(a)Designated employees. Those employees selected or designated by the employer to work under or near helicopters who have first been instructed in hooking, unhooking, guiding and securing the load, including the signal person, all of whom have been instructed in the hazards of helicopter work and who know the provisions of this section.
(b)Pilot in Command or Pilot means the person who:
(A)Has the final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the flight;
(B)Has been designated as pilot in command before or during the flight; and
(C)Holds the appropriate category, class, and type rating for the conduct of the flight if applicable.
(c)Helicopter Service Operator. Entity that holds the appropriate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operating certification and provides helicopter support services.
(d)Downwash. A down and outward air column from the main rotor system.
(e)Ground personnel or crew. Employees who work on or near the equipment and are familiar with the hazards of helicopter use in power distribution and transmission line work and who know these rules and the methods of operation.
(f)Helicopter, helicopter crane, and rotorcraft. A heavier-than-air aircraft that depends principally for its support in flight on the lift generated by one or more rotors. The use of the word helicopter in these rules also means helicopter crane, rotorcraft, or similar aircraft.
(g)Hooking and unhooking. The process by which an external load is either attached to or detached from the helicopter hook or sling line.
(h)Positive guide system. A system or method of installing a load into position so that the load is capable of being released from the helicopter without being otherwise secured, and the load will remain in position permanently or until otherwise secured by physical means.
(i)Rotors. A system of blades that rotates or revolves to supply lift or direction to the rotorcraft.
(j)Signal person. A member of the ground crew that is designated by an employer to direct, signal and otherwise communicate with the pilot of the helicopter.
(k)Sling. A strap, chain, rope or similar implement used to securely hold something being lifted, lowered, carried or otherwise suspended.
(l)Static charge. An imbalance of electric potential within or on the surface of a material.
(m)Tagline. A rope or similar device used to guide or control the direction or movement of a load.
(2)Helicopter regulations. Helicopter cranes must comply with any applicable regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
(3)Hazard Analysis and Job Briefing.
(a)Before the commencement of any construction, maintenance, or lifting activity using a helicopter, a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) must be conducted, which, at a minimum, must:
(A)Define the core tasks.
(B)Identify specific hazards.
(C)Identify mission specific tasks.
(D)Describe procedures or controls used to safely manage or mitigate the hazards.
(E)Describe the communication procedure to be used with the crew.
(F)Discuss fatigue, and methods to eliminate or mitigate it.
(G)Specify Minimum Approach Distances (MAD).
(H)Describe a site specific emergency action plan.
(b)A site specific job briefing must be held each day construction, maintenance, or lifting activities using a helicopter are performed. The daily job briefing at a minimum must:
(A)Summarize or recap the content of the JHA as applicable to the day’s duties.
(B)Communicate any site specific hazards not identified in the JHA and provide mitigation for those hazards.
(C)Identify or establish roles for each person who will be interfacing with the aircraft or its loads.
(D)Describe the communication procedure to be used with the crew.
(E)Specify Minimum Approach Distances (MAD) from energized electrical lines and equipment in the work area.
(F)Describe the applicable sections of the site specific emergency action plan, such as the locations of first aid equipment and rescue gear.
(c)An additional job briefing must be held immediately if working conditions change during the course of a job. Working conditions would include weather, wind, and visibility. During the job briefing all affected employees and others, including signal persons, ground workers, pilots, must be advised of the hazards including a change of operation if needed.
(4)Sling and rigging.
(a)The pilot is responsible for the integrity of the rigging for any external load and must ensure safe delivery of the cargo by inspecting and monitoring the security of the rigging throughout the operation. Prior to operations, the pilot must check the condition and application of all rigging gear to ensure serviceability. Prior to commencing operations, determine the complete rigging requirements including slings and taglines.
(b)All personnel involved with rigging activities must receive appropriate rigging training and show proficiency, specific to helicopter operations and the work or task/s being performed.
(c)The slings used for the external load must be inspected each day before use. Slings must be inspected by an employee designated, trained and qualified as a rigger.
(d)No sling can be used unless it has a properly marked minimum tensile strength of five times the load which will be carried or is being carried.
(A)No sling can be used unless upon inspection it is determined to be in good condition and capable of the work which is to be performed, and is properly marked.
(B)Loads must be properly slung so that there will be no slippage or shifting of the load and so that the load will not accidentally be dislodged from the helicopter.
(C)Slings must be the appropriate weight, strength and length to prevent the sling from being lifted and entangled into the aircraft rotor system.
(D)Pressed sleeves, wedged eyes, or equivalent means must be used for all suspended loads using wire rope.
(5)Personal protective equipment when working on, under or in the near vicinity of helicopters:
(a)Personal protective equipment for employees must consist of complete eye protection and hard hats secured by chinstraps.
(b)Loose-fitting clothing likely to flap in the downwash must not be worn.
(6)Loose gear and objects. Every practical precaution must be taken to provide for the protection of the employees from flying objects in the rotor downwash. All loose gear within 100 feet of the place of lifting the load, depositing the load, and all other areas susceptible to rotor downwash must be secured or removed.
(a)When establishing the landing zone, the following items must be considered: size and type of helicopter, suitability of the planned activity, physical barriers or obstructions, helicopter touchdown area and congestion in the area.
(b)All helicopter landing, loading and unloading areas must be maintained to reduce the likelihood of flying materials, tripping, or other hazards attendant to the work being performed.
(a)The helicopter pilot is responsible for the size, weight and manner in which loads are connected to the helicopter.
(b)No load can be made if the helicopter pilot believes the lift cannot safely be performed. The employer must make certain that the pilot of the helicopter is able to freely exercise their prerogative and judgment as to safe operation of the helicopter itself concerning size, weight and manner by which loads are connected.
(c)The pilot must possess the appropriate ratings for the aircraft and must be competent to safely conduct the assigned tasks. The pilot has the final authority and is solely responsible for the safe operation of the helicopter loads at all times.
(9)Hooking and unhooking loads.
(a)Work performed at an elevated position and directly under hovering helicopters may be performed only by qualified employees.
(A)Work must be limited to the minimum time necessary to guide, secure, hook or unhook the loads.
(B)When an employee is working from the ground under hovering helicopters, the employee must have a safe means of ingress and egress at all times, including readily available escape route or routes in the event of an emergency.
(b)Positive guide systems must be used for the placement of large segments of a primary tower structure and must enable the heavy lift helicopter to temporarily secure and release the load.
(10)Static charge. All loads must be grounded or bonded with a device capable of discharging either the actual or potential static charge before ground personnel either touch or come close enough to touch the suspended load.
(a)Weight of the external load must not exceed the manufacturer’s load limit.
(b)Each helicopter operator engaged in line stringing must be authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Part 133 Class C operations.
(c)All line stringing operations must be conducted according to the following requirements:
(A)Stringing tension method must enable a consistent positive control of the cable, rope, or similar lines at all times during pulling operations.
(B)During all pulling operations, the helicopter pilot must maintain an aircraft orientation that allows the pilot to maintain constant visibility in both directions on line.
(C)When pulling from the aircraft belly hook attachment point, a ballast weight of a minimum of 300 pounds must be used. At no time during the pulling operation can the load line that is attached to the helicopter’s belly hook attachment point exceed a 30 degree angle from vertical. This does not apply when pulling from the helicopter’s approved side pull attachment point.
(12)Visibility. Employees must keep clear of and outside the downwash of the helicopter except as necessary to perform a permitted activity.
(a)Communication must be maintained between the air crew and ground personnel at all times by a designated and qualified signal person. There must be a constant, open line of communication, using radios or head and hand signals.
(b)Signal systems must be understood by the air crew and the ground crew, including signal persons, prior to the hoisting of any load.
(c)Signaling and maintaining communications with the pilot are the sole and exclusive function of the signal person during periods of loading and unloading. The signal person must be distinguishable from other members of the ground crew by the pilot of the aircraft. This may be by way of orange-colored gloves, vest, or other apparel.
(d)The lead worker and one top person must also have an operating transmitter and receiver.
(e)Authorized and qualified employees may come within 50 feet of the helicopter when the rotor blades are turning, but no closer, other than to enter the craft or to hook or unhook the load or do other essential functions. Other employees may not come closer than 100 feet of the aircraft when it is operating.
(f)The signals between the signal person and the operator of the helicopter must be those submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration for the particular procedure or job. In the event no signals have been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration, a system of signaling must be used that has been documented and that is capable of being clearly understood by all employees and others involved in the job. When head signals are to be used, the qualified worker must use a visually enhanced hard hat or helmet with clear markings to indicate the desired movement. Any signals other than up/down or in/out will require the use of hand signals.
(g)Should a change occur in the hazards, method of performing the job, signals to be used, or other operating conditions during the course of any particular job, a conference must immediately be held at which time all affected employees and others, including signal persons, ground personnel, and pilots, will be advised of such hazards or change of operation. No employee is permitted to work unless such employee and others fully understand the changes that have taken place.
(a)Whenever approaching or leaving a helicopter with blades rotating, all employees must remain in full view of the pilot and remain in a crouched position while within 50 feet of the helicopter. No employee can approach the rear of the helicopter unless directly authorized and directed by the pilot of such craft. All employees when operating or working within 50 feet of the helicopter with blades turning are subject to the direction of the helicopter pilot.
(b)All materials and equipment loaded in the aircraft must be properly secured for flight.
(c)Long objects, such as shovels and live-line tools, must be carried horizontally and below the waist to avoid contact with the aircraft rotor blades.
(d)The pilot must ensure that all loads are safely secured to the helicopter, or in cargo baskets, and properly loaded with regard to weight and balance.
(e)Never throw anything while loading and unloading the helicopter. Thrown items may come in contact with the aircraft rotor blade, causing damage to the aircraft and possible injury to ground personnel.
(f)While in the helicopter, safety belts must remain fastened at all times except when pilot instructs otherwise or while entering or leaving the helicopter.
(g)Smoking in the helicopter is prohibited at all times.
(15)Helicopter Work Tasks.
(a)Human External Cargo (HEC)
(A)The sling or vertical suspension system for HEC is a vertical system suspended from the helicopter cargo hook. The sling system must comply with FAA regulation 14 CFR Part 133 Class B or D – External Load.
(B)Helicopter operations involving HEC must incorporate the use of a secondary safety device, in addition to the helicopter’s primary attachment means, to prevent the inadvertent release of the load. This device must remain able to be jettisoned in accordance with class B load requirements.
(i)HEC lines must be not less than 10:1 safety ratio between the rated breaking strength and the working load.
(ii)All harnesses used for helicopter short-haul operations must meet the ANSI Z359.1-2007 standards for class III (full body) harnesses and must be equipped with both dorsal and sternal D rings.
(iii)All suspension harnesses used for HEC must be adjusted to the user, and the harness must be equipped with an orthostatic shock relief device. Such devices must be used on flights lasting over five minutes.
(A)The qualified line worker must be attached to the helicopter at all times when traveling between the ground and the aerial transfer point or worksite. There must be an FAA approved attachment point on the helicopter for the lineman’s safety harness lanyard.
(B)If a platform system is used to transport crews, or if a crewmember performs work from a platform system, the platform system and all aircraft attachment points must comply with applicable FAA regulations and requirements.
(C)All platform operations must be conducted in accordance with the 14 CFR Part 133 Class A - External Load.
(D)Flight and hovering capabilities of the helicopter must not be adversely affected by the design of the platform.
(E)The platform may not adversely affect the auto rotation and emergency capabilities of the helicopter.
(F)The platform and loads may affect the lateral & longitudinal center of gravity weight and balance of the helicopter in flight, therefore an engineered counter-balance system which will ensure stability must be used if the platform exceeds the lateral center of gravity limits of the manufactures specifications for the helicopter.
(16)Fires. Open fires are not permitted in any area where fires will be affected by the downwash of the rotors, nor can any employee smoke in an area subject to the downdraft of the rotor.
(a)Refueling any helicopter with either aviation gasoline or Jet B (Turbine) type fuel is prohibited while the engines are running.
(b)Fueling of helicopters using Jet A (Turbine-Kerosene) type fuel is allowed with engines running.
(c)All helicopter fueling must comply with the following:
(A)No unauthorized people are allowed within fifty feet of the refueling operation or fueling equipment.
(B)Fire extinguishers must be available and must be in compliance with FAA regulations.
(C)All fueling personnel must be thoroughly trained in the refueling operation and in the use of the available fire extinguishing equipment they may be expected to use.
(D)There must be no smoking, open flames, exposed flame heaters, flare pots, or open flame lights within fifty feet of the refueling area or fueling equipment. The refueling area or the fuel truck must be posted with “no smoking” signs.
(E)Prior to making any fueling connection to the aircraft, the fueling equipment must be bonded to the aircraft by use of a cable, thus providing a conductive path to equalize the potential between the fueling equipment and the aircraft. The bond must be maintained until fueling connections have been removed, thus allowing separated charges that could be generated during the fueling operation to reunite. Grounding during aircraft fueling is not permitted
(F)To control spills, fuel must be pumped either by hand or power. Pouring or gravity flow is not permitted. Self-closing nozzles or deadman controls must be used and may not be blocked open. Nozzles may not be dragged along the ground.
(G)In case of a spill, the fueling operation must be immediately stopped until such time as the person in charge determines that it is safe to resume the refueling operation.
Rule 437-002-2323 — Helicopters,