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Volume 3  General technical administration


Section 4  Evaluate 14 CFR Part 133 Operator


A.    Maintenance: 3202.

B.    Avionics: 5201.

3-4152    OBJECTIVE. This chapter provides guidance for evaluating an applicant for a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 133 Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate.

3-4153    GENERAL.

A.    Interaction Between the Applicant and the FAA. The certification process provides for interaction between the applicant and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), from initial inquiry to certificate issuance or denial. It ensures that programs, systems, and intended methods of compliance are thoroughly reviewed, evaluated, and tested.

B.    The Certification Process Consists of Five Phases. Due to the nature of part 133 operations, the way the five phases are used will depend on the size and complexity of the proposed operation. The five phases are as follows:

    Preapplication Phase.

    Formal Application Phase.

    Document Compliance Phase.

    Demonstration and Inspection Phase.

    Certification Phase.

1)    In evaluating an applicant for part 133 operations, Airworthiness aviation safety inspectors (ASI) will focus primarily on the Demonstration and Inspection Phase.
2)    An Airworthiness ASI designated as the certification project manager (CPM) will be concerned with all phases and closely coordinate all activities with the appropriate specialties.

C.    Classes of External-Loads Authorizations.

1)    Operations ASIs approve four distinct classes of external-loads. Regardless of class, Airworthiness ASIs will only be concerned with the load attaching and quick release devices.
Indicates new/changed information.
2)    Class B authorizes the carrying of specific personnel. During Class B operations a Portable Safety Device (PSD) or belly band may be used at the discretion of the operator as a secondary means of attachment (Information for Operators (InFO) 12015, Classifying and Using a Belly Band System as a Portable Safety Device (PSD) in Part 133 Operations). The PSDs are not typically manufactured under an FAA approval process, nor do they have a requirement for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) since they are not permanently installed. The PSD should be evaluated by the operator to ensure:

    The PSD material meets the accepted industry standard of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1983, or equivalent;

    The system includes installation requirements and instructions necessary for continued serviceability;

    There are provisions for a quick release;

    There is an ability to jettison without endangering the helicopter; and

    There is no sudden and/or unacceptable shift in the center of gravity (CG).

3)    Class D authorizes the carrying of personnel. The personnel-lifting devices should be approved by FAA Engineering.

D.    Rotorcraft External-Load Attaching Means. Rotorcraft external-load attaching means must meet the requirements outlined in part 133, 133.43(a).

Indicates new/changed information.
1)    While conducting external-load operations, the aircraft must have on board a facsimile of the approved Rotorcraft External-Load Operating Certificate (FAA Form 8430-21). This certificate constitutes a valid airworthiness certificate while the operator conducts external-load operations. It in no way invalidates the airworthiness certificate issued at certification. The facsimile, carried in the aircraft, is only valid while an external-load is attached.

NOTE:  The Standard Airworthiness Certificate issued at certification must be displayed in accordance with 14 CFR part 91,  91.203.

2)    Each external-load attaching means must have been approved under one of the following:

    Civil Air Regulations (CAR) Part 8 on or before January 17, 1964;

    Title 14 CFR part 133, before February 1977;

    Title 14 CFR part 27 or 29, as applicable, regardless of the approval date;

    STC; or

    FAA Form 337, Major Repair and Alteration (Airframe, Powerplant, Propeller, or Appliance).

E.    Quick-Release Device.

1)    A quick-release device must have been approved under either of the following:

    Part 27 or 29, as applicable, or

    Part 133, before February 1, 1977.

2)    A control for quick release must be installed in accordance with part 27, 27.865. In addition, a manual mechanical control for the quick release device must be readily accessible to either the pilot or another crewmember.

3-4154    COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS. This task requires coordination between Airworthiness and Operations ASIs.


A.    References (current editions):

    CAR Part 8.

    Title 14 CFR Parts 27, 29, and 43.

    Advisory Circular (AC) 133-1, Rotorcraft External-Load Operations in Accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations Part 133.

    Volume 3, Chapter 51, Section 5, Evaluate 14 CFR Part 133 Rotorcraft Lease Agreement.

Indicates new/changed information.

    InFO 12015, Classifying and Using a Belly Band System as a Portable Safety Device (PSD) in Part 133 Operations.

B.    Forms:

Indicates new/changed information.

    FAA Form 8430-21, Rotorcraft External-Load Operating Certificate.

    FAA Form 337, Major Repair and Alteration (Airframe, Powerplant, Propeller, or Appliance).

C.    Job Aids. None.

3-4156    PROCEDURES.

A.    Determine if the External-Load Attaching Means Have Been Approved.

1)    Examine the aircraft maintenance and alterations records to ensure that the attaching means have been installed using data previously approved by the Administrator. Ensure that the data is either part of the type design of the rotorcraft or has been added as a supplement to the type design.
2)    If the approval is by STC, ensure that the approval is reflected in the rotorcraft maintenance and alteration records by FAA Form 337.
3)    If the rotorcraft was approved before February 1, 1977, the load attachment installation may have been approved as a field approval.

B.    Observe a Demonstration. A satisfactory demonstration of the quick release must be performed in accordance with 133.41 and 133.43. If at all possible, Avionics ASIs should witness this demonstration.

C.    Ensure that Markings and Placards Are Appropriately Displayed. Determine if the external‑load attaching means are appropriately placarded for total load. Ensure that the placards containing information regarding the rotorcraft‑load combination(s) and occupancy limitations are placed in the cockpit in plain view of the pilot.

D.    Debrief the Certification Project Manager. Inform the CPM of any discrepancies found. If there are no discrepancies noted, indicate that the airworthiness requirements have been met.

3-4157    TASK OUTCOMES.

A.    PTRS. Complete the PTRS entry.

B.    Complete the Task. Successful completion of this task will result in the issuance or denial of an operating certificate by the CPM.

3-4158    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Observe onsite activities to ensure that the operator is complying with the applicable regulations.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-4159 through 3-4175.