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Special Conditions: McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 Airplanes; High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF).

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes modified by ABX Air Inc. These modified airplanes will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes. The modification incorporates the installation of the Innovative Solutions and Support (IS&S) Duplex Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) system that performs critical functions. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the protection of this system from the effects of high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF). 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 December 10, 2002. Comments must be received on or before January 27, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on these special conditions may be mailed in duplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attn: Rules Docket (ANM-113), Docket No. NM241, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98055-4056; or delivered in duplicate to the Transport Airplane Directorate at the above address. All comments must be marked: Docket No. NM241.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Meghan Gordon, FAA, Standardization Branch, ANM-113, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2138; facsimile (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA has determined that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay certification of the airplane and thus delivery of the affected aircraft. In addition, 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; however, the FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 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 file in the docket all comments we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning these special conditions. The docket is available for public inspection before and after the comment closing date. If you wish to review the docket in person, go to the address in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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.

If you want the FAA to acknowledge receipt of your comments on these special conditions, include with your comments a pre-addressed, stamped postcard on which the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the postcard and mail it back to you.

Background

On July 7, 2002, ABX Air Inc. applied for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to modify McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes. The DC-9 is a two-crew, two-engine, turbine airplane with a maximum weight up to 122,200 pounds. These models are currently approved under Type Certificate A6WE. The modification incorporates the installation of the IS&S Duplex RVSM system which will allow for the removal of the existing altitude alerter, encoding Start Printed Page 78962altimeters, air data computer, and standby altimeter. This system uses two Air Data Display Units (ADDU) and a single Analog Interface Unit (AIU) to replace altitude displays and the air data computer. These displays can be susceptible to disruption to both command and response signals as a result of electrical and magnetic interference. This disruption of signals could result in the loss of all critical flight information displays and annunciations or the presentation of misleading information to the pilot.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.101, Amendment 21-69, effective September 16, 1991, ABX Air Inc. must show that McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes, as changed, continue to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. A6WE, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change. Subsequent changes have been made to § 21.101 as part of Amendment 21-77, but those changes do not become effective until June 10, 2003. The regulations incorporated by reference in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the “original type certification basis.” The certification basis for the modified McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes includes 14 CFR part 25, effective February 1, 1965, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-20, except for special conditions and exceptions noted in Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) A6WE.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (that is, part 25, as amended) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 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, McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of part 34 and the noise certification requirements of part 36.

Special conditions, as defined in § 11.19, are issued in accordance with § 11.38 and become part of the type certification basis in accordance with § 21.101(b)(2), Amendment 21-69, effective September 16, 1991.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should ABX Air Inc. apply at a later date for a Supplemental Type Certificate to modify any other model included on Type Certificate No. A6WE to incorporate the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under the provisions of § 21.101(a)(1), Amendment 21-69, effective September 16, 1991.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

As noted earlier, the modified McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes will incorporate a new altitude display system, the Innovative Solutions and Support (IS&S) Duplex Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) system, that performs critical functions. This system may be vulnerable to HIRF external to the airplane. The current airworthiness standards of part 25 do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for protection of this equipment from the adverse effects of HIRF. Accordingly, this system is considered to be a novel or unusual design feature.

Discussion

There is no specific regulation that addresses protection requirements for electrical and electronic systems from HIRF. Increased power levels from ground-based radio transmitters and the growing use of sensitive avionic/electronic and electrical systems to command and control airplanes have made it necessary to provide adequate protection.

To ensure that a level of safety is achieved equivalent to that intended by the regulations incorporated by reference, special conditions are needed for the McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes modified by ABX Air Inc. These special conditions require that new avionics/electronic and electrical systems that perform critical functions be designed and installed to preclude component damage and interruption of function due to both the direct and indirect effects of HIRF.

High-Intensity Radiated Fields

With the trend toward increased power levels from ground-based transmitters and the advent of space and satellite communications, coupled with electronic command and control of the airplane, the immunity of critical avionic/electronic and electrical systems to HIRF must be established.

It is not possible to precisely define the HIRF to which the airplane will be exposed in service. There is also uncertainty concerning the effectiveness of airframe shielding for HIRF. Furthermore, coupling of electromagnetic energy to cockpit-installed equipment through the cockpit window apertures is undefined. Based on surveys and analysis of existing HIRF emitters, an adequate level of protection exists when compliance with the HIRF protection special condition is shown with either paragraph 1 or 2 below:

1. A minimum threat of 100 volts rms (root-mean-square) per meter electric field strength from 10 KHz to 18 GHz.

a. The threat must be applied to the system elements and their associated wiring harnesses without the benefit of airframe shielding.

b. Demonstration of this level of protection is established through system tests and analysis.

2. A threat external to the airframe of the field strengths identified in the table below for the frequency ranges indicated. Both peak and average field strength components from the table are to be demonstrated.

FrequencyField strength (volts per meter)
PeakAverage
10 kHz-100 kHz5050
100 kHz-500 kHz5050
500 kHz-2 MHz5050
2 MHz-30 MHz100100
30 MHz-70 MHz5050
70 MHz-100 MHz5050
100 MHz-200 MHz100100
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200 MHz-400 MHz100100
400 MHz-700 MHz70050
700 MHz-1 GHz700100
1 GHz- 2 GHz2000200
2 GHz-4 GHz3000200
4 GHz-6 GHz3000200
6 GHz-8 GHz1000200
8 GHz-12 GHz3000300
12 GHz-18 GHz2000200
18 GHz-40 GHz600200
Note.—The field strengths are expressed in terms of peak of the root-mean-square (rms) over the complete modulation period.

The threat levels identified above are the result of an FAA review of existing studies on the subject of HIRF, in light of the ongoing work of the Electromagnetic Effects Harmonization Working Group of the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes modified by ABX Air Inc. Should ABX Air Inc. apply at a later date for a Supplemental Type Certificate to modify any other model included on Type Certificate A6WE to incorporate the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well under the provisions of § 21.101(a)(1), Amendment 21-69, effective September 16, 1991.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes modified by ABX Air Inc. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on these airplanes.

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment procedure in several prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. Because a delay would significantly affect the certification of the airplane, which is imminent, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions 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.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

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The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

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

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The Special Conditions

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the Supplemental Type Certification basis for McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, and DC-9-41 airplanes modified by ABX Air Inc.

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1.

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2. For the purpose of these special conditions, the following definition applies:

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 10, 2002.

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-32786 Filed 12-26-02; 8:45 am]

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