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Thread: Unclear language in exemption for no electrical system--ADS-B-out-- FAR 91.225(e)(2)

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Brown View Post
    An additional question may be, "what constitutes an electrical system" ? Is a hard mounted motorcycle battery operating a nav/com radio and intercom considered an electrical system ? How about adding a wind driven generator to that. Neither the FARs or my local FSDO has the answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Brown View Post
    I liked that old rule about engine driven electrical system, because I operated an Aeronca L-3 with a battery and a wind driven generator, but was not required to have a transponder or encoder. Now, if you just had a battery, but had it connected to nav lights or a beacon in addition to your radio, do you now have an electrical system ?
    This AOPA article https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...rical-aircraft links to this clarification from the FAA Office of the Chief Counsel https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...rpretation.pdf which notes that based on the NPRM and Final Rule, there was no intention for the omission of "engine-driven" to be significant. So we should treat the regulation as if it says "engine-driven electrical system". Wonder why they didn't just write the FAR that way then?

    Also-- "The legal interpretation states that the FAA may make a technical amendment in the future to eliminate the discrepancy between 14CFR 91.215 and 91.225".

    That would be nice. It would also be nice if they would make a technical amendment to address this problem I've pointed out in trying to figure out exactly where FAR 91.225(e)(2) is supposed to apply. It's becoming pretty clear to me that it's only supposed to apply within the lateral boundaries of Class B or C, just as is explicitly stated with FAR 91.255(d)(3).

    Btw that's a little disturbing that your local FSDO wouldn't have been able to clarify that for you, re what is an electrical system. It's becoming more and more clear to me that the local FSDO is not the place to go for answers to questions unless the situation is very cut-and-dried, and maybe not even then.



    Last edited by quietflyer; 06-21-2019 at 06:34 AM.

  2. #12

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    Case-by-case exceptions

    Also relevant: from the Federal Register, ProposedRule (explaining the proposed regulation)--- https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/...df/07-4938.pdf

    "There are some aircraft, however, that were not originally certified with an electrical system, or that have not been subsequently certified with such a system installed,for which installation of equipment that meets ADS–B Out performance standards is impractical. These aircraft may include certain airplanes, balloons,and gliders. There may be instances where a pilot of an aircraft without an electrical system (such as a glider) may want to operate in airspace where ADS–B Out performance standards would be required under this proposal. The procedures for requesting authorization to enter the airspace where ADS–B is required would be the same procedures used today for aircraft not equipped with a transponder to enter certain airspace. In these cases, an operator may request an ATC authorization to operate in the airspace and the FAA addresses those requests on a case-by-case basis."
    Last edited by quietflyer; 06-21-2019 at 07:16 AM.

  3. #13

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    Still not completely clear

    There's unclear language in the Proposed Rule in the Federal Register that still has me uneasy that the FAA MIGHT possibly try to impose a 10,000' cap on aircraft without engine-driven electrical systems and without ADS-B out throughout the 30 nm circles (mode C veils essentially), though I don't think that that is REALLY the intent:

    From the same link as above, page 56958 --

    "This proposal would permit aircraft not originally certificated with an electrical system or not subsequently certified with such a system installed(such as a balloon or glider) to conduct operations without ADS–B Out in the airspace within 30 NM of an airport listed in part 91 appendix D if the operations are conducted: (1) Outside any Class B or Class C airspace area; and (2) below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport or 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower."

    I'm still hoping, and expecting, that the FAA will construe the restrictions stated in 91.255(e)(2) to apply ONLY within the lateral boundaries of (i.e. within, above, or below) Class B or C airspace. So that there is no blanket cap on aircraft without engine-driven electrical systems or ADS-B-out exceeding 10,000' within the 30-nm circles. All other interpretations are somewhat problematic and self-conflicting, as explored in the first post on this thread. But the situation is not crystal-clear-- one might say the problem is "inadequately constrained"-- the regs are not written well enough to give a clear answer.
    Last edited by quietflyer; 06-21-2019 at 07:16 AM.

  4. #14

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    Similar to transponder rules -- mostly

    Ok, I guess I hadn't reviewed the transponder rules for a long time. We do see some similar language in FAR 91.115, which helps to see where they got the language for FAR 91.225, and how they might try to apply it.

    There's never been a claim that any bit of Class B or C airspace in a 30-mile Mode C circle imposes a cap at the altitude of the ceiling of that B or C airspace throughout the entire 30-nm circle for an aircraft with no transponder and no engine-driven electrical system, correct?

    The bit about "below 10,000' MSL" in 91.215(b)(3)(ii) seems completely irrelevant because 91.215(b)(2) doesn't apply above 10,000' MSL anyway.

    So in essence, 91.215 (b) (3)(ii) is construed to ONLY apply within the lateral limits of (i.e. within, above, or below) Class B or C airspace, right?
    If so that is reassuring and suggests that the same will be construed of 91.255(e)(2).

    Here it is below:

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.225

    (3) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(2) of this section, any aircraft which was not originally certificated with an engine-driven electrical system or which has not subsequently been certified with such a system installed, balloon or glider may conduct operations in the airspace within 30 nautical miles of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 of this part provided such operations are conducted -
    (i) Outside any Class A, Class B, or Class C airspace area; and
    (ii) Below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport or 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower; and
    Last edited by quietflyer; 06-21-2019 at 02:30 PM.

  5. #15

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    New ADS-B regs ARE more restrictive than xponder regs for a/c w/o electrical systems

    Quote Originally Posted by champ driver View Post
    The way I've read the regs are that if you are exempt from the transponder in that particular airspace, then you are also exempt from the same airspace concerning ADSB.
    That means you can fly your Cub in the mode C Veil without a transponder and ADSB, but not actually in Class B or C airspace.
    Remember Class B, and the Veil that goes with it are two separate airspaces, and with different requirements.
    As I'm now reading the regs, you are right for the most part, except that there is a difference in the construction of FAR 91.215 (transponders) and FAR 91.225 (ADS-B-out) that will have the following consequence:

    Aircraft without engine-driven electrical systems and without ADS-B-out will be barred from flying above ANY underlying Class B or Class C airspace, AT ANY ALTITUDE.

    Currently, aircraft without electric-engine-driven electrical systems and without transponders are barred from flying above underlying Class B or Class C airspace only up to 10,000' MSL.

    Also, under the new rules aircraft with no electrical system and no ADS-B-out won't be able to fly above 10,000' MSL under a Class B or C shelf. The only place this would be an issue appears to under some outlying Class B airspace near KSLC.

    I've put too many words into this topic already; I'll let you (everyone) look over the regs and puzzle out why I came to the above conclusions.

    I'll just say that it's a function of FAR 91.225(e)(2) and how it appears to be intended to interact with the rest of the regulation.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.215
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.225

    All this is based on the assumption that both 91.215(b)(3)(ii) and 91.255(e)(2) are construed to apply ONLY within the lateral limits (i.e. within, above, or below) Class B or Class C airspace. This is an assumption that seems reasonable and realistic and consistent with how the FAA has treated the existing transponder regs -- but it is also the assumption that is most favorable to aircraft without engine-driven electrical systems. Any other interpretation of these rules might impose considerably more severe restrictions on where aircraft without engine-driven electrical systems and without ADS-B-out may fly.

    The truth is that the "or below 10,000' MSL" clause in 91.215(b)(3)(ii) seems utterly useless. It seems to have no application whatsoever. Yet the fact that it was carried over into 91.255(e)(2) definitely complicates the interpretation of this regulation.

    Sorry it took so long to take to this point of clarity on the how the regs work-- the language is kind of complicated.

    It's possible that even the FAA hasn't really figured this out. I.e., your mileage may (will) vary, if you go ask your local FSDO.

    Steve
    Last edited by quietflyer; 06-22-2019 at 06:54 AM.

  6. #16
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    Another what-if is who has the burden of proof.

    Say Freddie Fed sees my Fly Baby parked at Boeing Field, and yells, "Hey, you don't have ADS-B!" If I then say, "My airplane was not originally certified with an electrical system, and as not been subsequently certified," is it up to Freddie Fed to prove me wrong?

    Mind you, the aircraft records don't say either way.

    Ron Wanttaja

  7. #17

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    In all the years I've owned my Champ, I've never even considered flying above 10,000'.
    So I'm not concerned about the above 10,000' limitation.
    There isn't any Class C airspace around me to worry about either, I am based within the Class B Veil though.

  8. #18

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    confirmation

    Quote Originally Posted by quietflyer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by champ driver View Post
    The way I've read the regs are that if you are exempt from the transponder in that particular airspace, then you are also exempt from the same airspace concerning ADSB.
    That means you can fly your Cub in the mode C Veil without a transponder and ADSB, but not actually in Class B or C airspace.
    Remember Class B, and the Veil that goes with it are two separate airspaces, and with different requirements.
    As I'm now reading the regs, you are right for the most part, except that there is a difference in the construction of FAR 91.215 (transponders) and FAR 91.225 (ADS-B-out) that will have the following consequence:

    Aircraft without engine-driven electrical systems and without ADS-B-out will be barred from flying above ANY underlying Class B or Class C airspace, AT ANY ALTITUDE.

    Currently, aircraft without electric-engine-driven electrical systems and without transponders are barred from flying above underlying Class B or Class C airspace only up to 10,000' MSL.

    Also, under the new rules aircraft with no electrical system and no ADS-B-out won't be able to fly above 10,000' MSL under a Class B or C shelf. The only place this would be an issue appears to under some outlying Class B airspace near KSLC.

    I've put too many words into this topic already; I'll let you (everyone) look over the regs and puzzle out why I came to the above conclusions.

    I'll just say that it's a function of FAR 91.225(e)(2) and how it appears to be intended to interact with the rest of the regulation.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.215
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.225

    All this is based on the assumption that both 91.215(b)(3)(ii) and 91.255(e)(2) are construed to apply ONLY within the lateral limits (i.e. within, above, or below) Class B or Class C airspace. This is an assumption that seems reasonable and realistic and consistent with how the FAA has treated the existing transponder regs.

    The truth is that the "or below 10,000' MSL" clause in 91.215(b)(3)(ii) seems utterly useless. It seems to have no application whatsoever. Yet the fact that it was carried over into 91.255(e)(2) definitely complicates the interpretation of this regulation.

    Sorry it took so long to take to this point of clarity on the how the regs work-- the language is kind of complicated.


    Steve
    Yes, this is how it is. The "below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area" clause in 91.215(b)(3)(ii) and 91.225(e)(2)only applies when you are within the lateral boundaries of (i.e. within, above, or below) that airspace, not any time you are within the Mode C veil. Otherwise what would be the limiting altitude within the Mode C veil near JFK, where the ceiling of the JFK Class B is 7000' MSL, but there is also Class C for Long Island MacArthur with a ceiling of 4100' MSL within the same Mode C veil?

    Presumably, the same is also true of the "or below 10,000' MSL" clause in
    91.215(b)(3)(ii) and 91.225(e)(2).

    Sorry, I was making too much of nothing, trying to read the regs too literally.

    But it is the case that the new regs will prohibit an aircraft without an electrical system and without ADS-B out from overflying Class B or C airspace at ANY altitude, not just at 10,000' MSL and below as is currently the case.

    Here's essentially the same content as this post, re-stated on another forum--

    https://aviation.stackexchange.com/q...po/65813#65813

    Related discussion of how existing transponder regs work, including links to a 2006 clarification from the FAA Office of Chief Counsel -

    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...rpretation.pdf

    https://aviation.stackexchange.com/q...fl/65933#65933

    https://aviation.stackexchange.com/q...-h/65934#65934


    The simple truth is that the FAA has replaced one poorly-worded regulation with another. FAR 91.215 was constructed in such a way that there was NO prohibition on flying without an electrical system and without a transponder above the ceiling of underlying Class B or Class C airspace, as long as you were above 10,000' MSL. For more see aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/65930/… . This was likely NOT the original intent of the rules. In FAR 91.225 they fixed the problem, but in such a way that a that a strict reading of the rules leaves open the possibility that the "or below 10,000' MSL" clause in FAR 91.225(e)(2) MIGHT possibly be construed to apply EVERYWHERE, in all airspace, thus totally negating any relief that would otherwise be offered to aircraft without electrical systems from FAR 91.225(d)(4), the requirement for ADS-B-out in airspace that is simultaneously above 10,000' MSL and above 2500' AGL over the lower 48 contiguous states. Again it seems extremely unlikely that this is what was intended, or that this is how the rules will actually be enforced, but one might argue that it's what the words say. Nice going guys. I don't think I'll be asking the Office of Chief Counsel for an interpretation on this one!

    The ambiguity could have been avoided by simply writing FAR 91.255(e)(2) to read something to the effect of: "If within the lateral boundaries of Class B or Class C airspace, then all operations must be conducted below the ceiling of that Class B or Class C airspace or below 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower."

    Still the most LIKELY interpretation is as noted above-- same rules as before, except the prohibition on flight above an underlying Class B or C ceiling for aircraft with no electrical systems and no ADS-B-out will now extend upwards indefinitely instead of ending at 10,000' MSL, and also aircraft without electrical systems or ADS-B-out will not be able to fly higher than 10,000' MSL under an overlying Class B or C floor.
    Last edited by quietflyer; 06-29-2019 at 06:16 AM.

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