Relevant Regulations / Policy / Background

The Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) of France originally type certificated the Airbus Model A330-200 series airplanes under its type certificate number DGAC-F TC 184. The FAA validated this product under U.S. Type Certificate Number A46NM. Effective September 28, 2003, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) began oversight of this product on behalf of DGAC. The Airbus Model A330-243 involved in the Air Transat accident was certified by the DGAC on January 11, 1999.

The relevant regulations applied to the A330 fuel system and flight deck displays for the European type certificate were contained in Joint Aviation Regulations (JAR) 25 through Change 12. In addition, the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) issued special condition P-2 for the trim fuel tank.

The JAA stabilizer trim tank special condition addressed issues that were not particularly pertinent to the Air Transat fuel exhaustion accident, such as bird strike damage, damage to the fuel transfer line in the pressurized compartment, unusable fuel, and fuel gravity transfer with loss of normal electrical power. Paragraph 7 of the special condition required the airplane to be fitted with an independent aft CG position warning which provides the flight crew with visual and aural warning whenever CG position exceeds aft certified limits. It also defined system requirements for nuisance warnings in the normal flight envelope and CG safety margins within the operating limits. Since the stabilizer trim tank CG control system worked normally during the accident flight, this aft CG warning was not a factor. Paragraph 11 of the special condition required instructions in the airplane flight manual for proper use of the stabilizer trim tank transfer system and procedures to be applied in case of system failures. 

The following regulations applied to the display of warning, caution, and advisory information.

JAR 25.1305(a)(2)

The following are required powerplant instruments:

(a) for all airplanes.

(2) A fuel quantity indicator for each tank.

JAR 25.1309(c):

Warning information must be provided to alert the crew to unsafe system operating conditions, and to enable them to take appropriate corrective action. Systems, controls, and associated monitoring and warning means must be designed to minimize crew errors which could create additional hazards.

JAR 25.1322  Warning, caution, and advisory lights:

If warning, caution, or advisory lights are installed in the cockpit, they must, unless otherwise approved by the Authority, be -

(a) Red, for warning lights (lights indicated a hazard which may require immediate corrective action);

(b) Amber for caution lights (lights indicating the possible need for future corrective action);

(c) Green, for safe operation lights; and

(d) Any other color, including white, for lights not described in sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) of this paragraph, provided the color differs sufficiently from the colors prescribed in subparagraphs (a) to (c) of this paragraph to avoid possible confusion.

These regulations assume that the means for providing the warning information required by JAR 25.1309(c) will be "lights". As such, the requirements of JAR 25.1322 do not fit an airplane such as the A330, for which this information is provided by an integrated display system (ECAM). The JAA and FAA used the guidance and methods of compliance contained in FAA Advisory Circular 25-11 "Transport Category Airplane Electronic Display Systems" to certify the A330 ECAM system.

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