Sec. 121.344a - Digital flight data recorders for 10-19 seat airplanes.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, no person may operate under this part a turbine-engine-powered airplane having a passenger seating configuration, excluding any required crewmember seat, of 10 to 19 seats, that was brought onto the U.S. register after, or was registered outside the United States and added to the operator's U.S. operations specifications after, October 11, 1991, unless it is equipped with one or more approved flight recorders that use a digital method of recording and storing data and a method of readily retrieving that data from the storage medium. On or before August 20, 2001, airplanes brought onto the U.S. register after October 11, 1991, must comply with either the requirements in this section or the applicable paragraphs in 135.152 of this chapter. In addition, by August 20, 2001.

(1) The parameters listed in 121.344(a)(1) through 121.344(a)(18) of this part must be recorded with the ranges, accuracies, and resolutions specified in Appendix B of part 135 of this chapter, except that --

(i) Either the parameter listed in 121.344 (a)(12) or (a)(15) of this part must be recorded; either the parameters listed in 121.344(a)(13) or (a)(16) of this part must be recorded; and either the parameter listed in 121.344(a)(14) or (a)(17) of this part must be recorded.

(ii) For airplanes with more than two engines, the parameter described in 121.344(a)(18) of this part must also be recorded if sufficient capacity is available on the existing recorder to record that parameter;

(iii) Parameters listed in 121.344(a)(12) through 121.344(a)(17) of this part each may be recorded from a single source;

(iv) Any parameter for which no value is contained in Appendix B of part 135 of this chapter must be recorded within the ranges, accuracies, and resolutions specified in Appendix M of this part.

(2) Commensurate with the capacity of the recording system (FDAU or equivalent and the DFDR), the parameters listed in 121.344(a)(19) through 121.344(a)(22) of this part also must be recorded within the ranges, accuracies, resolutions, and recording intervals specified in Appendix B of part 135 of this chapter.

(3) The approved flight recorder required by this section must be installed as soon as practicable, but no later than the next heavy maintenance check or equivalent after August 18, 1999. A heavy maintenance check is considered to be any time an airplane is scheduled to be out of service for 4 more days and is scheduled to include access to major structural components.

(b) For a turbine-engine-powered airplanes having a passenger seating configuration, excluding any required crewmember seat, of 10 to 19 seats, that are manufactured after August 18, 2000.

(1) The parameters listed in 121.344(a)(1) through 121.344(a)(57) of this part, must be recorded within the ranges, accuracies, resolutions, and recording intervals specified in Appendix M of this part.

(2) Commensurate with the capacity of the recording system, all additional parameters listed in 121.344(a) of this part for which information sources are installed and which are connected to the recording system, must be recorded within the ranges, accuracies, resolutions, and sampling intervals specified in Appendix M of this part by August 20, 2001.

(c) For all turbine-engine-powered airplanes having a passenger seating configuration, excluding any required crewmember seats, of 10 to 19 seats, that are manufactured after August 19, 2002, the parameters listed in 121.344(a)(1) through (a)(88) of this part must be recorded within the ranges, accuracies, resolutions, and recording intervals specified in Appendix M of this part.

(d) Each flight data recorder system required by this section must be installed in accordance with the requirements of 23.1459 (a), (b), (d), and (e) of this chapter. A correlation must be established between the values recorded by the flight data recorder and the corresponding values being measured. The correlation must contain a sufficient number of correlation points to accurately establish the conversion from the recorded values to engineering units or discrete state over the full operating range of the parameter. A single correlation may be established for any group of airplanes --

(1) That are of the same type;

(2) On which the flight recorder system and its installation are the same; and

(3) On which there is no difference in the type design with respect to the installation of those sensors associated with the flight data recorder system. Correlation documentation must be maintained by the certificate holder.

(e) All airplanes subject to this section are also subject to the requirements and exceptions stated in 121.344(g) through 121.344(k) of this part.

(f) For airplanes that were manufactured before August 18, 1997, the following airplane types need not comply with this section, but must continue to comply with applicable paragraphs of 135.152 of this chapter, as appropriate: Beech Aircraft-99 Series, Beech Aircraft 1300, Beech Aircraft 1900C, Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A. (CASA) C-212, deHavilland DHC-6, Dornier 228, HS-748, Embraer EMB 110, Jetstream 3101, Jetstream 3201, Fairchild Aircraft SA-226.

[Doc. No. 28109, 62 FR 38380, July 17, 1997; 62 FR 48135, Sept. 12, 1997; 62 FR 65202, Dec. 11, 1997]