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External Loads

Old 9th Mar 2019, 21:00
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External Loads

Question concerning external load operations in regards to safety. Would you or your operator consider flying external loads whether itís an FAA Class A,B,C or D load over bystanders on the ground, parking lots or building a situation that should be avoided at all costs or are there circumstances where the situation dictates that the risk is acceptable. In particular would you think the risk is acceptable if itís strictly during training operations?

My personal opinion is that unless itís an emergency or exigent circumstances exists flying an external load over people, buildings or cars should be something thatís avoided. Is there any training material or documentation that can be referenced for the pro or con of this or operator SOPís that deal with it?
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 23:08
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Originally Posted by falcon920 View Post
Question concerning external load operations in regards to safety. Would you or your operator consider flying external loads whether itís an FAA Class A,B,C or D load over bystanders on the ground, parking lots or building a situation that should be avoided at all costs or are there circumstances where the situation dictates that the risk is acceptable. In particular would you think the risk is acceptable if itís strictly during training operations?

My personal opinion is that unless itís an emergency or exigent circumstances exists flying an external load over people, buildings or cars should be something thatís avoided. Is there any training material or documentation that can be referenced for the pro or con of this or operator SOPís that deal with it?
Seems like you have a specific incident in mind. Yes there are rules related to congested area and external loads. You want to elaborate a little more and I can maybe point you in the right direction?
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 03:12
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Just as Gordy stated, there are rules governing operations such as you described. With that said, I've experienced considerable flexibility with the FAA's approval (or denial) of such congested area plans (assuming one was required and/ or submitted and approved). Approvals tend to vary greatly from one region to another and/ or one inspector or POI to another. Some regions were next to impossible to get an approval from while another region's inspector approved a virtually identical plan in less than 5 minutes telling me to; "...have fun and don't drop anything".

A good source of self educational information would be the FAA's Flight Standards Information Management System, or FSIMS as they are generally referred. Try, Flight Standards Information System (FSIMS) and enter "external load" in the "Quick Search" box at the top right. It should return several documents that cover several questions you've raised. You could also search the FAA's Advisory Circulars. There used to be a couple ACs that covered external load operations/ training/ congested area planning.

Good luck.
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 06:59
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More or less Iím trying to come up with persuasive arguments why my operator shouldnít conduct hoist or Bambi Bucket training ops over cars or people when working within the training area. The training areas we utilize include a sizable area void of people, cars or buildings but unfortunately some training scenarios that have been created would require short haul flight paths that fly over the top of people, cars and buildings. My position is that this is an unnecessary risk and the plans can be tweaked so that thereís no overflight of people not directly involved in the operation.

Besides FAR Part 133 Iíd like to see if thereís additional material that can be referenced for making an argument against the scenarios above.
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 07:00
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Shirley common sense would dictate that. It's what I teach here.
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 12:52
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Originally Posted by falcon920 View Post
More or less Iím trying to come up with persuasive arguments why my operator shouldnít conduct hoist or Bambi Bucket training ops over cars or people when working within the training area. The training areas we utilize include a sizable area void of people, cars or buildings but unfortunately some training scenarios that have been created would require short haul flight paths that fly over the top of people, cars and buildings. My position is that this is an unnecessary risk and the plans can be tweaked so that thereís no overflight of people not directly involved in the operation.

Besides FAR Part 133 Iíd like to see if thereís additional material that can be referenced for making an argument against the scenarios above.
Surely the fact that you may have to jettison the load or the load may jettison itís self is enough not to fly over people or property when itís not really required, if the load hit anyone it would kill them, potential risk of going to prison and becoming someoneís play thing 😳 or being sued surely this is reason enough.

Rule number 1 in any crane operation is donít stand under the load or position the load above people.


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Old 10th Mar 2019, 14:50
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Try this for a start......

https://www.iat.gov/docs/hshh_2010.pdf
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 15:19
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If in doubt, there is no doubt
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 15:31
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This is straight from the FAA Inspectors' Handbook. FSIMS Document Viewer
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 00:15
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Thank you everyone. Iím sure everyone has experienced sometime during their career the dreaded condition of ďsometimes common sense isnít commonĒ. Often times this seems to pop up when people are trying to reinvent the wheel in order to make a name for themselves or secure an elevated position in a company. Unfortunately this has probably resulted in numerous incidents that have led to fatalities or serious injuries in the Aviation profession.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 07:18
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Learn from other pilots accidents/incidents
Nine die as concrete block hits cable car line

Nine German tourists, including six children, were killed yesterday when a helicopter dropped a concrete block on a cable car line they were travelling on at a popular Austrian ski resort.The helicopter was ferrying building materials to a construction site atop a nearby mountain when the 750kg (1,650lb) block tumbled free, knocking one car off the cable and leaving others swinging so violently that their passengers were thrown out.
Austrian cable car accident - Update
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 12:35
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The quandary about risking lives is how does one do a "Short Haul" without any risk to people....after all you have some dangling at the end of a fixed line.

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Old 11th Mar 2019, 20:53
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The defence by some rotorheads of a protracted lift over roads etc wasn’t changed when the helicopter had a donk fail on the ferry back.

Yachting: Alinghi airlifts yacht over the Alps to the sea
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 06:37
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
The quandary about risking lives is how does one do a "Short Haul" without any risk to people....after all you have some dangling at the end of a fixed line.
That one is simple, often the rule, or common sense, will say, don't create risk to a "third party". The guy on the line in short haul, isn't a "third party".

other than that, you simply shouldn't create risk to someone that hasn't asked, or agreed to the risk. I spend probably 80-90% of my time with a load on the hook, so it is something i think about a lot, and try to never fly over third party people or property. i will even divert to avoid stock if it is easy to do. Houses and people are a no brainer, aim for the gaps between them.

Unless it is an emergency, and you are saving life or property, then you do what you can, until the emergency is over.
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