[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 53 (Friday, March 18, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 14801-14803]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06072]

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.


Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 53 / Friday, March 18, 2016 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 14801]]


Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 23

[Docket No. FAA-2016-3462; Notice No. 23-16-01-SC]

Special Conditions: Cirrus Design Corporation, Model SF50; Whole 
Airplane Parachute Recovery System

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed special conditions.


SUMMARY: This action proposes special conditions for the Cirrus Design 
Corporation (Cirrus), model SF50 airplane. This airplane will have a 
novel or unusual design feature(s) associated with a whole airplane 
parachute recovery system. 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 May 2, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2016-3462 
using any of the following methods:
    [ballot] Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
    [ballot] 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.
    [ballot] 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.
    [ballot] 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: Mr. Bob Stegeman, Federal Aviation 
Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane 
Directorate, ACE-111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; 
telephone (816) 329-4140; facsimile (816) 329-4090.


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 September 9, 2008, Cirrus Design Corporation applied for a type 
certificate for their new SF50 airplane. The SF50 is a seven seat (five 
adults and two children), pressurized, retractable gear, carbon 
composite, single engine jet airplane. The airplane will have a Maximum 
Take-Off Weight of 6,000 pounds, a Maximum Operating Speed of 250 Knots 
Calibrated Airspeed (KCAS), and a Maximum Operating Altitude of 28,000 
    Cirrus proposes the installation of a whole airplane ballistic 
parachute system (BPS) called the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System 
(CAPS). This installation couples the BPS with the automatic flight 
controls. The CAPS will be installed as standard equipment on the SF50 
airplane. Unlike the SR20 and SR22 airplanes CAPS, the SF50 CAPS is a 
supplemental system and no credit for the system will be used to meet 
part 23 requirements. The SF50 CAPS design will require some 
performance enhancements over existing technology used in other CAPSs.
    The system will consist of the recovery parachute, activation and 
deployment systems, and autopilot functions. The SF50 CAPS will be 
designed for a higher gross weight, maximum activation speed, and 
maximum operating altitude.
    Whole airplane parachute recovery systems are intended to save the 
lives of the occupants in life-threatening situations for which normal 
emergency procedures have been exhausted. Potential emergencies 
include, but are not limited to--loss of power or thrust; loss of 
airplane control; pilot disorientation; pilot incapacitation with a 
passenger on board; mechanical or structural failure; icing; and 
accidents resulting from pilot negligence or error. The recovery system 
should prioritize protection from most probable hazards, but it is not 
reasonable to expect it to protect occupants from every possible 
    This technology, which was originally developed for ultralight and 
experimental aircraft, was first approved for general aviation 
airplanes with a Supplemental Type Certificate for the Cessna model 
150/152 airplanes. The FAA issued special conditions for these 
airplanes to incorporate ballistic recovery systems on October 22, 1987 
(Special Condition No. 23-ACE-33; Ballistic Recovery System, Inc., 
Modified Cessna 150/A150 Series Airplanes and 152/A152 Model Airplanes 
to Incorporate the GARD-150 System; Docket No. 037CE) (FR Doc. 87-
26420, November 11, 1987). These special conditions were later modified

[[Page 14802]]

for the other general aviation airplanes (Special Condition No. 23-ACE-
76; Ballistic Recovery Systems, Modified for Small General Aviation 
Airplanes; Docket No. 118CE) (FR Doc. 94-16233, August 5, 1994), 
including the Cirrus Design Corporation SR20 airplanes (Special 
Condition No. 23-ACE-88, Ballistic Recovery Systems Cirrus SR20 
Installation, Docket No. 136CE) (FR Doc. 97-27504, October 15, 1997.
    The previously FAA-approved BPS consists of a parachute packed in a 
compartment within the airframe. A solid propellant rocket motor, 
adjacent to the parachute pack, extracts the parachute. A mechanical 
pull handle mounted within reach of the pilot and copilot or passenger 
activates the system. At least two separate independent actions are 
necessary to activate the system.
    In addition to a normal BPS, the SF50 CAPS system will incorporate 
an airbag to assist deployment and a system for sequencing deployment 
and interfacing with the airplane's avionics. The avionics interface is 
intended to bring the airplane within a valid deployment envelope speed 
(67-160 KCAS).
    The SF50 CAPS is a non-required system that differs from other BPS 
in that it will interact with the flight control system and other 
airplane systems. The baseline special conditions must incorporate the 
required level of safety for the normal BPS as well as the aspect that 
interfaces with the airplane. Since it is a non required system, 
additional latitude exists to evaluate and substantiate the system so 
it will present no additional hazards.

Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Cirrus Design Corporation 
must show that the SF50 meets the applicable provisions of part 23, as 
amended by amendments 23-1 through 23-62 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 SF50 because of a novel or unusual 
design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions 
of Sec.  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 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, the SF50 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 and 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 14 CFR 11.19, in 
accordance with Sec.  11.38, and they become part of the type-
certification basis under Sec.  21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The SF50 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design 
features: A whole-airplane parachute recovery system that is a 
supplemental safety system and unlike any previously approved BPS, will 
add enhancements that assist deployment and autopilot functions that 
work to bring the airplane into an acceptable deployment envelope.


    This system is a non-required system that will interact with the 
flight control system. These special conditions must incorporate the 
required level of safety for the normal ballistic parachute system as 
established by Special Condition 23-ACE-76 in addition to the aspect 
that interfaces with the airplane.
    The FAA revised Sec.  23.1309, Equipment, systems, and 
installations, in amendment 23-62 (76 FR 75736, December 2, 2011) to 
address two different types of equipment and systems installed in the 
airplane. This system operates at the limit of the normal operating 
envelope and challenges normal expectations of such a supplemental 
system. Amendment 23-62 preamble states: Section 23.1309 lists the 
qualifiers ``under the airplane operating and environmental 
    Section 23.1309, amendment 23-62 preamble also describes two 
actions for the applicant. First, the applicant must consider the full 
normal operating envelope of the airplane, as defined by the Airplane 
Flight Manual, with any modification to that envelope associated with 
abnormal or emergency procedures and any anticipated flightcrew action. 
Second, the applicant must consider the anticipated external and 
internal airplane environmental conditions, as well as any additional 
conditions where equipment and systems are assumed to ``perform as 
    Section 23.1309(a)(2) requires analysis of any installed equipment 
or system with potential failure conditions that are catastrophic, 
hazardous, major, or minor, to determine their impact on the safe 
operation of the airplane. The applicant must show that they do not 
adversely affect proper functioning of the equipment, systems, or 
installations covered by Sec.  23.1309 and do not otherwise adversely 
influence the safety of the airplane or its occupants.
    Section 23.1309(a)(2) does not mandate that non-required equipment 
and systems function properly during all airplane operations once in 
service, provided all potential failure conditions have no effect on 
the safe operation of the airplane. The equipment or system must 
function in the manner expected by the manufacturer's operating manual 
for the equipment or system. An applicant's statement of intended 
function must be sufficiently detailed so the FAA can evaluate whether 
the system is appropriate for its intended function(s).
    To incorporate the intent of amendment 23-62, the FAA proposes 
issuing these special conditions to include previous BPS special 
conditions, address the interaction CAPS with other airplane systems, 
and that it is a non-required system. The system must function within 
specified manufacturer's limits while operated within the manufacturers 
recommended envelope. Since it is a non-required system, the means of 
substantiation have been altered to reflect the bounds of the operating 
envelope, the means of analysis that can be substantiated with 
overlapping lower-level testing/analysis, and relieve in-flight 
deployment to avoid unnecessary expense and the inherent danger in 
performing this test.
    All special condition requirements must meet two fundamental 
     The installed system must not introduce unacceptable 
hazards prior to or after activation.
     The applicant must show that the system does not adversely 
affect proper functioning of the equipment, systems, or installations 
covered by Sec.  23.1309 and do not otherwise adversely influence the 
safety of the airplane or its occupants.

The applicant does not have to prove or demonstrate that the system 
works in flight.


    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the 
SF50. Should Cirrus 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.

[[Page 14803]]


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

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, 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 Cirrus SF50 airplanes.
    1. Whole Airplane Parachute Recovery System With Flight Control and 
Deployment Augmentation.
    (a) System Validation.
    (1) The applicant must demonstrate by test, or analysis supported 
by test, that the system will not cause an unacceptable hazard or 
otherwise exceed the system deployment design loads for the critical 
flight conditions.
    (2) The recovery system activation envelope must include speeds at 
or near VS up to at least Vo. The applicant must 
satisfactorily demonstrate by test, or by analysis supported by test, 
the logic and automatic control interface that allow the recovery 
system activation over this speed range.
    (b) Occupant Restraint.
    Each seat in the airplane must be equipped with an approved 
restraint system, which will protect the occupants from serious head 
and upper torso injuries during a recovery system deployment and ground 
impact at the critical load conditions.
    (c) Parachute Performance.
    (1) A 1.5 factor of safety applied to the limit load must be used 
for all components of the recovery system as well as the attachment 
structure, the cabin structure surrounding the occupants, and any 
interconnecting structure of the airplane. Limit loads are defined as 
the parachute deployment forces developed within the operational 
envelope of the system. Lower factors of safety for airplane weight and 
velocity may be used, so that when combined in the energy equation, 
represent a 1.5 factor of safety of the energy equation.
    (2) Stitching must be of a type that will not ravel when broken.
    (3) The applicant must show via test, or analysis supported by 
test, that with the recovery parachute deployed and the airplane 
structure damaged, the airplane impact during touchdown will result in 
an occupant environment in which serious injury to the occupants is 
    (4) The applicant must show via test, or analysis supported by 
test, that with the recovery parachute deployed, the airplane can 
impact the ground in various adverse weather conditions, including 
winds up to 15 knots, without endangering the airplane occupants at and 
after touchdown.
    (d) System Function and Operations.
    (1) The installation design and location of the extraction device 
must consider fire hazards associated with the activation of the 
parachute system and reduce this potential as much as possible without 
compromising function of the extraction device.
    (2) A system safety analysis will be conducted on the recovery 
system that will consider the effects of annunciated and un-annunciated 
failures. This analysis will address both losses of function as well as 
malfunction (including un-commanded system activation). The applicant 
must show that they do not adversely affect proper functioning of the 
equipment, systems, or installations covered by Sec.  23.1309, and do 
not otherwise adversely influence the safety of the airplane or its 
occupants. It must be shown that reliable and functional deployment in 
the adverse weather conditions that the airplane is approved for have 
been considered. For example, if the airplane is certified for flight 
in icing conditions, and flight test in icing reveals that ice may 
cover the deployment area, then the possible adverse effects of ice or 
an ice layer covering the parachute deployment area should be analyzed.
    (3) The recovery system must be designed to safeguard against 
inadvertent activation. Two separate and intentional actions will be 
required to activate the system.
    (4) It must be demonstrated that the system can be activated 
without difficulty by occupants of various sizes, from a 10th 
percentile female to a 90th percentile male, while sitting in the pilot 
or copilot seat.
    (5) The system must be labeled for identification, function, and 
operating limitations.
    (6) The airplane must be equipped with ASTM F 2316-06 conforming 
placards suitable to draw attention of first responders. Section 11 of 
ASTM F 2316-06, specifies that the airplane should be marked with a 
``danger'' placard placed adjacent to the exit point of each rocket/
parachute, an ``identifying'' placard attached to each rocket, and 
``warning'' placard(s) applied where occupant(s) enter the airplane or 
where rescue personnel can readily see the placard(s).
    (e) Design and Construction.
    (1) All components of the system must be protected against 
deterioration due to weathering, corrosion, and abrasion.
    (2) Adequate provisions must be made for ventilation and drainage 
of the system compartments and associated structure to ensure the sound 
condition of the system.
    (f) Materials and workmanship.
    (1) The suitability and durability of materials used for parts, the 
failure of which could adversely affect safety, must--
    i. Be established by experience or tests;
    ii. Meet approved specifications that ensure their having the 
strength and other properties assumed in the design data; and
    iii. Take into account the effects of environmental conditions, 
such as temperature and humidity, expected in service.
    (2) Workmanship must be of a high standard.
    (3) The parachute(s) must be identified with a data panel that 
defines the Manufacturer, Date of Manufacture, Part Number, and Serial 
    (g) Systems Maintenance and Inspection.
    (1) Instructions for continued airworthiness must be prepared for 
the system that meet the requirements of Sec.  23.1529.
    (2) Adequate means must be provided to permit the close examination 
of the system components to ensure proper functioning, alignment, 
lubrication, and adjustment during the required inspection of the 
    (h) Operating Limitations.
    (1) Operating limitations must be prescribed to ensure proper 
operation of the system. A detailed discussion of the system, including 
operation, limitations, and deployment envelope must be included in the 
Airplane Flight Manual.
    (2) Operating limitations must be prescribed for inspecting and 
overhauling the system components at approved intervals.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 10, 2016.
Pat Mullen,
Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
[FR Doc. 2016-06072 Filed 3-17-16; 8:45 am]