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Shoulder Harnesses

Aircraft Restraint Systems, Survivable Accidents, & Recommendations

Aircraft Restraint Systems

Your lap belt/shoulder harness restraint system is a very important item of safety equipment. Everyone recognizes the importance of the lap belt during turbulent flight. Not everyone recognizes the importance of the shoulder harness during an aircraft mishap. The fact is that use of the shoulder harness represents one of the best life insurance policies you can have. If your airplane does not have shoulder harnesses, have them installed as soon as you can.

Restraint System Inspection

Inspect your restraint system for wear regularly. Attend to points where belt fabric rides over or is in constant contact with metal parts. Report any torn or frayed sections to your Aviation Maintenance Technician. Any observable tearing or fraying can reduce the design protection of the shoulder harness.

Survivable Accidents

Safety is a paramount concern with any mode of transportation. The first step in a safety program always is to reduce the number of accidents as you can. General aviation safety programs have been successful in this regard over a period of years

The second step in a safety program is to reduce the consequences of those accidents that do occur. The distressing fact is that roughly one-third of general aviation accidents with fatalities are deemed �survivable.� Many of these are accidents during take-off or landing and generally involve loss of engine power. Others occur during an attempt at a controlled landing. In these events, the crash forces themselves do not kill the pilot. The fatality results from an abrupt encounter with the airplane controls or the panel. Both fatalities and serious injuries can be greatly reduced by proper use of a shoulder harness.


Pilot Actions

  • Use your shoulder harness! You can remove it when such use interferes with cockpit duties.
  • Be sure Fasten Shoulder Harness is on your preflight checklist.
  • Check that all crew and passenger shoulder harnesses are fastened before takeoff and before landing.

General Recommendations

  • If you need shoulder harnesses, have them installed as soon as possible.
  • If your shoulder harness interferes in any way or is uncomfortable, consider having it replaced. Inertial reel shoulder harnesses allow greater freedom of movement.

Keep Flying! Buckle Up! FAA Aviation Safety Program

The Federal Aviation Administration, as part of a national effort to reduce aviation fatalities, initiated an effort termed Safer Skies. The broad objective of Safer Skies is to dramatically reduce aviation fatalities over the next 10 years.

The Aviation Safety Program, conducted by FAA Headquarters, is responsible for improving general aviation safety and moving toward the goals of Safer Skies. Our mission is your safety.

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