EASA and Ejection Seat Certification
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have issued a series of Certification Review Items (CRIs) for proposed Special Conditions and Equivalent Levels of Safety for a Part 23 ejection seat equipped tandem two-seat trainer aircraft to be certified in the Normal and Acrobatic categories. The CRIs consist of:
- CRI 102 Special Condition Canopy Fracturing System related to CS 23.805 (b) on emergency exits and CS 23.807 (b)(5) for abandonment.
- CRI 103 Special Conditions Ejection Seats related to CS 23.807 (b)(5) for abandonment.
- CRI 105 ELOS Emergency Provisions related to CS 23.785 (d) on single point release (when the ejection seat also includes leg restraint features for example) and CS 23.785 (h) on the occupants wearing a parachute (as opposed to being integral with the seat).
- CRI 106 ELOS HIC Compliance related to CS23.562 requiring testing and Head Impact Criteria (HIC) that are not compatible with an ejection seat.
- CRI 107 ELOS Lumbar Load Compliance related to CS23.562 requiring testing and lumbar load criteria that are not compatible with an ejection seat.
The UK Military Def Stan 00-970 is the basis of much of the CRI proposals.
The deadline for comment is 26 February 2016.
EASA do not, as a matter of course, identify the specific aircraft type a CRI relates to.
UPDATE 21 July 2016: EASA has validated the DGAC Turkey certification of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) TT32 HÜRKUŞ trainer using these SCs.
Additionally, the UK military have recently committed to the purchase of three new aircraft types for the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS). All three aircraft involved (the side by side two seat Grob 120TP turboprop, the Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 multi-engine business jet and the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II) have been civil certified.
The UK Military Aviation Authority (MAA) has published a Regulatory Notice that explains how civil certification evidence can be used in a UK military type certification: MAA/RN/2015/15 (D TECH): Use of existing certification evidence as credit towards demonstrating compliance with the military air systems certification process. This includes the concept of identifying and assessing military deltas in usage and configuration relative to the civil certification.
The T-6 is a development of the Pilatus PC-9 that won the US Navy managed Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) competition in the 1990s. The tandem two seat Texan is also known as the Beechcraft 3000 and has been certified previously by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It is fitted with Martin-Baker zero-zero Mk 16 ejection seats.
The FAA TCDS for the Beechcraft 3000 states:
This aircraft contains a canopy fracturing system and ejection seat system that was FAA approved based on the Equivalent Level of Safety provisions on 14 CFR 21.17. Due to the uniqueness of this equipment, corresponding Operational characteristics, and need for recurring maintenance activity, all ejection seat training, maintenance, and component replacement schedules must be conducted in accordance with the FAA approved Airworthiness Limitations Section of Maintenance Manual P/N 133-590003-7.
UPDATE 26 February 2016: In an unrelated development the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Advisory Circular (AC91-87) titled: Ejection Seat Training Program on how to develop suitable training.
UPDATE 24 July 2016: It is now 70 years since the first live in-flight ejection with an MB seat.
UPDATE 1 August 2016: TRU Simulation + Training announces they are to provide EASA standard maintenance training courseware for Affinity for the T-6C:
The courseware includes development of the following four distinct T-6C courses along with interactive training for each maintenance trade:
– Engineering Familiarization Course
– Airframe/Powerplant/General (APG) 5-Skill Level Course
– Avionics/Electrical 5-Skill Level Course
– Egress/Life Support 5-Skill Level Course.
The courseware will be developed through TRU’s state-of the-art Learning Content Management System and will include 2D and 3D graphic representations along with system simulations for a highly realistic and customizable training experience.
UPDATE 9 February 2017: Ejection Seat Market Is Changing Pace
UPDATE 26 June 2017: Beechcraft T-6C trainer earns European approval. EASA TCDS EASA.IM.A.636