(a) Operations conducted under 14 CFR part 121 in airplanes with a passenger seating configuration of more than 30 seats or a payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds.
(b) Flights conducted in gliders or hot air balloons.
Section 2. Definitions . For the purposes of this appendix:
“Air tour” means any sightseeing flight conducted under visual flight rules in an airplane or helicopter for compensation or hire.
“Air tour operator” means any person who conducts an air tour.
Section 3. Helicopter flotation equipment . No person may conduct an air tour in Hawaii in a single-engine helicopter beyond the shore of any island, regardless of whether the helicopter is within gliding distance of the shore, unless:
(a) The helicopter is amphibious or is equipped with floats adequate to accomplish a safe emergency ditching and approved flotation gear is easily accessible for each occupant; or
(b) Each person on board the helicopter is wearing approved flotation gear.
Section 4. Helicopter performance plan . Each operator must complete a performance plan before each helicopter air tour flight. The performance plan must be based on the information in the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM), considering the maximum density altitude for which the operation is planned for the flight to determine the following:
(a) Maximum gross weight and center of gravity (CG) limitations for hovering in ground effect;
(b) Maximum gross weight and CG limitations for hovering out of ground effect; and,
(c) Maximum combination of weight, altitude, and temperature for which height-velocity information in the RFM is valid.
The pilot in command (PIC) must comply with the performance plan.
Section 5. Helicopter Operating Limitations . Except for approach to and transition from a hover, and except for the purpose of takeoff and landing, the PIC shall operate the helicopter at a combination of height and forward speed (including hover) that would permit a safe landing in event of engine power loss, in accordance with the height-speed envelope for that helicopter under current weight and aircraft altitude.
Section 6. Minimum flight altitudes . Except when necessary for takeoff and landing, or operating in compliance with an air traffic control clearance, or as otherwise authorized by the Administrator, no person may conduct an air tour in Hawaii:
(a) Below an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface over all areas of the State of Hawaii, and,
(b) Closer than 1,500 feet to any person or property; or,
(c) Below any altitude prescribed by federal statute or regulation.
Section 7. Passenger briefing . Before takeoff, each PIC of an air tour flight of Hawaii with a flight segment beyond the ocean shore of any island shall ensure that each passenger has been briefed on the following, in addition to requirements set forth in 14 CFR 91.107, 121.571, or 135.117:
(a) Water ditching procedures;
(b) Use of required flotation equipment; and
(c) Emergency egress from the aircraft in event of a water landing.
[Docket No. FAA–1998–4521, 72 FR 6914, Feb. 13, 2007]