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Section 4  Evaluate Part 133 Operator


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A.    Maintenance: 3202, 3627.

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.

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A.    Interaction Between the Applicant and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The certification process details interaction between the applicant and the 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.

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B.    The Certification Process Consists of Five Phases. The five phases are:


    Formal Application.

    Document Compliance.

    Demonstration and Inspection.


NOTE:  The size and complexity of the part 133 operations will determine how the FAA applies the five phases.

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

C.    Classes of External-Load Authorizations.

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1)    Operations ASIs approve four classes of external loads. Regardless of class, Airworthiness ASIs will inspect load attaching and quick-release devices in compliance with 14 CFR part 27, § 27.865 or part 29, § 29.865, depending on aircraft category.
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NOTE:  Airworthiness ASIs will conduct a ramp inspection per Volume 6, Chapter 1, Section 4.

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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. Refer to Information for Operators (InFO) 12015, Classifying and Using a Belly Band System as a Portable Safety Device (PSD) in Part 133 Operations. PSDs are not typically manufactured under an FAA approval process, nor do they require a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), since they are not permanently installed. PSDs should be evaluated by the operator to ensure:
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    PSD material meets the 1983 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard, or equivalent;

    The system includes installation requirements and instructions for continued serviceability;

    There are provisions for a quick release;

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

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

3)    Class D authorizes the carrying of personnel. Personnel-lifting devices should be approved by FAA Engineering.
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D.    Rotorcraft External-Load Attaching Means. These attaching means must meet the requirements outlined in part 133, § 133.43(a).

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1)    While conducting external-load operations, the rotorcraft must have on board a facsimile of an approved Rotorcraft External-Load Operating Certificate using FAA Form 8430-21, Operating Certificate. This document is a valid Airworthiness Certificate while the operator conducts external-load operations, and does not invalidate the Airworthiness Certificate issued at certification. The facsimile, carried in the rotorcraft, is only valid while an external load is attached.
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NOTE:  Per 14 CFR part 91, § 91.203, operators must display the Standard Airworthiness Certificate issued at certification.

2)    Each external-load attaching means must have been approved under:

    Part 8 of the Civil Air Regulations (CAR) 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 date of approval;

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    Title 14 CFR part 21, § 21.25 of this chapter;

    STC; or

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

E.    Quick-Release Device.

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1)    Each quick-release device must have been approved under:
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    Part 27 or 29 of this chapter, as applicable;

    Part 133, before February 1, 1977; or

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

2)    A control for quick release must be installed in accordance with § 27.865 or § 29.865. 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 21, 27, 29, and 43.

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    Advisory Circular (AC) 133-1, Rotorcraft External-Load Operations.

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

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

B.    Forms:

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

    FAA Form 8430-21, Operating Certificate.

C.    Job Aids. None.

3-4156    PROCEDURES.

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

1)    Examine the aircraft maintenance and alterations records to ensure that the attaching means has 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.
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2)    If the approval is by STC, ensure that the aircraft maintenance records document the approval.
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3)    If the attaching means was approved before February 1, 1977, the load attachment installation may have been installed and approved through the field approval process.

B.    Observe a Demonstration. Operators must demonstrate to the Administrator an operational flight check per § 133.41 and structural and design requirements per § 133.43.

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

D.    Debrief the CPM. Inform the CPM of any discrepancies found. If the ASI records no discrepancies, the ASI indicates the operator has met airworthiness requirements.

3-4157    TASK OUTCOMES.

A.    Complete the PTRS Record.

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 the operator is complying with applicable regulations.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-4159 through 3-4175.