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From The Left Seat

Guest bag swinnger

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Guest bag swinnger

Hi all,

I am looking for some feedback from those of you who have spent full days, working the line from the left seat in one of the new medium seats, like the ones from Alpine Aerotech. I did have a chance to sit in one but it was not installed in a machine at the time. I see that Transwest also has a new seat but I have not seen it yet so I am not sure what their version is all about.


I am interested in how they fit for people of all sizes. Also if you feel more or less safe/comfortable than the traditional left seat.


I know the history behind the introduction of the Alpine Aerotech seat. A design that looks to be for a safer more comfortable working environment. I believe it to be a great idea to have a seat that tilts, while keeping you tight in the seat with shoulder belts on. I for one, think that a very loose lap belt in a medium is only slightly better then no belt at all.


I wonder if there are any other companies out there that have installed these seats in the name of safety from within.

I think that our industry is drowning in the ever increasing, imposed, safety demands that seems to have spawned from the oil companies. So it's not very often where we hear of something like this that the pilots or companies themselves could or would want to venture out and install, in order to be a little more pro active in this regard.


For those of you that don't know what I am talking about click here to view one Alpine Aerotech

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Personally I like the new Alpine seat. Although I have yet to spend the entire day using it. Usually just a few hours at a time.


I had very little experience with the old seat and it seems that guys with a lot of VR time with just a loose lap belt don't like the new seat as much. Where as guys new to the Bell mediums seem to like the seat. If you are quite tall you might find it difficult leaning into the window without hitting your head. I am 6'2" (Gentex HGU-68 helmet) and I can just clear the top of the window. The seat won't adjust as low after the tilting mod.


The left shoulder belt tends to dig into your neck while your leaning into the window, but a neoprene shoulder belt pad from Cdn Tire solved that for me.


With the new seat your a bit more restricted and you can't move around and find a nice position while longlining, but at least your secured to your seat if things go bad.


Overall I am quite happy with the seat but my longline time with a medium is limited. Pilots who spend day after day at the end of a line will probably have other issues I have yet to experience.




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DART also has a mod for the old style B205 seat. Gets rid of the lumbar digging into your ribs when you lean out. You remove the mesh and put in this molded plastic pan with some new cushions


Saw it at HAI.


The Alpine seat, although it tilts, still has that horrible lumbar bar that digs into the ribs



maybe a combination of both might be nice.

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Hey Bags,

I have flown with the tilt seat and found it extremely uncomfortable! I would hit my right leg constantly with forward right cyclic no matter how much I tried to bow my leg. On longer turns when it is nice to come in out of the window I found it very awkward hitting the lever and transitioning my weight to swing the seat back upright (I am not a real big guy, so it took a little effort)

I found the transwest seat to be the most comfortable and if you are flying with the old bell seats with the lumbar that digs in to the ol love handle, purchase yourself a ROHO wheelchair seat. They are anywhere from 250 to 400 bucks and if you go online you can get them custom made to your seats specs these are incredibly comfy. If you couple this seat with a good long line strap for upper body support 8-10 hours in the window will be a breeze!






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I talked to one of the pilot about the alpine seat, and he didn't like it. He didn't like how the tilt worked. You can use your left elbow to tilt out the window, but when it came time to come back in the elbow button is below the window in the door. So he had to use his right hand and reach across to push the button to tilt back in. Also if you are a pilot that like his seat pushed all the way to the back you will have a hard time. The seat can only go so far back and still be able to tilt, as it will tilt into the door post. I don't think that will affect to many pilots.


I saw an alpine machine this summer with the lumbar support cut back, don't think it completely solved the problem but made it a little better.


The transwest seat, the pilots have loved it.

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Oopsydaisy & Superwrench,


The little paddle you hit with your left elbow is only to unlock the seat to lean out into the window. You do not need to press anything to sit back upright. You never have to take your hands off of the controls to operate the seat. And you can adjust the spring tension on the tilting mechanism for different pilot weights.


I've seem pictures of the new Dart seat, anybody have a photo of the Transwest seat?


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But what do you guys do for flammability requirements? I know seats/coverings are supposed to meet burn requirements....so how do you handle that? Or is it kind of a "DOn't ask, don't tell" kind of thing?


(And I just mean the extra "contraband" cushions you install...)

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Guest bag swinnger

Thanks for the replies, all view's will be appreciated.


So is there anyone out there that has been around mediums for a while that really likes the Alpine seat? at six ft four, I find the 212 mesh seats to be the most comfortable that I have flown in but that's not to say that they would be any good to long line from in stock form.


Is there anybody out there that has tried both new seats and could comment on whether or not one is more "back friendly" versus an original 204/205 seat


What is changed in the Transwest seat? Does it enable you to use the shoulder belts?



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