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8900.1 CHG 240

Volume 6  Surveillance

chapter 5  PART 133 INSPECTIONS

Section 2 Conduct a Part 133 Ramp Inspection

6-1396    PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODE. 1622.

6-1397    OBJECTIVE. Determine whether an operator continues to comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, to deter violations, and to identify and correct operational deficiencies in the interest of safety. Successful completion of this task results in either a satisfactory inspection or an unsatisfactory inspection.

6-1398    GENERAL.

A.    Definitions. For external-load operations, a ramp check is generally an onsite surveillance of an actual external-load operation, rather than a spot check on a ramp. However, the surveillance could occur on a ramp, much in the same manner as a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 ramp check (see Volume 6, Chapter 1, Section 4).

B.    Initiation of Activity. The National Program Guidelines (NPG), the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) surveillance schedule, complaints against the operator, or the inspector may initiate a ramp inspection.

Indicates a change in the text.

C.    Coordination with Other FSDOs. If an inspector conducts a ramp inspection of an external-load operator certificated in another FSDO’s jurisdiction, the inspector must provide the inspection results to the certificate-holding district office (CHDO).

D.    Pre-Surveillance Activities. Review previous inspection results in the PTRS and the FSDO office file, if possible. Remarks and outcomes from previous inspections may reveal trends that could lead the inspector to emphasize certain areas during the ramp inspection.

E.    The Surveillance. Timing may be a critical element in surveillance. The ramp inspection is frequently an unscheduled spot check. The surveillance may also take place by appointment. Often, a convenient time for conducting a ramp check is in conjunction with monitoring a congested area operation (see Volume 6, Chapter 5, Section 3).

Indicates a change in the text.

F.    Surveillance Results.

1)    The inspector must immediately advise the pilot of any unsatisfactory items observed and inform the pilot that further operation without corrective action may constitute violation of the 14 CFR.
2)    The inspector may recommend an increase in the number of ramp checks for an operator with unsatisfactory items, since onsite checks are necessary to verify compliance.

6-1399    PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of 14 CFR part 133, FAA policies, and qualification as an aviation safety inspector (ASI) (Operations) with experience as a rotorcraft external-load pilot.

B.    Coordination. It is desirable but optional to coordinate with the airworthiness unit.

6-1400    REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.    References (current editions):

·    Title 14 CFR parts 1, 27, 29, 61, 91, and 133;

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

·    The PTRS Procedures Manual (PPM).

B.    Forms. None.

C.    Job Aids:

·    Figure 6-66, Part 133 Ramp Inspection Job Aid, and

·    Sample letters and figures.

6-1401    PROCEDURES.

A.    Preinspection Activities (for an Operator Certificated by the Inspector’s FSDO).

1)    Open the PTRS file.
2)    Review the FSDO file, including old PTRS remarks.

B.    Document Review (at the Inspection Site).

1)    Inspect the pilots’ certificates and endorsements.
a)    Medical certificates must be second class or higher, issued within the 12 preceding months.
b)    The pilot must hold a commercial or higher grade pilot certificate with rotorcraft rating and appropriate type ratings.
c)    Logbook endorsements or letters of competency must reflect class authorization for the conducted operation.
Indicates a change in the text.
2)    Inspect the rotorcraft documents (airworthiness). The following documents must be onboard:
a)    A copy of the Rotorcraft External-Load Operating Certificate;
b)    A copy of the list of authorized aircraft;
c)    An approved Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM);
Indicates a change in the text.
d)    An approved Rotorcraft-Load Combination Flight Manual (RLCFM) (on some rotorcraft, the RFM may incorporate this); and
e)    A registration certificate.
3)    Inspect other pertinent documents.
a)    If the ramp inspection involves a congested area operation, examine a copy of the approved Congested Area Plan (CAP). Determine whether to combine the ramp inspection with the monitoring of the congested area operation (see Volume 6, Chapter 5, Section 3).
Indicates a change in the text.
b)    If appropriate, check for the Class D or instrument flight rules (IFR) authorizations.
4)    For rotorcraft operated by a Canadian or Mexican operator performing operations in accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the rotorcraft must carry on board the authorization from the national civil aviation authority (CAA) and FAA. Refer to information contained in Volume 12, Chapter 1, Section 4 when conducting any inspection of operators under NAFTA.

C.    Examine Rotorcraft and Equipment.

1)    Verify the correct Weight and Balance (W&B).
Indicates a change in the text.
2)    Check the pilot’s fuel planning. Part 133 operators are not exempt from part 91, § 91.151 or § 91.167.
3)    Check placards, cabin, cockpit, exterior, attaching means, release mechanisms, and winch operation and note any abnormalities (airworthiness).
Indicates a change in the text.
4)    Check for approval of any modifications or installations (airworthiness).
5)    Check the cockpit. Ask the pilot to power the cockpit and demonstrate the operation of the normal and emergency functions of the rotorcraft attachment system.
6)    Check the communications equipment between all participating parties.
7)    Check the attaching means for:
a)    Class A security: the presence of appropriate restraining devices,
b)    Class B or C security: the operation of normal and emergency releases, and
Indicates a change in the text.
c)    Class D security: the operation of normal and emergency releases and the attachment approval (refer to attaching device approval data).
8)    Check the operation of the winch. Run cable in and out while on the ground. Listen for the quality of the winch mechanism, check cable markings (worn off), frayed cable, and swivels.
9)    Check the harnesses for security and wear.
Indicates a change in the text.
10)    Conduct a general “walk around” rotorcraft inspection.

D.    Surveillance of the Ground Crew. Verify that the ground crew briefing included:

1)    Hand signals,
2)    Radio phraseology and procedures,
3)    Stoppage of operation if sudden hazard appears,
4)    Emergency procedures, and
5)    The approved CAP, if applicable.

E.    Survey an Actual Operation. See Volume 6, Chapter 5, Section 3 for CAPs. For general operations, check the pilot’s proficiency for the following:

1)    Smoothness of control,
2)    Minimum load oscillation,
3)    Proper pickup of load,
4)    Correct placement of load,
5)    Altitude control, and
6)    Clear communication with ground crew, followed by appropriate action by either radio or hand signal.

F.    Satisfactory Inspection. Indicate satisfactory on the job aid if the inspection is satisfactory.

1)    Debrief the pilot on the site, if possible.
2)    Debrief the operator by telephone or in writing (Figure 6-67, Letter Advising Operator of a Satisfactory Ramp Inspection).
Indicates a change in the text.
3)    Place a copy of the job aid in the FSDO office file. If a different FSDO certificated the operator, provide a copy of the job aid and all correspondence to that CHDO.

G.    Unsatisfactory Inspection. Take the following actions if the inspection is unsatisfactory.

1)    At the site:
a)    Advise the pilot of areas of unsatisfactory performance or discrepancies, and
Indicates a change in the text.
b)    Document the discrepancies in the “Remarks” section of the job aid and in the PTRS.
2)    At the FSDO:
a)    Inform the operator verbally of discrepancies, and write a letter to the operator confirming the discrepancies (Figure 6-68, Letter Describing Discrepancies Found During Ramp Inspection);
b)    See Volume 7, Chapter 6, Section 1 if an enforcement action is appropriate;
c)    Send a copy of the inspection results to the operator’s CHDO if applicable; and
d)    Schedule followup surveillance and/or increase the frequency of surveillance.

H.    PTRS. Close the PTRS record.

6-1402    TASK OUTCOMES.

·    An indication in the operator’s file of a satisfactory inspection, with or without discrepancies; or

·    An indication in the operator’s file of an unsatisfactory inspection.

6-1403    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Possible increase in surveillance schedule.

Figure 6-66.     Part 133 Ramp Inspection Job Aid

Indicates a change in the text. NAME OF OPERATOR

DATE

INSPECTION ITEMS

INSPECTOR INITIALS

S

U

NA

PERSONNEL AND DOCUMENT INSPECTION

 

 

 

 

I. PILOTS (Chief Pilot____ Other Pilots___)

 

 

 

 

Indicates a change in the text. 1. Medical certificates (2nd Class or higher)

 

 

 

 

2. Pilot certificates

 

 

 

 

3. Load class authorization

 

 

 

 

a. Logbook endorsements

 

 

 

 

b. Letter of Competency

 

 

 

 

II. GROUND CREW

 

 

 

 

1. Use of hand signals

 

 

 

 

2. Use of radio

 

 

 

 

a. Procedures

 

 

 

 

b. Phraseology

 

 

 

 

3. Emergency Procedures

 

 

 

 

4. Knowledge of Congested Area Plan (CAP)

 

 

 

 

III. ROTORCRAFT

 

 

 

 

1. External-load operating certificate copy

 

 

 

 

a. Current and accurate

 

 

 

 

b. Onboard rotorcraft

 

 

 

 

2. List of authorized rotorcraft

 

 

 

 

a. Onboard rotorcraft

 

 

 

 

b. N-number of inspection rotorcraft match

 

 

 

 

3. Approved Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) onboard

 

 

 

 

4. Rotorcraft-Load Combination Flight Manual (RLCFM) onboard

 

 

 

 

5. Rotorcraft registration onboard

 

 

 

 

IV. OTHER DOCUMENTS

 

 

 

 

1. CAP

 

 

 

 

Indicates a change in the text. 2. Authorizations___ Class D___ instrument flight rules (IFR)

 

 

 

 

Figure 6-66.     Part 133 Ramp Inspection Job Aid (Continued)

NAME OF OPERATOR

DATE

INSPECTION ITEMS

INSPECTOR INITIALS

S

U

NA

EQUIPMENT INSPECTION

 

 

 

 

I. ROTORCRAFT

 

 

 

 

1. Weight and Balance (W&B)

 

 

 

 

2. Placards

 

 

 

 

3. Cabin

 

 

 

 

4. Cockpit

 

 

 

 

II. ATTACHING MEANS

 

 

 

 

1. Class A

 

 

 

 

a. Security

 

 

 

 

b. Appropriate restraining devices

 

 

 

 

2. Class B and C

 

 

 

 

a. Security

 

 

 

 

b. Normal release operation

 

 

 

 

c. Emergency release operation

 

 

 

 

3. Class D

 

 

 

 

a. Security

 

 

 

 

b. Normal release operation

 

 

 

 

c. Emergency release operation

 

 

 

 

d. Approved personnel lifting device

 

 

 

 

III. OTHER ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT

 

 

 

 

1. Winch operation

 

 

 

 

2. Cables and harness

 

 

 

 

3. General walk around

 

 

 

 

Figure 6-66.     Part 133 Ramp Inspection Job Aid (Continued)

NAME OF OPERATOR

DATE

INSPECTION ITEMS

INSPECTOR INITIALS

S

U

NA

OBSERVATION OF EXTERNAL-LOAD OPERATION

 

 

 

 

I. PERSONNEL PROFICIENCY

 

 

 

 

1. Pilots

 

 

 

 

a. Smoothness of control

 

 

 

 

b. Minimum of load oscillation

 

 

 

 

c. Pickup of load

 

 

 

 

d. Placement of load

 

 

 

 

e. Altitude control

 

 

 

 

2. Ground crew

 

 

 

 

a. Handling of load

 

 

 

 

b. Response to situations

 

 

 

 

c. Communications with pilots

 

 

 

 

II. CONGESTED AREA OPERATION

 

 

 

 

INSPECTION RESULTS

 

 

 

 

I. PERSONNEL

 

 

 

 

II. EQUIPMENT

 

 

 

 

III. OVERALL RESULTS

 

 

 

 

1. On-site debriefing

 

 

 

 

2. Operator debriefing

 

 

 

 

3. Information provided to the certificate-holding district office (CHDO)

 

 

 

 

REMARKS

Figure 6-67.     Letter Advising Operator of a Satisfactory Ramp Inspection

FAA Letterhead

[Date]

[Operator’s name and address]

Dear [operator’s name]:

Indicates a change in the text.

The results of the inspection of [type of rotorcraft, N-number] on [date] at [location] were satisfactory.

[List noticeably acceptable items, such as, flightcrew cooperation and crew coordination.]

[Encourage future compliance.]

[Offer assistance, as necessary, to ensure future cooperation.]

Sincerely,

[Inspector signature]

Figure 6-68.     Letter Describing Discrepancies Found During Ramp Inspection

FAA Letterhead

(NOTE TO INSPECTORS: You may use this as the Letter of Investigation (LOI) to initiate enforcement action for a certificated operator.)

[Date]

[Operator’s name and address]

Dear [operator’s name]:

The inspection of your facilities and equipment conducted on [date] was unsatisfactory. We determined the following items were not in compliance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR).

[List each specific item and the related 14 CFR part, for example:]

[A copy of the external-load operating certificate was not on board the rotorcraft.]

This matter is under investigation by the FAA. We wish to offer you an opportunity to discuss the incident personally and submit a written statement. If you desire to do either, accomplish this within 10 days following receipt of this letter. Your statement should contain all pertinent facts and any extenuating or mitigating circumstances that you believe may have a bearing on the incident. If we do not hear from you within the specified time, we will process our report without the benefit of your statement.

Sincerely,

[Principal operations inspector’s (POI) signature]

RESERVED. Paragraphs 6-1404 through 6-1420.