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FAA Clarifies Angle of Attack Indicator Installation Policy
Policy allows AOA installations without an STC
Submitted by EAA Chapter 944
July 8, 2014 - In February, the FAA issued a press release announcing that angle of attack (AOA) indicators would be eligible for certification under industry consensus standards rather than traditional avionics certification rules. Shortly after the press release was issued, EAA wrote to the FAA requesting clarification on the installation of these safety devices, asking whether the FAA would permit AOA system installations as a minor alteration to spur widespread adoption of this technology.
In late June, the FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate and Aircraft Maintenance Division responded. The FAA’s policy is that AOA indicators are “non-required equipment that provide a safety benefit,” and if they are manufactured to appropriate industry consensus standards, these devices “do not represent a major change to type design […] and do not require a supplemental type certificate for installation.”
The policy also allows the Chicago Aircraft Certification Office to officially approve certain AOA system manufacturers’ installation instructions, which allows the approved systems to be installed as a major alteration in standard category aircraft without any additional engineering data or supplemental type certificate.