Flight Design’s C4’s EASA Part 23 certification under surrogate new criteria and process might provide precedent for similar US treatment

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At a recent Aviation Subcommittee hearing, the FAA’s official’s testimony and the comments of the private sector witnesses were most discouraging about the lack of movement on the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act’s new Part 23 certification standards. That discouraging news is somewhat diminished as to one European aircraft approval, as noted in the below article, and may signal that the US new aircraft requests similar liberalized processes may be available.

Flight Design is a global aircraft manufacturer with headquarters in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany and related entities worldwide. Its Technical Director Oliver Reinhardt announced at EAA’s AirVenture ® that the company’s C4 will be the “guinea pig”. This will be a test case of the new Part 23 concept by following the current European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) CS Part 23 regulations, which are “softer” and not as absolute. The TC, which will be issued, will include a “special condition” which requires that the C4 must be retested under the new EASA standards. EASA and the FAA are writing the new Part 23 in a joint process. Then the US will accept an EASA certificated C4 with a simple a “validation’” process for a full FAA Part 23 ticket.

The FAA witness indicated that the SARA mandated, expedited small aircraft certification revision will not be accomplished until the last quarter of 2015. The industry witnesses suggested that the delay was due to lawyers’ review.

As disappointing as the tardiness may be, perhaps the FAA could also allow active Part 23 applications to follow the proposed criteria and processes? The legal justification for such an exemption would be the experience applying this new regimen would provide excellent proof that it works.

Good suggestion?

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