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Below is an extract from an aeroplane MEL concerning the operational procedure associated with the failure of one or two autopilots. The aeroplane is dispatched with one AUTOPILOT inoperative.

FLIGHT PREPARATION/LIMITATIONS.
When one autopilot Is Inoperative:
Maximum landing capability Is FAIL PASSIVE CAT 3.
for aircraft with the RNP AR capability, RNP AR operations strictly below 0.3 NM are NOT permitted

When both autopilots are Inoperative:
For aircraft with the RNP AR capability, RNP AR operations are NOT permitted.
RUM operations are NOT permitted.
Maximum landing capability Is CAT 1.

What is the effect on the RVSM capability of the aeroplane with one autopilot inoperative?

  • A

    The flIght must be conducted outside of RVSM airspace.

  • B
    The aeroplane is all passive RVSM compliant.
  • C
    RNP AR operations are NOT permitted.
  • D
    There Is NO effect.

According to EASA AMC & GM - Annex V (Part-SPA)

(c) Prior to RVSM airspace entry

(1) The following equipment should be operating normally at entry into RVSM airspace:

(i) two primary altitude measurement systems. A cross-check between the primary altimeters should be made. A minimum of two will need to agree within ±60 m (±200 ft). Failure to meet this condition will require that the altimetry system be reported as defective and air traffic control (ATC) notified;
(ii) one automatic altitude-control system;
(iii) one altitude-alerting device; and
(iv) operating transponder.

When you check these items, you can see that you need only one autopilot that can maintain altitude. There is no effect on the RVSM capability of the aeroplane with one autopilot inoperative.

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