WASHINGTON — You can’t fix the strobes on your airplane unless you replace them.
And you can’t replace them if you’re flying in a crowded area.
That’s why the FAA has proposed a new rule that would require aircraft owners to replace their strobes, which are designed to illuminate the aircraft when it is in flight.
The FAA also proposed to ban the sale of strobe-mounted devices in the United States.
The FAA said the proposal would require the purchase of an individualized authorization number for all aircraft, which would then be matched with a valid FAA-issued license.
But aviation experts said the new rule could face significant legal challenges.
In a news release, the FAA said it would be “unprecedented” for the agency to impose a new regulation on a single product and said the agency would be evaluating all relevant factors to develop its proposal.
In addition, the agency said it had not considered other possible impacts of the proposed rule.
The proposed rule is part of the FAA’s proposed 2015 rule to replace strobes that are required to be replaced after an airplane is modified.
The proposal also would require manufacturers to offer “battery backup,” or a way to quickly recharge the batteries that power the strobes.
The agency also said that the batteries should not be replaced unless they are fully charged and that they should be charged within 24 hours after a crash.
Strobe replacement has become a hot topic after an 18-year-old man died after falling from an ATV in Michigan in October.
He was killed when his strobe failed.