Airworthiness Manual Chapter 523 Subchapter C - Structures - Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)

Content last revised: 2021/09/21

Legacy sections

  • 523.1301-1 - Aeroplane Operation After Ground Cold Soak
  • 523.1457 - Cockpit Voice Recorders
  • 523.1459 - Flight Data Recorders
  • 523.1529 - Instructions for Continued Airworthiness


  • A (523.2000-523.2010),
  • B (523.2100-523.2165),
  • C (523.2200-523.2270),
  • D (523.2300-523.2335),
  • E (523.2400-523.2440),
  • F (523.2500-523.2550),
  • G (523.2600-523.2620)



Subchapter C — Structures

523.2200 Structural Design Envelope

The applicant must determine the structural design envelope, which describes the range and limits of aeroplane design and operational parameters for which the applicant will show compliance with the requirements of this subchapter. The applicant must account for all aeroplane design and operational parameters that affect structural loads, strength, durability, and aeroelasticity, including:

  • (a) Structural design airspeeds, landing descent speeds, and any other airspeed limitation at which the applicant must show compliance to the requirements of this subchapter. The structural design airspeeds must:
    • (1) Be sufficiently greater than the stalling speed of the aeroplane to safeguard against loss of control in turbulent air; and
    • (2) Provide sufficient margin for the establishment of practical operational limiting airspeeds.
  • (b) Design manoeuvring load factors not less than those, which service history shows, may occur within the structural design envelope.
  • (c) Inertial properties including weight, centre of gravity, and mass moments of inertia, accounting for:
    • (1) Each critical weight from the aeroplane empty weight to the maximum weight; and
    • (2) The weight and distribution of occupants, payload, and fuel.
  • (d) Characteristics of aeroplane control systems, including range of motion and tolerances for control surfaces, high-lift devices, or other moveable surfaces.
  • (e) Each critical altitude up to the maximum altitude.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2205 Interaction of Systems and Structures

For aeroplanes equipped with systems that modify structural performance, alleviate the impact of this subchapter’s requirements, or provide a means of compliance with this subchapter, the applicant must account for the influence and failure of these systems when showing compliance with the requirements of this subchapter.

(effective 2021/09/21)

Structural Loads

523.2210 Structural Design Loads

  • (a) The applicant must:
    • (1) Determine the applicable structural design loads resulting from likely externally or internally applied pressures, forces, or moments that may occur in flight, ground and water operations, ground and water handling, and while the aeroplane is parked or moored.
    • (2) Determine the loads required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section at all critical combinations of parameters, on and within the boundaries of the structural design envelope.
  • (b) The magnitude and distribution of the applicable structural design loads required by this section must be based on physical principles.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2215 Flight Load Conditions

The applicant must determine the structural design loads resulting from the following flight conditions:

  • (a) Atmospheric gusts where the magnitude and gradient of these gusts are based on measured gust statistics.
  • (b) Symmetric and asymmetric manoeuvres.
  • (c) Asymmetric thrust resulting from the failure of a powerplant unit.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2220 Ground and Water Load Conditions

The applicant must determine the structural design loads resulting from taxi, take-off, landing, and handling conditions on the applicable surface in normal and adverse attitudes and configurations.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2225 Component Loading Conditions

The applicant must determine the structural design loads acting on:

  • (a) Each engine mount and its supporting structure such that both are designed to withstand loads resulting from:
    • (1) Powerplant operation combined with flight gust and manoeuvre loads; and
    • (2) For non-reciprocating powerplants, sudden powerplant stoppage.
  • (b) Each flight control and high-lift surface, their associated system and supporting structure resulting from:
    • (1) The inertia of each surface and mass balance attachment;
    • (2) Flight gusts and manoeuvres;
    • (3) Pilot or automated system inputs;
    • (4) System induced conditions, including jamming and friction; and
    • (5) Taxi, take-off, and landing operations on the applicable surface, including downwind taxi and gusts occurring on the applicable surface.
  • (c) A pressurised cabin resulting from the pressurisation differential:
    • (1) From zero up to the maximum relief pressure combined with gust and manoeuvre loads;
    • (2) From zero up to the maximum relief pressure combined with ground and water loads if the aeroplane may land with the cabin pressurised; and
    • (3) At the maximum relief pressure multiplied by 1.33, omitting all other loads.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2230 Limit and Ultimate Loads

The applicant must determine:

  • (a) The limit loads, which are equal to the structural design loads unless otherwise specified elsewhere in this chapter; and
  • (b) The ultimate loads, which are equal to the limit loads multiplied by a 1.5 factor of safety unless otherwise specified elsewhere in this chapter.

(effective 2021/09/21)

Structural Performance

523.2235 Structural Strength

The structure must support:

  • (a) Limit loads without:
    • (1) Interference with the safe operation of the aeroplane; and
    • (2) Detrimental permanent deformation.
  • (b) Ultimate loads.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2240 Structural Durability

  • (a) The applicant must develop and implement inspections or other procedures to prevent structural failures due to foreseeable causes of strength degradation, which could result in serious or fatal injuries, or extended periods of operation with reduced safety margins. Each of the inspections or other procedures developed under this section must be included in the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness required by 523.1529.
  • (b) For Level 4 aeroplanes, the procedures developed for compliance with paragraph (a) of this section must be capable of detecting structural damage before the damage could result in structural failure.
  • (c) For pressurised aeroplanes:
    • (1) The aeroplane must be capable of continued safe flight and landing following a sudden release of cabin pressure, including sudden releases caused by door and window failures.
    • (2) For aeroplanes with maximum operating altitude greater than 12 497 m (41,000 ft), the procedures developed for compliance with paragraph (a) of this section must be capable of detecting damage to the pressurised cabin structure before the damage could result in rapid decompression that would result in serious or fatal injuries.
  • (d) The aeroplane must be designed to minimise hazards to the aeroplane due to structural damage caused by high-energy fragments from an uncontained engine or rotating machinery failure.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2245 Aeroelasticity

  • (a) The aeroplane must be free from flutter, control reversal, and divergence:
    • (1) At all speeds within and sufficiently beyond the structural design envelope;
    • (2) For any configuration and condition of operation;
    • (3) Accounting for critical degrees of freedom; and
    • (4) Accounting for any critical failures or malfunctions.
  • (b) The applicant must establish tolerances for all quantities that affect flutter.

(effective 2021/09/21)


523.2250 Design and Construction Principles

  • (a) The applicant must design each part, article, and assembly for the expected operating conditions of the aeroplane.
  • (b) Design data must adequately define the part, article, or assembly configuration, its design features, and any materials and processes used.
  • (c) The applicant must determine the suitability of each design detail and part having an important bearing on safety in operations.
  • (d) The control system must be free from jamming, excessive friction, and excessive deflection when the aeroplane is subjected to expected limit air loads.
  • (e) Doors, canopies, and exits must be protected against inadvertent opening in flight, unless shown to create no hazard when opened in flight.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2255 Protection of Structure

  • (a) The applicant must protect each part of the aeroplane, including small parts such as fasteners, against deterioration or loss of strength due to any cause likely to occur in the expected operational environment.
  • (b) Each part of the aeroplane must have adequate provisions for ventilation and drainage.
  • (c) For each part that requires maintenance, preventive maintenance, or servicing, the applicant must incorporate a means into the aeroplane design to allow such actions to be accomplished.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2260 Materials and Processes

  • (a) The applicant must determine the suitability and durability of materials used for parts, articles, and assemblies, accounting for the effects of likely environmental conditions expected in service, the failure of which could prevent continued safe flight and landing.
  • (b) The methods and processes of fabrication and assembly used must produce consistently sound structures. If a fabrication process requires close control to reach this objective, the applicant must perform the process under an approved process specification.
  • (c) Except as provided in paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section, the applicant must select design values that ensure material strength with probabilities that account for the criticality of the structural element. Design values must account for the probability of structural failure due to material variability.
  • (d) If material strength properties are required, a determination of those properties must be based on sufficient tests of material meeting specifications to establish design values on a statistical basis.
  • (e) If thermal effects are significant on a critical component or structure under normal operating conditions, the applicant must determine those effects on allowable stresses used for design.
  • (f) Design values, greater than the minimums specified by this section, may be used, where only guaranteed minimum values are normally allowed, if a specimen of each individual item is tested before use to determine that the actual strength properties of that particular item will equal or exceed those used in the design.
  • (g) An applicant may use other material design values if approved by the Minister.

(effective 2021/09/21)

523.2265 Special Factors of Safety

  • (a) The applicant must determine a special factor of safety for each critical design value for each part, article, or assembly for which that critical design value is uncertain, and for each part, article, or assembly that is:
    • (1) Likely to deteriorate in service before normal replacement; or
    • (2) Subject to appreciable variability because of uncertainties in manufacturing processes or inspection methods.
  • (b) The applicant must determine a special factor of safety using quality controls and specifications that account for each:
    • (1) Type of application;
    • (2) Inspection method;
    • (3) Structural test requirement;
    • (4) Sampling percentage; and
    • (5) Process and material control.
  • (c) The applicant must multiply the highest pertinent special factor of safety in the design for each part of the structure by each limit and ultimate load, or ultimate load only, if there is no corresponding limit load, such as occurs with emergency condition loading.

(effective 2021/09/21)

Structural Occupant Protection

523.2270 Emergency Conditions

  • (a) The aeroplane, even when damaged in an emergency landing, must protect each occupant against injury that would preclude egress when:
    • (1) Properly using safety equipment and features provided for in the design;
    • (2) The occupant experiences ultimate static inertia loads likely to occur in an emergency landing; and
    • (3) Items of mass, including engines or auxiliary power units (APUs), within or aft of the cabin, that could injure an occupant, experience ultimate static inertia loads likely to occur in an emergency landing.
  • (b) The emergency landing conditions specified in paragraph (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section, must:
    • (1) Include dynamic conditions that are likely to occur in an emergency landing; and
    • (2) Not generate loads experienced by the occupants, which exceed established human injury criteria for human tolerance due to restraint or contact with objects in the aeroplane.
  • (c) The aeroplane must provide protection for all occupants, accounting for likely flight, ground, and emergency landing conditions.
  • (d) Each occupant protection system must perform its intended function and not create a hazard that could cause a secondary injury to an occupant. The occupant protection system must not prevent occupant egress or interfere with the operation of the aeroplane when not in use.
  • (e) Each baggage and cargo compartment must:
    • (1) Be designed for its maximum weight of contents and for the critical load distributions at the maximum load factors corresponding to the flight and ground load conditions determined under this chapter;
    • (2) Have a means to prevent the contents of the compartment from becoming a hazard by impacting occupants or shifting; and
    • (3) Protect any controls, wiring, lines, equipment, or accessories whose damage or failure would affect safe operations.

(effective 2021/09/21)