GAMA: Panthera, C4 Benefit From Reg Revision

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As the revision of aircraft certification rules gains momentum, both the Flight Design C4 and Pipistrel Panthera will benefit from less onerous cert requirements, according to GAMA. At last week’s Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, GAMA’s Greg Bowles, who’s based in Brussels, told AVweb that the regulatory revision, known as CS23 worldwide, will directly benefit the Flight Design C4 and the Pipistrel Panthera, allowing them to install substantially less expensive avionics. 

“Regulators are not waiting for the rules but are embracing the coming change and saying they can do things now that they couldn’t before,” Bowles told AVweb at Aero. “The example of the C4 is one of those. It’s a product that has a lot of innovative solutions and it will have a lot of innovative safety solutions that will be a step ahead of what we’ve been able to do before,” he added. At Sun ‘n Fun, Flight Design announced that it will use the Garmin G3X, an uncertified avionics suite, for the C4 and in the Panthera, Pipistrel may use either the G3X or Dynon’s Skyview. The Pipistrel will also have a full airframe, ballistic parachute which the company believes may require less expensive certification testing than Cirrus had to undergo for its SR20 and SR22 series.

Bowles said the regulatory agencies are currently involved in heavy debate about the exact language in the new cert rules and the first drafts are expected out next year. He said one new revision, called primary non-commercial, may or may not be part of the revision. The so-called PNC would allow owners to place their aircraft into a status similar to the experimental category so that uncertified equipment could be installed inexpensively and owners could do their own maintenance. Although this proposal came out of discussions about the FAR 23/CS23 revision, it’s not part of that rulemaking procedure and is governed by FAR Part 43. Bowles said he didn’t know whether the idea was gaining traction inside the FAA or not. For more, listen to AVweb’s podcast with Bowles recorded at Aero last week.