Action Taken To Narrow Scope of Insulation Rule

 - February 16, 2007, 10:43 AM

The FAA has issued clarifying bulletins, set up a team of specialists that can be contacted 24/7 and is considering amending its controversial rule upgrading flammability standards for thermal and acoustic fuselage insulation. The rule, which became effective September 2, poses a "serious threat to the continued operation of Part 25 [certified] aircraft," according to trade groups. The rule covers virtually all replacement thermal and acoustic insulation material, not just thermal/acoustic blankets, in the fuselage. Except for blankets, many other approved replacement materials are not readily available. The FAA has issued Flight Standards Airworthiness Bulletins 05-09 and 05-10 to field inspectors to guide them in the application of the retroactive portion of the rule–FAR 91.613(b)(1) and 135.170(c)(1). The FAA action team is led by Seattle-based Jeff Gardlin at (425) 227-2100. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the FAA will amend the rule "to limit the applicability of the replacement parts portion of the rule." An agency spokesman would say only that the FAA is "considering" revised rules.