FAA Updates Icing Rules For New Transport Aircraft

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The FAA has published a final rule that introduces new airworthiness standards for evaluation of performance and handling of Part 25-certified airplanes in icing conditions. The FAA through this action intends to require "the same maneuvering capability requirements at the minimum operating speeds in the most critical icing conditions defined in appendix C of Part 25 as are currently required in non-icing conditions" and make the U.S. and European airworthiness standards more synchronous. The amendment requires manufacturers to investigate during airworthiness certification the susceptibility of designs to tailplane stall due to ice contamination, with particular attention paid to flap and gear configuration changes. In preparing the rule, the FAA specifically "considered only past accidents involving tailplane stall or potential airframe ice accretion effects on drag or controllability."