SPECULATIONS on AIRWORTHINESS and OPERATING REGULATIONS 440147
THE wartime interruption in the building of civil aircraft is a good period for making a skeptical re-examination of regulations as they now exist, to decide what shape future regulations should take. Now is the time for proposing changes, especially fundamental ones, if they are found desirable. The past 20 years have seen a general trend away from arbitrary methods of airworthiness regulations to more rational ones. This trend will continue, Mr. Warner believes, dealing in the next few years with the establishment of rational relationships between design requirements and operating conditions. It will concern the length to which we should go in replacing rigid requirements by flexible ones, leaving an opportunity of fitting the characteristics of the equipment to the particular purpose for which it is to be used.
Mr. Warner considers the question of whether design and operating requirements should be so interwoven that no aircraft can ever be used in an unsafe fashion without violating a regulation, or whether the user can be relied on to keep within the limits of safe practice and concentrate on getting for him the information that will enable him to decide for himself what safe practice is.
The proper scope of future equipment regulation, Mr. Warner feels, is that it should be framed:
To prevent the manufacture and sale of aircraft presenting an inherent and inevitable hazard.
To ensure that the purchasers of aircraft will receive adequate and accurate information on characteristics important for safety.
To require, in cases especially pertinent to the public interest, that the conditions under which equipment is used should be so related to the equipment's characteristics as to maintain proper margins of safety.