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Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders
Article 35. Helicopter Operations

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§1908. Cargo Loading and Handling.

(a) All cargo shall be loaded and secured under the direction of the pilot or pilot's designee.

(b) No passenger shall be transported in the helicopter with a sling load and no person shall be transported as an external or sling load, except in an emergency.

EXCEPTION: Unless authorized by the F.A.A.

(c) Explosives and other "dangerous materials" shall not be transported except as authorized by F.A.A.

(d) All sling loads, including line stringing devices, shall be attached only to quick-release devices. Steel or metallic sling ends shall be of the pressed sleeve or swedged eye-type, or equivalent. Tag lines shall be of a length or secured in such a manner that will not allow their being drawn up into the rotors.

(e) Automatic release devices are prohibited in all construction operations where ground crews are used. The devices shall be activated only for actual placement of loads. Electrical release devices shall have mechanical back-up, be checked each day of operation, and be designed to prevent inadvertent operation.

(f) When stringing conductive lines or conductors, there shall be radio communication between the helicopter and the ground crew.

(g) When stringing lines or conductors close to or parallel to energized lines, conductive lines or reels, pay-out machines, and conductors shall be grounded as required by the High Voltage Electrical Safety Orders. Hoist wires or other gear shall not be attached to any fixed ground structure.

EXCEPTION: When pulling lines or conductors that are allowed to "pay-out" from a container or roll off a reel.

(h) External sling load operations shall not be performed if electrical storms in the immediate vicinity make the work unsafe.

(i) Load landing operations shall not be performed when the wind conditions are deemed too unsafe by the pilot or ground crew.

(j) There shall be a minimum clearance of at least 25 feet between any energized power line, rated 50 KV or below, and any part of the rotorcraft load combination. This clearance requirement shall increase at the rate of 1/2 inch for each 1 KV.

EXCEPTION: These minimum clearances shall not apply to helicopters or their external loads specifically utilized for power line construction, maintenance, and repair where the work in progress is under the direct supervision of the utility.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Amendment filed 2-1-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, No. 5).

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