Skip to Content

Rule

Special Conditions: Embraer S.A., Model ERJ 190-300 Series Airplanes; Electronic Flight Control System: Control Surface Position Awareness, Multiple Modes of Operation

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 190-300 series airplanes. These 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. This design feature is a fly-by-wire electronic flight control system (EFCS) and no direct coupling from the flight deck controller to the control surface. As a result, the pilot is not aware of the actual control surface position. 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:

This action is effective on Embraer S.A. on September 30, 2016. We must receive your comments by November 14, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2016-9225 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • 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.
  • 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 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • 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 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joe Jacobsen, FAA, Airplane and Flightcrew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2011; facsimile 425-227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 publication in the Federal Register.

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 by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On September 13, 2013, Embraer S.A. applied for an amendment to Type Certificate (TC) No. A57NM to include the new Model ERJ 190-300 series airplanes. The ERJ 190-300, which is a derivative of the ERJ 190-100 STD currently approved under TC No. A57NM, is a 97-114 passenger transport category airplane with two Pratt & Whitney Model PW1900G engines, a new wing design with a high aspect ratio and raked wingtip, and digital fly-by-wire EFCS with closed loop control for all surfaces and with full envelope protection.

The EFCS technology has outpaced the current airworthiness standards; therefore, the FAA required special conditions to ensure appropriate mode recognition by the flightcrew for events that significantly change the operating mode of the EFCS.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Embraer S.A. must show that the ERJ 190-300 meets the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate No. A57NM or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA. Embraer S.A. must show that the ERJ 190-300 meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-137.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the ERJ 190-300 because of a novel Start Printed Page 67098or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

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 features, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the ERJ 190-300 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.

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The ERJ 190-300 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: A fly-by-wire EFCS and no direct coupling from the flight deck controller to the control surface.

Discussion

As a result of the EFCS and lack of direct coupling from the flight deck controller to the control surface, the pilot is not aware of the actual control surface position. Some unusual flight conditions, arising from atmospheric conditions and/or airplane or engine failures, may result in full or nearly full surface deflection. Unless the flightcrew is made aware of excessive deflection or impending control surface limiting, piloted or auto-flight system control of the airplane might be inadvertently continued in such a manner to cause loss of control or other unsafe stability or performance characteristics. The airworthiness standards do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the conditions that result from the EFCS and lack of direct coupling from the flight deck controller to the control surface.

To establish a level of safety equivalent to that established in the regulations, these special conditions are established. These special conditions require that the flightcrew receive a suitable flight control position annunciation when a flight condition exists in which nearly full surface authority (not crew-commanded) is being used. Suitability of such a display must take into account that some pilot-demanded maneuvers (e.g., rapid roll) are necessarily associated with intended full performance, which may saturate the surface. Therefore, simple alerting systems function in both intended and unexpected control-limiting situations. As a result, they must be properly balanced between providing necessary crew awareness and being a potential nuisance to the flightcrew. A monitoring system that compares airplane motion and surface deflection with pilot inputs could help reduce nuisance alerting.

These special conditions also address flight control system mode annunciation. Suitable mode annunciation must be provided to the flightcrew for events that significantly change the operating mode of the system but do not merit the classic “failure warning.”

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.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the ERJ 190-300 series airplanes. Should Embraer S.A. apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability.

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances 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, because a delay would significantly affect the certification of the airplane, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register. 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

End Authority

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 the Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 190-300 series airplanes.

1. In addition to the requirements of 14 CFR 25.143, 25.671, and 25.672, the following requirements apply:

a. The system design must ensure that the flightcrew is made suitably aware whenever the primary control means nears the limit of control authority.

Note:

The term “suitably aware” indicates annunciations provided to the flightcrew are appropriately balanced between nuisance and that necessary for crew awareness.

b. If the design of the flight control system has multiple modes of operation, a means must be provided to indicate to the flightcrew any mode that significantly changes or degrades the normal handling or operational characteristics of the airplane.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 23, 2016.

Michael Kaszycki,

Assistant Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-23665 Filed 9-29-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P