[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 224 (Wednesday, November 19, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 69526-69531]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-27459]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 91 and 105

[Docket No.: FAA-2005-21829; Amendment Nos. 91-305, 105-13]
RIN 2120-AI85


Parachute Equipment and Packing

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is amending the regulations governing the packing 
interval for certain types of parachutes. Currently, the FAA prohibits 
most parachutes from being used or carried aboard an aircraft and 
available for emergency use unless they have been packed within the 
previous 120 days. New reliability data from the parachute industry and 
other sources indicate that the packing interval should be increased; 
therefore, we are lengthening the interval from 120 to 180 days. This 
final rule revises the parachute packing interval and ensures safe use.

DATES: This amendment becomes effective December 19, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions concerning 
this final rule, contact Kim Barnette, AFS-350, Aircraft Maintenance 
Division, General Aviation and Avionics Branch, AFS-350, Federal 
Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 
20591; telephone (202) 493-4922; facsimile (202) 267-5115, e-mail 
kim.a.barnette@faa.gov.
    For legal questions concerning this final rule, contact Ed Averman, 
Regulations Division, AGC-210, FAA Office of the Chief Counsel, 800 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-
3147; facsimile (202) 267-7971, e-mail ed.averman@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules on 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 promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air 
commerce by prescribing regulations and minimum standards in the 
interest of safety for inspecting, servicing, and overhauling aircraft, 
aircraft engines, propellers, and appliances. This rule is within the 
scope of that authority because it affects the airworthiness of 
parachutes used for airborne emergencies and sport applications.

Background

    The majority of nonmilitary parachutes used in the United States 
are either sport parachutes or parachutes used for emergency purposes. 
Nearly all sport parachutes are used for skydiving and use a ``dual 
parachute system.'' Dual parachute systems contain a ``main'' parachute 
and a second parachute called a ``reserve'' parachute, to be used if 
the main parachute fails. The other commonly used parachute is a 
single-unit emergency parachute, often worn in case of emergency when 
operating special aircraft like gliders or aerobatic airplanes.
    The FAA issued a rule in 1978 requiring that all main and most 
reserve parachutes be packed every 120 days. Before 1978, the FAA 
required that all parachutes be packed every 60 days. The FAA extended 
the packing interval to 120 days because new synthetic parachute 
materials like nylon and Dacron were becoming commonplace. Parachutists 
had found the synthetic material was just as reliable after being 
packed for 120 days as it was after 60 days.

[[Page 69527]]

    This rule still required a 60-day packing interval for reserve 
parachutes that are composed of any amount of silk, pongee, or other 
natural fiber, or a material that is not nylon, rayon, or similar 
synthetic fiber. A similar requirement exists for emergency-use 
parachutes.
    Recently acquired data from the U.S. military, foreign aviation 
authorities, and parachute industry representatives suggest that the 
current 120-day packing interval is too short. Numerous experts 
asserted that modern parachute materials last longer when the packing 
interval is longer than 120 days and that too-frequent packing shortens 
the life of the materials. Those experts found the parachutes' porosity 
was affected by handling and manipulation of the parachute while being 
packed. Therefore, the FAA proposed 180 days as a more suitable packing 
interval for modern parachute systems.
    Simula, Inc., a parachute manufacturer, and the U.S. Navy performed 
a number of varied tests on the repack cycle of Darachute parachutes 
that had been vacuum-sealed for over 7 years. Laboratory, 
environmental, dummy and live airdrops, and other tests were conducted. 
Results strongly supported that the reliability of the vacuum-sealed 
parachute under the tested conditions would not decrease after being 
packed for more than 5 years. In the rule at hand, we are only 
extending the repack cycle from 120 days to 180 days, which is a much 
shorter interval than 5 years. This study supports our view that the 
180-day repack cycle would not adversely affect parachutes' safety.
    The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), the U.S. 
Navy's Technical Agent for personnel parachuting, supports a longer 
repack cycle than the current 120 days. The NAWCWD develops, evaluates, 
and recommends policies regarding parachute service and repack cycles 
for the Navy. Currently, the repack interval for certain parachutes, 
all made of synthetic fibers, is 182 days for both the main and reserve 
parachutes. NAWCWD asserts that none of the Navy's parachuting units 
have reported ``any safety or maintenance problems/issues associated 
with the 182-day repack cycle.''
    The Parachute Industry Association (PIA) conducted a study on 
frequent repacking and its effect on the airworthiness or performance 
of parachutes. PIA also considered the porosity of fabric in relation 
to the handling of fabric. Evidence showed that ``there is no valid 
safety-related justification for continuing with a 120-day repack 
cycle'' for parachutes. Parachutes made with low-porosity fabrics 
showed most ``wear'' during packing, rather than in their actual use 
(i.e., deployment). PIA concluded that this ``wear'' could cause 
``degradation of [a] parachute's performance over [a] series of repack 
cycles.'' Therefore, PIA supports the change to a 180-day repack cycle.
    The FAA has granted several exemptions to foreign individuals who 
participate in parachute events in the United States. Those exemptions 
allowed the foreign parachutists to use their parachutes even if they 
had not been packed within the previous 120 days, and many of those 
foreign parachutists' countries had much longer repack intervals. We 
have relied on each parachutist's compliance with the packing interval 
requirements of the aviation authority in each parachutist's own 
country. No accident-incident reports over the past 7 years show 
accidents or incidents attributed to material failures of parachutes.
    In this final rule, we are also making several minor corrections to 
14 CFR parts 91 and 105. We are removing the reference to ``chair 
type'' parachutes in Sec.  91.307 because all parachutes, regardless of 
type, will have the same packing interval. We are also making two 
corrections to typographical errors we found in Sec.  105.43. We are 
not making any changes to the packing interval for parachutes made from 
natural fibers such as silk or pongee.

Summary of the NPRM

    On May 22, 2007, the FAA published notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) 07-12, entitled Parachute Equipment and Packing.\1\ The FAA 
proposed to increase the repack intervals for parachutes made of 
certain materials and also to make some minor technical corrections to 
the rules governing parachute operations. In the NPRM, we invited data 
from the public that would support or challenge our proposal to change 
the current parachute packing interval. The public comment period 
closed on August 20, 2007.
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    \1\ 72 FR 28820.
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    Prior to issuing the NPRM, the FAA had concluded it was time to 
reconsider our parachute packing interval requirements. The FAA has 
long had systems to collect data about incidents related to parachutes 
and the activity of FAA-certificated parachute riggers; however, we had 
not been able to obtain any information from our own data about the 
effect of the packing interval on modern parachute materials. On July 
8, 2005, PIA petitioned the FAA for an exemption from the 120-day 
packing interval, and it provided data that suggested a longer interval 
might be warranted (FAA-2005-21829-1). The petition stated many foreign 
countries and military organizations were using longer packing 
intervals that did not adversely affect safety or parachute 
performance. We used this data to support our proposal.
    We have made no changes to the proposed regulatory text in this 
final rule. The significant comments we received are discussed in the 
``Discussion of the Final Rule'' section below.

Related Activity

    A separate final rule, entitled Parachute Repack Authorization, 
which clarifies the parachute repack authority given to certain 
personnel, is currently in development.

Summary of Comments

    We received 338 comments on this rulemaking. Commenters included: 
government authorities, professional organizations, businesses, and a 
multitude of individuals, including many certificated parachute riggers 
and members of the U.S. military. Most of the commenters supported the 
proposed rule; several commenters also had suggestions for change, and 
eight commenters expressed explicit opposition to the rule.
    The FAA received comments on the following general areas of the 
proposal.
     Changing the repack interval to reflect ``months'' instead 
of ``days''.
     Significantly increasing the repack interval.
     Allowing manufacturers to determine the repack interval.
     Adding certain conditions or additional inspection 
requirements.
    All comments are discussed more fully in the ``Discussion of the 
Final Rule'' section below.

Discussion of the Final Rule

Parachute Packing Interval

    We have revised the parachute packing requirements in Sec. Sec.  
91.307 and 105.43 to increase the packing interval from 120 to 180 
days. We are also removing an unnecessary reference to ``chair type'' 
parachutes in Sec.  91.307 and correcting two minor typographical 
errors in Sec.  105.43. These changes affect emergency-use parachutes 
composed exclusively of nylon, rayon, or other similar synthetic fiber 
or materials and all main and most (those composed exclusively of 
nylon, rayon, or other similar synthetic fiber or materials) reserve 
parachutes.

[[Page 69528]]

    We received numerous comments regarding the proposed change to the 
repack interval. Some commenters suggested that in lieu of 180 days, 
the FAA should adopt a 6-month repack interval, and others suggested 
that the interval should be 6 calendar months. We viewed these comments 
as favorable since the commenters did not express opposition to the 
rule. The commenters merely stated their suggestions without providing 
a rationale for them. The FAA, however, considers there to be a 
difference between 180 days, six months, and six calendar months. The 
180 days is a fixed period, whereas a 6-month period could vary 
depending on the number of days in the 6 months. We will retain the 
180-day repacking interval as proposed.
    Other comments suggested that the repack interval should be 
extended well beyond the proposed 180 days, up to a period of 365 days, 
or one calendar year. We do not agree that the repack interval should 
be extended beyond what was proposed. The parachute industry collected 
and analyzed the technical data to support extending the repack 
interval to 180 days and submitted that data to the FAA for 
consideration. The FAA concurred with industry's conclusion and issued 
the NPRM for public comment. We did not receive sufficient data to 
support extending the repack interval beyond 180 days.
    Four commenters recommended that the FAA allow manufacturers to 
determine what the appropriate repack interval should be for their 
respective equipment. We disagree. This is a safety issue, and we 
retain responsibility for establishing the minimum standards to which 
all aircraft products are inspected and maintained. By standardizing 
the repack interval, we alleviate potentially unsafe variances in 
equipment that may result if that responsibility is delegated to 
manufacturers. Therefore, that responsibility will not be delegated to 
manufacturers.
    One commenter supported the extended repack interval proposed in 
the NPRM, but asked that we modify the rule to state that 180 days 
should apply only to operations where parachutes are required. The 
commenter further suggested that ``if you must outlaw safety equipment 
that isn't even required, then in good conscience you might at least 
make the rule say that the parachute is good for one year for flight 
operations where it is not required equipment.'' The FAA finds this 
comment inconsistent with the intent of this rule and outside the scope 
of this rulemaking, which is simply to extend the repack interval to 
180 days.
    Another commenter stated that we should increase the repack 
interval for back parachutes to one year, and the repack interval for 
seat type parachutes to at least 180 days. The commenter also stated 
that ``the repack interval for silk, poplin and other canopies made 
with older materials that are not mildew resistant should remain at 120 
days.''
    We did not propose to increase the repack interval of any reserve 
parachute composed of any amount of silk beyond the current 60-day 
repack requirement. We note that the commenter incorrectly stated the 
existing repack requirement as 120 days for these parachutes. The 
commenter provided no data to support extending the repack interval of 
any parachute beyond 180 days.
    A commenter suggested that a mandatory rigger inspection of the 
entire parachute system should be implemented. The commenter stated: 
``This way the riggers still have something to do with their time and 
can charge more for the service.'' We note that adding inspection and 
maintenance requirements is beyond the narrow focus of this rulemaking, 
which is intended only to amend the repack interval.
    Another commenter stated that this rule should also apply to the 
main parachute of a dual harness/dual parachute (tandem) system and 
that ``the 180 day requirement should be applied to such systems to 
give at least the same level of control as single harness/dual 
parachute systems.'' Although this comment may have some merit, it too 
is beyond the narrow scope of this rulemaking, which addresses only 
single harness, dual parachute systems. The FAA will consider this 
issue for possible inclusion into future rulemaking.
    Several commenters suggested that additional text should be added 
to the rule language to state that if a parachute has been immersed in 
water or is ``suspected to be wet,'' or if the parachute was exposed to 
intense heat (fire) or other abnormal conditions as defined by the 
manufacturer (either of the noted conditions would have a significant 
effect on the safety of the parachute), then the parachute must be 
inspected and repacked by a certificated parachute rigger. We note that 
jumpers are already responsible for maintaining their equipment between 
packing intervals, just as any other parachute owner. To include 
specific maintenance requirements is not within the scope of this 
rulemaking.
    One commenter supported the rule as proposed, but suggested that 
the Department of Transportation or the FAA should contact the U.S. 
Army Quartermaster Center at Fort Lee, VA--the Department of Defense 
authority for parachute rigging--to get an official position on this 
issue. We agree and have already reviewed and considered pertinent data 
from the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy.
    Two commenters, both master parachute riggers from ``The Parachute 
Shop,'' expressed total opposition to the proposed rule change, citing 
the ``low experience levels'' of many jumpers and riggers due to 
``inadequate training.'' Additionally, the commenters expressed concern 
that the proposed extension of repack intervals will exacerbate this 
condition by providing fewer opportunities for training and experience. 
Although there is no FAA involvement in the training curriculum for 
parachute jumping or rigging, we have no data to support the assertion 
of ``inadequate training'' or evidence of unacceptable safety risks 
within the parachuting community. The narrow scope of this rulemaking 
does not contemplate placing controls or training requirements on 
school curricula. Further, a student's parachute must be packed by a 
certificated rigger or a person under the direct supervision of a 
certificated rigger to ensure that safety of the rented parachute is 
not compromised. We are also providing clarification to any 
``experience level'' concerns in a different rulemaking that clearly 
defines who can perform certain parachute repack functions.
    A commenter expressed opposition to any extension beyond the 
current 120-day interval, as he believes that environments associated 
with conditions of ``high humidity'' might not have been given due 
consideration as a part of this rulemaking effort. We disagree. The 
data submitted and considered by the FAA in support of the increase in 
repack intervals represents operations in all atmospheric conditions, 
including conditions of high humidity.
    Another commenter, a skydiving instructor, is opposed to the 
proposed rule and cited several concerns. The commenter stated that the 
120-day repack requirement affords a certificated parachute rigger the 
opportunity to complete an inspection of the entire parachute system. 
This includes components considered ``heavy wear items,'' such as 
automatic activation devices. The commenter stated that ``extending the 
repack cycle will reduce how often these elements are inspected.'' The 
commenter further suggested that cost savings to users may be receiving 
greater attention than safety in this rulemaking effort. We disagree. 
The parachute industry collected and

[[Page 69529]]

analyzed the technical data to support extending the repack interval to 
180 days and submitted the data to the FAA for consideration. After 
evaluating the technical data, we concurred with industry's conclusion 
and have determined that there will be no reduction in safety by 
extending the repack interval to 180 days.
    Two commenters, both master parachute riggers, oppose the proposed 
rule and cited potential problems that were averted due to timeliness 
of the current 120-day inspection interval. The commenters suggested 
that any extension to the repack interval could have an adverse effect 
on safety. However, the commenters merely stated that there had been 
``averted problems'' but produced no supporting data to substantiate 
their claim of a relationship between any ``averted problems'' and the 
current 120-day repack interval.
    A commenter stated concerns about the handling of rental equipment 
and student equipment. However, the commenter submitted no data to 
support this position. We find the commenter's concerns regarding 
rental and student equipment unwarranted. Students are instructed that 
their parachutes must be packed each time by a certificated rigger or a 
person under the direct supervision of a certificated rigger to ensure 
that the safety of parachutes is not compromised. Each time a parachute 
is packed, any safety concerns of the harness, container, and canopy 
should be detected and addressed by the certificated rigger.
    One commenter, a senior parachute rigger, offered several reasons 
why he is opposed to the rule. The commenter suggested that the 
momentum for this rule was produced by the Parachute Industry 
Association (PIA), and he implied that the FAA and some in industry 
have simply chosen to follow PIA's lead. The commenter further 
suggested that the United States is departing from higher standards and 
simply reacting to changes implemented by other countries, and he 
alleged that there are many riggers and jumpers with insufficient 
experience and/or knowledge of parachute operations.
    The commenter also asserted that the 120-day repack requirement 
affords a certificated parachute rigger the opportunity to complete an 
inspection of the entire parachute system and to include items such as 
automatic activation devices, which the commenter stated are prone to 
battery leakages. The commenter further stated that ``extending the 
repack cycle will reduce the inspection of these uncertified safety-
critical devices.'' Lastly, the commenter suggested that should the FAA 
proceed with the proposed rulemaking, consideration should be given to 
a distinction between requirements for private use versus rented/
commercial use equipment. In addition, one commenter suggested that the 
FAA was arbitrary in selecting a 180-day interval for parachute 
repacking and that risks versus net safety benefits might not have been 
given due consideration in the process. Another commenter also stated 
the current 120-day interval should stand unchanged. That commenter 
further stated that the concerns are not with a reserve opening issue, 
but rather with components such as ``the harness and container and 
canopy.''
    We disagree with the commenters' assessments. The parachute 
industry collected and analyzed the technical data to support extending 
the repack interval to 180 days and submitted that data to the FAA for 
consideration. The FAA concurred with industry's conclusion, which is 
also supported by U.S. military data. Our analysis of available data 
and consideration of comments received led us to conclude that 
extending the repack interval to 180 days would not adversely affect 
safety. Actually, we are enhancing safety by alleviating the adverse 
effects handling has on the porosity of parachutes.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires 
that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. We have determined that there 
is no current or new requirement for information collection associated 
with this amendment.

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 
determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices 
that correspond to these regulations.

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 with 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 regulatory evaluation, a copy of which we have 
placed in the docket for this rulemaking.
    This final rule will result in no quantifiable costs, although 
there may be some minor loss of revenue to parachute riggers. Also, we 
believe that extending the packing requirement from 120 days to 180 
days would not degrade the current level of safety afforded to 
parachutists, and the level of safety in an emergency situation may 
increase because the parachutes would not be handled as often. 
Repacking parachutes may cause some degradation in the strength of the 
parachute material.
    The FAA has, therefore, determined that this final rule is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866, and is not ``significant'' as defined in DOT's 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures.

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-

[[Page 69530]]

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.
    This rulemaking will result in some minor cost savings to 
parachutists. We consider parachutists to be individuals who are not 
subject to RFA. This final rule does not impose costs on any small 
entities; it may however, result in some minor loss of revenue to 
parachute riggers. Therefore, as the Acting FAA Administrator, I 
certify that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements 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 has assessed the 
potential effect of this final rule and has determined that it will 
have only a domestic impact and therefore no effect on international 
trade.

Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-
4) 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 an expenditure of $100 million or more 
(adjusted annually for inflation with the base year 1995) in any one 
year 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 value equivalent of $100 million in CY 1995, 
adjusted for inflation to CY 2007 levels by the Consumer Price Index 
for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) as published by the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, is $136.1 million. This final rule does not contain such a 
mandate.

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 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically 
excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or 
environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy 
Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has 
determined this final rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical 
exclusion identified in paragraph 312 and involves no extraordinary 
circumstances.

Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or 
Use

    The FAA has analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). We have determined that it is not 
a ``significant energy action'' under the executive order because it is 
not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, 
and it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy.

Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    You may obtain an electronic copy of rulemaking documents 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 amendment 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 
or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 
1996 requires 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 
regarding this document, you may contact your local FAA official, or 
the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at 
the beginning of the preamble. You can find out more about SBREFA on 
the Internet at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/
sbre_act/.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Parts 91 and 105

    Aviation safety.

The Amendment

0
In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration 
amends Chapter I of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 91--GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES

0
1. 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).


0
2. Amend Sec.  91.307 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.307  Parachutes and parachuting.

    (a) No pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a parachute that is 
available for emergency use to be carried in that aircraft unless it is 
an approved type and has been packed by a certificated and 
appropriately rated parachute rigger--
    (1) Within the preceding 180 days, if its canopy, shrouds, and 
harness are composed exclusively of nylon, rayon,

[[Page 69531]]

or other similar synthetic fiber or materials that are substantially 
resistant to damage from mold, mildew, or other fungi and other rotting 
agents propagated in a moist environment; or
    (2) Within the preceding 60 days, if any part of the parachute is 
composed of silk, pongee, or other natural fiber or materials not 
specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
* * * * *

PART 105--PARACHUTE OPERATIONS

0
3. The authority citation for part 105 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113-40114, 44701-44702, 44721.

0
4. Amend Sec.  105.43 by revising paragraph (a) and (b)(1) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  105.43  Use of single-harness, dual-parachute systems.

* * * * *
    (a) The main parachute must have been packed within 180 days before 
the date of its use by a certificated parachute rigger, the person 
making the next jump with that parachute, or a non-certificated person 
under the direct supervision of a certificated parachute rigger.
    (b) * * *
    (1) Within 180 days before the date of its use, if its canopy, 
shroud, and harness are composed exclusively of nylon, rayon, or 
similar synthetic fiber or material that is substantially resistant to 
damage from mold, mildew, and other fungi, and other rotting agents 
propagated in a moist environment; or
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 6, 2008.
Robert A. Sturgell,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. E8-27459 Filed 11-18-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P