[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 180 (Monday, September 17, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57039-57041]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22777]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 25

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0978; Notice No. 25-12-03-SC]


Special Conditions: Embraer S.A., Model EMB-550 Airplane; 
Electronic Flight Control System: Control Surface Awareness and Mode 
Annunciation

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed special conditions.

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SUMMARY: This action proposes special conditions for the Embraer S.A. 
Model EMB-550 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual 
design feature(s) associated with the control surface awareness and 
mode annunciation of the electronic flight control system. The 
applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These proposed 
special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the 
Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety 
equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES: Send your comments on or before November 1, 2012.

[[Page 57040]]


ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2012-0978 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and follow the online instructions for sending 
your comments electronically.
     Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room 
W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket 
Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
     Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.
    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without 
change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal 
information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the 
docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all 
comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the 
individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an 
association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov/.
    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at 
http://www.regulations.gov/at any time. Follow the online instructions 
for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 
of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joe Jacobsen, FAA, Airplane and Flight 
Crew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Airplane Directorate, 
Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2011; facsimile 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by 
sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments 
reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.
    We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing 
date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the 
comments we receive.

Background

    On May 14, 2009, Embraer S.A. applied for a type certificate for 
their new Model EMB-550 airplane. The Model EMB-550 airplane is the 
first of a new family of jet airplanes designed for corporate flight, 
fractional, charter, and private owner operations. The aircraft has a 
conventional configuration with low wing and T-tail empennage. The 
primary structure is metal with composite empennage and control 
surfaces. The Model EMB-550 airplane is designed for 8 passengers, with 
a maximum of 12 passengers. It is equipped with two Honeywell HTF7500-E 
medium bypass ratio turbofan engines mounted on aft fuselage pylons. 
Each engine produces approximately 6,540 pounds of thrust for normal 
takeoff. The primary flight controls consist of hydraulically powered 
fly-by-wire elevators, aileron and rudder, controlled by the pilot or 
copilot sidestick.

Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 
CFR) 21.17, Embraer S.A. must show that the Model EMB-550 airplane 
meets the applicable provisions of part 25, as amended by Amendments 
25-1 through 25-127.
    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness 
regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for the Model EMB-550 airplane because of 
a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed 
under the provisions of Sec.  21.16.
    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which 
they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended 
later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar 
novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also 
apply to the other model under Sec.  21.101.
    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special 
conditions, the Model EMB-550 airplane must comply with the fuel vent 
and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise 
certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36 and the FAA must issue a 
finding of regulatory adequacy under Sec.  611 of Public Law 92-574, 
the ``Noise Control Act of 1972.''
    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in 
accordance with Sec.  11.38, and they become part of the type-
certification basis under Sec.  21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Model EMB-550 airplane will incorporate the following novel or 
unusual design features: The Embraer S.A. Model EMB-550 airplane will 
have a fly-by-wire electronic flight control system and no direct 
coupling from the flightdeck controller to the control surface. As a 
result, the pilot is not aware of the actual control surface position 
as envisioned when part 25 was written.

Discussion

    This special condition proposes that the flightcrew receive a 
suitable flight control position annunciation when a flight condition 
exists in which nearly full surface authority (not crew-commanded) is 
being used. Suitability of such a display must take into account that 
some pilot-demanded maneuvers (e.g., rapid roll) are necessarily 
associated with intended full performance, which may saturate the 
surface. Therefore, simple alerting systems function in both intended 
and unexpected control-limiting situations. As a result, they must be 
properly balanced between providing necessary crew awareness and being 
a potential nuisance to the flightcrew. A monitoring system that 
compares airplane motion and surface deflection with the demand of the 
pilot sidestick controller could help reduce nuisance alerting.
    This special condition also addresses flight control system mode 
annunciation. It proposes suitable mode annunciation be provided to the 
flightcrew for events that significantly change the operating mode of 
the system but do not merit the classic ``failure warning.''
    This proposed special condition would establish a level of safety 
equivalent to that provided by a conventional flight control system and 
that contemplated in existing regulations.

Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the 
Model EMB-550 airplane. Should Embraer S.A. apply at a later date for a 
change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating 
the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would 
apply to that model as well.

[[Page 57041]]

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on one model of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

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

The Proposed Special Conditions

    Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the 
following special conditions as part of the type certification basis 
for Model EMB-550 airplanes.
    1. Electronic Flight Control System: Control Surface Awareness and 
Mode Annunciation. In addition to the requirements of Sec. Sec.  
25.143, 25.671, and 25.672, the following requirements apply:
    a. The system design must ensure that the flightcrew is made 
suitably aware whenever the primary control means nears the limit of 
control authority.

    Note: The term ``suitably aware'' indicates annunciations 
provided to the flightcrew are appropriately balanced between 
nuisance and that necessary for crew awareness.

    b. If the design of the flight control system has multiple modes of 
operation, a means must be provided to indicate to the crew any mode 
that significantly changes or degrades the normal handling or 
operational characteristics of the airplane.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 7, 2012.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-22777 Filed 9-14-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P