[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 62 (Wednesday, April 1, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 17310-17312]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-07503]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 23

[Docket No. FAA-2015-0720; Special Conditions No. 23-263-SC]

Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company Model HA-420; Single-
Place Side-Facing Seat Dynamic Test Requirements

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final special conditions; request for comments.


SUMMARY: These special conditions are issued for the Honda Aircraft 
Company HA-420 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual 
design feature(s) associated with a side-facing passenger seat. The 
applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These 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: The effective date of these special conditions is April 1, 2015, 
and is applicable on March 25, 2015. We must receive your comments by 
May 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number [FAA-2015-0720] 
using any of the following methods:
    [squ] Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov 
and follow the online instructions for sending your comments 
    [squ] 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.
    [squ] Hand Delivery of 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 9 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.
    [squ] Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.
    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without 
change, to http://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: Bob Stegeman, Federal Aviation 
Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane 
Directorate, ACE-111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri, 816-329-4140, 
fax 816-329-4090, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA has determined, in accordance with 5 
U.S. Code Sec. Sec.  553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), that notice and 
opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary because the 
substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public 
comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments 
received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making 
these special conditions effective upon issuance.

        Special condition number              Company/airplane model
23-255-SC..............................  Embraer Model EMB 500.
23-251-SC..............................  Embraer Model EMB 500.
23-105-SC..............................  Sino Swearingen Model SJ130.
23-254-SC..............................  Embraer Model EMB 505.

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 ask 
that you send us two copies of written comments.
    We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing 
date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is 
possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change 
these special conditions based on the comments we receive.


    On October 11, 2006, Honda Aircraft Company applied for a type 
certificate for their new Model HA-420 aircraft. On October 10, 2013, 
Honda Aircraft Company requested an extension with an effective 
application date of October 1, 2013. This extension changed the type 
certification basis to amendment 23-62.
    The HA-420 is a four to five passenger (depending on 
configuration), two crew, lightweight business jet with a 43,000-foot 
service ceiling and a maximum takeoff weight of 9963 pounds. The 
airplane is powered by two GE-Honda Aero Engines (GHAE) HF-120 turbofan 
    The HA-420 design incorporates the installation of a side-facing 
belted passenger seat as a customer configuration option. The 
implication of the term belted is that the passenger seat will be used 
during takeoff and landing and so must comply with the provisions of 
Sec. Sec.  23.562, 23.785, and any additional requirements that the FAA 
determines are applicable. In this case, the approval of a side-facing 
seat to these provisions is considered new and novel and as such will 
require special conditions and specific methods of compliance to 

Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Honda Aircraft Company must 
show that the HA-420 meets the applicable provisions of part 23, as 
amended by

[[Page 17311]]

amendment 23-1, dated July 29, 1965, through amendment 23-62, dated 
December 2, 2011, thereto.
    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness 
regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 23) do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for the HA-420 because of a novel or 
unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the 
provisions of Sec.  21.16.
    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special 
conditions, the HA-420 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. In addition, 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 Sec.  11.19, under 
Sec.  11.38 and they become part of the type certification basis under 
Sec.  21.17(a)(2).
    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 novel or 
unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the 
other model.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The HA-420 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design 
feature: Side facing passenger seat intended for taxi/takeoff and 
    The seat is to incorporate design features that reduce the 
potential for injury in the event of an accident. In a severe impact, a 
2-point seatbelt and the adjacent padded wall will restrain the 
occupant. In addition to the design features intended to minimize 
occupant injury during an accident sequence, the adjacent forward wall/
bulkhead interior structure will have padding or at least be pliable 
enough to absorb impact energy, which will provide some protection to 
the head of the occupant.


    The Code of Federal Regulations states performance criteria for 
forward and aft facing seats and restraints in an objective manner. 
However, none of these criteria are adequate to address the specific 
issues raised concerning side-facing seats. Therefore, the FAA has 
determined that, in addition to the requirements of parts 21 and 23, 
special conditions are needed to address the installation of this seat 
    Part 23 was amended August 8, 1988, by amendment 23-36, revised the 
emergency landing conditions that must be considered in the design of 
the airplane. Amendment 23-36 revised the static load conditions in 
Sec.  23.561 and added a new Sec.  23.562 that required dynamic testing 
for all seats approved for occupancy during takeoff and landing. The 
intent of amendment 23-36 is to provide an improved level of safety for 
occupants on part 23 airplanes. Because most seating is forward-facing 
in part 23 airplanes, the pass/fail criteria developed in amendment 23-
36 focused primarily on these forward- and aft-facing seats. Since the 
regulations do not address side-facing seats, these criteria should be 
documented in special conditions.
    The FAA decision to review compliance with these regulations stems 
from the fact that the current regulations do not provide adequate and 
appropriate standards for the type certification of this type of seat. 
These requirements are substantially similar to other single place 
side-facing seat installations approved for use on several different 
part 23 and part 25 aircraft.
    Accordingly, these special conditions are for the Honda Aircraft 
Company model HA-420 side-facing seat location. Other conditions may be 
developed, as needed, based on further FAA review and discussions with 
the manufacturer and civil aviation authorities.


    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the 
HA-420. Should Honda Aircraft Company 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.


    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability and 
it affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of 
these features on the airplane.
    The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the 
notice and comment period in several prior instances, identified above, 
and has been derived without substantive change from those previously 
issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a 
significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, 
notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary 
and the FAA finds good cause, in accordance with 5 U.S. Code Sec. Sec.  
553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), making these special conditions effective 
upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested 
persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to 
the prior opportunities for comment described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.


    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113 and 44701; 14 CFR 21.16 and 
21.101; and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19.

The Special Conditions

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of 
the type certification basis for Honda Aircraft Company model HA-420 

1. Single-Place Side-Facing Seat

    In addition to the airworthiness standards in Sec. Sec.  23.562, 
amendment 23-50 and 23.785, amendment 23-49, the following special 
condition provides injury criteria and installation/testing guidelines 
that represent the minimum acceptable airworthiness standard for 
single-place side-facing seats:
a. The Injury Criteria
    (1) Existing Criteria: All injury protection criteria of Sec.  
23.562(c)(1) through (c)(7) apply to the occupant of a side-facing 
seat. Head Injury Criterion (HIC) assessments are only required for 
head contact with the seat and/or adjacent structures.
    (2) Body-to-Wall/Furnishing Contact: The seat must be installed aft 
of a structure such as an interior wall or furnishing that will support 
the pelvis, upper arm, chest, and head of an occupant seated next to 
the structure. A conservative representation of the structure and its 
stiffness must be included in the tests. It is recommended, but not 
required, that the contact surface of this structure be covered with at 
least two inches of energy absorbing protective padding (foam or 
equivalent), such as Ensolite.
    (3) Thoracic Trauma: Thoracic Trauma Index (TTI) injury criterion 
must be substantiated by dynamic test or by rational analysis based on 
previous test(s) of a similar seat installation. Testing must be 
conducted with a Side Impact Dummy (SID), as defined by 49 CFR part 
572, subpart F, or its equivalent. TTI must be less than 85, as defined 
in 49 CFR part 572, subpart F. SID TTI data must be

[[Page 17312]]

processed as defined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
part 571.214, section S6.13.5.
    (4) Pelvis: Pelvic lateral acceleration must be shown by dynamic 
test or by rational analysis based on previous test(s) of a similar 
seat installation to not exceed 130g. Pelvic acceleration data must be 
processed as defined in FMVSS part 571.214, section S6.13.5.
    (5) Shoulder Strap Loads: Where upper torso straps (shoulder 
straps) are used for occupants, tension loads in individual straps must 
not exceed 1,750 pounds. If dual straps are used for restraining the 
upper torso, the total strap tension loads must not exceed 2,000 
b. General Test Guidelines
    (1) One longitudinal test with the SID ATD or its equivalent, un-
deformed floor, no yaw, and with all lateral structural supports 
    Pass/fail injury assessments: TTI and pelvic acceleration.
    (2) One longitudinal test with the Hybrid II ATD, deformed floor, 
with 10 degrees yaw, and with all lateral structural supports 
    Pass/fail injury assessments: HIC; and upper torso restraint load, 
restraint system retention and pelvic acceleration.
    (3) A vertical (15 G's) test is to be conducted with modified 
Hybrid II ATDs using existing pass/fail criteria.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on March 25, 2015.
Pat Mullen,
Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
[FR Doc. 2015-07503 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am]