDR. The final rule adds the phrase 
``external to the recorder'' as requested by commenters to clarify 
where the failure may not occur.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (a)(8) requiring that the DFDR be in a 
separate container from the CVR, and that a combination recorder may be 
used. If a combination recorder is used to comply

[[Page 12557]]

with the CVR requirement and located near the cockpit, the aft-mounted 
DFDR used to comply with this paragraph must also be a combination 
unit. This language proposed in the NPRM was changed to mirror the 
revised requirement for CVRs in Sec.  25.1457(d)(6) and (e)(2).

C. Part 27--Airworthiness Standards: Normal Category Rotorcraft

    Section 27.1457, Cockpit voice recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (a)(6) requiring the recordation of 
datalink communications. No change was made from the language proposed 
in the NPRM.
    (2) Revise paragraph (d)(1) to add the duration of CVR power as a 
sentence at the end of the paragraph. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (d)(4) regarding a single electrical 
failure not disabling the CVR and DFDR whether installed as separate 
units or as a single combined unit. The final rule adds the phrase 
``external to the recorder'' as requested by commenters to clarify 
where the failure may not occur.
    (4) Add a new paragraph (d)(5) that requires an independent power 
source for the CVR and the cockpit-mounted area microphone, the 
capacity for automatic switching to the independent source, and the 
allowable location of the power source. At the request of the 
commenters, the final rule specifies the duration of power as 10  1 minutes, adds the area microphone, and specifies the location 
of the power source.
    (5) Add a new paragraph (h) to allow the installation of a single 
combined unit when both a cockpit voice recorder and flight data 
recorder are required. The language was changed to clarify that 
combination recorders must meet all of the CVR and DFDR standards.
    Section 27.1459, Flight data recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Revise paragraph (a)(3) to add the duration of DFDR power as a 
sentence at the end of the paragraph. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (a)(6) regarding a single electrical 
failure not disabling the CVR and DFDR whether installed as separate 
units or as a single combined unit. The final rule adds the phrase 
``external to the recorder'' as requested by commenters to clarify 
where the failure may not occur.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (e) to allow the installation of a single 
combined unit when both a cockpit voice recorder and flight data 
recorder are required. The language was changed to clarify that 
combination recorders must meet all of the CVR and DFDR standards.

D. Part 29--Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Rotorcraft

    Section 29.1457, Cockpit voice recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (a)(6) requiring the recordation of 
datalink communications. No change was made from the language proposed 
in the NPRM.
    (2) Revise paragraph (d)(1) to add the duration of CVR power as a 
sentence at the end of the paragraph. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (d)(4) regarding a single electrical 
failure not disabling the CVR and DFDR whether installed as separate 
units or as a single combined unit. The final rule adds the phrase 
``external to the recorder'' as requested by commenters to clarify 
where the failure may not occur.
    (4) Add a new paragraph (d)(5) that requires an independent power 
source for the CVR and the cockpit-mounted area microphone, the 
capacity for automatic switching to the independent source, and the 
allowable location of the power source. At the request of the 
commenters, the final rule specifies the duration of power as 10  1 minutes, adds the area microphone, and specifies the location 
of the power source.
    (5) Add a new paragraph (h) to allow the installation of a single 
combined unit when both a cockpit voice recorder and flight data 
recorder are required. The language was changed to clarify that 
combination recorders must meet all of the CVR and DFDR standards.
    Section 29.1459, Flight data recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Revise paragraph (a)(3) to add the duration of DFDR power as a 
sentence at the end of the paragraph. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (a)(6) regarding a single electrical 
failure not disabling the CVR and DFDR whether installed as separate 
units or as a single combined unit. The final rule adds the phrase 
``external to the recorder'' as requested by commenters to clarify 
where the failure may not occur.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (e) to allow the installation of a single 
combined unit when both a cockpit voice recorder and flight data 
recorder are required. The language was changed to clarify that 
combination recorders must meet all of the CVR and DFDR standards.

E. Part 91--General Operating and Flight Rules

    Section 91.609, Flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders, 
is being amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (c)(2) that includes the separate container 
requirements for CVRs and DFDRs on part 23 or part 25 airplanes. The 
requirement to retain the last 25 hours of recorded DFDR data, which 
was proposed in the NPRM as a retrofit, is not included.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (c)(3), applicable to aircraft manufactured 
two years after the effective date of this rule, that requires 
compliance with all provisions of the flight data recorder 
certification requirements in Sec. Sec.  23.1459, 25.1459, 27.1459, or 
29.1459, as applicable. The additions to these sections include the 
power duration requirement, the single electrical failure requirement, 
and the separate container/combination unit requirements noted in the 
amendments to the certification parts. New paragraph (c)(3) also 
requires that these newly manufactured airplanes have DFDRs that retain 
the last 25 hours of recorded information using a recorder that meets 
the standard of TSO-C124a, or later revision. The language proposed in 
the NPRM was changed slightly for clarification; no substantive changes 
to the proposed requirements were made.
    (3) The proposed revision to paragraph (e)(2) to include new 
``checklist-to-checklist'' language is not included in this final rule. 
No retrofit of this new procedure is required; the previous version of 
this language in paragraph (e)(2) remains in effect.
    (4) Add a new paragraph (h) that includes the separate container 
requirements for CVRs and DFDRs on part 23 or part 25 airplanes. (Note 
that this was proposed as paragraph (i) because the paragraph (h) 
designation was proposed in a separate rulemaking that is not yet 
final). This paragraph also requires transport category airplanes to 
meet additional recording requirements in Sec. Sec.  23.1457 or 
25.1457, as proposed in the NPRM. The requirement to retain two hours 
of recorded information on a CVR that meets the requirements of TSO-
C123a, which was proposed in the NPRM as a retrofit, is not included.
    (5) Add a new paragraph (i), applicable to aircraft manufactured 
two years after the effective date of this rule, that requires 
compliance with all provisions of the cockpit voice recorder 
certification requirements in Sec. Sec.  23.1457, 25.1457, 27.1457, or 
29.1457, as applicable. The additions to these sections include the 
power duration

[[Page 12558]]

requirement, the single electrical failure requirement, and the 
separate container/combination unit requirements noted in the 
amendments to the certification parts. This paragraph also requires 
that newly manufactured airplanes retain the last two hours of recorded 
information and that the CVR meets the requirements of TSO-C123a, or 
later revision. These requirements are adopted as proposed, except for 
a change in the paragraph designation.
    (6) Add a new paragraph (j) that requires all airplanes and 
rotorcraft that are required to have a CVR to record datalink 
communications if they install DLC equipment two years after the 
effective date of this rule. This requirement is adopted as proposed 
except for a change in the paragraph designation.
    (7) Appendix E to part 91, Airplane Flight Recorder Specifications, 
is being amended to add footnote 5 to the parameter for Stabilizer Trim 
Position or Pitch Control Position. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    (8) Appendix F to part 91, Helicopter Flight Recorder 
Specifications, is being amended to add footnote 4 changing the 
sampling interval for five parameters. No change was made from the 
language proposed in the NPRM.

F. Part 121--Operating Requirements: Domestic Flag and Supplemental 
Operations

    Section 121.343, Flight recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Revise the title of the section to say ``Flight data 
recorders.''
    (2) Revise paragraph (c) to change the date from 1994 to 1995.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (m) to specify that after August 20, 2001, 
Sec.  121.343 applies only to the aircraft models listed in Sec.  
121.344(l)(2). No change was made from the language proposed in the 
NPRM.
    Section 121.344, Digital flight data recorders for transport 
category airplanes, is being amended to add a new paragraph (m) that 
requires all newly manufactured airplanes comply with additional 
paragraphs of Sec.  25.1459, and have a DFDR that retains the last 25 
hours of recorded information and meet the standards of TSO-C124a, or 
later revision. No change was made from the language proposed in the 
NPRM, except for the paragraph designation.
    Section 121.344a, Digital flight data recorders for 10-19 seat 
airplanes, is being amended to add a new paragraph (g) that requires 
all newly manufactured airplanes comply with additional paragraphs of 
Sec. Sec.  23.1459 or 25.1459, and have DFDRs that retain the last 25 
hours of recorded data and meet the standards of TSO-C124a, or later 
revision. No change was made from the language proposed in the NPRM.
    Section 121.359, Cockpit voice recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (i) that requires airplanes manufactured 
before April 7, 2010 be retrofitted with CVRs that meet the separate 
container requirement, retain the last two hours of recorded 
information using a CVR that meets the standard of TSO-C123a, or later 
revision, and meet additional recording requirements in Sec. Sec.  
23.1457 or 25.1457. Four years is allowed for the retrofit of these 
items. We are not adopting the checklist to checklist language proposed 
in the NPRM. We are adopting the same checklist to checklist language 
as exists in other applicability paragraphs of this section. Otherwise, 
no change was made from the language proposed in the NPRM.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (j) that requires newly manufactured 
airplanes have a CVR that meets all of Sec. Sec.  23.1457 or 25.1457, 
and retains the last two hours of recorded information using a CVR that 
meets the standard of TSO-C123a, or later revision. We are not adopting 
the checklist to checklist language proposed in the NPRM. We are 
adopting the same checklist to checklist language as exists in other 
applicability paragraphs of this section. Otherwise, no change was made 
from the language proposed in the NPRM.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (k) that requires the recordation of 
datalink communications if DLC equipment is installed two years after 
the effective date of this rule. No change was made from the language 
proposed in the NPRM.
    Appendix M to part 121, Airplane Flight Recorder Specifications, is 
amended to:
    (1) Revise parameter 1 to correct a typographical error.
    (2) Revise parameters 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b, 14a, 14b, 15, 16, 17, and 
88 to add footnote 18 (proposed as footnote 20) for newly manufactured 
airplanes. Footnote 18 changes the seconds per sampling interval to 
0.125 for these parameters and prohibits alternate sampling 
(interleaving). The NPRM proposed 16 Hz for these parameters; the final 
rule requires they be sampled and recorded at 8 Hz, and adds the 
prohibition on interleaving samples.
    (3) The NPRM publication of the appendix included several errors in 
the resolution column; none of the current resolution percentages are 
being changed.

G. Part 125--Certification and Operations: Airplanes Having a Seating 
Capacity of 20 or More Passengers or a Maximum Payload Capacity of 
6,000 Pounds or More; and Rules Governing Persons On Board Such 
Aircraft

    Section 125.225, Flight recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Revise the title of the section to say ``Flight data 
recorders.''
    (2) Add a new paragraph (j) to specify that after August 20, 2001, 
Sec.  125.225 applies only to the aircraft models listed in Sec.  
125.226(l)(2). No change was made from the language proposed in the 
NPRM.
    Section 125.226, Digital flight data recorders, is being amended to 
add a new paragraph (m) that requires all newly manufactured airplanes 
comply with additional paragraphs of Sec.  25.1459, and have a DFDR 
that retains the last 25 hours of recorded data and meet the standards 
of TSO-C124a, or later revision. No change was made from the language 
proposed in the NPRM, except for the paragraph designation.
    Section 125.227, Cockpit voice recorders, is being amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (g) that requires airplanes manufactured 
before April 7, 2010 to retrofit their CVRs to meet the separate 
container requirement, retain the last 2 hours of recorded information 
using a CVR that meets the standard of TSO-C123a, or later revision, 
and meet additional paragraphs of Sec.  25.1457. Four years is allowed 
for the retrofit of these items. We are not adopting the checklist to 
checklist language proposed in the NPRM. We are adopting the same 
checklist to checklist language as exists in paragraph (a) of this 
section. Otherwise, no change was made from the language proposed in 
the NPRM.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (h) that requires newly manufactured 
airplanes have a CVR that meets all of Sec.  25.1457, retains the last 
2 hours of recorded information using a CVR that meets the standard of 
TSO-C123a, or later revision. We are not adopting the checklist to 
checklist language proposed in the NPRM. We are adopting the same 
checklist to checklist language as exists in paragraph (a) of this 
section. Otherwise, no change was made from the language proposed in 
the NPRM.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (i) that requires the recordation of 
datalink communications if DLC equipment is installed two years after 
the effective date of this rule. No change was made from the language 
proposed in the NPRM.
    Appendix E to part 125, Airplane Flight Recorder Specifications, is 
being amended to:

[[Page 12559]]

    (1) Revise parameters 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b, 14a, 14b, 15, 16, 17, and 
88 to add footnote 18 (proposed as footnote 20) for newly manufactured 
airplanes. Footnote 18 changes the seconds per sampling interval to 
0.125 for these parameters and prohibits alternate sampling 
(interleaving). The NPRM proposed 16 Hz for these parameters; the final 
rule requires they be sampled and recorded at 8 Hz, and adds the 
prohibition on interleaving samples.
    (2) Revise parameter 23 to correct an errant reference to part 121. 
No changes were made from the language proposed in the NPRM.
    (3) The NPRM publication of the appendix included several errors in 
the resolution column; none of the current resolution percentages are 
being changed.

H. Part 129--Operations: Foreign Air Carriers and Foreign Operators of 
U.S.-Registered Aircraft Engaged in Common Carriage

    Section 129.1, Applicability, is being amended to revise paragraph 
(b) to add new Sec.  129.24 (proposed as Sec.  129.22) to the 
applicability. The NPRM inadvertently omitted several section 
references from this paragraph and did not account for other changes 
that had been made to Sec.  129.1. The only change being adopted is the 
added reference to Sec.  129.22 on CVRs.
    Section 129.24 (proposed as Sec.  129.22), Cockpit voice recorders, 
is being added. This section requires that airplanes operated under 
part 129 be equipped with an approved CVR that meets the standards of 
TSO-C123a, or later revision, and record the information that the 
airplane would be required to record if it were operated under part 
121, 125, or 135, using the compliance times for the applicable part. 
No change was made from the language proposed in the NPRM.

I. Part 135--Operating Requirements: Commuter and On Demand Operations 
and Rules Governing Persons On Board Such Aircraft

    Section 135.151, Cockpit voice recorders, is amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (f) that includes the separate container 
requirements for CVRs and DFDRs on part 23 or part 25 airplanes. This 
paragraph also requires transport category airplanes to meet additional 
recording requirements in Sec. Sec.  23.1457 or 25.1457, as proposed in 
the NPRM. The requirement to retain two hours of recorded information 
on a CVR that meets the requirements of TSO-C123a, which was proposed 
in the NPRM as a retrofit, is not included.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (g), applicable to certain aircraft 
manufactured two years after the effective date of this rule, that 
requires compliance with specified provisions of the cockpit voice 
recorder certification requirements in Sec.  23.1457, Sec.  25.1457, 
Sec.  27.1457, or Sec.  29.1457, as applicable. The additions to these 
sections include the power duration requirement, the single electrical 
failure requirement, and the separate container/combination unit 
requirements noted in the amendments to the certification parts. This 
paragraph also requires that newly manufactured airplanes retain the 
last two hours of recorded information and that the CVR meets the 
requirements of TSO-C123a, or later revision. The checklist to 
checklist language being adopted is the same language that exists in 
paragraphs (a)(2) and (b) (2) of this section, not the language 
proposed in the NPRM. Otherwise, no change was made to the language 
proposed in the NPRM.
    (3) Add a new paragraph (h), that requires all airplanes or 
rotorcraft that are required to have a CVR to record datalink 
communications if DLC equipment is installed two years after the 
effective date of this rule. No change was made to the language 
proposed in the NPRM.
    Section 135.152, Flight recorders, is amended to:
    (1) Add a new paragraph (l) that requires separate containers for 
CVRs and DFDRs on airplanes, and allows for combined recorders on 
rotorcraft.
    (2) Add a new paragraph (m) that requires that newly manufactured 
airplanes have a DFDR that meets additional provisions of the flight 
data recorder certification requirements in Sec. Sec.  23.1459, 
25.1459, 27.1459, or 29.1459, as applicable. The additions to these 
sections include the power duration requirement, the single electrical 
failure requirement, and the separate container/combination unit 
requirements noted in the amendments to the certification parts. New 
paragraph (m)(2) also requires that these newly manufactured airplanes 
have DFDRs that retain the last 25 hours of recorded information using 
a recorder that meets the standard of TSO-C124a, or later revision. No 
change was made to the language proposed in the NPRM.
    Appendix C to part 135, Helicopter Flight Recorder Specifications, 
is being amended to add footnote 4, changing the sampling interval for 
five parameters for rotorcraft manufactured two years after the date of 
the final rule. No change was made to the language proposed in the 
NPRM.
    Appendix E to part 135, Helicopter Flight Recorder Specifications, 
is being amended to add footnote 3, changing the sampling interval on 
the Pilot Input--Primary Controls parameter for rotorcraft manufactured 
two years after the date of the final rule. No change was made to the 
language proposed in the NPRM.
    Appendix F to part 135, Airplane Flight Recorder Specification, is 
being amended to:
    (1) Correct the last word of the title of the appendix to read 
`Specifications.'
    (2) Revise parameters 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b, 14a, 14b, 15, 16, 17, and 
88 to add footnote 18 for newly manufactured airplanes. Footnote 18 
changes the seconds per sampling interval to 0.125 for these parameters 
and prohibits alternate sampling (interleaving). The NPRM proposed 16 
Hz for these parameters; the final rule requires they be sampled and 
recorded at 8 Hz, and adds the prohibition on interleaving samples.
    (3) The NPRM publication of the appendix included several errors in 
the resolution column; none of the current resolution percentages are 
being changed.
    (4) The NPRM introduced several errors to the proposed change to 
parameter 23; parameter 23 is not being changed.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Information collection requirements associated with this final rule 
have been approved previously by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3507(d)), and have been assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0700.

International Compatibility

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to comply with 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and 
has identified the following difference: ICAO Annex 6, section 
6.3.1.5.1, calls for recording all datalink communication messages, 
including controller-pilot datalink communications, on all aircraft by 
January 1, 2007. The FAA is not requiring the retrofit of datalink 
communication recording equipment on aircraft. The FAA intends to file 
a difference with ICAO.

[[Page 12560]]

Regulatory Evaluation, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, 
International Trade Impact Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs that each Federal agency 
shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination 
that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) requires 
agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small 
entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits 
agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to 
the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. 
standards, this Trade Act requires agencies to consider international 
standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. 
standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 
104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more annually (adjusted for inflation from the base year of 
1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of 
the economic impacts of this final rule. We suggest readers seeking 
greater detail read the full regulatory evaluation, a copy of which we 
have placed in the docket for this rulemaking.
    In conducting these analyses, the FAA has determined that this 
final rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs, (2) is not an 
economically ``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 
3(f) of Executive Order 12866, (3) is ``significant'' as defined in 
DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; 
(5) will not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of 
the United States; and (6) will not impose an unfunded mandate on 
state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector by 
exceeding the threshold identified above. These analyses are summarized 
below.

A. Total Costs and Benefits of This Rule

    The undiscounted cost of this rule is $239 million ($169 million in 
present value terms at a discount rate of 7 percent and $206 million in 
present value terms at a discount rate of 3 percent). This rule adopts 
certain NTSB recommendations and is in response to the Swissair 11 and 
Alaska Airlines 261 accidents. The following discussion provides more 
detailed cost and benefit information:

B. Who Is Affected by This Rule

    Manufacturers of aircraft type certificated under parts 23, 25, 27 
and 29, and operators of aircraft operated under parts 91, 121, 125, 
129 and 135.

C. Assumptions and Standard Values

     Period of analysis is 2007-2017.
     Discount rates are 7 percent and 3 percent.
     Burdened labor rate for an aviation engineer is $125 an 
hour.
     Burdened labor rate for an aviation mechanic is $85 an 
hour.
     Number of airplanes to be retrofitted is 7,575.
     It costs $19,900 to change from a magnetic tape CVR to a 
2-hour solid state CVR. The change will result in an annual operational 
and maintenance cost reduction of $910 for these airplanes.
     It costs $8,140 to change from a 30-minute memory solid 
state CVR to a 2-hour solid state CVR.
     The maximum cost for a future production commercial 
airplane is $10,020 for RIPS, for recording DLC, and for the DFDR 
changes. Annual increased operational and maintenance costs are $1,400.
     The cost of RIPS for a future production large helicopter 
is $3,840. Annual increased operational and maintenance costs are 
$1,300.
     The maximum cost for a future production business jet is 
$8,520 for RIPS, for recording DLC, and for the DFDR changes. Annual 
increased operational and maintenance costs are $1,000.
     Cost of aviation fuel is $1.60 per gallon.
     The primary sources for this information are: (1) Industry 
responses to a 2002 FAA survey and (2) public comments we received in 
response to the NPRM.

D. Costs of This Rule

    Since the publication of the notice we have learned that almost all 
of the manufacturers have been installing the newer equipment that was 
proposed and operators have been retiring older aircraft. As Table 1 
shows, the costs estimated in this final rule are significantly less 
(approximately $90 million) than we estimated in the NPRM.

Table 1.--Significant Differences in Assumptions and Parameters Used for
                      the Rule and for the Proposal
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Assumption/parameter            Final rule           Proposal
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Present Value (7%) of Total       $169..............  $256
 Costs.
Time Frame for Analysis.........  11 Years (2007-     20 Years (2003-
                                   2017).              2022).
Part 121 Airplanes:
    Number of Magnetic Tape CVRs  2,941.............  5,904
     to be replaced.
    Number of 30-Minute Memory    4,634.............  3,741
     Solid State CVRs to be
     replaced.
    Number of Production          394...............  13,658
     Airplanes with 30-Minute
     Memory Recorders.
    Percent of All Production     10%...............  100%
     Airplanes with 30-Minute
     Memory Recorders.
    Cost of Increased Memory/2    $1,500............  $3,500
     hours.
    Need RIPS (number of          3,935.............  13,658
     aircraft).
    Cost of RIPS................  $4,180............  $2,820
    Record CPDLC (number of       1,181.............  13,658
     aircraft).
    Percent that will Record      20%...............  100%
     CPDLC.
    Increased FDR and DFDAU       3,935.............  13,658
     Capacity.
Large Production Helicopters:
    Number of Production          0.................  1,337
     Helicopters with 30-Minute
     Memory CVRs.
    Need RIPS (number of          259...............  1,337
     aircraft).
    Record CPDLC (number of       0.................  1,337
     aircraft).
Business Jets:
    Number of Production          3,575.............  0
     Business Jets for which
     costs were estimated.
Miscellaneous:

[[Page 12561]]

 
    Price of Aviation Fuel......  $1.60.............  $0.75
------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Benefits of This Rule

    The rule increases the amount and quality of the information being 
recorded, which may result in new or revised safety rules (for airplane 
manufacturing or operations) or in voluntary changes to airline and 
pilot procedures that may produce a safer fleet and operations. 
Although we did not adopt all of the NTSB recommendations concerning 
CVR and DFDR modifications, we chose the course of action that 
maximizes safety benefits relative to compliance costs.

F. Alternatives Considered

    We modified the proposed rule based on the comments. In particular, 
unlike the proposed rule, the final rule does not require part 91 
operators to retrofit their airplanes. The proposed retrofit of a 2-
hour CVR would have affected approximately 15,000 airplanes at a total 
cost that would have been several hundred million dollars. Any 
potential benefits would be far outweighed by these costs.
    We had proposed new sampling frequencies of 16 times per second for 
9 flight control parameters; the final rule requires sampling at 8 
times per second. Manufacturers commented that some entire DFDR systems 
would need to be re-engineered at a potential cost of millions of 
dollars per aircraft model. Further, recording parameters at 16 times 
per second would not yield comparatively better information given the 
costs to obtain it.

G. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) 
establishes ``as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall 
endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable 
statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale 
of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions 
subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required 
to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain 
the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given 
serious consideration.'' The RFA covers a wide range of small entities, 
including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small 
governmental jurisdictions.
    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.
    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the 
agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required. The certification must include a statement providing the 
factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be 
clear.
    The FAA believes that this final rule will not have a significant 
impact on a substantial number of entities for the following reasons:
    The rule affects manufacturers of part 23 and part 25 airplanes. 
For these manufacturers, a small entity is one with 1,500 or fewer 
employees. No manufacturer of part 23 or part 25 aircraft that could be 
affected by these operational regulations (turbine powered aircraft 
with 10 or more seats) has fewer than 1,500 employees.
    The rule also affects all operators of airplanes with 10 or more 
seats operating under parts 91, 121, 129, and 135. Some of these 
operators are small entities that must retrofit their airplanes. The 
cost to retrofit an individual airplane is between $8,140 and $19,900. 
We have operating revenue for 24 of the 46 small air carriers affected. 
Of these 24 small air carriers, the maximum one-time cost will be 0.71 
percent of 2005's revenue for one airline and for the remaining 23 
small air carriers, the percentage will not exceed 0.35 percent. The 
FAA does not consider it a significant economic impact when total one-
time compliance costs are less than one percent of a year's revenue.
    Therefore, as the FAA Acting Administrator, I certify that this 
rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

H. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreement Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing any standards or engaging in related 
activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of 
the United States. Legitimate domestic objectives, such as safety, are 
not considered unnecessary obstacles. The statute also requires 
consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that 
they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA assessed the potential 
effect of this rule and determined that it responds to a domestic 
safety objective and is not considered an unnecessary barrier to trade.

I. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub L. 104-4) (the Act) 
is intended, among other things, to curb the practice of imposing 
unfunded Federal mandates on State, local, and tribal governments. 
Title II of the Act requires each Federal agency to prepare a written 
statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or 
final agency rule that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or 
more (adjusted annually for inflation) by State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate 
is deemed to be a ``significant regulatory action.'' The FAA currently 
uses an inflation-adjusted value of $128.1 million in lieu of $100 
million.
    This rule does not contain such a mandate. The requirements of 
Title II do not apply.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this final rule under the principles and 
criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. We determined that this 
action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the 
relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government, and therefore does not have federalism implications.

Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1D defines FAA actions that may be categorically 
excluded from preparation of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
environmental impact statement. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1D, 
appendix 4, paragraph 4(j), this

[[Page 12562]]

proposed rulemaking action qualifies for a categorical exclusion.

Energy Impact

    The energy impact of the notice has been assessed in accordance 
with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), Public Law 94-163, 
as amended (43 U.S.C. 6362), and FAA Order 1053.1. It has been 
determined that the notice is not a major regulatory action under the 
provisions of the EPCA.

Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    You may obtain an electronic copy of this final rule using the 
Internet by:
    (1) Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://
www.regulations.gov);
    (2) Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://
www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/; or
    (3) Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://
www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
    You may also obtain a copy by sending a request to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Make 
sure to identify the notice number or docket number of this rulemaking.
    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit 
http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 
1996 requires the FAA to comply with small entity requests for 
information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations 
within its jurisdiction. If you are a small entity and you have a 
question about this document, you may contact your local FAA official, 
or the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. You may 
find out more about SBREFA on the Internet at http://www.faa.gov/
regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects

14 CFR Part 23

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 27

    Aircraft, Aviation Safety.

14 CFR Part 29

    Aircraft, Aviation Safety.

14 CFR Part 91

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 121

    Air carriers, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Charter flights, Safety, 
Transportation.

14 CFR Part 125

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 129

    Air carriers, Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part

    135 Air taxis, Aircraft, Aviation safety.

The Amendment

0
In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration 
amends parts 23, 25, 27, 29, 91, 121, 125, 129, and 135 of Title 14, 
Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 23--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: NORMAL, UTILITY, ACROBATIC, AND 
COMMUTER CATEGORY AIRPLANES

0
1. The authority citation for part 23 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. Amend Sec.  23.1457 by removing the period at the end paragraph 
(d)(3) and adding a semicolon in its place, by revising paragraphs 
(d)(1) and (e), and by adding new paragraphs (a)(6), (d)(4), (d)(5), 
and (d)(6) to read as follows:


Sec.  23.1457  Cockpit voice recorders.

    (a) * * *
    (6) If datalink communication equipment is installed, all datalink 
communications, using an approved data message set. Datalink messages 
must be recorded as the output signal from the communications unit that 
translates the signal into usable data.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of the cockpit voice recorder without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The cockpit voice 
recorder must remain powered for as long as possible without 
jeopardizing emergency operation of the airplane;
* * * * *
    (4) Any single electrical failure external to the recorder does not 
disable both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder;
    (5) It has an independent power source--
    (i) That provides 10  1 minutes of electrical power to 
operate both the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area 
microphone;
    (ii) That is located as close as practicable to the cockpit voice 
recorder; and
    (iii) To which the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area 
microphone are switched automatically in the event that all other power 
to the cockpit voice recorder is interrupted either by normal shutdown 
or by any other loss of power to the electrical power bus; and
    (6) It is in a separate container from the flight data recorder 
when both are required. If used to comply with only the cockpit voice 
recorder requirements, a combination unit may be installed.
    (e) The recorder container must be located and mounted to minimize 
the probability of rupture of the container as a result of crash impact 
and consequent heat damage to the recorder from fire.
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the 
recorder container must be located as far aft as practicable, but need 
not be outside of the pressurized compartment, and may not be located 
where aft-mounted engines may crush the container during impact.
    (2) If two separate combination digital flight data recorder and 
cockpit voice recorder units are installed instead of one cockpit voice 
recorder and one digital flight data recorder, the combination unit 
that is installed to comply with the cockpit voice recorder 
requirements may be located near the cockpit.
* * * * *
    3. Amend Sec.  23.1459 by revising the section heading, by removing 
the period at the end of paragraph (a)(4) and adding a semicolon in its 
place, by removing the word ``and'' after the semicolon in paragraph 
(a)(5), by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows, and by adding 
new paragraphs (a)(6) and (a)(7) to read as follows:


Sec.  23.1459  Flight data recorders.

    (a) * * *
    (3) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of the flight data recorder without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The flight data 
recorder must remain powered for as long as possible without 
jeopardizing emergency operation of the airplane;
* * * * *

[[Page 12563]]

    (6) Any single electrical failure external to the recorder does not 
disable both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder; 
and
    (7) It is in a separate container from the cockpit voice recorder 
when both are required. If used to comply with only the flight data 
recorder requirements, a combination unit may be installed. If a 
combination unit is installed as a cockpit voice recorder to comply 
with Sec.  23.1457(e)(2), a combination unit must be used to comply 
with this flight data recorder requirement.
* * * * *

PART 25--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY AIRPLANES

0
4. The authority citation for part 25 continues to read as follows:

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

0
5. Amend Sec.  25.1457 by removing the word ``and'' after the semicolon 
in paragraph (d)(2), by removing the period at the end of paragraph 
(d)(3) and adding a semicolon in its place, by revising paragraphs 
(d)(1) and (e) to read as follows, and by adding new paragraphs (a)(6), 
(d)(4), (d)(5), and (d)(6) to read as follows:


Sec.  25.1457  Cockpit voice recorders.

    (a) * * *
    (6) If datalink communication equipment is installed, all datalink 
communications, using an approved data message set. Datalink messages 
must be recorded as the output signal from the communications unit that 
translates the signal into usable data.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of the cockpit voice recorder without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The cockpit voice 
recorder must remain powered for as long as possible without 
jeopardizing emergency operation of the airplane;
* * * * *
    (4) Any single electrical failure external to the recorder does not 
disable both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder;
    (5) It has an independent power source--
    (i) That provides 10  1 minutes of electrical power to 
operate both the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area 
microphone;
    (ii) That is located as close as practicable to the cockpit voice 
recorder; and
    (iii) To which the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area 
microphone are switched automatically in the event that all other power 
to the cockpit voice recorder is interrupted either by normal shutdown 
or by any other loss of power to the electrical power bus; and
    (6) It is in a separate container from the flight data recorder 
when both are required. If used to comply with only the cockpit voice 
recorder requirements, a combination unit may be installed.
    (e) The recorder container must be located and mounted to minimize 
the probability of rupture of the container as a result of crash impact 
and consequent heat damage to the recorder from fire.
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the 
recorder container must be located as far aft as practicable, but need 
not be outside of the pressurized compartment, and may not be located 
where aft-mounted engines may crush the container during impact.
    (2) If two separate combination digital flight data recorder and 
cockpit voice recorder units are installed instead of one cockpit voice 
recorder and one digital flight data recorder, the combination unit 
that is installed to comply with the cockpit voice recorder 
requirements may be located near the cockpit.
* * * * *
0
6. Amend Sec.  25.1459 by revising the section heading, by removing the 
period at the end of paragraph (a)(4) and adding a semicolon in its 
place, by removing the word ``and'' after the semicolon in paragraph 
(a)(5), by removing the period at the end of paragraph (a)(6) and 
adding a semicolon in its place, by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read 
as follows, and by adding new paragraphs (a)(7) and (a)(8) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  25.1459  Flight data recorders.

    (a) * * *
    (3) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of the flight data recorder without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The flight data 
recorder must remain powered for as long as possible without 
jeopardizing emergency operation of the airplane;
* * * * *
    (7) Any single electrical failure external to the recorder does not 
disable both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder; 
and
    (8) It is in a separate container from the cockpit voice recorder 
when both are required. If used to comply with only the flight data 
recorder requirements, a combination unit may be installed. If a 
combination unit is installed as a cockpit voice recorder to comply 
with Sec.  25.1457(e)(2), a combination unit must be used to comply 
with this flight data recorder requirement.
* * * * *

PART 27--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT

0
7. The authority citation for part 27 continues to read as follows:

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

0
8. Amend Sec.  27.1457 by removing the word ``and'' after the semicolon 
in paragraph (d)(2), by removing the period at the end of paragraph 
(d)(3) and adding a semicolon in its place, by revising paragraph 
(d)(1) to read as follows, and by adding new paragraphs (a)(6), (d)(4), 
(d)(5), and (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  27.1457  Cockpit voice recorders.

    (a) * * *
    (6) If datalink communication equipment is installed, all datalink 
communications, using an approved data message set. Datalink messages 
must be recorded as the output signal from the communications unit that 
translates the signal into usable data.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of the cockpit voice recorder without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The cockpit voice 
recorder must remain powered for as long as possible without 
jeopardizing emergency operation of the rotorcraft;
* * * * *
    (4) Whether the cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data 
recorder are installed in separate boxes or in a combination unit, no 
single electrical failure external to the recorder may disable both the 
cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder; and
    (5) It has an independent power source--
    (i) That provides 10  1 minutes of electrical power to 
operate both the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area 
microphone;
    (ii) That is located as close as practicable to the cockpit voice 
recorder; and
    (iii) To which the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area 
microphone are switched automatically in the event that all other power 
to the

[[Page 12564]]

cockpit voice recorder is interrupted either by normal shutdown or by 
any other loss of power to the electrical power bus.
* * * * *
    (h) When both a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder 
are required by the operating rules, one combination unit may be 
installed, provided that all other requirements of this section and the 
requirements for flight data recorders under this part are met.

0
9. Amend Sec.  27.1459 by revising the section heading and paragraph 
(a)(3) to read as follows, and by adding new paragraphs (a)(6) and (e) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  27.1459  Flight data recorders.

    (a) * * *
    (3) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of the flight data recorder without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The flight data 
recorder must remain powered for as long as possible without 
jeopardizing emergency operation of the rotorcraft;
* * * * *
    (6) Whether the cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data 
recorder are installed in separate boxes or in a combination unit, no 
single electrical failure external to the recorder may disable both the 
cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder.
* * * * *
    (e) When both a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder 
are required by the operating rules, one combination unit may be 
installed, provided that all other requirements of this section and the 
requirements for cockpit voice recorders under this part are met.

PART 29--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT

0
10. The authority citation for part 29 continues to read as follows:

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

0
11. Amend Sec.  29.1457 by removing the word ``and'' after the 
semicolon in paragraph (d)(2), by removing the period at the end of 
paragraph (d)(3) and adding a semicolon in its place, by revising 
paragraph (d)(1) to read as follows, and by adding new paragraphs 
(a)(6), (d)(4), (d)(5), and (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  29.1457  Cockpit voice recorders.

    (a) * * *
    (6) If datalink communication equipment is installed, all datalink 
communications, using an approved data message set. Datalink messages 
must be recorded as the output signal from the communications unit that 
translates the signal into usable data.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of the cockpit voice recorder without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The cockpit voice 
recorder must remain powered for as long as possible without 
jeopardizing emergency operation of the rotorcraft;
* * * * *
    (4) Whether the cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data 
recorder are installed in separate boxes or in a combination unit, no 
single electrical failure external to the recorder may disable both the 
cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder; and
    (5) It has an independent power source--
    (i) That provides 10  1 minutes of electrical power to 
operate both the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area 
microphone;
    (ii) That is located as close as practicable to the cockpit voice 
recorder; and
    (iii) To which the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area 
microphone are switched automatically in the event that all other power 
to the cockpit voice recorder is interrupted either by normal shutdown 
or by any other loss of power to the electrical power bus.
* * * * *
    (h) When both a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder 
are required by the operating rules, one combination unit may be 
installed, provided that all other requirements of this section and the 
requirements for flight data recorders under this part are met.

0
12. Amend Sec.  29.1459 by revising the section heading, by removing 
the word `` and'' after the semicolon in paragraph (a)(4), by removing 
the period at the end of paragraph (a)(5) and adding ``; and'' in its 
place, by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows and by adding 
new paragraphs (a)(6) and (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  29.1459  Flight data recorders.

    (a) * * *
    (3) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the 
maximum reliability for operation of the cockpit voice recorder without 
jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads. The cockpit voice 
recorder must remain powered for as long as possible without 
jeopardizing emergency operation of the rotorcraft;
* * * * *
    (6) Whether the cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data 
recorder are installed in separate boxes or in a combination unit, no 
single electrical failure external to the recorder may disable both the 
cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder.
* * * * *
    (e) When both a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder 
are required by the operating rules, one combination unit may be 
installed, provided that all other requirements of this section and the 
requirements for cockpit voice recorders under this part are met.

PART 91--GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES

0
13. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 1155, 40103, 40113, 40120, 44101, 
44111, 44701, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 
46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 
articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation 
(61 stat. 1180).

    14. Amend Sec.  91.609 by revising the section heading, by 
redesignating paragraph (c) as (c)(1), and by adding new paragraphs 
(c)(2), (c)(3), (h), (i), and (j) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.609  Flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) All airplanes subject to paragraph (c)(1) of this section that 
are manufactured before April 7, 2010, by April 7, 2012, must meet the 
requirements of Sec.  23.1459(a)(7) or Sec.  25.1459(a)(8) of this 
chapter, as applicable.
    (c)(3) All airplanes and rotorcraft subject to paragraph (c)(1) of 
this section that are manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, must meet 
the flight data recorder requirements of Sec.  23.1459, Sec.  25.1459, 
Sec.  27.1459, or Sec.  29.1459 of this chapter, as applicable, and 
retain at least the last 25 hours of recorded information using a 
recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C124a, or later revision.
* * * * *
    (h) All airplanes required by this section to have a cockpit voice 
recorder and a flight data recorder, that are manufactured before April 
7, 2010, must by April 7, 2012, have a cockpit voice recorder that 
also--

[[Page 12565]]

    (1) Meets the requirements of Sec.  23.1457(d)(6) or Sec.  
25.1457(d)(6) of this chapter, as applicable; and
    (2) If transport category, meets the requirements of Sec.  
25.1457(a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5) of this chapter.
    (i) All airplanes or rotorcraft required by this section to have a 
cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, that are manufactured 
on or after April 7, 2010, must have a cockpit voice recorder installed 
that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements of Sec.  23.1457, Sec.  25.1457, Sec.  
27.1457, or Sec.  29.1457 of this chapter, as applicable; and
    (2) Retains at least the last 2 hours of recorded information using 
a recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C123a, or later revision.
    (j) All airplanes or rotorcraft required by this section to have a 
cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder, that install 
datalink communication equipment on or after April 7, 2010, must record 
all datalink messages as required by the certification rule applicable 
to the aircraft.

0
15. Amend appendix E to part 91 by adding footnote 5 to the Stabilizer 
Trim Position or Pitch Control Position, under the heading Parameters 
to read as set forth below. The text of footnotes 1, 3, and 4 is 
reprinted without change for the convenience of the reader.

                         Appendix E to Part 91.--Airplane Flight Recorder Specifications
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          Sampling    Resolution
                                                                 Installed system \1\     interval     \4\ read
             Parameters                        Range            minimum accuracy  (to       (per         out
                                                                   recovered data)        second)     (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Stabilizer Trim Position or Pitch     Full Range.............  3% unless              1        \3\ 1
 Control Position \5\.                                          higher uniquely
                                                                required.
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ When data sources are aircraft instruments (except 
altimeters) of acceptable quality to fly the aircraft, the recording 
system, excluding these sensors (but including all other 
characteristics of the recording system), shall contribute no more 
than half of the values in this column.
* * * * *
    \3\ Percent of full range.
    \4\ This column applies to aircraft manufactured after October 
11, 1991.
    \5\ For Pitch Control Position only, for all aircraft 
manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, the sampling interval (per 
second) is 8. Each input must be recorded at this rate. Alternately 
sampling inputs (interleaving) to meet this sampling interval is 
prohibited.

0
16. Amend appendix F to part 91 by adding footnote 4 to the Collective, 
Pedal Position, Lat. Cyclic, Long. Cyclic, and Controllable Stabilator 
Position, under the heading Parameters to read as set forth below. The 
text of footnotes 1 through 4 is reprinted without change for the 
convenience of the reader.

                        Appendix F to Part 91.--Helicopter Flight Recorder Specifications
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            Installed
                                                                            system \1\
                                                                             minimum      Sampling    Resolution
                                                                             accuracy     interval     \3\ read
                Parameters                              Range                  (to          (per       out (in
                                                                            recovered     second)      percent)
                                                                            data) (in
                                                                             percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Collective \4\............................  Full Range...................       3
Pedal Position \4\........................  Full Range...................       3
Lat. Cyclic \4\...........................  Full Range...................       3
Long. Cyclic \4\..........................  Full Range...................       3
Controllable Stabilator Position \4\......  Full Range...................       3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ When data sources are aircraft instruments (except 
altimeters) of acceptable quality to fly the aircraft, the recording 
system, excluding these sensors (but including all other 
characteristics of the recording system), shall contribute no more 
than half of the values in this column.
    \2\ Percent of full range.
    \3\ This column applies to aircraft manufactured after October 
11, 1991.
    \4\ For all aircraft manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, the 
sampling interval per second is 4.

PART 121--OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL 
OPERATIONS

0
17. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 40119, 41706, 44101, 44701-
44702, 44705, 44709-44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722, 46105.

0
18. Amend Sec.  121.343 by revising the section heading, by amending 
paragraph (c) by revising ``1994'' to read ``1995'', and by adding new 
paragraph (m) to read as follows:


Sec.  121.343  Flight data recorders.

* * * * *
    (m) After August 20, 2001, this section applies only to the 
airplane models listed in Sec.  121.344(l)(2). All other airplanes must 
comply with the requirements of Sec.  121.344, as applicable.

0
19. Amend Sec.  121.344 by adding new paragraph (m) to read as follows:


Sec.  121.344  Digital flight data recorders for transport category 
airplanes.

* * * * *
    (m) All aircraft subject to the requirements of this section that 
are manufactured on or after April 7, 2010,

[[Page 12566]]

must have a digital flight data recorder installed that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements of Sec.  25.1459(a)(3), (a)(7), and 
(a)(8) of this chapter; and
    (2) Retains the 25 hours of recorded information required in 
paragraph (h) of this section using a recorder that meets the standards 
of TSO-C124a, or later revision.
0
20. Amend Sec.  121.344a by adding new paragraph (g) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  121.344a  Digital flight data recorders for 10-19 seat airplanes.

* * * * *
    (g) All airplanes subject to the requirements of this section that 
are manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, must have a digital flight 
data recorder installed that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements in Sec.  23.1459(a)(3), (a)(6), and 
(a)(7) or Sec.  25.1459(a)(3), (a)(7), and (a)(8) of this chapter, as 
applicable; and
    (2) Retains the 25 hours of recorded information required in Sec.  
121.344(g) using a recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C124a, or 
later revision.

0
21. Amend Sec.  121.359 by adding new paragraphs (i), (j), and (k) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  121.359  Cockpit voice recorders.

* * * * *
    (i) By April 7, 2012, all turbine engine-powered airplanes subject 
to this section that are manufactured before April 7, 2010, must have a 
cockpit voice recorder installed that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements of Sec.  23.1457(d)(6) or Sec.  
25.1457(d)(6) of this chapter, as applicable;
    (2) Retains at least the last 2 hours of recorded information using 
a recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C123a, or later revision; 
and
    (3) Is operated continuously from the use of the checklist before 
the flight to completion of the final checklist at the end of the 
flight.
    (4) If transport category, meets the requirements in Sec.  
25.1457(a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5) of this chapter.
    (j) All turbine engine-powered airplanes subject to this section 
that are manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, must have a cockpit 
voice recorder installed that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements of Sec.  23.1457 or Sec.  25.1457 of 
this chapter, as applicable;
    (2) Retains at least the last 2 hours of recorded information using 
a recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C123a, or later revision; 
and
    (3) Is operated continuously from the use of the checklist before 
the flight to completion of the final checklist at the end of the 
flight.
    (k) All airplanes required by this part to have a cockpit voice 
recorder and a flight data recorder, that install datalink 
communication equipment on or after April 7, 2010, must record all 
datalink messages as required by the certification rule applicable to 
the airplane.

0
22. Amend appendix M to part 121 by revising parameters 1, 12a, 12b, 
13a, 13b, 14a, 14b, 15, 16 and 17 and 88, and adding footnote 18, to 
read as set forth below. The text of footnotes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 
are reprinted without change for the convenience of the reader.
* * * * *

                                            Appendix M to Part 121.--Airplane Flight Recorder Specifications
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Accuracy  (sensor     Seconds per sampling
             Parameters                       Range                  input)                 interval              Resolution              Remarks
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Time or relative times            24 Hrs, 0 to 4095.....   0.125%     4....................  1 sec................  UTC time preferred
 counts.\1\                                                   per hour.                                                             when available.
                                                                                                                                    Count increments
                                                                                                                                    each 4 seconds of
                                                                                                                                    system operation.
                                                                      * * * * * * *
12a. Pitch control(s) position       Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.5% of full range...  For airplanes that
 (nonfly-by-wire systems).\18\                                unless higher           airplanes operated                            have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    control breakaway
                                                              required.               121.344(f).                                   capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
12b. Pitch control(s) position (fly- Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...  .....................
 by-wire systems).\3\ \18\                                    unless higher           airplanes operated
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.
                                                              required.               121.344(f).
13a. Lateral control position(s)     Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...  For airplanes that
 (nonfly-by-wire).\18\                                        unless higher           airplanes operated                            have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    control breakaway
                                                              required.               121.344(f).                                   capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
13b. Lateral control position(s)     Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...
 (fly-by-wire).\4\ \18\                                       unless higher           airplanes operated
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.
                                                              required.               121.344(f).

[[Page 12567]]

 
14a. Yaw control position(s)         Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.3% of full range...  For airplanes that
 (nonfly-by-wire).\5\ \18\                                    unless higher                                                         have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely                                                     control breakaway
                                                              required.                                                             capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5.
14b. Yaw control position(s) (fly-   Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.2% of full range...  .....................
 by-wire).\18\                                                unless higher
                                                              accuracy uniquely
                                                              required.
15. Pitch control surface(s)         Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.3% of full range...  For airplanes fitted
 position.\6\ \18\                                            unless higher           airplanes operated                            with multiple or
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    split surfaces, a
                                                              required.               121.344(f).                                   suitable combination
                                                                                                                                    of inputs is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately once per
                                                                                                                                    second to produce
                                                                                                                                    the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
16. Lateral control surface(s)       Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.3% of full range...  A suitable
 position.\7\ \18\                                            unless higher           airplanes operated                            combination of
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    surface position
                                                              required.               121.344(f).                                   sensors is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
17. Yaw control surface(s)           Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.2% of full range...  For airplanes with
 position.\8\ \18\                                            unless higher                                                         multiple or split
                                                              accuracy uniquely                                                     surfaces, a suitable
                                                              required.                                                             combination of
                                                                                                                                    surface position
                                                                                                                                    sensors is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5.
                                                                      * * * * * * *
88. All cockpit flight control       Full Range Control       5%.......  1....................  0.3% of full range...  For fly-by-wire
 input forces (control wheel,         wheel  70                                                                         flight control
 control column, rudder pedal).\18\   lbs. Control column                                                                           systems, where
                                       85 lbs.                                                                          flight control
                                      Rudder pedal  165 lbs.                                                                               a function of the
                                                                                                                                    displacement of the
                                                                                                                                    control input device
                                                                                                                                    only, it is not
                                                                                                                                    necessary to record
                                                                                                                                    this parameter. For
                                                                                                                                    airplanes that have
                                                                                                                                    a flight control
                                                                                                                                    breakaway capability
                                                                                                                                    that allows either
                                                                                                                                    pilot to operate the
                                                                                                                                    control
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    force inputs. The
                                                                                                                                    control force inputs
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately once per
                                                                                                                                    2 seconds to produce
                                                                                                                                    the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 1.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ For A300 B2/B4 airplanes, resolution = 6 seconds.
* * * * *
    \3\ For A318/A319/A320/A321 series airplanes, resolution = 
0.275% (0.088[deg]>0.064[deg]). For A330/A340 series airplanes, 
resolution = 2.20% (0.703[deg]>0.064[deg]).
    \4\ For A318/A319/A320/A321 series airplanes, resolution = 0.22% 
(0.088[deg]>0.080[deg]). For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution 
= 1.76% (0.703[deg]>0.080[deg]).
    \5\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 1.18% 
(0.703[deg]>0.120[deg]).
    \6\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 0.783% 
(0.352[deg]>0.090[deg]).
    \7\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, aileron resolution = 0.704% 
(0.352[deg]>0.100[deg]). For A330/A340 series airplanes, spoiler 
resolution = 1.406% (0.703[deg]>0.100[deg]).

[[Page 12568]]

    \8\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 0.30% 
(0.176[deg]>0.12[deg]). For A330/A340 series airplanes, seconds per 
sampling interval = 1.
* * * * *
    \18\ For all aircraft manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, 
the seconds per sampling interval is 0.125. Each input must be 
recorded at this rate. Alternately sampling inputs (interleaving) to 
meet this sampling interval is prohibited.

PART 125--CERTIFICATION AND OPERATIONS: AIRPLANES HAVING A SEATING 
CAPACITY OF 20 OR MORE PASSENGERS OR A MAXIMUM PAYLOAD CAPACITY OF 
6,000 POUNDS OR MORE; AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH 
AIRCRAFT

0
23. The authority citation for part 125 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702, 44705, 44710-
44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722.

0
24. Amend Sec.  125.225 by revising the section heading and by adding 
new paragraph (j) to read as follows:


Sec.  125.225  Flight data recorders.

* * * * *
    (j) After August 20, 2001, this section applies only to the 
airplane models listed in Sec.  125.226(l)(2). All other airplanes must 
comply with the requirements of Sec.  125.226.

0
25. Amend Sec.  125.226 by adding new paragraph (m) to read as follows:


Sec.  125.226  Digital flight data recorders.

* * * * *
    (m) All aircraft subject to the requirements of this section that 
are manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, must have a flight data 
recorder installed that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements in Sec.  25.1459(a)(3), (a)(7), and 
(a)(8) of this chapter; and
    (2) Retains the 25 hours of recorded information required in 
paragraph (f) of this section using a recorder that meets the standards 
of TSO-C124a, or later revision.
0
26. Amend Sec.  125.227 by adding new paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  125.227  Cockpit voice recorders.

* * * * *
    (g) By April 7, 2012, all turbine engine-powered airplanes subject 
to this section that are manufactured before April 7, 2010, must have a 
cockpit voice recorder installed that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements of Sec.  25.1457(a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), 
and (d)(6) of this chapter;
    (2) Retains at least the last 2 hours of recorded information using 
a recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C123a, or later revision; 
and
    (3) Is operated continuously from the start of the use of the 
checklist (before starting the engines for the purpose of flight), to 
the completion of the final checklist at the termination of the flight.
    (h) All turbine engine-powered airplanes subject to this section 
that are manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, must have a cockpit 
voice recorder installed that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements of Sec.  25.1457(a)(3) through (a)(6), 
(d)(1), (d)(4), (d)(5), and (d)(6) of this chapter;
    (2) Retains at least the last 2 hours of recorded information using 
a recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C123a, or later revision; 
and
    (3) Is operated continuously from the start of the use of the 
checklist (before starting the engines for the purpose of flight), to 
the completion of the final checklist at the termination of the flight.
    (i) All turbine engine-powered airplanes required by this part to 
have a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder, that install 
datalink communication equipment on or after April 7, 2010, must record 
all datalink messages as required by the certification rule applicable 
to the airplane.

0
27. Amend appendix E to part 125 by revising parameters 12a, 12b, 13a, 
13b, 14a, 14b, 15, 16, 17, 23, and 88, and adding footnote 18, to read 
as set forth below. The text of footnotes 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 12 are 
reprinted without change for the convenience of the reader.
* * * * *

                                            Appendix E to Part 125.--Airplane Flight Recorder Specifications
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Accuracy (sensor      Seconds per sampling
             Parameters                       Range                  input)                 interval              Resolution              Remarks
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
12a. Pitch control(s) position       Full range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.5% of full range...  For airplanes that
 (nonfly-by-wire systems) \18\.                               unless higher           airplanes operated                            have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    control breakaway
                                                              required.               125.226(f).                                   capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
12b. Pitch control(s) position (fly- Full range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...
 by-wire systems) \3 18\.                                     unless higher           airplanes operated
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.
                                                              required.               125.226(f).
13a. Lateral control position(s)     Full range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...  For airplanes that
 (nonfly-by-wire) \18\.                                       unless higher           airplanes operated                            have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    control break away
                                                              required.               125.226(f).                                   capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.

[[Page 12569]]

 
13b. Lateral control position(s)     Full range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...
 (fly-by-wire) \4 18\.                                        unless higher           airplanes operated
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.
                                                              required.               125.226(f).
14a.Yaw control position(s) (nonfly- Full range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.3% of full range...  For airplanes that
 by-wire) \5 18\.                                             unless higher                                                         have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely                                                     control breakaway
                                                              required.                                                             capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5.
14b. Yaw control position(s) (fly-   Full range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.2% of full range...
 by-wire) \18\.                                               unless higher
                                                              accuracy uniquely
                                                              required.
15. Pitch control surface(s)         Full range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.3% of full range...  For airplanes fitted
 position \6 18\.                                             unless higher           airplanes operated                            with multiple or
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    split surfaces, a
                                                              required.               125.226(f).                                   suitable combination
                                                                                                                                    of inputs is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
16. Lateral control surface(s)       Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...  A suitable
 position \7 18\.                                             unless higher           airplanes operated                            combination of
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    surface position
                                                              required.               125.226(f).                                   sensors is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
17. Yaw control surface(s) position  Full range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.2% of full range...  For airplanes fitted
 \8 18\.                                                      unless higher                                                         with multiple or
                                                              accuracy uniquely                                                     split surfaces, a
                                                              required.                                                             suitable combination
                                                                                                                                    of surface position
                                                                                                                                    sensors is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5.
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
23. Ground Spoiler Position or       Full Range or Each       2[deg]     1 or 0.5 for           0.2% of full range...
 Speed Brake Selection \12\.          Position (discrete).    Unless higher           airplanes operated
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.
                                                              required.               125.226(f).
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
88. All cockpit flight control       Full range Control       5%.......  1....................  0.3% of full range...  For fly-by-wire
 input forces (control wheel,         wheel  70                                                                         flight control
 control column, rudder pedal) \18\.  lbs. Control column                                                                           systems, where
                                       85 lbs.                                                                          flight control
                                      Rudder pedal  165 lbs.                                                                               a function of the
                                                                                                                                    displacement of the
                                                                                                                                    control input device
                                                                                                                                    only, it is not
                                                                                                                                    necessary to record
                                                                                                                                    this parameter. For
                                                                                                                                    airplanes that have
                                                                                                                                    a flight control
                                                                                                                                    breakaway capability
                                                                                                                                    that allows control
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    force inputs. The
                                                                                                                                    control force inputs
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately once per
                                                                                                                                    2 seconds to produce
                                                                                                                                    the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 1.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 12570]]

* * * * *
    \3\ For A318/A319/A320/A321 series airplanes, resolution = 
0.275% (0.088[deg]>0.064[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 2.20% 
(0.703[deg]>0.064[deg]).
    \4\ For A318/A319/A320/A321 series airplanes, resolution = 0.22% 
(0.088[deg]>0.080[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 1.76% 
(0.703[deg]>0.080[deg]).
    \5\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 1.18% 
(0.703[deg]>0.120[deg]).
    \6\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 0.783% 
(0.352[deg]>0.090[deg]).
    \7\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, aileron resolution = 0.704% 
(0.352[deg]>0.100[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, spoiler resolution = 1.406% 
(0.703[deg]>0.100[deg]).
    \8\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 0.30% 
(0.176[deg]>0.12[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, seconds per sampling interval = 
1.
* * * * *
    \12\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, spoiler resolution = 1.406% 
(0.703[deg]>0.100[deg]).
* * * * *
    \18\ For all aircraft manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, 
the seconds per sampling interval is 0.125. Each input must be 
recorded at this rate. Alternately sampling inputs (interleaving) to 
meet this sampling interval is prohibited.

PART 129--OPERATIONS: FOREIGN AIR CARRIERS AND FOREIGN OPERATORS OF 
U.S.-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT ENGAGED IN COMMON CARRIAGE

0
28. The authority citation for part 129 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 1372, 40113, 40119, 44101, 44701-44702, 
44705, 44709-44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722, 44901-44904, 44906, 
44912, 46105, Pub. L. 107-71, sec. 104.

0
29. Amend Sec.  129.1 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  129.1  Applicability.

* * * * *
    (b) Operations of U.S.-registered aircraft solely outside the 
United States. In addition to the operations specified under paragraph 
(a) of this section, Sec. Sec.  129.14, 129.16, 129.20, 129.24, 129.32 
and 129.33 also apply to U.S.-registered aircraft operated solely 
outside the United States in common carriage by a foreign person or 
foreign air carrier.
* * * * *

0
30. Amend part 129 by adding new Sec.  129.24 to read as follows:


Sec.  129.24  Cockpit voice recorders.

    No person may operate an aircraft under this part that is 
registered in the United States unless it is equipped with an approved 
cockpit voice recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C123a, or later 
revision. The cockpit voice recorder must record the information that 
would be required to be recorded if the aircraft were operated under 
part 121, 125, or 135 of this chapter, and must be installed by the 
compliance times required by that part, as applicable to the aircraft.

PART 135--OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: COMMUTER AND ON DEMAND OPERATIONS 
AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH AIRCRAFT

0
31. The authority citation for part 135 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 41706, 44113, 44701-44702, 44705, 
44709, 44711-44713, 44715-44717, 44722.

0
32. Amend Sec.  135.151 by adding new paragraphs (f), (g), and (h) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  135.151  Cockpit voice recorders.

* * * * *
    (f) By April 7, 2012, all airplanes subject to paragraph (a) or 
paragraph (b) of this section that are manufactured before April 7, 
2010, and that are required to have a flight data recorder installed in 
accordance with Sec.  135.152, must have a cockpit voice recorder that 
also--
    (1) Meets the requirements in Sec.  23.1457(d)(6) or Sec.  
25.1457(d)(6) of this chapter, as applicable; and
    (2) If transport category, meet the requirements in Sec.  
25.1457(a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5) of this chapter.
    (g)(1) No person may operate a multiengine, turbine-powered 
airplane or rotorcraft that is manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, 
that has a passenger seating configuration of six or more seats, for 
which two pilots are required by certification or operating rules, and 
that is required to have a flight data recorder under Sec.  135.152, 
unless it is equipped with an approved cockpit voice recorder that 
also--
    (i) Is installed in accordance with the requirements of Sec.  
23.1457, Sec.  25.1457, Sec.  27.1457(a)(6), (d)(1), (d)(4), (d)(5), 
and (h), or Sec.  29.1457(a)(6), (d)(1), (d)(4), (d)(5), and (h) of 
this chapter, as applicable;
    (ii) Is operated continuously from the use of the check list before 
the flight, to completion of the final check list at the end of the 
flight; and
    (iii) Retains at least the last 2 hours of recorded information 
using a recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C123a, or later 
revision.
    (2) No person may operate a multiengine, turbine-powered airplane 
or rotorcraft that is manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, has a 
passenger seating configuration of 20 or more seats, and that is 
required to have a flight data recorder under Sec.  135.152, unless it 
is equipped with an approved cockpit voice recorder that also--
    (i) Is installed in accordance with the requirements of Sec.  
23.1457, Sec.  25.1457, Sec.  27.1457(a)(6), (d)(1), (d)(4), (d)(5), 
and (h), or Sec.  29.1457(a)(6), (d)(1), (d)(4), (d)(5), and (h) of 
this chapter, as applicable;
    (ii) Is operated continuously from the use of the check list before 
the flight, to completion of the final check list at the end of the 
flight; and
    (iii) Retains at least the last 2 hours of recorded information 
using a recorder that meets the standards of TSO-C123a, or later 
revision.
    (h) All airplanes or rotorcraft required by this part to have a 
cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder, that install 
datalink communication equipment on or after April 7, 2010, must record 
all datalink messages as required by the certification rule applicable 
to the aircraft.

0
33. Amend Sec.  135.152 by revising the section heading and by adding 
new paragraphs (l) and (m) to read as follows:


Sec.  135.152  Flight data recorders.

* * * * *
    (l) By April 7, 2012, all aircraft manufactured before April 7, 
2010, must also meet the requirements in Sec.  23.1459(a)(7), Sec.  
25.1459(a)(8), Sec.  27.1459(e), or Sec.  29.1459(e) of this chapter, 
as applicable.
    (m) All aircraft manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, must have 
a flight data recorder installed that also--
    (1) Meets the requirements of Sec.  23.1459(a)(3), (a)(6), and 
(a)(7), Sec.  25.1459(a)(3), (a)(7), and (a)(8), Sec.  27.1459(a)(3), 
(a)(6), and (e), or Sec.  29.1459(a)(3), (a)(6), and (e) of this 
chapter, as applicable; and
    (2) Retains the 25 hours of recorded information required in 
paragraph (d) of this section using a recorder that meets the standards 
of TSO-C124a, or later revision.

0
34. Amend appendix C to part 135 by adding footnote 4 to the 
Collective, Pedal Position, Lat. Cyclic, Long. Cyclic, and Controllable 
Stabilator Position, under the heading Parameters to read as set forth 
below. The text of footnotes 1 through 3 is reprinted without change 
for the convenience of the reader.

[[Page 12571]]



                       Appendix C to Part 135.--Helicopter Flight Recorder Specifications
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            Installed
                                                                            system \1\
                                                                             minimum      Sampling    Resolution
                                                                             accuracy     interval     \1\ read
                Parameters                              Range                  (to          (per         out
                                                                            recovered     second)     (percent)
                                                                              data)
                                                                            (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Collective \4\............................  Full Range...................       3
Pedal Position \4\........................  Full Range...................       3
Lat. Cyclic \4\...........................  Full Range...................       3
Long. Cyclic \4\..........................  Full Range...................       3
Controllable Stabilator Position \4\......  Full Range...................       3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ When data sources are aircraft instruments (except altimeters) of acceptable quality to fly the aircraft,
  the recording system, excluding these sensors (but including all other characteristics of the recording
  system), shall contribute no more than half of the values in this column.
\2\ Percent of full range.
\3\ This column applies to aircraft manufactured after October 11, 1991.
\4\ For all aircraft manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, the sampling interval per second is 4.


0
35. Amend appendix E to part 135 by adding footnote 3 to the Pilot 
Input--Primary Controls (Collective, Longitudinal Cyclic, Lateral 
Cyclic, Pedal) parameter to read as set forth below. The text of 
footnotes 1 and 2 is reprinted without change for the convenience of 
the reader.

                       Appendix E to Part 135.--Helicopter Flight Recorder Specifications
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Accuracy
                                                                              sensor      Sampling    Resolution
                                                                             input to     interval     \2\ read
                Parameters                              Range                  DFDR         (per         out
                                                                             readout      second)     (percent)
                                                                            (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Pilot Input--Primary Controls (Collective,  Full Range...................       3
 Pedal) \3\.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Percent of full range.
\2\ This column applies to aircraft manufactured after October 11, 1991.
\2\ 3 For all aircraft manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, the sampling interval per second is 4.


0
36. Amend appendix F to part 135 by revising the appendix heading and 
parameters 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b, 14a, 14b, 15, 16, 17, and 88, and adding 
footnote 18, to read as set forth below. The text of footnotes 3 
through 8 is reprinted without change for the convenience of the 
reader.
* * * * *

                                            Appendix F to Part 135.--Airplane Flight Recorder Specifications
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Accuracy (sensor      Seconds per sampling
             Parameters                       Range                  input)                 interval              Resolution              Remarks
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                                    * * * * * * * * *
12a. Pitch control(s) position       Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.5% of full range...  For airplanes that
 (nonfly-by-wire systems) \18\.                               unless higher           airplanes operated                            have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    control breakaway
                                                              required.               135.152(j).                                   capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
12b. Pitch control(s) position (fly- Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...  .....................
 by-wire systems) \3 18\.                                     unless higher           airplanes operated
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.
                                                              required.               135.152(j).

[[Page 12572]]

 
13a. Lateral control position(s)     Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...  For airplanes that
 (nonfly-by-wire) \18\.                                       unless higher           airplanes operated                            have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    control breakaway
                                                              required.               135.152(j).                                   capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
13b. Lateral control position(s)     Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...  .....................
 (fly-by-wire) \4 18\.                                        unless higher           airplanes operated
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.
                                                              required.               135.152(j).
14a. Yaw control position(s)         Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.3% of full range...  For airplanes that
 (nonfly-by-wire) \5 18\.                                     unless higher                                                         have a flight
                                                              accuracy uniquely                                                     control breakaway
                                                              required.                                                             capability that
                                                                                                                                    allows either pilot
                                                                                                                                    to operate the
                                                                                                                                    controls
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    inputs. The control
                                                                                                                                    inputs may be
                                                                                                                                    sampled alternately
                                                                                                                                    once per second to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    of 0.5 or 0.25, as
                                                                                                                                    applicable.
14b. Yaw control position(s) (fly-   Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.2% of full range...  .....................
 by-wire) \18\.                                               unless higher
                                                              accuracy uniquely
                                                              required.
15. Pitch control surface(s)         Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.3% of full range...  For airplanes fitted
 position \6 18\.                                             unless higher           airplanes operated                            with multiple or
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    split surfaces, a
                                                              required.               135.152(j)..                                  suitable combination
                                                                                                                                    of inputs is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
16. Lateral control surface(s)       Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5 or 0.25 for        0.2% of full range...  A suitable
 position \7 18\.                                             unless higher           airplanes operated                            combination of
                                                              accuracy uniquely       under Sec.                                    surface position
                                                              required.               135.152(j).                                   sensors is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5 or
                                                                                                                                    0.25, as applicable.
17. Yaw control surface(s) position  Full Range............   2[deg]     0.5..................  0.2% of full range...  For airplanes with
 \8 18\.                                                      unless higher                                                         multiple or split
                                                              accuracy uniquely                                                     surfaces, a suitable
                                                              required.                                                             combination of
                                                                                                                                    surface position
                                                                                                                                    sensors is
                                                                                                                                    acceptable in lieu
                                                                                                                                    of recording each
                                                                                                                                    surface separately.
                                                                                                                                    The control surfaces
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately to
                                                                                                                                    produce the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 0.5.
 

[[Page 12573]]

 
                                                                    * * * * * * * * *
88. All cockpit flight control       Full Range Control       5[deg]...  1....................  0.3% of full range...  For fly-by-wire
 input forces (control wheel,         wheel  70                                                                         flight control
 control column, rudder pedal) \18\.  lbs. Control column                                                                           systems, where
                                       85 lbs.                                                                          flight control
                                      Rudder pedal  165 lbs.                                                                               a function of the
                                                                                                                                    displacement of the
                                                                                                                                    control input device
                                                                                                                                    only, it is not
                                                                                                                                    necessary to record
                                                                                                                                    this parameter. For
                                                                                                                                    airplanes that have
                                                                                                                                    a flight control
                                                                                                                                    breakaway capability
                                                                                                                                    that allows either
                                                                                                                                    pilot to operate the
                                                                                                                                    control
                                                                                                                                    independently,
                                                                                                                                    record both control
                                                                                                                                    force inputs. The
                                                                                                                                    control force inputs
                                                                                                                                    may be sampled
                                                                                                                                    alternately once per
                                                                                                                                    2 seconds to produce
                                                                                                                                    the sampling
                                                                                                                                    interval of 1.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    \3\ For A318/A319/A320/A321 series airplanes, resolution = 
0.275% (0.088[deg]>0.064[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 2.20% 
(0.703[deg]>0.064[deg]).
    \4\ For A318/A319/A320/A321 series airplanes, resolution = 0.22% 
(0.088[deg]>0.080[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 1.76% 
(0.703[deg]>0.080[deg]).
    \5\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 1.18% 
(0.703[deg]>0.120[deg]).
    \6\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 0.783% 
(0.352[deg]>0.090[deg]).
    \7\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, aileron resolution = 0.704% 
(0.352[deg]>0.100[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, spoiler resolution = 1.406% 
(0.703[deg]>0.100[deg]).
    \8\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 0.30% 
(0.176[deg]>0.12[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, seconds per sampling interval = 
1.
* * * * *
    \18\ For all aircraft manufactured on or after April 7, 2010, 
the seconds per sampling interval is 0.125. Each input must be 
recorded at this rate. Alternately sampling inputs (interleaving) to 
meet this sampling interval is prohibited.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 19, 2008.
Robert A. Sturgell,
Acting Administrator.

 [FR Doc. E8-3949 Filed 3-6-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P