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Proposed Rule

Special Conditions: Boeing Model 777-200 Series Airplanes; Overhead Crew Rest Compartment

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed special conditions.

SUMMARY:

This action proposes special conditions for Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes, modified by Flight Structures, Inc. The proposed modification consists of the installation of a crew rest compartment located in the vicinity of door three in the overhead area of the passenger compartment. The crew rest compartment is to be certified for a maximum of ten occupants for use only during flight. 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:

Comments must be received on or before October 25, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on this proposal may be mailed in duplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attention: Rules Docket (ANM-114), Docket No. NM175, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98055-4056; or delivered in duplicate to the Transport Airplane Directorate at the above address. Comments must be marked: Docket No. NM175. Comments may be inspected in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jayson Claar, FAA, Transport Standards Staff, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2194; facsimile (425) 227-1320.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of these proposed special conditions by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Communications should identify the regulatory docket or notice number and be submitted in duplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments will be considered by the Administrator. The proposals described in this action may be changed in light of the comments received. All comments received will be available in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons, both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking will be filed in the docket. Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this action must include with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to NM175.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Background

On June 25, 1999, Flight Structures Inc., 4407 172 Street NE, Arlington, Washington, 98223, applied for a supplemental type certificate to install an overhead crew rest compartment in Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes. The Boeing Model 777-200 series airplane is a large twin-jet engine transport airplane with four pairs of Type A exits, a passenger capacity of 440, and a range of 5000 miles. The overhead crew rest compartment is a single compartment located at the door three vicinity above the main passenger compartment with eight private bunks and two seats, and is to be certified for a maximum of ten occupants. A stairwell entering from the door three aisle is the main entry. Two escape hatches are located on either side of the entryway door. These proposed special conditions are written for an overhead crew rest compartment that will be occupied only in flight, not during taxi, takeoff, or landing.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of § 21.101, Flight Structures, Inc., must show that the Boeing Model 777-200 series airplane, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. T00001SE or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change. The 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. T00001SE for the Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes include 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-82. The U.S. type certification basis for the Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes is established in accordance with 14 CFR 21.29 and 21.17 and the type certification application date. The type certification basis is listed in Type Certificate Data Sheet No. T00001SE.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Model 777-200 series airplanes because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, Boeing Model 777-200 series 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.

Special conditions, as appropriate, are issued in accordance with § 11.49, after public notice, as required by §§ 11.28 and 11.29(b), and become part of the type certification basis in accordance with § 21.101(b)(2).

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the applicant apply for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under the provisions of § 21.101(a)(1).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

While the installation of a crew rest compartment is not a new concept for large transport category airplanes, each compartment design has unique features by virtue of its design, location, and use on the airplane. Previously, crew rest compartments have been evaluated that are installed within the main passenger compartment area of the Boeing Model 777-200 and Model 777-300 series airplanes; other crew rest compartments have been installed below the passenger cabin area, within the cargo compartment. Similar overhead crew rest compartments have also been Start Printed Page 57565installed on the Boeing Model 747 airplane. The interfaces of the modification are evaluated within the interior and assessed in accordance with the certification basis of the airplane. However, part 25 does not provide the requirements for crew rest compartments within the overhead area of the passenger compartment for the Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes.

This is a compartment that has never been used for this purpose in any previous Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes. Due to the novel or unusual features associated with the installation of this crew rest compartment, special conditions are considered necessary to provide a level of safety equal to that established by the airworthiness regulations incorporated by reference in the type certificate.

Discussion of the Proposed Special Conditions

In general, the requirements listed in these proposed special conditions are similar to those previously approved in earlier certification programs, such as for the Boeing Model 747 overhead crew rest compartment. These proposed special conditions establish seating, communication, lighting, personal safety, and evacuation requirements for the overhead crew rest compartment. When applicable, the proposed requirements parallel the existing requirements for a lower deck service compartment and provide an equivalent level of safety to that provided for main deck occupants.

Seats and berths must be certified to the maximum flight loads. Due to the location and configuration of the crew rest compartment, occupancy during taxi, takeoff, and landing would be prohibited, and occupancy limited to crewmembers during flight. Occupancy would be limited to either ten persons, or the combined total of approved seats and berths, whichever is less.

Two-way voice communications and public address speaker(s) would be required to alert the occupants to an inflight emergency. Also, a system to alert the occupants of the crew rest compartment in the event of decompression and to don oxygen masks would be required.

To prevent the occupants from being isolated in a dark area due to loss of the crew rest compartment lighting, either a second independent source of normal lighting or emergency lighting would be required. An emergency lighting system, which is activated under the same conditions as the main deck emergency lighting system, would also be required.

To preclude occupants from being trapped in the crew rest compartment in the event the main entryway is blocked, two evacuation routes, including the entryway, would be required. Each evacuation route must be designed to allow for removal of an incapacitated person from the crew rest compartment to the main deck.

In addition, passenger information signs, supplemental oxygen, and a seat or berth for each occupant of the crew rest compartment would be required. These items are necessary because of turbulence and/or decompression.

Proposed special condition no. 8 requires a means, readily detectable by seated or standing occupants of the crew rest compartment, which indicates when seat belts should be fastened. The requirement for visibility of the sign by standing occupants may be met by a general area sign that is visible to occupants standing in the main floor area or corridor of the crew rest area. It would not be essential to be visible from every possible location in the crew rest area; however, the location should not be easily obscured or remotely located.

Since the overhead crew rest compartment is remotely located from the main passenger cabin and will not always be occupied, a smoke detection system and fire-fighting equipment would be required to minimize the hazards associated with a fire in the crew rest compartment. The smoke detection system must be capable of detecting a fire in each area of the compartment created by the installation of a curtain or partition. The materials in the crew rest compartment must meet the flammability requirements of § 25.853(a), and the mattresses must meet the fire blocking requirements of § 25.853(c).

The crew rest compartment must be designed such that fires within the compartment can be controlled without having to enter the compartment; or, the design of the access provisions must allow crew equipped for fire fighting to have unrestricted access to the compartment. The time for a crewmember on the main deck to react to the fire alarm, to don the fire fighting equipment, and to gain access must not exceed the time for the crew rest compartment to become smoke filled, making it difficult to locate the fire source.

This proposed special condition requirement concerning fires within the compartment was developed for, and applied to, Boeing Model 777-200 and Model 777-300 series airplanes lower lobe crew rest compartment; it was not applied to the overhead crew rest compartment in earlier certification programs such as the Boeing Model 747. The Model 747 special conditions were issued before the new flammability requirements were developed. This requirement originated from a concern that a fire in an unoccupied crew rest compartment could spread into the passenger compartment, or affect other vital systems, before it could be extinguished. The proposed special conditions would require either the installation of a manually activated fire containment system that is accessible from outside the crew rest compartment, or a demonstration that the crew could satisfactorily perform the function of extinguishing a fire under the prescribed conditions. The manually activated fire containment system would be required only if it could not be demonstrated that a crewmember responding to the alarm could not locate the fire source and successfully extinguish the fire.

These proposed special conditions provide the regulatory requirements necessary for certification of this modification. Other special conditions may be developed, as needed, based on further FAA review and discussions with the applicant, manufacturer, and civil aviation authorities.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes. Should Flight Structures, Inc., apply at a later date for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on Type Certificate No. T00001SE to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well under the provisions of § 21.101(a)(1).

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes. 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

End List of Subjects

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Start Authority

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

End Authority

The Proposed Special Conditions

Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes, as modified by Flight Structures, Inc., with overhead crew rest compartments. Start Printed Page 57566

1. Occupancy of the overhead crew rest compartment is limited to a maximum of ten occupants. There must be an approved seat or berth able to withstand the maximum flight loads when occupied for each occupant permitted in the crew rest compartment.

(a) There must be appropriate placards, inside and outside to indicate:

(1) The maximum number of occupants allowed,

(2) That occupancy is restricted to crewmembers,

(3) That occupancy is prohibited during taxi, take-off and landing, and

(4) That smoking is prohibited in the crew rest compartment.

(b) There must be at least one ashtray on the inside and outside of any entrance to the crew rest compartment.

(c) There must be a means to prevent passengers from entering the compartment in the event of an emergency or when no flight attendant is present.

(d) There must be a means for any door installed between the crew rest compartment and passenger cabin to be capable of being quickly opened, even when crowding occurs at each side of the door.

(e) For all doors installed, there must be a means to preclude anyone from being trapped inside the compartment. If a locking mechanism is installed, it must be capable of being unlocked from the outside without the aid of special tools. The lock must not prevent opening from the inside of the compartment at any time.

2. There must be at least two emergency evacuation routes that could be used by each occupant of the crew rest compartment to rapidly evacuate to the main cabin. In addition—

(a) The routes must be located on opposite sides of the crew rest compartment with sufficient separation within the compartment, and between the evacuation routes, to minimize the possibility of an event rendering both routes inoperative.

(b) The routes must be designed to minimize the possibility of blockage, which might result from fire, mechanical or structural failure, or persons standing below or against the escape route. One of two evacuation routes may not be located where normal movement by passengers occurs (i.e., main aisle, cross aisle, or galley complex) that would impede egress of the crew rest compartment. If there is low headroom at or near the evacuation route, provisions must be made to prevent or to protect occupants from head injury. The use of evacuation routes must not be dependent on any powered device.

(c) Emergency evacuation procedures must be established and transmitted to the operators for incorporation into their training programs and appropriate operational manuals.

(d) There must be a limitation in the Airplane Flight Manual or other suitable means requiring that crewmembers be trained in the use of evacuation routes.

3. There must be a means for the evacuation of an incapacitated person (representative of a ninety-fifth percentile male) from the crew rest compartment to the passenger cabin floor. The evacuation must be demonstrated for all evacuation routes. A flight attendant or other crewmember may provide assistance in the evacuation. Procedures for the evacuation of an incapacitated person from the crew rest compartment must be established.

4. The following signs and placards must be provided in the crew rest compartment:

(a) At least one exit sign, located near each exit, meeting the requirements of § 25.812(b)(1)(i).

(b) An appropriate placard defining the location and the operating instructions for each evacuation route.

(c) Placards must be readable from a distance of 30 inches under emergency lighting conditions.

(d) The exit handles and instruction placards must be illuminated to at least 160 microlamberts under emergency lighting conditions.

5. There must be a means in the event of failure of the airplane's main power system, or of the normal crew rest compartment lighting system, for emergency illumination to be automatically provided for the crew rest compartment.

(a) This emergency illumination must be independent of the main lighting system.

(b) The sources of general cabin illumination may be common to both the emergency and the main lighting systems if the power supply to the emergency lighting system is independent of the power supply to the main lighting system.

(c) The illumination level must be sufficient for the occupants of the crew rest compartment to locate and transfer to the main passenger cabin floor by means of each evacuation route.

6. There must be means for two-way voice communications between the crewmembers on the flight deck and the occupants of the crew rest compartment. There must also be two-way communications between the occupants of the crew rest compartment and each flight attendant station required to have a public address system microphone per § 25.1423(g) in the passenger cabin.

7. There must be a means for manual activation of an aural emergency alarm system, audible during normal and emergency conditions, to enable crewmembers on the flight deck and at each pair of required floor level emergency exits to alert occupants of the crew rest compartment of an emergency situation. Use of a public address or crew interphone system would be acceptable, providing an adequate means of differentiating between normal and emergency communications is incorporated. The system must be powered in flight, after the shutdown or failure of all engines and auxiliary power units, or the disconnection or failure of all power sources dependent on their continued operation, for a period of at least ten minutes.

8. There must be a means, readily detectable by seated or standing occupants of the crew rest compartment, which indicates when seat belts should be fastened. Seat belt type restraints must be provided for berths and must be compatible for the sleeping attitude during cruise conditions. There must be a placard on each berth requiring that seat belts must be fastened when occupied. If compliance with any of the other requirements of these special conditions is predicated on specific head location, there must be a placard identifying the head position. In the event there are no seats, at least one sign must be provided to cover anticipated turbulence.

9. The following equipment must be provided in the crew rest compartment:

(a) At least one approved hand-held fire extinguisher appropriate for the kinds of fires likely to occur;

(b) One protective breathing equipment device approved to TSO-C116 or equivalent, suitable for fire fighting; and

(c) One flashlight.

10. A smoke detection system (or systems) must be provided that monitors each area within the crew rest including those areas partitioned by curtains. Flight tests must be conducted to show compliance with this requirement. Each system (or systems) must provide:

(a) A visual indication to the flight deck within one minute after the start of a fire;

(b) An aural warning in the crew rest compartment; and

(c) A warning in the main passenger cabin. This warning must be readily detectable by a flight attendant, taking into consideration the positioning of flight attendants throughout the main Start Printed Page 57567passenger compartment during various phases of flight.

11. The crew rest compartment must be designed such that fires within the compartment can be controlled without a crewmember having to enter the compartment, or the design of the access provisions must allow crewmembers equipped for firefighting to have unrestricted access to the compartment. The time for a crewmember on the main deck to react to the fire alarm, to don the fire fighting equipment, and to gain access must not exceed the time for the compartment to become smoke-filled, making it difficult to locate the fire source.

12. There must be a means provided to exclude hazardous quantities of smoke or extinguishing agent originating in the crew rest compartment from entering any other compartment occupied by crewmembers or passengers. The means must include the time periods during the evacuation of the crew rest compartment and, if applicable, when accessing the crew rest compartment to manually fight a fire. Smoke entering any other compartment occupied by crewmembers or passengers must dissipate within 5 minutes after closing the access to the crew rest compartment. Flight tests must be conducted to show compliance with this requirement.

13. There must be a supplemental oxygen system equivalent to that provided for main deck passengers for each seat and berth in the crew rest compartment. The system must provide:

(a) An aural and visual warning to the occupants of the crew rest compartment to don oxygen masks in the event of decompression; and

(b) A decompression warning that activates before the cabin pressure altitude exceeds 15,000 feet. The warning must sound continuously until a reset pushbutton in the crew rest compartment is depressed.

14. The following requirements apply to a crew rest compartment that is divided into several sections by the installation of curtains or partitions:

(a) To compensate for sleeping occupants, there must be an aural alert that can be heard in each section of the crew rest compartment that accompanies automatic presentation of supplemental oxygen masks. Two supplemental oxygen masks are required in each section whether or not seats or berths are installed in each section. There must also be a means by which the occupants can manually deploy the oxygen masks.

(b) A placard is required adjacent to each curtain that visually divides or separates, for privacy purposes, the overhead crew rest compartment into small sections. The placard must require that the curtain(s) remain open when the private section it creates is unoccupied. The vestibule section adjacent to the stairway is not considered a private area and, therefore, does not require a placard.

(c) For each crew rest section created by the installation of a curtain, the following requirements of these special conditions must be met with the curtain open or closed:

(1) No smoking placard (special condition no. 1),

(2) Emergency illumination (special condition no. 5),

(3) Emergency alarm system (special condition no. 7),

(4) Seat belt fasten signal (special condition no. 8), and

(5) The smoke or fire detection system (special condition no.'s 10, 11, and 12).

(d) Overhead crew rest compartments visually divided to the extent that evacuation could be affected must have exit signs that direct occupants to the primary stairway exit. The exit signs must be provided in each separate section of the crew rest compartment, and must meet the requirements of § 25.812(b)(1)(i).

(e) For sections within an overhead crew rest compartment that are created by the installation of a rigid partition with a door physically separating the sections, the following requirements of these special conditions must be met with the door open or closed:

(1) There must be a secondary evacuation route from each section to the main deck, or alternatively, the evacuation route must show that any door between the sections has been designed to preclude anyone from being trapped inside the compartment.

(2) Any door between the sections must be shown to be openable when crowded against, even when crowding occurs at each side of the door.

(3) There may be no more than one door between any seat or berth and the primary stairway exit.

(4) There must be exit signs in each section meeting the requirements of § 25.812(b)(1)(i) that direct occupants to the primary stairway exit.

(f) For each smaller section within the main crew rest compartment created by the installation of a partition with a door, the following requirements of these special conditions must be met with the door open or closed:

(1) No smoking placards (special condition no. 1),

(2) Emergency illumination (special condition no. 5),

(3) Two-way voice communication (special condition no. 6),

(4) Emergency alarm system (special condition no. 7),

(5) Seat belt fasten signal (special condition no. 8),

(6) Emergency fire fighting and protective equipment (special condition no. 9), and

(7) Smoke or fire detection system (special condition no.'s 10, 11, and 12).

15. The requirements of two-way voice communication with the flight deck and provisions for emergency firefighting and protective equipment are not applicable to lavatories or other small areas that are not intended to be occupied for extended periods of time.

16. Where a waste disposal receptacle is fitted, it must be equipped with an automatic fire extinguisher that meets the performance requirements of § 25.854(b).

17. Materials (including finishes or decorative surfaces applied to the materials) must comply with the flammability requirements of § 25.853(a), as amended by Amendment 25-83. Mattresses must comply with the flammability requirements of § 25.853(c), as amended by Amendment 25-83.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington on September 6, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 00-23677 Filed 9-22-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P