Request for Comments: Special Conditions: Boeing Model 767-200, -300, and -300F Series

February 7, 2008 at 10:49 am | Posted in Aviation Law | Leave a comment

FAAby P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
The FAA, in today’s Federal Register (73 FR 7203-7205), requests comments on special conditions for Boeing aircraft with a satellite communication system with lithium ion battery installation. According to the request, “[t]he applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature.” The background to the request is:

On July 5, 2007, ABX Air, Inc. of Wilmington, Ohio applied for a supplemental type certificate to install a satellite communication system on Boeing Model 767-200, -300, and -300F series airplanes. The satellite communication system contains the following equipment:

Wingspeed Corporation Aircraft Communication Unit,
Sensor Systems GPS/Iridium Antennae,
Satellite Phone Handset,
DAC International Class II GEN-X Electronic Flight Bag System, and
RITEC Airborne Printer

At present, there is limited experience with use of rechargeable lithium ion batteries in applications involving commercial aviation. However, other users of this technology, ranging from wireless telephone manufacturers to the electric vehicle industry, have noted safety problems with lithium ion batteries. These problems include overcharging, over-discharging, and flammability of cell components.

Comments on the proposed special conditions are due by March 10, 2009.

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