Upgraded Helicopter Standards Planned
New and revised performance and handling qualities requirements for normal- (Part 27) and transport-category (Part 29) rotorcraft have been proposed. The FAA said the proposals are prompted by "advances in design and operational trends." Some current Part 27 and 29 regulations do not reflect "safety levels attainable by modern rotorcraft." The proposals–which result from recommendations made by the European Joint Aviation Authorities, the Aerospace Industries Association of America, Transport Canada and other interested parties–have already been presented to the joint FAA/industry aviation rulemaking advisory committee (ARAC). Specific areas targeted for revision are weight limits; performance at minimum operating speeds; high-speed envelope; controllability and maneuverability; stability; and takeoff and landing. Comments are due October 23. For more information, contact Jeff Trang at the FAA's rotorcraft directorate office in Fort Worth, Texas, at (817) 222-5135.