Helicopter external loads - Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) No. 2019-11


All operators conducting helicopter external loads.

File Classification No. : Z 5000-35
RDIMS No. : 15995081
Document No. : CASA 2019-11
Issue No. : 01
Effective Date: 2020-01-01


This Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) reminds operators of the requirement to fully comply with restrictions, limitations, special conditions and prohibitions in the approved Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM), Supplements and Appendices concerning the conduct of helicopter external loads.


On January 21, 2015, a helicopter collided with the ground at an aerial work site approximately 11 miles southeast of Key Lake Airport (CYKJ), Saskatchewan, resulting in serious injuries to the pilot, who was the sole occupant. The helicopter was conducting Class C external load operations, threading the centre phase cable through a hydro tower. A full investigation was carried out and documented in the Transportation Safety Board of Canada Accident Report A15C0005.

Aircraft manufacturers are required to issue an RFM with Supplements and Appendices that have restrictions, limitations, special conditions and prohibitions concerning the operation of aircraft and the aircraft operator is responsible for compliance with those restrictions, limitations, special conditions and prohibitions.

Aircraft manufacturers may also state that a type of operation “has not been demonstrated”. In effect, this means that the type of operation in question has not been part of the flight test and/or the certification process, therefore an aircraft operator choosing to conduct of that type of operation is solely liable.

Subpart 2 of Part 7 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) and corresponding Standards are the point of reference for helicopter Class C external loads and paragraph 702.76 (2)(c) and Standard subsection 722.76 (6) of the CARs contain the regulatory provisions applicable to training for this type of aerial work.

Recommended action:

All operators intending to conduct helicopter Class C external loads should perform a thorough risk assessment that takes into account compliance with the applicable regulations and standards, and any restrictions, limitations, special conditions and prohibitions contained in the RFM, Supplements and Appendices for the aircraft selected for this type of aerial work.

The adoption of industry best practices by operators in order to advance flight safety is strongly encouraged by Transport Canada Civil Aviation.

Contact office:

For more information concerning this issue, contact a Transport Canada Centre; or contact Deborah Martin, Chief, Commercial Flight Standards in Ottawa, by telephone at 613-990-1055 or by e-mail at deborah.martin@tc.gc.ca

Document approved by

Robert Sincennes
Standards branch

The Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert ( CASA ) is used to convey important safety information and contains recommended action items. The CASA strives to assist the aviation industry's efforts to provide a service with the highest possible degree of safety. The information contained herein is often critical and must be conveyed to the appropriate office in a timely manner. The CASA may be changed or amended should new information become available.