Volume 6 Surveillance
chapter 5 PART
Section 3 Monitor a Part
133 Congested Area Operation
6-1421 PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODE. 1623.
6-1422 OBJECTIVE. Ensure compliance with a Congested Area Plan (CAP) and with the regulations. Successful completion of this task results in an indication
of compliance or noncompliance in an operator’s file.
A. Authority. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
the Administrator to make the inspections and/or tests found necessary to ensure compliance with the regulations. The inspector conducting
surveillance performs an essential safety function in connection with the external-load operation.
B. Frequency of Surveillance. The operator should expect the inspector to
observe each congested area operation. The inspector should make his or her presence at the site known to the operator.
C. Deviation from the CAP.
1) If the operator deviates from the CAP, it may pose a hazard to persons or property.
With the exception of emergencies, deviation is not acceptable and may violate these regulations (refer to 14 CFR part
§ 91.13 and §
133.33(d) and (e)).
2) Refer to
Volume 2, Chapter 7, Section 1 when
concerned with deviations from a CAP for the purpose of an emergency.
3) The inspector may approve changes to the CAP onsite if the changes meet or exceed
the criteria for original approval of the plan. The inspector should note the changes on the plan, sign the change noted,
indicate the date and time approved, and return the plan to the operator.
4) The CAP submitted by the operator should contain alternative plans for
as many variables as possible. With approved alternatives, the operator may not have to postpone the operation to seek Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for plan modifications.
D. Determining the Degree of Surveillance to Conduct.
1) The operator should expect unannounced surveillance at any given operation.
2) Normally, the inspector performs a full ramp check when an operation reveals a discrepancy. The inspector may also conduct full ramp checks as a planned work activity. (Refer to
Volume 6, Chapter 5, Section 2.)
3) Conduct the surveillance that is necessary to determine compliance.
E. Inspector’s Role During Surveillance.
1) It is the operator’s responsibility to conduct the operation according to the operator’s approved CAP and 14 CFR. It is the inspector’s role to monitor
the operation. If the inspector observes an imminent violation, he or she must advise the operator to cease operations until the situation is corrected.
F. Followup Activities. Debrief the operator after surveillance, with an emphasis on reinforcing acceptable performance.
1) After surveillance of an operation, debrief the pilot (at the scene if possible) and the operator by written report or telephone call. This is especially important
if there were minor discrepancies. Note minor discrepancies as “I” (information) in the PTRS.
2) In the event of discrepancies indicating deficient procedures, pilot proficiency, training, or equipment, advise the operator in writing of the deficiencies.
A followup ramp inspection or test is appropriate. Note these types of discrepancies as an “F” (followup required) in the PTRS.
3) In the event of a possible 14 CFR violation, initiate an enforcement investigation
into any violation you observe or become aware of. Note a violation as an “E” (enforcement action) in the PTRS (refer to
Volume 7, Chapter 6, Section 1).
6-1424 PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.
A. Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of the regulatory requirements of part
FAA policies and qualification as an aviation safety inspector (ASI) (Operations). Experience as a rotorcraft external-load pilot is preferred but not required.
B. Coordination. Coordination with local government or political subdivisions is required. Coordinate with Airworthiness as necessary.
6-1425 REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
A. References (current editions):
· Title 14 CFR parts
· Advisory Circular (AC)
External-Load Operations in Accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations Part
· The PTRS Procedures Manual (PPM).
B. Forms. None.
C. Job Aids:
133 Ramp Inspection Job Aid
(Volume 6, Chapter 5, Section 2, Figure 6-66, Part
133 Ramp Inspection Job Aid),
· Approved CAP,
· Camera or video recorder, and
· Sample letters and figures.
A. Review the CAP. Before visiting the operation site, review the CAP. Become familiar with the restrictions, limitations, and alternatives documented for this plan.
B. PTRS. Open the PTRS record.
C. Onsite Activity. Observe the operation and note whether it occurs according to plan. Check for the following, as appropriate.
1) Operational area is secured (unoccupied by persons) and the radius is at least the proper minimum size for the proposed operation.
2) Emergency landing site secured.
3) Adequate security available at the site.
4) Appropriate streets blocked off.
5) Required buildings (or proper portions thereof) are unoccupied.
6) The length of load plus the length of attaching means (hook and cable, etc.) does not exceed the radius of the operational area.
7) Observe how the operator picks up and carries the load and brings it to a stabilized hover.
8) Observe whether the route follows the plan, if the operator drags the load, and whether the load bumps into obstructions.
9) Check the delivery (set) site and observe whether the height of the load above the building exceeds the CAP.
10) Monitor pilot proficiency. The load should not oscillate excessively. In addition, evaluate pilot coordination with ground crew.
11) Determine the quality of ground crew performance. The ground crew should give and interpret any required hand signals correctly.
D. Surveillance Results Satisfactory.
1) It may be desirable to conduct a random ramp check. If so, refer to
Volume 6, Chapter 5, Section 2.
2) Debrief the operator, if desired.
3) Close the PTRS record.
E. Satisfactory Operation with Minor Discrepancies.
1) Bring the discrepancy to the attention of the operator at the site or notify the operator by letter (Figure 6-70 Letter Confirming Discrepancies
During Congested Area Operation), according to the situation.
2) Document discrepancies to the “Remarks” section of the PTRS.
3) Close the PTRS record.
F. Unsatisfactory Operation. If the operation was unsatisfactory and constituted a violation of 14 CFR, refer to
Volume 7, Chapter 6, Section 1.
6-1427 TASK OUTCOMES.
· An indication in the operator’s file of a satisfactory operation, with or without discrepancies; or
· An indication in the operator’s file of an unsatisfactory operation.
6-1428 FUTURE ACTIVITIES.
· Possible change in frequency of surveillance,
· Possible reexamination of pilots involved in an unsatisfactory operation, and
· Possible monitoring of this or other operators engaging in congested area operations.
Figure 6-70. Letter Confirming Discrepancies During Congested Area Operation
[Name and address of operator]
Dear [operator’s name]:
We noted certain discrepancies during surveillance of the rotorcraft external-load operations conducted at [street address, city, and state] on [date and time].
[List the specific discrepancies and, if contrary to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), indicate the related 14 CFR.]
[Indicate how the operator did not follow the approved Congested Area Plan (CAP).]
[List corrective action, if any, taken during the surveillance.]
[NOTE TO INSPECTORS: If the discrepancy resulted in a violation, you may use this letter as a letter of investigation in an enforcement
action. If the discrepancy resulted in a violation of the 14 CFR and you used this letter for enforcement purposes, add the following:]
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.
[Principal operations inspector’s (POI) signature]
RESERVED. Paragraphs 6-1429 through 6-1445.