NORSEE and ASTM improve the Detection of GA icing

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New ASTM International Specification Supports Ice Detection on Small Aircraft

NORSEE’s flexibility and ASTM’s standards add to safety

Ice is an Insidious Safety Risk

Aircraft icing has been on the NTSB Most Wanted List 2010 and based on enhanced on board warning and deicing equipment on commercial aircraft, the concern today focuses on GA aircraft. The literature on the subject documents the risks and seeks solutions.

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ASTM F3310 – 18 

Standard Specification for Non-Essential Ice Detectors for Aircraft

The applicant for a design approval must seek the individual guidance of their respective CAA body concerning the use of this specification as part of a certification plan. For information on which CAA regulatory bodies have accepted this specification (in whole or in part) as a means of compliance to their Small Aircraft Airworthiness regulations (hereinafter referred to as “the Rules”), refer to ASTM F44 webpage ( which includes CAA website links. It is the responsibility of the Applicant to validate any applicability beyond that identified in this specification and request acceptance from the applicable CAA.

ice detectors


This innovation was facilitated by the FAA’s Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE) ,a 2016 PDF designed to encourage the installation of install safety equipment general aviation aircraft. This flexibility in adding equipment to GA planes derives from the condition that the action is voluntary and that the instrument is not required by the FARs. It will reduce costs and streamline the installation of into the general aviation fleet.

“NORSEE includes avionics, electronic instruments, displays and mechanical equipment. Equipment approved as NORSEE increases overall situational awareness; provides additional information other than the aircraft primary system; provides independent warning, cautionary, or advisory indications; and provides additional occupant safety protection.  Examples of NORSEE equipment include: traffic advisory systems, terrain awareness and warning systems; attitude indicators; fire extinguishing systems; and autopilot or stability augmentation systems.

The policy has the flexibility to accommodate the installation of new technology safety enhancements into Part 23, 27, and 29 aircraft that are determined to be a minor change to type design. The benefits must outweigh the risk. The policy will reduce equipment costs by allowing the applicants the flexibility to select various industry standards that suit their product, as long as it meets the FAA’s minimum design requirements.

NORSEE approval under this policy is not an approval for installation on the aircraft – it just makes the equipment eligible for installation on the aircraft.”


ASTM’s establishment of F3310 – 18 will stimulate manufacturers to design and make available instruments which will warn GA pilots of the extremely dangerous condition. Icing is one of the most insidious risks to pilots, for typically the sight lines to the wings are obstructed, at least partially and even a small amount of freeze on the surfaces poses a problem.

The ASTM participation will also be an important addition to the new Part 23 certification process.







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