Unless smaller clearances are substantiated, propeller clearances, with the airplane at the most adverse combination of weight and center of gravity, and with the propeller in the most adverse pitch position, may not be less than the following:
(a) Ground clearance. There must be a clearance of at least seven inches (for each airplane with nose wheel landing gear) or nine inches (for each airplane with tail wheel landing gear) between each propeller and the ground with the landing gear statically deflected and in the level, normal takeoff, or taxing attitude, whichever is most critical. In addition, for each airplane with conventional landing gear struts using fluid or mechanical means for absorbing landing shocks, there must be positive clearance between the propeller and the ground in the level takeoff attitude with the critical tire completely deflated and the corresponding landing gear strut bottomed. Positive clearance for airplanes using leaf spring struts is shown with a deflection corresponding to 1.5g.
(b) Aft-mounted propellers. In addition to the clearances specified in paragraph (a) of this section, an airplane with an aft mounted propeller must be designed such that the propeller will not contact the runway surface when the airplane is in the maximum pitch attitude attainable during normal takeoffs and landings.
(c) Water clearance. There must be a clearance of at least 18 inches between each propeller and the water, unless compliance with §23.239 can be shown with a lesser clearance.
(d) Structural clearance. There must be --
(1) At least one inch radial clearance between the blade tips and the airplane structure, plus any additional radial clearance necessary to prevent harmful vibration;
(2) At least one-half inch longitudinal clearance between the propeller blades or cuffs and stationary parts of the airplane; and
(3) Positive clearance between other rotating parts of the propeller or spinner and stationary parts of the airplane.
[Doc. No. 4080, 29 FR 17955, Dec. 18, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 23-43, 58 FR 18971, Apr. 9, 1993; Amdt. 23-51, 61 FR 5136, Feb. 9, 1996; Amdt. 23-48, 61 FR 5148, Feb. 9, 1996]