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8900.1 CHG 617

VOLUME 4  AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS

CHAPTER 17  ENHANCED FLIGHT VISION SYSTEM (EFVS) OPERATIONS

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Section 1  Safety Assurance System: Evaluating an Application for OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C048, Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) Operations

4-1689    REPORTING SYSTEM(S). The following tracking codes are used to document inspector activities during the evaluation of an EFVS application.

A.    Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS). For EFVS activities, use PTRS activity codes 1439, 3440, and 5440.

B.    Safety Assurance System (SAS). For Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121 and 135 operations, the principal inspector (PI) will utilize this guidance related to SAS Elements 2.1.1 (OP) Training of Flight Crewmembers, 2.2.1 (OP) Airmen Duties/Flight Deck Procedures, 3.1.1 (OP) Training and Qualification of Dispatchers and Flight Followers, 3.3.2 (OP) Dispatch/Flight Release, and 4.6.1 (AW) Avionics Special Emphasis Programs.

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4-1690    PURPOSE AND APPLICABILITY. This section provides references, information, and guidance for PIs and supporting aviation safety inspectors (ASI) to perform an evaluation of an operator’s application for the initial issuance or an amendment to operations specification (OpSpec)/management specification (MSpec)/letter of authorization (LOA) C048. An application is required for each certificate holder, program manager, or operator under part 91 subpart K (part 91K), 121, 125 (including part 125 Letter of Deviation Authority (A125 LODA) holders), or 135 who seeks authorization to conduct EFVS operations under part 91, § 91.176. Part 91 operators (other than part 91K) are required to submit an application for an LOA C048 in order to conduct operations under § 91.176(a). Part 91 operators conducting operations under § 91.176(b) may submit an application for an optional LOA C048.

4-1691    BACKGROUND. Regulations permit pilots to descend below decision altitude (DA)/decision height (DH) or minimum descent altitude (MDA) using a certified EFVS to conduct an EFVS operation on certain instrument approach procedures (IAP). EFVS operations require Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization, which begins with an FAA evaluation described in this section. Additional provisions provided through the authorization allow certificate holders operating under part 121, 125, 125 A125 LODA holder, or 135 to:

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    Dispatch, release, or takeoff a flight when the forecast visibility is below the visibility minimums prescribed in the IAP; or

    Begin the Final Approach Segment (FAS) when the current reported visibility is below the visibility minimums prescribed in the IAP.

4-1692    GENERAL INFORMATION. The following describes the roles and responsibilities of FAA personnel and lists and describes the references that inspectors must use to complete a thorough evaluation of an application for C048.

A.    Responsibilities.

1)    Principal Operations Inspectors (POI). POIs assigned to evaluate an EFVS application are responsible for managing the evaluation process, coordinating the review and evaluation of the submitted EFVS application with other assigned PIs and ASIs, initiating FAA internal coordination when required, and issuing the authorization.
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2)    Flight Technologies and Procedures Division. The Flight Technologies and Procedures Division is responsible for providing the technical and policy support and consultation to the inspectors conducting the evaluation and coordinating with other divisions, as applicable.

B.    Resources. The following are the primary references for inspectors conducting an EFVS application evaluation:

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1)    Advisory Circular (AC) 90-106, Enhanced Flight Vision Systems. The AC describes EFVS operations, information and documentation required for a complete C048 application, and the expectations for demonstration during an evaluation.
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2)    Volume 3, Chapter 1, The General Process for Approval or Acceptance of Air Operator Applications. This guidance describes the FAA five-phase process for evaluating an application. The Flight Technologies and Procedures Division designed the EFVS evaluations using this process as a general guideline.
3)    Volume 4, Chapter 17, Section 2, Safety Assurance System: Instructions to Complete OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C048, Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) Operations. This guidance describes the administrative process for properly filling out a C048 authorization template in the Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS).
4)    Flight Standardization Board (FSB) Report. This report may contain additional training, checking, and currency recommendations for an installed EFVS. Reports are located in the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS).
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5)    Operational Suitability Report (OSR), Operational Credit for Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS). This report may contain information pertaining to an EFVS eligibility for operational credit. This report is located in FSIMS.
6)    Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)/Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) or Supplement (AFMS/RFMS). The AFM/RFM contains information pertaining to the eligibility of an EFVS to conduct EFVS operations.
7)    Flight Technologies and Procedures Division EFVS Focal Point. This is the policy division for EFVS and operator authorizations. Inspectors should contact the division’s EFVS Focal Point listed on the following Flight Operations Branch’s website for technical support or when directed by guidance: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/afx/afs/afs400/afs410/efvs/.

4-1693    EVALUATING APPLICATIONS FOR C048. PIs must use the five-phase process described in Volume 3, Chapter 1, Section 1 as a general guideline for evaluating all EFVS authorization applications, to include applications to amend an existing authorization. Inspectors should consult the EFVS Focal Point for clarification of any EFVS guidance. The following is supplemental information for each phase specific to an evaluation of an application for C048:

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A.    Phase One. FAA personnel responsible for evaluating any part of an EFVS application must be familiar with the contents of AC 90-106. Part 91 operators (other than part 91K) may request to have an LOA issued to facilitate EFVS operational approvals issued by foreign Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA). No formal evaluation is required if the LOA does not authorize EFVS operations under § 91.176(a). Volume 4, Chapter 17, Section 2 provides administrative instructions for proper issuance of the authorization.

B.    Phase Two. POIs must initiate coordination with the EFVS Focal Point when an applicant presents a means to obtain EFVS authorization not described in AC 90-106 or requests authorization to initiate an approach or dispatch/release to a destination with reduced visibilities.

C.    Phase Three. PIs must ensure that all recommended information and documentation in AC 90-106 are included in the operator’s submission. The operator must provide sufficient data to establish that it met the goals of the demonstration period.

D.    Phase Four. Inspectors should review the proposed demonstration plan to ensure it meets the requirements described in AC 90-106.

1)    POIs may consider unique demonstration plans proposed by operators with particular operations. The POI should consult with Flight Technologies and Procedures Division if they are unsure if a proposal meets the intent of AC 90-106.
2)    Operators should be encouraged to participate in a voluntary program designed to collect sensor performance data. The program should benefit EFVS users by identifying areas where EFVS operational credit can be expanded. The POI and the operator should contact the Flight Technologies and Procedures Division for more information about the program.
3)    The POI determines when the demonstration objectives specified in AC 90-106 have successfully been met. The POI may extend a demonstration if necessary.
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E.    Phase Five. After the successful completion of the demonstration, the POI formally terminates the demonstration phase ensuring the completion of any corrective actions.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-1694 through 4-1708.