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Expressing Concern Over NavWorx AD

June 8, 2017 - EAA is asking the FAA for clarification regarding this week’s release of an airworthiness directive (AD) on the NavWorx ADS-B over misinformation emitted from the units. EAA’s concerns focus on the AD being applied to experimental category aircraft as well as type-certificated ones, which runs contrary to long-standing policy on ADs.

The AD would affect about 800 units installed in both type-certificated and experimental category aircraft.

“EAA supports the FAA’s desire to alert owners of experimental aircraft to a potential condition of noncompliance and a true safety concern within the National Airspace System,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “EAA still has concerns regarding the regulatory basis for use of an airworthiness directive towards an experimental product that is not based on a type design.  We will be working with the FAA to better understand their basis for applying an AD in this situation and what recourse there might be for our members.”

FAA policy traditionally allows the agency to alert experimental category aircraft owners of possible risks through a variety of non-regulatory means. Additionally, owners and operators of experimental aircraft are required to ensure that their ADS-B equipment complies with FARs 91.225 and 91.227, and to knowingly operate non-compliant equipment could invite enforcement action. In this case, the agency believed that it was still necessary to include all aircraft in the AD because of the influence of faulty ADS-B units on other aircraft flying in a specific airspace.

AD applicability to experimental aircraft is usually limited to formerly type-certificated equipment installed in these aircraft, such as engines and propellers. In these cases, the owner must comply directly with the AD or address the safety concerns raised in some other appropriate way.

Because of the precedent-setting nature of this decision, EAA immediately contacted FAA aircraft certification division leaders, asking for additional information and clarification. We will continue to work on this matter to ensure that rights available within the experimental category are not eroded.

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