1. Purpose of This Notice. This notice announces revisions to Advisory Circular (AC)
Rotorcraft External‑Load Operations; the supporting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 8900.1
guidance/policy; and Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
of authorization (LOA) templates in the Web‑based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS) to align with current regulations and policy.
These revisions also address Class B human external cargo (HEC) operations to include portable safety devices (PSD).
2. Audience. The primary audience for this notice is Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) aviation safety
inspectors (ASI) and principal inspectors (PI). The secondary audience includes FSDO managers and supervisors, other operational
employees, and Flight Standards (AFS) branches and divisions in the regions and in headquarters (HQ).
4. Background. Industry changes have outpaced regulation and policy updates to ensure safe helicopter external-load operations where Class
B HEC operations are performed. Industry questions, regional and field office concerns, and numerous safety recommendations from the field have triggered
the Commercial Operations Branch (AFS-820) to conduct a thorough review of part
guidance and policy. AFS-820 has updated
AC 133-1 and
the supporting policy in Order 8900.1 to provide detailed information essential for safe operations with regard to Class B HEC operations.
5. Guidance. AFS-820 has revised the following documents, which include minor edits to the part
133 LOA templates in WebOPSS.
a. AC. AC
133-1, Rotorcraft External-Load Operations.
b. FAA Order 8900.1.
• Volume 2, Chapter 7, Section 1,
The Certification ProcessPart
• Volume 3, Chapter 51, Section 1,
Introduction to Part
133 Related Tasks.
• Volume 3, Chapter 51, Section 3,
Evaluate a Rotorcraft-Load Combination Flight Manual.
133 LOA Templates. All part
templates were updated to the LOA outline numbering format, including those not specifically mentioned in this notice. This notice contains:
• A sample LOA A001 template in Appendix A.
• A sample LOA A002 template in Appendix B.
• A sample LOA A007 template in Appendix C.
• A sample LOA A025 template in Appendix D.
• A sample LOA A044 template in Appendix E.
• A sample LOA A054 template in Appendix F.
• A sample LOA D085 template in Appendix G.
6. Explanation of Key Changes.
a. AC and Order 8900.1. AC
the respective Order 8900.1 guidance/policy was updated to align with current rules and regulations and provide detailed information essential
for safe operations with regard to Class B HEC operations. The detailed information consists of the following areas:
• Class B HEC briefings, training, and operations;
• Personnel qualifications;
• Operational safety considerations; and
The updates to the templates in WebOPSS standardize the language within the
part 133 associated
paragraphs to refer to them as LOAs, instead of operations specifications (OpSpecs).
7. Action. ASIs should review AC
133-1; Order 8900.1,
Volume 2, Chapter 7, Section 1 and
Volume 3, Chapter 51, Sections 1 and
3; and part
A001, A002, A007, A025, A044, A054, and D085. The revisions to the affected part
are nonmandatory. ASIs should follow the guidance in Order 8900.1,
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 2, subparagraph 3-711C,
Nonmandatory Changes, for reissuing the LOAs to the
part 133 operators for which they have responsibility.
8. Disposition. The information contained in this notice has been incorporated into Order 8900.1. Direct
questions or comments concerning the information in this notice to AFS-820 at 202-267-1100.
ORIGINAL SIGNED by
/s/ John S. Duncan
Director, Flight Standards Service
Appendix A. Sample LOA A001, Issuance and Applicability: 14 CFR Part
1. These letters of authorization (LOA) are issued to [OPERATOR NAME], whose principal base of operation is located at:
Primary Business Address:
2. The holder of this LOA is the holder of Rotorcraft External-Load Operating Certificate Number [CERTIFICATE NUMBER] and shall hereafter
be referred to as the certificate holder. The certificate holder is authorized to conduct the following operations under the authority of 14 CFR part
☐ Class A External Loads
☐ Class B External Loads
☐ Class C External Loads
☐ Class D External Loads
3. The certificate holder must conduct these operations in accordance with the specific authorizations, limitations,
and procedures in these LOAs and all appropriate parts of the CFR.
4. These LOAs are effective as of the “Effective Date” listed in each paragraph and shall remain in effect as long as the certificate holder continues
to meet all appropriate parts of the CFR. These LOAs becomes invalid and must be surrendered when the certificate holder no longer meets the requirements
for certification, the certificate holder ceases operations, or upon expiration of the certificate holder’s Operating Certificate issued under
whichever occurs first. These LOAs may be amended or rescinded by the Administrator.
5. ○ The certificate holder is authorized
to use only the business name which appears on the certificate to conduct the operations described in subparagraph 2.
○ The certificate holder is authorized
to conduct the operations described in subparagraph 2 under the following other business names:
[LOAD DBA names]
Appendix B. Sample LOA A002, Definitions and Abbreviations: 14 CFR Part
Unless otherwise defined in this letter of authorization (LOA), all words, phrases, definitions, and abbreviations have identical meanings to those used
in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) and Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.) as cited in Public Law 103-272, as amended.
In these LOAs, the term “certificate holder” means the holder of
the certificate described in LOA A001 and any of its officers, employees, or agents used in the conduct of operations under these LOAs.
Class A External Loads
Class A external load is one in which the external load cannot move
freely, cannot be jettisoned, and does not extend below the landing gear. Carriage of supplies in an approved cargo rack or bin or a seat
affixed to the exterior of the aircraft, to be occupied by a powerline repairman or a cameraman, could be examples of a Class A external load.
Class B External Loads
Class B is an external cargo load that can be jettisoned and is lifted
free of land and/or water by a cargo hook or winch. An example of a Class B load operation would be the placement of an air conditioning unit on the roof of a tall building, or a trapeze act.
Class C External Loads
Class C is an external cargo load which can be jettisoned and remains
in contact with land or water. An example is a wire stringing operation at a construction project.
Class D External Loads
Class D is an external cargo load other than Class A, B, or C and approved
on an individual basis through the issuance of LOA A044. An example would be an operation involving the carriage of an individual in an
FAA-approved personnel lifting device. Class D authorization has special considerations, especially in terms of operating rules.
Appendix C. Sample LOA A007, Other Designated Persons: 14 CFR Part
1. The following person is designated as the certificate holder's Agent for Service:
[Agent for Service name and address]
2. The following personnel are designated to officially apply for and receive letters of authorization for the certificate holder as indicated in
Table 1. This table also designates the FAA required Chief Pilot for the
part 133 certificate holder.
Table 1 Designated Persons to Apply for and Receive Authorizations
3. The following personnel or company email boxes are designated to receive Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) and/or Information for Operators (INFO) messages
for the certificate holder as indicated below. A receipt of the information by a carrier or person is not required.
Table 2 Personnel Designated to Receive SAFOs and/or INFOs
Appendix D. Sample LOA A025, Electronic Signatures, Electronic Recordkeeping Systems, and Electronic Manuals: 14 CFR Part
1. The certificate holder is authorized to use electronic signatures, electronic recordkeeping systems, and electronic manuals in accordance with
the subparagraphs and tables contained in this letter of authorization.
○ 2. The certificate holder is authorized to use electronic signatures in accordance with the requirements of 14 CFR part
○ 2. The certificate holder is not authorized to use electronic signatures.
3. The certificate holder is authorized to use the electronic recordkeeping system(s) listed in Table 1.
Table 1 Electronic Recordkeeping System(s)
4. The certificate holder is authorized to use the electronic manual(s) listed in Table 2.
Table 2 Electronic Manual(s)
Appendix E. Sample LOA A044, Class D Operations Involving Carriage of Persons:
14 CFR Part 133
1. The certificate holder is authorized to conduct Class D operations in accordance with 14 CFR parts
and the limitations and provisions of this letter of authorization (LOA).
2. Carriage of persons is authorized only in accordance with policies and procedures which are outlined in the FAA‑approved Rotorcraft-Load Combination
Flight Manual. Operable voice communications must be maintained among the pilot, hoist operator (if used), and at least one ground person who is designated as the principal ground coordinator.
3. Before conducting Class D operations involving the carriage of persons in a personnel lifting device, the pilot in command must:
a. Perform one-engine-inoperative hover calculations and determine that the aircraft is able to sustain a hover and maneuver to a landing in the event
of a single power unit failure, considering total aircraft and load weight and meteorological conditions at the beginning of and throughout the entire operations.
b. Perform individual weight and balance calculations to ensure the aircraft and its load is within the:
(1) Total aircraft weight limits,
(2) Total external-load weight limits,
(3) Lateral center of gravity limits, and
(4) Longitudinal center of gravity limits.
4. Personal Lifting Devices. No person may be carried in a lifting device unless it has been approved by the Administrator.
5. This authorization becomes invalid when the certificate holder no longer meets all the requirements of this LOA.
6. Aircraft authorized for Class D external-load operations.
Appendix F. Sample LOA A054, Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Operations: 14 CFR
1. The certificate holder is authorized to conduct 14 CFR part
operations under IFR in accordance with 14 CFR parts
133, and this letter of authorization (LOA).
2. Limitations and Provisions.
a. The certificate holder is authorized to use the rotorcraft listed in LOA A003 which are specifically identified as IFR operations.
b. Except as provided in subparagraph 2c below, flight under IFR is authorized in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) when the aircraft
is operated beneath a ceiling and the operation has been approved by the air traffic control facility having jurisdiction over the airspace.
c. Flight under IFR in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) may be conducted for the purpose of repositioning the aircraft
and essential personnel to and from the external-load operation site.
3. In accordance with part
the certificate holder is authorized to conduct external-load operations in IMC under the following conditions and limitations:
Appendix G. Sample LOA D085, Aircraft Listing: 14 CFR Part
The certificate holder is authorized to conduct operations under 14 CFR part
the aircraft identified in this letter of authorization.
[LOAD Operator Data]
[LOAD Operator Data]
[LOAD Operator Data]