FAA Proposes More Testing for Smaller VLJs

 - April 30, 2010, 6:48 AM

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would revise the requirement for function and reliability (F&R) flight testing to include turbine-powered airplanes with an mtow of less than 6,000 pounds. The requirement adds significant costs to certification of new airplanes and is a threshold that the Eclipse 500 VLJ was able to remain under when it was certified. New single-engine jets under development also would fall under the 6,000-pound threshold. While these jets currently are not required to undergo F&R flight testing, “The FAA has determined that most, if not all, of these airplane designs would benefit from the F&R flight testing requirement.” The new rule would exempt gliders and piston-powered airplanes. Comments are due by July 8.