HAI Convention News

FAA Backs Non-required Safety Items

 - March 5, 2013, 1:30 PM

The FAA has issued a policy statement about the installation of non-required safety-enhancing equipment (NORSEE) into rotorcraft and is accepting comments until March 25.

NORSEE is defined as equipment intended to measurably increase safety in rotary-wing aircraft, but not required by federal regulation. The FAA encourages the use of optional, non-required equipment that can improve safety for an increased number of rotorcraft under most operational conditions. The agency also believes that a possible increased safety risk, from failed or malfunctioning non-required equipment, to an individual rotorcraft operating in unusual conditions should not preclude the rest of the fleet from benefiting from such installations.

“With this approach,” the FAA said, “we expect the safety benefits to be greater than the potential risk introduced by the installation of NORSEE. However, since NORSEE is not required, the safety assessment should determine that any known loss of function of the equipment would not present a hazard higher than minor to the rotorcraft.”

According to the agency, NORSEE can improve safety when installed in rotorcraft, even though it is not required by Parts 27 and 29, or by the rules under which rotorcraft operate (Parts 91, 133, 135, 136 or 137).

The premise of these rules is that systems and equipment in rotorcraft must be appropriately designed, manufactured and installed so each performs its intended function and does not present an unacceptable hazard to the rotorcraft because of malfunction or failure, the FAA said.

Comments can be emailed to: george.schwab@faa.gov or mailed to: DOT/FAA Southwest Region, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group, ASW-111, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137-0111.