Onboard Systems International, Inc., a leading provider of innovative helicopter cargo hook equipment, today announced that its Dual Cargo Hook Kit for the MD500 series has been STC certified by the FAA. This cargo hook system meets the 14 CFR part 27 certification requirements for Human External Cargo (HEC) and has been built around a dual installation of Onboard’s TALON® LC Hydraulic Hook. The kit will be on display at the 2019 Heli-Expo show at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 5-7th at Onboard’s booth (B5409)
“This kit provides an STC-certified solution for a variety of CFR Part 133 external load missions, including HEC, high-value cargo transport, utility line work, short haul, and search & rescue,” said Karsten Lemmon, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Onboard Systems. “The addition of a certified HEC cargo hook system to our growing line of external load equipment has been a top request from our customers for many years, and we are very excited to be able to offer this system on a commercial basis.”
Onboard’s newly certified dual cargo hook system (P/N 200-448-00) for the MD500 helicopter series is approved for use on the 396D/E/F/FF & 500N helicopters as listed on the Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) H3WE, Revision 26. Onboard Systems partnered with Aerocraft, Inc. to develop and certify the dual hook system. The companies are also actively developing dual cargo hook systems for the Bell 206L and 407 aircraft.
According to Lemmon, “We decided to start our HEC program with the MD500 because it is so popular with our utility line customers whose operations were greatly affected by the release of Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) SW-18-15 in May of 2018. Our new dual hook system gives them a certified option for their missions. Future kits for other aircraft will assist those external load operators who require the extra load safety provided by a dual hook system.”
The kit features a user-friendly dual master cylinder, which combines the backup hydraulic release for both hooks along with the electrical release for the secondary hook into a single unit. For added safety, Onboard’s certified HEC kits are comprised using TALON LC Hydraulic Cargo Hooks to minimize the risk of inadvertent cargo releases caused by excessive movement during external load operations, which can activate an improperly rigged manual release cable on a cargo hook system.
In conjunction with the Dual Cargo Hook Kit, Onboard Systems is also offering an HEC Longline Kit (P/N 200-449-10) that includes many essential components for properly rigging an aircraft to carry human external cargo, including a Y-Rope, a rigging plate, longline, weight bag, lanyard, and carabiners. Onboard’s Y-Rope (P/N 490-014-00) is required when conducting HEC missions using Onboard’s MD500 Dual Cargo Hook Kit, as it provides a controlled interface between the primary and secondary cargo hooks and the longline. Alternative configurations or components may also be approved for use through the local Aviation Authority.