[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 234 (Thursday, December 7, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57685-57687]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-26420]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 234 / Thursday, December 7, 2017 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 57685]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 27

[Docket No. FAA-2017-1130; Notice No. 27-043-SC]


Special Conditions: Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B2 and AS350B3 
Helicopters; Installation of Garmin International, Inc., Autopilot 
System

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed special conditions.

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SUMMARY: We propose special conditions for Airbus Helicopters Model 
AS350B2 and AS350B3 helicopters. These helicopters as modified by 
Garmin International, Inc., (Garmin) will have a novel or unusual 
design feature associated with the Garmin Flight Control (GFC) 600H 
autopilot with stability and control augmentation system (AP/SCAS). 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 January 22, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number [FAA-2017-1130] 
using any of the following methods:
    [ssquf] Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
    [ssquf] 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.
    [ssquf] 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.
    [ssquf] 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: George Harrum, Aerospace Engineer, 
FAA, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, Policy and Innovations Division, 
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-4087; 
email [email protected].

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 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.

Background

    On October 10, 2016, Garmin applied for a supplemental type 
certificate (STC) to install a GFC 600H AP/SCAS in Airbus Helicopters 
Model AS350B2 and AS350B3 helicopters. The Model AS350B2 and AS350B3 
helicopters are 14 CFR part 27 normal category, single turbine engine, 
conventional helicopters designed for civil operation. These helicopter 
models are capable of carrying up to five passengers with one pilot and 
have a maximum gross weight of up to 5,220 pounds, depending on the 
model configuration. The major design features include a 3-blade, fully 
articulated main rotor, an anti-torque tail rotor system, a skid 
landing gear, and a visual flight rule basic avionics configuration.
    Garmin proposes to modify these model helicopters by installing a 
SCAS with autopilot functions in 2 or 3 axes, depending on the number 
of servos installed. The possible failure conditions for this system, 
and their effect on the continued safe flight and landing of the 
helicopter, are more severe than those envisioned by the present rules. 
The present 14 CFR 27.1309(b) and (c) regulations do not adequately 
address the safety requirements for systems whose failures could result 
in ``catastrophic'' or ``hazardous/severe-major'' failure conditions, 
or for complex systems whose failures could result in ``major'' failure 
conditions. When these rules were promulgated, it was not envisioned 
that a normal category rotorcraft would use systems that are complex or 
whose failure could result in ``catastrophic'' or ``hazardous/severe-
major'' effects on the rotorcraft. This is particularly true with the 
application of new technology, new application of standard technology, 
or other applications not envisioned by the rule that affect safety. 
The Garmin AP/SCAS controls rotorcraft flight control surfaces. 
Possible failure modes exhibited by this system could result in a 
catastrophic event.

Type Certification Basis

    Under 14 CFR 21.101 and 21.115, Garmin must show that the Airbus 
Helicopters Model AS350B2 and AS350B3 helicopters, as changed, continue 
to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by 
reference in Type Certificate No. H9EU or the applicable regulations in 
effect on the date of application for the change. The

[[Page 57686]]

regulations incorporated by reference in the type certificate are 
commonly referred to as the ``original type certification basis.'' The 
regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. H9EU are 
as follows:
    14 CFR 21.29 and part 27 effective February 1, 1965, plus 
Amendments 27-1 through 27-10.
    For aircraft incorporating mod. OP3369 (2370 kg/5225 lb mass 
extension), the following 14 CFR part 27 Amendments 27-1 through 27-40 
are replacing the same requirement from the certification basis above: 
27 Sec.  1; Sec.  21; Sec.  25; Sec.  27; Sec.  33; Sec.  45; Sec.  51; 
Sec.  65; Sec.  71; Sec.  73; Sec.  75; Sec.  79; Sec.  141; Sec.  143; 
Sec.  173; Sec.  175; Sec.  177; Sec.  241; Sec.  301; Sec.  303; Sec.  
305; Sec.  307; Sec.  309; Sec.  321; Sec.  337; Sec.  339; Sec.  341; 
Sec.  351; Sec.  471; Sec.  473; Sec.  501; Sec.  505; Sec.  521; Sec.  
547; Sec.  549; Sec.  563(b); Sec.  571; Sec.  602; Sec.  661; Sec.  
663; Sec.  695; Sec.  723; Sec.  725; Sec.  727; Sec.  737; Sec.  751; 
Sec.  753; Sec.  801(b)(d); Sec.  927(c); Sec.  1041; Sec.  1043; Sec.  
1045; Sec.  1301; Sec.  1501; Sec.  1519; Sec.  1529; Sec.  1581; Sec.  
1583; Sec.  1585; Sec.  1587; Sec.  1589.
    For AS350B3 aircraft incorporating mod. OP-4605 (installation of a 
fuel system improving crashworthiness), 14 CFR 27.561(c) at Amendment 
27-32 replaces the same requirement from the certification basis above 
for the following elements of the fuel tank lower structure affected by 
this modification: Cradles, longitudinal beams, X-stops and rods.
    Additionally, Garmin must comply with the equivalent level of 
safety findings, exemptions, and special conditions prescribed by the 
Administrator as part of the certification basis.
    The Administrator has determined the applicable airworthiness 
regulations (that is, 14 CFR part 27), as they pertain to this STC, do 
not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Airbus 
Helicopters Model AS350B2 and AS350B3 helicopters because of a novel or 
unusual design feature. Therefore, we propose to prescribe these 
special conditions under Sec.  21.16.
    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which 
they are issued. Should the applicant apply for an STC to change any 
other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate 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, Garmin must show that the Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B2 
and AS350B3 helicopters, as changed, comply with the noise 
certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.
    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.  21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B2 and AS350B3 helicopter will 
incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: A GFC 600H 
AP/SCAS. This GFC 600H AP/SCAS performs non-critical control functions. 
The GFC 600H AP/SCAS is a two or three axis system with the following 
novel functions: Limit cueing, level mode, and hover assist.

Discussion

    The proposed special condition clarifies the requirement to perform 
a proper failure analysis and also recognizes that the severity of 
failures can vary. Current industry standards and practices recognize 
five failure condition categories: Catastrophic, Hazardous, Major, 
Minor, and No-Safety Effect. The proposed special condition addresses 
the safety requirements for systems whose failures could result in 
catastrophic or hazardous/severe-major failure conditions and for 
complex systems whose failures could result in major failure 
conditions.
    To comply with the provisions of the special conditions, we propose 
to require that Garmin provide the FAA with a systems safety assessment 
(SSA) for the final GFC 600H AP/SCAS installation configuration that 
will adequately address the safety objectives established by a 
functional hazard assessment (FHA) and a preliminary system safety 
assessment (PSSA), including the fault tree analysis (FTA). This will 
ensure that all failure conditions and their resulting effects are 
adequately addressed for the installed GFC 600H AP/SCAS. The SSA 
process, FHA, PSSA, and FTA are all parts of the overall safety 
assessment process discussed in FAA Advisory Circular 27-1B, 
Certification of Normal Category Rotorcraft, and Society of Automotive 
Engineers document Aerospace Recommended Practice 4761, Guidelines and 
Methods for Conducting the Safety Assessment Process on Civil Airborne 
Systems and Equipment.
    These proposed special conditions would require that the GFC 600H 
AP/SCAS installed on Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B2 and Model AS350B3 
helicopters meet the requirements to adequately address the failure 
effects identified by the FHA, and subsequently verified by the SSA, 
within the defined design integrity requirements.

Applicability

    These special conditions are applicable to Airbus Helicopters Model 
AS350B2 and AS350B3 helicopters. Should Garmin apply at a later date 
for an STC to modify any other model included on Type Certificate 
Number H9EU to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, 
the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on two model helicopters. It is not a rule of general applicability and 
affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these 
features.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 27

    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 Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B2 and AS350B3 helicopters modified 
by Garmin International, Inc. (Garmin).
    Instead of the requirements of 14 CFR 27.1309(b) and (c), the 
following must be met for certification of the Garmin Flight Control 
600H autopilot with stability and control augmentation system:
    (a) The equipment and systems must be designed and installed so 
that any equipment and system does not adversely affect the safety of 
the rotorcraft or its occupants.
    (b) The rotorcraft systems and associated components considered 
separately and in relation to other systems, must be designed and 
installed so that:
(1) The occurrence of any catastrophic failure condition is extremely 
improbable;
(2) The occurrence of any hazardous failure condition is extremely 
remote; and
(3) The occurrence of any major failure condition is remote.
(c) Information concerning an unsafe system operating condition must be 
provided in a timely manner to the crew to enable them to take 
appropriate corrective action. An appropriate alert must be provided if 
immediate pilot awareness and immediate or subsequent corrective

[[Page 57687]]

action is required. Systems and controls, including indications and 
annunciations, must be designed to minimize crew errors which could 
create additional hazards.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas on November 29, 2017.
Larry M. Kelly,
Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, 
Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-26420 Filed 12-6-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P