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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

Appendix 27-5

Aviation Management Definitions

Note: Department of the Interior (Department or DOI) and U.S. Geological Survey (Bureau or USGS).

1.  Active Military Maintenance and Inspection Program.
This is a program whereby the active or reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the U.S. Coast Guard, maintains a viable maintenance program for the make/model/series aircraft operated within those components. This system provides for a type malfunction/defect report gathering, analysis, and distribution of essential safety-of-flight information. In addition, it supports the resource user with current maintenance publications/procedures and timely changes similar to a civil manufacturer’s program. It also provides an up-to-date parts inventory and a repair and replacement system.

2.  Affiliated Aircraft.
Civil aircraft operated in accordance with 14 CFR 91, 121, or 135 for the mutual benefit of DOI and the affiliated party at no cost to DOI.

3.  Agreement Aircraft.
An Office of Aircraft Services (OAS)-approved aircraft that is available for intermittent, short-term use under an OAS Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA). Orders for use of agreement aircraft are subject to the small purchase limitation established under the Federal Acquisition Regulations unless otherwise authorized by the Contracting Officer.

4.  Aircraft.
The term “aircraft” is used to refer to both airplanes and helicopters.

5.  Aircraft Accident.
An occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.

6.  Aircraft Acquisition.
Obtaining an aircraft through either purchase or transfer (excess), or through lease, rental or loan, the operating cost of which can reasonably be expected to exceed $25,000 per year. Any aircraft secured on a fully vendor-operated basis is specifically excluded from this definition.

7.  Air Crewmember Essential for the Mission.
An objective determination is made that an additional crewmember is required to be on board the aircraft to ensure the successful outcome of the mission by the first line supervisor (e.g., loadmaster accompanying bulk fuel).

8.  Airspace Conflict.
A near mid-air collision, intrusion, or violation of airspace rules.

9.  Air Tanker.
An aircraft used for the dispensing of a substance (normally fire retardant or water) on a wildfire.

10.  Aviation Board of Directors.
Representative Bureau senior management officials providing executive level Bureau involvement in the formulation of policy and the management aspects of aviation activities in the Department.

11.  Bailed Aircraft.
Aircraft on loan from the Department of Defense (DOD).

12.  Basic Ordering Agreement.
A Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) is a written instrument of understanding, negotiated between an agency, contracting activity, or contracting office and a contractor, that contains (1) terms and clauses applying to future contracts (orders) between the parties during its term; (2) a description, as specific as practicable, of supplies or services to be provided; and (3) methods for pricing, issuing, and delivering future orders under the BOA. A BOA is not a contract.

13.  Bureau.
A level of government defined by Bureaus, services, surveys, and offices within the Department.

14.  Commercial Aviation.
Aviation vendor being paid for aviation services.

15.  Contract Aircraft.
An aircraft that has been approved by Office of Aircraft Services for use in accordance with the terms of a formal contract. Generally, there is no monetary limitation on the extent of use of the contract aircraft.

16.  Cooperator Aircraft.
An affiliated, military, or other Government agency aircraft.

17.  DOI 2181 Pilot.
A pilot meeting Office of Personnel Management (OPM) classification 2181 standards.

18.  Dual-Function Pilot.
Any person who acts as pilot-in-command of an aircraft while on official Government business and is not a full-time pilot (OPM classification 2181) but whose job description does include pilot duties.

19.  Emergency.
(a)  Life-Threatening - A situation or occurrence of a serious nature, developing suddenly and unexpectedly and demanding immediate action to prevent loss of life.
(b)  Operational - An unforeseen combination of circumstances that calls for immediate action, but not life-threatening

20.  Excess/Surplus Military Aircraft.
Aircraft whose ownership has been transferred to a Government agency by the U.S. Armed Forces.

21.  Fatal Injury.
Any injury resulting in death within 30 days of the accident.

22.  Federal Aviation Regulations.
Rules and regulations contained in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

23.  First Aid.
Any medical attention that involves no medical bill. If a physician prescribes medical treatment for less than serious injury and makes a charge for this service, that injury becomes “medical attention.”

24.  Flight Crewmember.
A pilot, flight engineer, or flight navigator assigned to duty in an aircraft during flight time who holds a valid Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airman’s Certificate and flight physical.

25.  Fleet Aircraft.
  ircraft bailed by DOI, owned by DOI, or leased by DOI with intent to purchase.

26.  Forced Landing.
A landing necessitated by failure of engines, systems, components, or incapacitation of a crewmember, which makes continued flight impossible and which may or may not result in damage.

27.  Ground Mishap, Aircraft Ground Mishap.
An aircraft mishap in which there is no intent tofly; however, the power plants and/or rotors are in operation and damageincurred requiring replacement or repair of rotors, propellers, wheels, tires,wing tips, flaps, etc., or an injury is incurred requiring first aid or medicalattention.

28.  Hazard, Aviation Hazard.
Any condition, act or set of circumstances that exposes an individual to unnecessary risk or harm during aviation operations.

29.  High Performance Airplane.
An airplane that has more than 200 horsepower or that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and controllable propeller.

30.  High Reconnaissance.
A route of flight which includes reconnaissance and is conducted above 500 feet above ground level (AGL). This reconnaissance does not include any aircraft maneuvers which are in excess of commercial pilot skills, maneuvering below 1.4 Vso, or climbs/turns/descents greater than standard rate. This does not include any type of precise maneuvering or specialized equipment.

31.  Hover Landings.
Hover landings are landings which do not meet the definition of toe-in, single-skid, or step-out landings. These landings are characterized by the necessity to maintain a substantial amount of hover power while the landing gear is in contact with the surface. This is normally due to the nature of the surfaces such as swampy ground, tundra/muskeg, snow, lava rock, etc. During these landings, the potential center of gravity shifts are not as hazardous as in the previously mentioned landings (i.e., toe-in, one-skid); however, the pilot remains alert and on the controls as opposed to a flat surface/flat pitch landing stability.

32.  Incident.
An occurrence other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft which affects or could affect the safety of operations.

33.  Incident with Potential.
An incident that narrowly misses being an accident and in which the circumstances indicate significant potential for substantial damage or serious injury. Final classification will be determined by the USDA-FS National Aviation Safety and Training Manager or the OAS Aviation Safety Manager, as appropriate.

34.  Incidental Passenger Use of Military Aircraft.
The condition that exists when a DOI employee is a passenger onboard a military aircraft and is unable to affect the management of the flight in any manner. This includes the initiation, conduct, and termination of the flight.

35.  Incidental Pilot.
Any person who acts as pilot-in-command of an aircraft while on official Government business whose job description does not include pilot duties (i.e., piloting of private or Government aircraft for official Government business in lieu of operation of private or Government-owned/leased automobile, reference FPMR 101.7).

36.  Inspector.

(a)  Office of Aircraft Services (OAS) Accepted Inspector.
An individual employed by a government agency other than DOI who is listed on the USFS Approved Inspectors List.

(b)  OAS Approved Inspector.
Any inspector approved by OAS. This includes OAS employees, DOI employees, and other government agency employees listed on the OAS-approved Inspectors List.

(c)  OAS Inspector.
An OAS employee listed on the OAS-approved Inspectors List.

37.  International DOI Operations.
The condition that exists when a DOI employee is engaged in aviation operations outside the fifty United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These operations are outside the scope of the DOI aviation policy.

38.  Large Helicopter.
A helicopter with a certified gross weight over 12,500 pounds.

39.  Maintenance Deficiency.
An equipment defect or failure which affects or could affect the safety of operations or that causes an interruption to the services being performed.

40.  Medical Attention.
An injury where a physician prescribes medical treatment/charges for the service.

41.  Medium Helicopter.
A helicopter with a certified gross weight between 6,000 and 12,500 pounds.

42.  Military Aircraft.
An aircraft maintained and operated by an active or reserve component (all Reserve forces, as well as Army National Guard and Air National Guard) of the DOD or by any active or reserve component of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). All references to military aircraft include both DOD and USCG aircraft. The U.S. Government Manual describes the USCG, “The Coast Guard is a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States at all times and is a service within the Department of Transportation except when operating as part of the Navy in time of war or when the President directs.”

43.  Mishap, Aviation Mishap.
Mishaps include aircraft accidents, incidents with potential, aircraft incidents, aviation hazards and aircraft maintenance deficiencies.

44.  Mountain Flying: Airplanes.
Conducting flight operations that require special techniques including takeoffsand landings at locations with 5,000 feet above sea level or greater pressure altitudes, at temperature ranges above 75ºF, and/or limited and unimproved airstrips.

45.  Mountain Flying: Helicopters.
Conducting flight operations in mountainous terrain including pinnacle landings and approaches at varying elevations and pressure altitudes of over 5,000 feet above sea level at temperature ranges above 75ºF, and in areas of rugged peaks, deep canyons, cliffs, rock outcropping, steep slopes; including landing on mountain tops and confined areas surrounded by trees, brush, rocks, snow, or ice.

46.  OAS-Designated Routes.
Flight routes designated by OAS which are Bureau-requested, over mountainous terrain and pilot-specific.

47.  Offshore Operations.
These are operations beyond a point where navigation by visual reference to landmarks can be made.

48.  Operational Control, Aircraft Under the Operational Control of DOI.
The condition existing when a DOI entity exercises authority over initiating, conducting or terminating a flight.

49.  Operated by DOI, Aircraft Operated by DOI.
The condition existing when the pilot-in-command is a DOI employee acting on official Government business for DOI.

50.  Operating Agency.
An executive agency or any entity thereof using agency aircraft it does not own.

51.  Operating Cost.
Expenses which include, but are not limited to, lease costs, crew costs, maintenance costs (materials and labor), fuel costs, facilities costs, administrative support costs, etc.

52.  Operator.
Any person who causes or authorizes the operation of an aircraft, such as the owner, lessee, or bailee of an aircraft. For DOI aircraft operations, the Bureau office exercising operational control over the aircraft is considered to be the operator.

53.  Other Government Agency Aircraft.
Aircraft of U.S. registry which are owned, leased, or operated by a Government agency at the Federal, State, or local levels other than DOI. This does not include “military aircraft” but does include bailed/loaned or excess/surplus military aircraft under the control of a Government agency. Foreign government aircraft are not included.

54.  Passenger.
Any person aboard an aircraft who does not perform the function of a flight crewmember or air crewmember.

55.  Point-to-Point Flight.
Flights between airports (excluding operations defined in 351 DM 1 as Special Use) that a pilot determines the route of flight based on navigational requirements.

56.  Precautionary Landing.
A landing necessitated by apparent impending failure of engines, systems, or components which makes continued flight unadvisable.

57.  Precision Reconnaissance (including Fire Recon).
This type of reconnaissance is conducted above 500 feet above ground level (AGL). Transect type operations, utilization of specialized equipment, or missions not normally conducted in the commercial sector are examples of specific tasks requiring special consideration and which make this a special-use activity.

58.  Privately Owned Aircraft.
Any aircraft piloted by a DOI employee on official business which has an FAA registration showing the DOI employee as an owner(s) or member of the club which owns the aircraft.

59.  Public Aircraft.
An aircraft used only for the United States Government or owned and operated (except for commercial purposes) or exclusively leased for at least 90 continuous days by a government (except the United States Government), including a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States, or political subdivision of that government; but does not include a government-owned aircraft transporting property for commercial purposes; or transporting passengers other than (a) transporting (for other than commercial purposes) crewmembers or other persons aboard the aircraft whose presence is required to perform, or is associated with the performance of, a governmental function such as firefighting, search and rescue, law enforcement, aeronautical research, or biological or geological resource management; or, (b) transporting (for other than commercial purposes) persons aboard the aircraft if the aircraft is operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United States. An aircraft described in the preceding sentence shall, notwithstanding any limitation relating to use of the aircraft for commercial purposes, be considered to be a public aircraft for the purposes of this part without regard to whether the aircraft is operated by a unit of government on behalf of another unit of government, pursuant to a cost reimbursement agreement between such units of government, if the unit of government on whose behalf the operation is conducted certifies to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration that the operation was necessary to respond to a significant and imminent threat to life or property (including natural resources) and that no service by a private operator was reasonably available to meet the threat. 49 U.S.C. 40102 (a)(37).

60.  Series, Helicopter.
The subgrouping of makes and models such as Bell 206A, Bell 206B, Bell 206L. The letter designator of A, B, and L denotes series.

61.  Serious Injury.
Any injury that:

(1)  Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date the injury was received.

(2)  Results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes or nose).

(3)  Causes severe hemorrhages, nerve, muscle or tendon damage.

(4)  Involves any internal organ.

(5)  Involves second or third-degree burns or any burns affecting more than 5% of the body surface.

62.  Shore.
That area of the land adjacent to the water which is above the high water mark and excludes land areas which are intermittently under water.

63.  Single-Skid Landings.
Single-skid landings are those landings that are used to drop off or pick up passengers or cargo while holding the helicopter with one full skid on the ground and the other suspended in the air. When in contact with the ground, the center of gravity can shift laterally. This type of landing is normally used in sloping terrain or when the helicopter cannot land and reduce the power to flat pitch.

64.  Small Helicopter.
A helicopter with a certified gross weight under 6,000 pounds.

65.  Special Use Activities.
Operations involving the utilization of airplanes and helicopters in support of DOI programs which are not point-to-point flight activities and which require special considerations due to their functional use. This may require deviation from normal operating practices where authorized by OAS. Special pilot qualifications and techniques, special aircraft equipment, and personal protective equipment are required to enhance the safe transportation of personnel and property.

66.  Step-out Landings.
Step-out landings are those landings that are used to drop off or pick up passengers and cargo (other than rappel/short haul) while holding the helicopter in a hover. The helicopter is not in contact with the ground and the center of gravity can shift laterally and longitudinally. This type of landing is normally used in lieu of toe-in/single-skid landings in terrain where the helicopter cannot land and reduce power to flat pitch.

67.  Substantial Damage.
Any damage or failure which adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft and which would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component. Engine failure or damage limited to an engine if only one engine fails or is damaged, bent fairings or cowling, dented skin, small punctured holes in the skin or fabric, ground damage to rotor or propeller blades, and damage to landing gear, wheels, tires, flaps, engine accessories, brakes, or wing tips are not considered “substantial damage” for the purpose of this part.

68.  Toe-In Landings.
Toe-in landings are those landings that are used to drop off or pick up passengers or cargo by resting the helicopter on the toes of the skids. This requires holding a significant amount of hover power (within 15% of hover power) to keep the helicopter from falling backwards. When the helicopter is operated in this manner, there is the potential of significant lateral and longitudinal CG shift during loading/offloading operations. When the helicopter is balanced on the forward 1/3 or less of the skid tube, main rotor blade clearance is another significant concern (1/2 of flat surface/flat pitch blade clearance). These landings are normally used where landing areas are on slopes which exceed the capability of the helicopter. Identification criteria for toe-in landings are:

(1)  Inability to reduce below hover power by 15%.

(2)  Forward 1/3 or less of skid tube in contact with surface.

(3)  1/2 or less of flat pitch/flat surface blade clearance exists.

69.  Vendor.
An operator being paid by DOI for services.

70.  Volunteer Service.
Volunteer services are limited to personal services received without compensation (salary or wages) by the Department from individuals or groups.

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Last modification: 28-Aug-2002@17:05 (kk)