[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 221 (Friday, November 15, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68687-68688]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26910]

Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 221 / Friday, November 15, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 68687]]


Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 21

Final Additional Airworthiness Design Standards: Advanced 
Avionics Under the Special Class (JAR-VLA) Regulations; Aquila Aviation 
by Excellence GmbH, Model AT01-100

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Issuance of airworthiness design standards.


SUMMARY: This document is an issuance of the final airworthiness design 
criteria for the inclusion of advance avionics with integrated 
electronic displays for the Aquila Aviation by Excellence GmbH AT01-
100. These additional provisions are expansions of the existing JAR-VLA 
(Joint Aviation Requirements--Very Light Aircraft) and CS-VLA 
regulations as the current regulations do not adequately address these 
types of systems. The current regulations only address traditional 
federated gauges. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has not 
expanded the VLA regulations for these types of installation on these 
types of airplanes through EASA special conditions or new regulations. 
These Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) design criteria help 
initiate standards for this type of airplane without being over 
burdensome and to encourage EASA to follow suit.

DATES: Effective November 15, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, 
Standards Office (ACE-112), Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft 
Certification Service, FAA; telephone number (816) 329-4059, fax number 
(816) 329-4090, email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Any person may obtain a copy of this 
information by contacting the person named above under FOR FURTHER 


    The original certification of the aircraft was done under the 
provisions of 14 CFR 21.29, as a Sec.  21.17(b), special class 
aircraft, JAR-VLA, using the requirements of JAR-VLA Amendment VLA/92/
01 as developed by the Joint Aviation Authority, and under Title 14 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations and two additional design criteria 
issued on September 2, 2003 (68 FR 56809).
    The regulation applicable to the Amended Type Certificate (TC) 
approval is Sec.  21.17(b). This section describes the regulatory basis 
for the approval of JAR-VLA and CS-VLA aircraft as a special class. 
Policy on this subject includes AC 23-11B and AC 21.17-3.
    FAA policy expressed in AC 23-11B and AC 21.17-3 limits JAR-VLA and 
CS-VLA aircraft approved under Sec.  21.17(b), to Day-VFR operations. 
Additionally, the FAA also published design criteria to allow expansion 
of the Aquila AT01-100 airplane to include Night-VFR as shown in NPRM 
75 FR 32576. In conjunction with the expansion to Night-VFR operations 
integrated avionic displays are to be installed on the Aquila AT01-100 
    EASA allowed the applicant to comply with CS-23 regulations for the 
integrated avionic displays installed on the Aquila AT01-100 airplane 
and made them part of the EASA certification basis, but did not publish 
these additional requirements as Special Conditions as they did for the 
Night-VFR expansion. The FAA's system does not allow this type of 
additional requirements, such as 14 CFR part 23 regulations, to be 
added to a special class, Sec.  21.17(b) airplane without being 
publically noticed either through design criteria or expansion of the 
existing AC 23-11B. This is the reason for this design criteria 
    The FAA has concluded that it is acceptable to allow advanced 
integrated avionic systems for certification on the Aquila Model AT01-
100 under the special class amended TC project AT00651CE-A, provided 
the applicant complies with the below listed design criteria based on 
existing part 23 regulations at the described amendment levels. 
Revisions to AC 23-11B and AC 21.17-3 will be made to address future 
airplanes that wish to allow these installations.
    To satisfy the additional required design criteria for the Special 
Class (JAR-VLA) Regulations of Sec.  21.17(b), Aquila Aviation by 
Excellence GmbH has agreed with the FAA to use the 14 CFR part 23 
regulations for their Model AT01-100, as shown on the FAA G-1 Issue 
Paper. The applicable criteria for the installation of advanced avionic 
displays on the Aquila AT01-100 are as follows:

14 CFR 23.1307 at amendment 23-49, ``Miscellaneous Equipment''
14 CFR 23.1311 at amendment 23-62, ``Electronic Display Instrument 
14 CFR 23.1321 at amendment 23-49, ``Arrangement and visibility''
14 CFR 23.1359 at amendment 23-49, ``Electrical System Fire 
    In addition to the above four regulations that will be used for 
design criteria, the FAA has also develop a method of compliance (MOC) 
issue paper for VLA-1309 for this type of installation.

Discussion of Comments

    Existence of proposed airworthiness standards for acceptance under 
14 CFR part 21 Sec.  21.17(b), special class aircraft, JAR-VLA; the 
AQUILA Model AT01-100 was published in the Federal Register on 
September 6, 2013, (78 FR 54792). One comment was received from Mr. 
Alfred Schmiderer from Aquila GmbH. Mr. Schmiderer requested that 
showing of compliance to the added regulation 14 CFR 23.867(c) as shown 
in the NPRM, would require a total redesign of the aircraft concerning 
the lightning protection system. For a composite aircraft like AQUILA 
AT01-100 this would require, dependent on the results of a ``zoning 
analysis'', the installation of a protection system (meshing, strapping 
of components) which is far beyond the requirements of CS-VLA 857 
``Electrical Bonding'' to which compliance was shown in the basic 
certification. A redesign of that kind, postulated by a change of 
instruments from analog to electronic glass displays only without 
changing the kind of operation, is a burden too big for the benefit 
gained by the change. As the aircraft is still

[[Page 68688]]

operated as before the change under VMC, safety in relation to 
lightning effects is not diminished by installing a ``glass cockpit''. 
An operation in IMC, which would to our mind require a lightning 
protection system in accordance with FAR 23.867(c), is not considered 
and not permitted (reference AFM). For these reasons AQUILA proposes to 
remove the added requirement 14 CFR 23.867 from the Airworthiness 
Design Standards as listed in the NPRM.
    The FAA agrees with the commenter and has removed the added design 
criteria of 14 CFR part 23.867 at amendment 23-49. The final applicable 
design criteria for the installation of advanced avionic displays on 
the Aquila AT01-100 are the addition four 14 CFR part 23 regulations as 
shown above.


    As discussed above, these airworthiness design standards under the 
special class, JAR-VLA rule are applicable to the Aquila AT01-100 model 
and future JAR-VLA (CS-VLA) models on FAA TCDS A51CE.


    This action affects only certain airworthiness design standards on 
Aquila AT01-100 model and future JAR-VLA model airplanes shown on FAA 
TCDS A51CE. It is not a standard of general applicability and it 
affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these 
features on the airplane.


    The authority citation for these airworthiness standards is as 

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

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on October 28, 2013.
Earl Lawrence,
Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-26910 Filed 11-14-13; 8:45 am]