Avionics News October 2019 - 41

S T O R Y

M

B Y

L I N D S E Y

cDonald's delivered by unmanned
aircraft systems. Electric vertical takeoff
and landing aircraft operating in an
urban air mobility model to fly passengers from point
to point within crowded cities, cutting ground traffic
significantly.
If someone told you four years ago that we'd see these
evolutions in the aviation industry in our lifetime, you
would have laughed. What a difference a few years makes!
Not only is eVTOL technology
progressing at an incredible pace,
but UAS cargo delivery is already
occurring.
Pizza is delivered by UAS in
New Zealand. AEDs are delivered
by UAS to medical emergencies in
Reno, Nevada. And with each step of
forward progress in the UAS sector,
eVTOL manufacturers and operating
partners are gearing up to make
UAM a reality.
With technology spooling up, how
do we evolve operationally to be
ready to launch when the technology
reaches maturity? Many areas must
be addressed from regulatory and
practical implementation standpoints.
The Federal Aviation
Administration's response to a recent
petition for exemption provides some insight into how the
agency will handle future eVTOL operations. The FAA may
grant an exemption from certain regulations if the petitioner
demonstrates an equivalent level of safety. Wing Aviation
(a Google company) intends to conduct UAS package
delivery under Part 135 and petitioned for exemptions from
a number of regulations in Parts 43, 91, 119 and 135.
What lessons can be learned from that exemption petition
and the FAA's response?

M C F A R R E N

Maintenance
Aircraft manufacturers typically draft a maintenance
and inspection program while developing and
certificating a new aircraft. The same will apply to
eVTOL operators as many Part 135 operators default
to the manufacturer's maintenance and inspection
requirements.
Part 135 outlines two paths for maintenance and
inspection requirements. 135.411(a)(1) dictates
requirements for aircraft with
nine or fewer passenger seats.
It includes a few Part 135
requirements but mostly points
certificate holders back to Parts
43 and 119. 135.411(a)(2) dictates
requirements for aircraft with
10 or more passenger seats,
including among other mandates,
a continuous airworthiness
maintenance program.
Wing requested a number of
exemptions from the maintenance
requirements in Part 135, including
the requirements for submission
of service difficulty reports and
mechanical interruption summaries
to the FAA. These requests were
denied.
Wing also requested exemptions
from certain qualifications of maintenance and
inspection personnel. For example, 119.69(a) requires a
director of maintenance to hold a mechanic certificate
with airframe and powerplant ratings. Wing sought relief
from the requirement for a mechanic certificate. The
FAA indicated it is open to considering nontraditional
qualifications and experience requirements for the

THE FAA REITERATED
THAT 'PERSONS
PERFORMING
MAINTENANCE MUST
AT LEAST HOLD
AN APPROPRIATE
CERTIFICATION FOR
THE PERFORMANCE
OF MAINTENANCE AS
SPECIFIED IN 43.3...'

Continued on following page
avionics news

*

october

2019

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Avionics News October 2019

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