1. Purpose of This Notice. This notice provides amended and clarified
guidance to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Principal Operations Inspectors
(POI) and Training Center Program Managers (TCPM) of the improper use of one-engine-inoperative (OEI) performance data
and procedures when attempting to demonstrate compliance with instrument flight rules (IFR) climb gradient requirements.
2. Audience. The primary audience for this notice is Flight Standards
District Office (FSDO) and certificate management office (CMO) aviation safety
inspectors (ASI) who are responsible for the review, approval, and surveillance
of air operator procedures and training under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts
91 subpart K (part
procedures are highly encouraged for operations under
part 91. The
secondary audience includes Flight Standards Service Office of Safety Standards policy offices and Safety Assurance offices with 14 CFR part
4. Background. FAA Order 8900.1,
Volume 4, Chapter 3, Section 5, Safety
Assurance System: Selected Practices, Paragraph 4-599, Deviation for Obstacle Clearance Data for Certain Turbojet Airplanes in Part
previously implied to inspectors that it was an acceptable practice to use OEI takeoff performance data for compliance with the Terminal
Instrument Procedures (TERPS) climb gradient requirements published on a Standard
Instrument Departure (SID), Diverse Vector Area (DVA), Obstacle Departure Procedure
(ODP), and Missed Approach Procedures (MAP). This method is no longer acceptable
because TERPS procedures assume normal all-engines-operating (AEO) climb performance
of the airplane and currently do not consider low close-in obstacles when calculating
the climb gradient requirements for the procedure. This matter is further complicated,
as manufacturers are not required by the FAA to furnish AEO performance data for takeoff.
a. In an effort to meet the AEO takeoff performance requirements
for these departure procedures, some inspectors have allowed or expected the
use of OEI takeoff performance data as an accepted means of complying with the
TERPS climb gradient. Also, with the absence of this manufacturer data, some
inspectors have incorrectly considered OEI data to be the best available to
meet the climb gradient requirements published on a SID, DVA, ODP, or MAP. Consequently,
the incorrect use of OEI data has been mistakenly included in some operating
procedures and training programs as an acceptable means of meeting IFR departure
procedure requirements. This notice informs inspectors that such practices may
neither ensure an aircraft will clear obstacles in every case (e.g., low, close-in
obstacles), nor meet the necessary obstacle clearance altitude along the departure routing at the required geographic location.
b. POIs and TCPMs requiring the use of OEI procedures in these
instances may be putting their pilots and operators at an unfair competitive
disadvantage, compared to the POIs and/or TCPMs who understand that the application
of OEI procedures in such cases is beyond the designed purpose of these data and procedures.
5. Guidance. The Safety Standards Flight
Technologies and Procedures Division, in cooperation with the Office of Air Carrier Safety Assurance, the
Office of General Aviation Safety Assurance, and the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) Airplane and
Flight Crew Interface Section, developed this notice. This notice announces the following changes to Order 8900.1
Volume 4, Chapter 3, Section 5:
• Removal of superseded inspector guidance
regarding the use of OEI takeoff data from Subparagraph 4-599C, Method of Granting the Deviation.
• Addition of Paragraph 4-603, Compliance with
IFR Departure and Missed Approach Climb Gradient Requirement; Paragraph 4-604, Use of OEI Special
Departure Procedures; and Figure 4-40, Example IFR Climb Gradient and Climb Gradient Surface (Plane).
6. Action. POIs and TCPMs should review the updated guidance and review
their operatorís or training centerís procedures and training program(s) to ensure they comply with the intent of this updated guidance.
a. Point of Emphasis for Operators. Inspectors and training centers
should convey to operators that there is no FAA expectation or requirement to
use OEI takeoff performance data to meet SID, DVA, ODP or MAP climb gradient
requirements. Additionally, POIs and TCPMs should communicate that IFR departure
procedures filed or assigned by air traffic control (ATC) are based on normal
airplane operation and that OEI takeoff performance data should not be used for this purpose.
b. FAA Performance Planning Training Videos. The FAA has produced
four training videos illustrating the proper application of aircraft departure
and approach performance requirements, as well as other relevant performance
topics. It is recommended that they be included as a part of approved ground
training courses for pilots, dispatchers, and flight followers and/or planners
of transport category airplanes. These videos may be viewed and/or downloaded at:
7. Disposition. We will incorporate the information in this notice into Order 8900.1
Volume 4, Chapter 3, Section 5 before
this notice expires. Direct questions concerning the information in this notice to the Flight Technologies
and Procedures Division, Flight Operations Group, at 202-267-8795.
ORIGINAL SIGNED by
/s/ Rick Domingo
Executive Director, Flight Standards Service