SFAR No. 88 - Fuel Tank System Fault Tolerance Evaluation Requirements

1. Applicability. This SFAR applies to the holders of type certificates, and supplemental type certificates that may affect the airplane fuel tank system, for turbine-powered transport category airplanes, provided the type certificate was issued after January 1, 1958, and the airplane has either a maximum type certificated passenger capacity of 30 or more, or a maximum type certificated payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or more. This SFAR also applies to applicants for type certificates, amendments to a type certificate, and supplemental type certificates affecting the fuel tank systems for those airplanes identified above, if the application was filed before June 6, 2001, the effective date of this SFAR, and the certificate was not issued before June 6, 2001.

2. Compliance: Each type certificate holder, and each supplemental type certificate holder of a modification affecting the airplane fuel tank system, must accomplish the following within the compliance times specified in paragraph (e) of this section:

(a) Conduct a safety review of the airplane fuel tank system to determine that the design meets the requirements of 25.901 and 25.981(a) and (b) of this chapter. If the current design does not meet these requirements, develop all design changes to the fuel tank system that are necessary to meet these requirements. The FAA (Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), or office of the Transport Airplane Directorate, having cognizance over the type certificate for the affected airplane) may grant an extension of the 18-month compliance time for development of design changes if:

(1) The safety review is completed within the compliance time;

(2) Necessary design changes are identified within the compliance time; and

(3) Additional time can be justified, based on the holder's demonstrated aggressiveness in performing the safety review, the complexity of the necessary design changes, the availability of interim actions to provide an acceptable level of safety, and the resulting level of safety.

(b) Develop all maintenance and inspection instructions necessary to maintain the design features required to preclude the existence or development of an ignition source within the fuel tank system of the airplane.

(c) Submit a report for approval to the FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), or office of the Transport Airplane Directorate, having cognizance over the type certificate for the affected airplane, that:

(1) Provides substantiation that the airplane fuel tank system design, including all necessary design changes, meets the requirements of 25.901 and 25.981(a) and (b) of this chapter; and

(2) Contains all maintenance and inspection instructions necessary to maintain the design features required to preclude the existence or development of an ignition source within the fuel tank system throughout the operational life of the airplane.

(d) The Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), or office of the Transport Airplane Directorate, having cognizance over the type certificate for the affected airplane, may approve a report submitted in accordance with paragraph 2(c) if it determines that any provisions of this SFAR not complied with are compensated for by factors that provide an equivalent level of safety.

(e) Each type certificate holder must comply no later than December 6, 2002, or within 18 months after the issuance of a type certificate for which application was filed before June 6, 2001, whichever is later; and each supplemental type certificate holder of a modification affecting the airplane fuel tank system must comply no later than June 6, 2003, or within 18 months after the issuance of a supplemental type certificate for which application was filed before June 6, 2001, whichever is later.

[Doc. No. 1999-6411, 66 FR 23129, May 7, 2001, as amended by Amdt. 21-82, 67 FR 57493, Sept. 10, 2002; 67 FR 70809, Nov. 26, 2002; Amdt. 21-82, 67 FR 72833, Dec. 9, 2002]