Operational Limits Proposed for Large Aircraft

 - November 22, 2006, 5:35 AM

Transport aircraft manufacturers, including business jet OEMs, will be required to develop operational limitations for all future Part 25 designs, under a far-ranging notice of proposed rulemaking intended to eliminate “widespread fatigue damage” (WFD) as aircraft age. For existing type certificates, this proposal would affect the heaviest Bombardier and Gulfstream business jets, as well as all other transport airplanes with mtows of more than 75,000 pounds. However, only Part 121 U.S. and Part 129 foreign carriers would be required to incorporate maintenance and inspections to prevent WFD. Aircraft would be prohibited from operating beyond their established limit. However, the rule would provide a means for operators to extend the limit, after which the aircraft could no longer be operated in the U.S. The proposal is primarily aimed at aging airliners, including the Boeing 737, DC-9 and BAC 1-11. Comments on the proposal are due July 17.