(a) No person may conduct a rotorcraft external-load operation without, or contrary to, the Rotorcraft-Load Combination Flight Manual prescribed in § 133.47.
(b) No person may conduct a rotorcraft external-load operation unless—
(1) The rotorcraft complies with § 133.19; and
(2) The rotorcraft and rotorcraft-load combination is authorized under the Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate.
(c) Before a person may operate a rotorcraft with an external-load configuration that differs substantially from any that person has previously carried with that type of rotorcraft (whether or not the rotorcraft-load combination is of the same class), that person must conduct, in a manner that will not endanger persons or property on the surface, such of the following flight-operational checks as the Administrator determines are appropriate to the rotorcraft-load combination:
(1) A determination that the weight of the rotorcraft-load combination and the location of its center of gravity are within approved limits, that the external load is securely fastened, and that the external load does not interfere with devices provided for its emergency release.
(2) Make an initial liftoff and verify that controllability is satisfactory.
(3) While hovering, verify that directional control is adequate.
(4) Accelerate into forward flight to verify that no attitude (whether of the rotorcraft or of the external load) is encountered in which the rotorcraft is uncontrollable or which is otherwise hazardous.
(5) In forward flight, check for hazardous oscillations of the external load, but if the external load is not visible to the pilot, other crewmembers or ground personnel may make this check and signal the pilot.
(6) Increase the forward airspeed and determine an operational airspeed at which no hazardous oscillation or hazardous aerodynamic turbulence is encountered.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of part 91 of this chapter, the holder of a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate may conduct (in rotorcraft type certificated under and meeting the requirements of part 27 or 29 of this chapter, including the external-load attaching means) rotorcraft external-load operations over congested areas if those operations are conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface and comply with the following:
(1) The operator must develop a plan for each complete operation, coordinate this plan with the FAA Flight Standards District Office having jurisdiction over the area in which the operation will be conducted, and obtain approval for the operation from that district office. The plan must include an agreement with the appropriate political subdivision that local officials will exclude unauthorized persons from the area in which the operation will be conducted, coordination with air traffic control, if necessary, and a detailed chart depicting the flight routes and altitudes.
(2) Each flight must be conducted at an altitude, and on a route, that will allow a jettisonable external load to be released, and the rotorcraft landed, in an emergency without hazard to persons or property on the surface.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of part 91 of this chapter, and except as provided in § 133.45(d), the holder of a Rotorcraft External-Load Operator Certificate may conduct external-load operations, including approaches, departures, and load positioning maneuvers necessary for the operation, below 500 feet above the surface and closer than 500 feet to persons, vessels, vehicles, and structures, if the operations are conducted without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface.
(f) No person may conduct rotorcraft external-load operations under IFR unless specifically approved by the Administrator. However, under no circumstances may a person be carried as part of the external-load under IFR.
[Doc. No. 24550, 51 FR 40708, Nov. 7, 1986, as amended by Amdt. 133-11, 54 FR 39294, Sept. 25, 1989]