FAA Proposes Harmonizing Rotorcraft Engine-Out Standards
The FAA last week formally proposed new rules designed to bring its rotorcraft certification standards into "harmonization" with existing European standards and proposed Canadian regulations. The new rules, found in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), amend the FAA's existing one-engine inoperative (OEI) definitions and type certification standards for 30-second OEI, two-minute OEI and 30-minute OEI ratings for rotorcraft turbine engines. The proposed rule, if adopted, would "revise the ratings’ standards to reflect recent analyses of the ratings’ usage and lessons learned from completed engine certifications and service experience." Public comments on the proposal are due by Aug. 2, 2007.
The NPRM would amend FAR Parts 1 and 33 and result from an Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC), which was assigned the task of harmonizing the differing OEI ratings. According to the NPRM, on Feb. 29, 2000, a working group within the ARAC reported its recommendations to the full panel, which recommended the agency proceed with a rulemaking. This NPRM reflects the ARAC recommendations, though it's not clear why it took the FAA more than seven years to develop the new rules. In the NPRM, the FAA states the OEI ratings allow operators to use higher than takeoff and maximum continuous rating power during takeoff, cruise, and landing when one or more engines of a multi-engine rotorcraft fails or is shut down. While European and proposed Canadian standards are similar to the FAA's, they differ in certain areas.