A Human Factors Perspective on Human External Loads
OKLAHOMA UNIV NORMAN DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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Title 14 part 133 of the Federal Code of Regulations 14 CFR 133 titled, Rotorcraft External Load Operations, describes the operation and certification rules governing helicopter external load operations. Specifically, part 133.45 addresses rotorcraft operations involving human external loads HELs and the design of personnel lifting devices used in HEL operations. To determine if there is a need for imposing new regulations on HEL operations, the Rotorcraft Standards Directorate of the Aircraft Certification Service requested the Civil Aeromedical Institute to review all available accident databases to determine if HEL operations are unsafe or sufficiently problematic to warrant a change in the existing regulations. This report investigates HEL accidents, categorizes commercially available equipment used in different personnel lifting operations, and provides human-factor related recommendations affecting the use of these HEL lifting devices. A review of accident data between 1973 and 1996 from several databases did not reveal any accident trends or highlight any specific safety issues related to HEL operations. A review of commercially-available HEL equipment showed the devices were designed for either short-term, rescue-type operations or long-term, work-related activities where the user is required to remain in the device for extended periods of time. Suggestions concerning the safety, comfort, and use of HEL devices are provided, as well as recommendations that standard operating procedures, training for HEL crew members, and minimal equipment specifications be added to the current regulation.
- Safety Engineering
- Escape, Rescue and Survival