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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 29, 2014

Title 14: Aeronautics and Space


PART 133—ROTORCRAFT EXTERNAL-LOAD OPERATIONS


Contents

Subpart A—Applicability

§133.1   Applicability.

Subpart B—Certification Rules

§133.11   Certificate required.
§133.13   Duration of certificate.
§133.14   Carriage of narcotic drugs, marihuana, and depressant or stimulant drugs or substances.
§133.15   Application for certificate issuance or renewal.
§133.17   Requirements for issuance of a rotorcraft external-load operator certificate.
§133.19   Rotorcraft.
§133.21   Personnel.
§133.22   Employment of former FAA employees.
§133.23   Knowledge and skill.
§133.25   Amendment of certificate.
§133.27   Availability, transfer, and surrender of certificate.

Subpart C—Operating Rules and Related Requirements

§133.31   Emergency operations.
§133.33   Operating rules.
§133.35   Carriage of persons.
§133.37   Crewmember training, currency, and testing requirements.
§133.39   Inspection authority.

Subpart D—Airworthiness Requirements

§133.41   Flight characteristics requirements.
§133.43   Structures and design.
§133.45   Operating limitations.
§133.47   Rotorcraft-load combination flight manual.
§133.49   Markings and placards.
§133.51   Airworthiness certification.

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702.

Source: Docket No. 1529, 29 FR 603, Jan. 24, 1964, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—Applicability

§133.1   Applicability.

This part prescribes—

(a) Airworthiness certification rules for rotorcraft used in; and

(b) Operating and certification rules governing the conduct of rotorcraft external-load operations in the United States by any person.

(c) The certification rules of this part do not apply to—

(1) Rotorcraft manufacturers when developing external-load attaching means;

(2) Rotorcraft manufacturers demonstrating compliance of equipment utilized under this part or appropriate portions of part 27 or 29 of this chapter;

(3) Operations conducted by a person demonstrating compliance for the issuance of a certificate or authorization under this part;

(4) Training flights conducted in preparation for the demonstration of compliance with this part; or

(5) A Federal, State, or local government conducting operations with public aircraft.

(d) For the purpose of this part, a person other than a crewmember or a person who is essential and directly connected with the external-load operation may be carried only in approved Class D rotorcraft-load combinations.

[Doc. No. 15176, 42 FR 24198, May 12, 1977, as amended by Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40707, Nov. 7, 1986]

Subpart B—Certification Rules

§133.11   Certificate required.

(a) No person subject to this part may conduct rotorcraft external-load operations within the United States without, or in violation of the terms of, a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate issued by the Administrator under §133.17.

(b) No person holding a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate may conduct rotorcraft external-load operations subject to this part under a business name that is not on that certificate.

[Doc. No. 15176, 42 FR 24198, May 12, 1977, as amended by Amdt. 133-7, 42 FR 32531, June 27, 1977; Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40707, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.13   Duration of certificate.

Unless sooner surrendered, suspended, or revoked, a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate expires at the end of the twenty-fourth month after the month in which it is issued or renewed.

[Doc. No. 15176, 42 FR 24198, May 12, 1977, as amended by Amdt. 133-7, 42 FR 32531, June 27, 1977; Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40707, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.14   Carriage of narcotic drugs, marihuana, and depressant or stimulant drugs or substances.

If the holder of a certificate issued under this part permits any aircraft owned or leased by that holder to be engaged in any operation that the certificate holder knows to be in violation of §91.19(a) of this chapter, that operation is a basis for suspending or revoking the certificate.

[Doc. No. 12035, 38 FR 17493, July 2, 1973, as amended by Amdt. 133-10, 54 FR 34332, Aug. 18, 1989]

§133.15   Application for certificate issuance or renewal.

Application for an original certificate or renewal of a certificate issued under this part is made on a form, and in a manner, prescribed by the Administrator. The form may be obtained from an FAA Flight Standards District Office. The completed application is sent to the district office that has jurisdiction over the area in which the applicant's home base of operation is located.

[Doc. No. 15176, 42 FR 24198, May 12, 1977, as amended by Amdt. 133-11, 54 FR 39294, Sept. 25, 1989]

§133.17   Requirements for issuance of a rotorcraft external-load operator certificate.

If an applicant shows that he complies with §§133.19, 133.21, and 133.23, the Administrator issues a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate to him with an authorization to operate specified rotorcraft with those classes of rotorcraft-load combinations for which he complies with the applicable provisions of subpart D of this part.

§133.19   Rotorcraft.

(a) The applicant must have the exclusive use of at least one rotorcraft that—

(1) Was type certificated under, and meets the requirements of, part 27 or 29 of this chapter (but not necessarily with external-load-carrying attaching means installed) or of §21.25 of this chapter for the special purpose of rotorcraft external-load operations;

(2) Complies with the certification provisions in subpart D of this part that apply to the rotorcraft-load combinations for which authorization is requested; and

(3) Has a valid standard or restricted category airworthiness certificate.

(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, a person has exclusive use of a rotorcraft if he has the sole possession, control, and use of it for flight, as owner, or has a written agreement (including arrangements for the performance of required maintenance) giving him that possession, control, and use for at least six consecutive months.

[Doc. No. 15176, 42 FR 24198, May 12, 1977]

§133.21   Personnel.

(a) The applicant must hold, or have available the services of at least one person who holds, a current commercial or airline transport pilot certificate, with a rating appropriate for the rotorcraft prescribed in §133.19, issued by the Administrator.

(b) The applicant must designate one pilot, who may be the applicant, as chief pilot for rotorcraft external-load operations. The applicant also may designate qualified pilots as assistant chief pilots to perform the functions of the chief pilot when the chief pilot is not readily available. The chief pilot and assistant chief pilots must be acceptable to the Administrator and each must hold a current Commercial or Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, with a rating appropriate for the rotorcraft prescribed in §133.19.

(c) The holder of a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate shall report any change in designation of chief pilot or assistant chief pilot immediately to the FAA certificate-holding office. The new chief pilot must be designated and must comply with §133.23 within 30 days or the operator may not conduct further operations under the Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate unless otherwise authorized by the FAA certificate-holding office.

[Doc. No. 1529, 29 FR 603, Jan. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40707, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.22   Employment of former FAA employees.

(a) Except as specified in paragraph (c) of this section, no certificate holder may knowingly employ or make a contractual arrangement which permits an individual to act as an agent or representative of the certificate holder in any matter before the Federal Aviation Administration if the individual, in the preceding 2 years—

(1) Served as, or was directly responsible for the oversight of, a Flight Standards Service aviation safety inspector; and

(2) Had direct responsibility to inspect, or oversee the inspection of, the operations of the certificate holder.

(b) For the purpose of this section, an individual shall be considered to be acting as an agent or representative of a certificate holder in a matter before the agency if the individual makes any written or oral communication on behalf of the certificate holder to the agency (or any of its officers or employees) in connection with a particular matter, whether or not involving a specific party and without regard to whether the individual has participated in, or had responsibility for, the particular matter while serving as a Flight Standards Service aviation safety inspector.

(c) The provisions of this section do not prohibit a certificate holder from knowingly employing or making a contractual arrangement which permits an individual to act as an agent or representative of the certificate holder in any matter before the Federal Aviation Administration if the individual was employed by the certificate holder before October 21, 2011.

[Doc. No. FAA-2008-1154, 76 FR 52236, Aug. 22, 2011]

§133.23   Knowledge and skill.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the applicant, or the chief pilot designated in accordance with §133.21(b), must demonstrate to the Administrator satisfactory knowledge and skill regarding rotorcraft external-load operations as set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

(b) The test of knowledge (which may be oral or written, at the option of the applicant) covers the following subjects:

(1) Steps to be taken before starting operations, including a survey of the flight area.

(2) Proper method of loading, rigging, or attaching the external load.

(3) Performance capabilities, under approved operating procedures and limitations, of the rotorcraft to be used.

(4) Proper instructions of flight crew and ground workers.

(5) Appropriate rotorcraft-load combination flight manual.

(c) The test of skill requires appropriate maneuvers for each class requested. The appropriate maneuvers for each load class must be demonstrated in the rotorcraft prescribed in §133.19.

(1) Takeoffs and landings.

(2) Demonstration of directional control while hovering.

(3) Acceleration from a hover.

(4) Flight at operational airspeeds.

(5) Approaches to landing or working area.

(6) Maneuvering the external load into the release position.

(7) Demonstration of winch operation, if a winch is installed to hoist the external load.

(d) Compliance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section need not be shown if the Administrator finds, on the basis of the applicant's (or his designated chief pilot's) previous experience and safety record in rotorcraft external-load operations, that his knowledge and skill are adequate.

[Doc. No. 1529, 29 FR 603, Jan. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40707, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.25   Amendment of certificate.

(a) The holder of a Rotorcraft External-Load Certificate may apply to the FAA Flight Standards District Office having jurisdiction over the area in which the applicant's home base of operation is located, or to the Flight Standards District Office nearest the area in which operations are to be conducted, for an amendment of the applicant's certificate, to add or delete a rotorcraft-load combination authorization, by executing the appropriate portion of the form used in applying for a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate. If the applicant for the amendment shows compliance with §§133.19, and 133.49, the Flight Standards District Office issues an amended Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate to the applicant with authorization to operate with those classes of rotorcraft-load combinations for which the applicant complies with the applicable provisions of subpart D of this part.

(b) The holder of a rotorcraft external-load certificate may apply for an amendment to add or delete a rotorcraft authorization by submitting to the certificate-holding FAA Flight Standards District Office a new list of rotorcraft, by registration number, with the classes of rotorcraft-load combinations for which authorization is requested.

[Doc. No. 18434, 43 FR 52206, Nov. 9, 1978, as amended by Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40707, Nov. 7, 1986; Amdt. 133-11, 54 FR 39294, Sept. 25, 1989]

§133.27   Availability, transfer, and surrender of certificate.

(a) Each holder of a rotorcraft external-load operator certificate shall keep that certificate and a list of authorized rotorcraft at the home base of operations and shall make it available for inspection by the Administrator upon request.

(b) Each person conducting a rotorcraft external-load operation shall carry a facsimile of the Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate in each rotorcraft used in the operation.

(c) If the Administrator suspends or revokes a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate, the holder of that certificate shall return it to the Administrator. If the certificate holder, for any other reason, discontinues operations under his certificate, and does not resume operations within two years, he shall return the certificate to the FAA Flight Standards District Office having jurisdiction over the area in which his home base of operations is located.

[Doc. No. 1529, 29 FR 603, Jan. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40708, Nov. 7, 1986; Amdt. 133-11, 54 FR 39294, Sept. 25, 1989]

Subpart C—Operating Rules and Related Requirements

§133.31   Emergency operations.

(a) In an emergency involving the safety of persons or property, the certificate holder may deviate from the rules of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

(b) Each person who, under the authority of this section, deviates from a rule of this part shall notify the Administrator within 10 days after the deviation. Upon the request of the Administrator, that person shall provide the certificate-holding FAA Flight Standards District Office a complete report of the aircraft operation involved, including a description of the deviation and reasons for it.

[Doc. No. 24550, 51 FR 40708, Nov. 7, 1986, as amended by Amdt. 133-11, 54 FR 39294, Sept. 25, 1989]

§133.33   Operating rules.

(a) No person may conduct a rotorcraft external-load operation without, or contrary to, the Rotorcraft-Load Combination Flight Manual prescribed in §133.47.

(b) No person may conduct a rotorcraft external-load operation unless—

(1) The rotorcraft complies with §133.19; and

(2) The rotorcraft and rotorcraft-load combination is authorized under the Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate.

(c) Before a person may operate a rotorcraft with an external-load configuration that differs substantially from any that person has previously carried with that type of rotorcraft (whether or not the rotorcraft-load combination is of the same class), that person must conduct, in a manner that will not endanger persons or property on the surface, such of the following flight-operational checks as the Administrator determines are appropriate to the rotorcraft-load combination:

(1) A determination that the weight of the rotorcraft-load combination and the location of its center of gravity are within approved limits, that the external load is securely fastened, and that the external load does not interfere with devices provided for its emergency release.

(2) Make an initial liftoff and verify that controllability is satisfactory.

(3) While hovering, verify that directional control is adequate.

(4) Accelerate into forward flight to verify that no attitude (whether of the rotorcraft or of the external load) is encountered in which the rotorcraft is uncontrollable or which is otherwise hazardous.

(5) In forward flight, check for hazardous oscillations of the external load, but if the external load is not visible to the pilot, other crewmembers or ground personnel may make this check and signal the pilot.

(6) Increase the forward airspeed and determine an operational airspeed at which no hazardous oscillation or hazardous aerodynamic turbulence is encountered.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of part 91 of this chapter, the holder of a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate may conduct (in rotorcraft type certificated under and meeting the requirements of part 27 or 29 of this chapter, including the external-load attaching means) rotorcraft external-load operations over congested areas if those operations are conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface and comply with the following:

(1) The operator must develop a plan for each complete operation, coordinate this plan with the FAA Flight Standards District Office having jurisdiction over the area in which the operation will be conducted, and obtain approval for the operation from that district office. The plan must include an agreement with the appropriate political subdivision that local officials will exclude unauthorized persons from the area in which the operation will be conducted, coordination with air traffic control, if necessary, and a detailed chart depicting the flight routes and altitudes.

(2) Each flight must be conducted at an altitude, and on a route, that will allow a jettisonable external load to be released, and the rotorcraft landed, in an emergency without hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of part 91 of this chapter, and except as provided in §133.45(d), the holder of a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate may conduct external-load operations, including approaches, departures, and load positioning maneuvers necessary for the operation, below 500 feet above the surface and closer than 500 feet to persons, vessels, vehicles, and structures, if the operations are conducted without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(f) No person may conduct rotorcraft external-load operations under IFR unless specifically approved by the Administrator. However, under no circumstances may a person be carried as part of the external-load under IFR.

[Doc. No. 24550, 51 FR 40708, Nov. 7, 1986, as amended by Amdt. 133-11, 54 FR 39294, Sept. 25, 1989]

§133.35   Carriage of persons.

(a) No certificate holder may allow a person to be carried during rotorcraft external-load operations unless that person—

(1) Is a flight crewmember;

(2) Is a flight crewmember trainee;

(3) Performs an essential function in connection with the external-load operation; or

(4) Is necessary to accomplish the work activity directly associated with that operation.

(b) The pilot in command shall ensure that all persons are briefed before takeoff on all pertinent procedures to be followed (including normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures) and equipment to be used during the external-load operation.

[Doc. No. 24550, 51 FR 40708, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.37   Crewmember training, currency, and testing requirements.

(a) No certificate holder may use, nor may any person serve, as a pilot in operations conducted under this part unless that person—

(1) Has successfully demonstrated, to the Administrator knowledge and skill with respect to the rotorcraft-load combination in accordance with §133.23 (in the case of a pilot other than the chief pilot or an assistant chief pilot who has been designated in accordance with §133.21(b), this demonstration may be made to the chief pilot or assistant chief pilot); and

(2) Has in his or her personal possession a letter of competency or an appropriate logbook entry indicating compliance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) No certificate holder may use, nor may any person serve as, a crewmember or other operations personnel in Class D operations conducted under this part unless, within the preceding 12 calendar months, that person has successfully completed either an approved initial or a recurrent training program.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, a person who has performed a rotorcraft external-load operation of the same class and in an aircraft of the same type within the past 12 calendar months need not undergo recurrent training.

[Doc. No. 24550, 51 FR 40708, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.39   Inspection authority.

Each person conducting an operation under this part shall allow the Administrator to make any inspections or tests that he considers necessary to determine compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations and the Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate.

[Doc. No. 1529, 29 FR 603, Jan. 24, 1964. Redesignated by Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40708, Nov. 7, 1986]

Subpart D—Airworthiness Requirements

§133.41   Flight characteristics requirements.

(a) The applicant must demonstrate to the Administrator, by performing the operational flight checks prescribed in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, as applicable, that the rotorcraft-load combination has satisfactory flight characteristics, unless these operational flight checks have been demonstrated previously and the rotorcraft-load combination flight characteristics were satisfactory. For the purposes of this demonstration, the external-load weight (including the external-load attaching means) is the maximum weight for which authorization is requested.

(b) Class A rotorcraft-load combinations: The operational flight check must consist of at least the following maneuvers:

(1) Take off and landing.

(2) Demonstration of adequate directional control while hovering.

(3) Acceleration from a hover.

(4) Horizontal flight at airspeeds up to the maximum airspeed for which authorization is requested.

(c) Class B and D rotorcraft-load combinations: The operational flight check must consist of at least the following maneuvers:

(1) Pickup of the external load.

(2) Demonstration of adequate directional control while hovering.

(3) Acceleration from a hover.

(4) Horizontal flight at airspeeds up to the maximum airspeed for which authorization is requested.

(5) Demonstrating appropriate lifting device operation.

(6) Maneuvering of the external load into release position and its release, under probable flight operation conditions, by means of each of the quick-release controls installed on the rotorcraft.

(d) Class C rotorcraft-load combinations: For Class C rotorcraft-load combinations used in wire-stringing, cable-laying, or similar operations, the operational flight check must consist of the maneuvers, as applicable, prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.

[Doc. No. 1529, 29 FR 603, Jan. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 133-5, 41 FR 55475, Dec. 20, 1976; Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40709, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.43   Structures and design.

(a) External-load attaching means. Each external-load attaching means must have been approved under—

(1) Part 8 of the Civil Air Regulations on or before January 17, 1964;

(2) Part 133, before February 1, 1977;

(3) Part 27 or 29 of this chapter, as applicable, irrespective of the date of approval; or

(4) Section 21.25 of this chapter.

(b) Quick release devices. Each quick release device must have been approved under—

(1) Part 27 or 29 of this chapter, as applicable;

(2) Part 133, before February 1, 1977; or

(3) Section 21.25 of this chapter, except the device must comply with §§27.865(b) and 29.865(b), as applicable, of this chapter.

(c) Weight and center of gravity—

(1) Weight. The total weight of the rotorcraft-load combination must not exceed the total weight approved for the rotorcraft during its type certification.

(2) Center of gravity. The location of the center of gravity must, for all loading conditions, be within the range established for the rotorcraft during its type certification. For Class C rotorcraft-load combinations, the magnitude and direction of the loading force must be established at those values for which the effective location of the center of gravity remains within its established range.

[Doc. No. 14324, 41 FR 55475, Dec. 20, 1976, as amended by Amdt. 133-12, 55 FR 8006, Mar. 6, 1990]

§133.45   Operating limitations.

In addition to the operating limitations set forth in the approved Rotorcraft Flight Manual, and to any other limitations the Administrator may prescribe, the operator shall establish at least the following limitations and set them forth in the Rotorcraft-Load Combination Flight Manual for rotorcraft-load combination operations:

(a) The rotorcraft-load combination may be operated only within the weight and center of gravity limitations established in accordance with §133.43(c).

(b) The rotorcraft-load combination may not be operated with an external load weight exceeding that used in showing compliance with §§133.41 and 133.43.

(c) The rotorcraft-load combination may not be operated at airspeeds greater than those established in accordance with §133.41 (b), (c), and (d).

(d) No person may conduct an external-load operation under this part with a rotorcraft type certificated in the restricted category under §21.25 of this chapter over a densely populated area, in a congested airway, or near a busy airport where passenger transport operations are conducted.

(e) The rotorcraft-load combination of Class D may be conducted only in accordance with the following:

(1) The rotorcraft to be used must have been type certificated under transport Category A for the operating weight and provide hover capability with one engine inoperative at that operating weight and altitude.

(2) The rotorcraft must be equipped to allow direct radio intercommunication among required crewmembers.

(3) The personnel lifting device must be FAA approved.

(4) The lifting device must have an emergency release requiring two distinct actions.

[Doc. No. 1529, 29 FR 603, Jan. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 133-1, 30 FR 883, Jan. 28, 1965; Amdt. 133-5, 41 FR 55476, Dec. 20, 1976; Amdt. 133-6, 42 FR 24198, May 12, 1977; Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40709, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.47   Rotorcraft-load combination flight manual.

The applicant must prepare a Rotorcraft-Load Combination Flight Manual and submit it for approval by the Administrator. The manual must be prepared in accordance with the rotorcraft flight manual provisions of subpart G of part 27 or 29 of this chapter, whichever is applicable. The limiting height-speed envelope data need not be listed as operating limitations. The manual must set forth—

(a) Operating limitations, procedures (normal and emergency), performance, and other information established under this subpart;

(b) The class of rotorcraft-load combinations for which the airworthiness of the rotorcraft has been demonstrated in accordance with §§133.41 and 133.43; and

(c) In the information section of the Rotorcraft-Load Combination Flight Manual—

(1) Information on any peculiarities discovered when operating particular rotorcraft-load combinations;

(2) Precautionary advice regarding static electricity discharges for Class B, Class C, and Class D rotorcraft-load combinations; and

(3) Any other information essential for safe operation with external loads.

[Doc. No. 1529, 29 FR 603, Jan. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 133-9, 51 FR 40709, Nov. 7, 1986]

§133.49   Markings and placards.

The following markings and placards must be displayed conspicuously and must be such that they cannot be easily erased, disfigured, or obscured:

(a) A placard (displayed in the cockpit or cabin) stating the class of rotorcraft-load combination for which the rotorcraft has been approved and the occupancy limitation prescribed in §133.45(a).

(b) A placard, marking, or instruction (displayed next to the external-load attaching means) stating the maximum external load prescribed as an operating limitation in §133.45(c).

§133.51   Airworthiness certification.

A Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate is a current and valid airworthiness certificate for each rotorcraft type certificated under part 27 or 29 of this chapter (or their predecessor parts) and listed by registration number on a list attached to the certificate, when the rotorcraft is being used in operations conducted under this part.

[Doc. No. 24550, 51 FR 40709, Nov. 7, 1986]



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