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Certified aircraft with uncertified avionics?

How is this possible? They say the C4 uses non TSO’ed avionics from Garmin.

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/First-Flight-For-Flight-Design-C4-223849-1.html

I believe anything is possible if the manufacturer gets it under its Type Certificate.

The seats in my TB20 could have come straight from Renault (they haven’t actually but you get the idea) and Socata merely certifies them using its in-house authority (delegated to them by the DGAC).

There is a limit to what the certification agency (DGAC, CAA, FAA, etc) will allow the mfg to certify in-house. It is possible that this limit is high enough to allow for this instance, on an aircraft which can never legally fly IFR anyway.

If the mfg is a 145 company and a 21 company, in principle it should be possible, using the same process where an FAA DER can generate Approved Data for an item which has no “aviation approvals”.

For example you can install a non TSOs CD player (in a King Air, etc) if you get a DER to generate the design data.

And every aircraft mfg must be a 21 company (or in the USA, have an in-house DER) otherwise they can’t do anything useful in terms of updating the aircraft they are building.

So, you may ask, why isn’t every certified a/c mfg installing uncertified avionics in their planes?

For a start, there is no uncertified GPS which can fly GPS approaches of any kind. We discussed that here a while ago. I would speculate that they don’t want to pay Jepp for the data and quite likely Jepp don’t want to sell them the data (at any price) because they (Jepp) don’t want to get sued if a box with non quality assured software packs up and kills somebody. I happen to know that some uncert avionics do pretty weird and quite dangerous things in certain IFR situations and they are not even GPSs (the reason why I can’t post details is unrelated to this discussion).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Non-TSO’ed does not mean it cannot be installed in a certified aircraft. It only means it requires a field approval (in FAA-speak) – in other words, instead of an STC, which allows the part to be installed in any aircraft of the given type, the installation of non-TSO’d part has to be approved for each individual aircraft separately.

LKBU near Prague, Czech Republic

Isn’t the software in the G3X the same as in the certified boxes? In which case the IFR discussion is moot.

has to be approved for each individual aircraft separately.

Which is no problem if you have an in-house DER or in-house Part 21. It is just a bit more paperwork.

But I still think you can wrap this sort of thing up under a TC. For example the Socata master brake cylinders are made by a French company making uncertified parts for homebuilts.

There has to be a subtlety here however because various people in the USA have tried to install uncert boxes under a field approval and failed – except one case, and nobody can understand how he got it in under the wire. He installed it on the RHS panel in a Bonanza, IIRC. There may have been others but not ones who went public with it.

Isn’t the software in the G3X the same as in the certified boxes?

That is also possible, but Garmin won’t admit to it because they need the product differentiation in the marketplace (I sell one product with a £0.25 extra chip for £90 more…). So I don’t think such a thing (if true) could be used to get the installation approval, because these things are all public (well, in FAA-land they are).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The Tecnam P2008-JC is an EASA certified aircraft and is available with Garmin’s non-certified G3X glass.

http://tecnam.com/Certified-Single-Engine/P2008JC-CS-VLA.aspx

Stapleford Flight Centre are about to collect their second P2008-JC and there is one based at Shoreham with Omega. All three have G3X.

Last Edited by aerofurb at 15 Apr 20:29

The Tecnam P2008-JC is an EASA certified aircraft and is available with Garmin’s non-certified G3X glass.

That is different, as the P2008 is a CS-VLA, not a CS-23 aircraft. Therefore uncertified avionics are allowed (expect for ATC equipment which must be certified)
The C4 falls under the new lighter CS-23 / ELA specifications, not the old CS-23 which is the certification basis for most general aviation aircraft.

JP-Avionics
EHMZ

When I saw the headline I thought it had to do with actually installing non-TSO’d avionics like autopilots, stormscopes, traffic detection – equipment that you can legally fly without, but which needs approval to install. I believe I have heard of efforts to allow that, with the rationale that it would reduce prices significantly thus make more owners install it and get the safety benefit (if any) instead of leaving all the fancy stuff to ultralights. After all, you do not hear of ultralights crashing because of non-certified autopilots, do you? Whether those efforts were made within EASA I am not sure. I am not holding my breath, but it is a pleasant dream.

Last Edited by huv at 16 Apr 06:06
huv
EKRK, Denmark

From Jesse’s post it sounds like there is something subtle in the certification regime here which allows this.

you do not hear of ultralights crashing because of non-certified autopilots, do you

You wouldn’t, because the pilot will be dead and the whole thing will be smashed up. In VMC it would not be an issue, and a surviving pilot of a homebuilt will not admit to having been in IMC because the insurance won’t pay out

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

An ultralight with an autopilot is most likely to carry a transponder too, and its flight path will have been recorded. Authorities are sufficiently able to compare a 3-D track log to the METARs and SIGMETs.

Last Edited by at 16 Apr 06:33
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium
44 Posts
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