AVIATION (FLIGHT DATA RECORDERS) / Amends the operating regulations (14 C.F.R.) for flight data recorders by correcting errors in recording rates in three different appendices.

“Flight Data Recorder Airplane Parameter Specification Omissions and Corrections.”

July 3, 2013. Final Rule; Request for comments.

“This final rule amends three appendices in 14 CFR related to flight data recorder (FDR) requirements.

First, Appendix E to part 91 is amended to correct what appears to be a typographical error introduced when the rule was published. Currently, for the altitude parameter, the sampling rate per second is listed as 11. The correct rate has always been 1 sample per second. A review of the original typewritten document that was submitted for publication suggests that a stray mark caused the number to be translated as 11. The sample rate of 1 per second was in the proposed rule (53 FR 4314; February 12, 1988) and the final rule (54 FR 34284; August 18, 1989). Since a sample rate of 11 is unknown in the industry and compliance would require a major airplane equipment modification, affected operators have understood that this was a typographical error, and complied with the 1 sample per second rate. Despite the age of the error, this correction does not comprise the adoption of a different standard that will affect airplanes operating under these regulations since any initial misunderstandings have been clarified when the agency was contacted.”

“The second and third corrections concern identical standards in Appendix M to part 121 and Appendix E to part 125. In each Appendix, footnote 5 was added following a petition for rulemaking from Airbus Industries and subsequent rulemaking to adopt the changes (64 FR 46117; August 24, 1999), as evidenced by the discussion in the preamble to that rule. However, the current regulation lists only the adjustment for the resolution, and not the sampling interval. This action puts the sampling interval of once per second back in to the footnote for the affected airplanes. Since the airplane can be operated under parts 121 or 125 using the identical standard, the appendices for each are being corrected.”

“None of these changes will require action by airplane owners, operators or manufacturers as the affected airplanes already comply with the requirements of the originally adopted rules and the corrections adopted here. Since these requirements were intended in the original rules, there is no new impact on safety. The correction of these errors and omissions will prevent future confusion and require less contact between the FAA and regulated entities who must comply with the regulations.”