NPA 2017-03

In-flight recording for light aircraft

This Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) addresses safety and regulatory harmonisation issues related to the need of in-flight recordings for accident investigation and accident prevention purposes. 12 safety recommendations were addressed to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) by 7 safety investigation authorities, recommending an in-flight recording capability for light aircraft models which are outside the scope of the current flight recorder carriage requirements. In addition, new Standards (recently introduced in ICAO Annex 6) require the carriage of lightweight flight recorders for light aeroplanes and light helicopters.

The specific objectives of this rulemaking task are to:

  • enhance the identification of safety issues affecting light aircraft by means of data recorded in flight;
  • achieve harmonisation with ICAO Annex 6;
  • produce a proportionate regulation which takes into account the General Aviation Road Map; and
  • identify avenues other than requiring in-flight recording equipment.

This NPA proposes to mandate the carriage of lightweight flight recorders for some categories of light aeroplanes and light helicopters when they are commercially operated and manufactured 3 years after the date of application of the amending regulation. In addition, this NPA proposes to promote the voluntary installation of in-flight recording equipment for all other light aeroplanes and light helicopters and for all balloons. The proposed changes are expected to increase safety with limited economic and social impacts.