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Shoulder Harness On Passenger Flights?


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Was the aircraft manufactured after September 16, 1992?


605.24(4) No person shall operate a helicopter manufactured after September 16, 1992, the initial type certificate of which specifies that the helicopter is certified as belonging to the normal or transport category, unless each seat is equipped with a safety belt that includes a shoulder harness.




605.26(1) Where the pilot-in-command or the in-charge flight attendant directs that safety belts be fastened, every passenger who is not an infant shall


(a) ensure that the passenger's safety belt or restraint system is properly adjusted and securely fastened...



CAR 605.24 - Shoulder Harness Requirements


CAR 605.26 - Use of Passenger Safety Belts and Restraint Systems

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I have noted those, but it does not specify "SHOULDER HARNESS" to be worn...


I guess it goes under "restraint system" but still.


I have the philosophy to have them on, rather than having another liability, but for the sake of argument and for tours (saving time, as time is money) :unsure:

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This is a common problem in the oil patch.


From CARs in Plain English:


CARs does not specifically state that shoulder harnesses must be worn in helicopters, but 605.25 (1) requires the PIC to direct all persons to fasten safety belts during movement on the surface, take-off and landing and at any other time deemed necessary. 702.44 (and 703.69) require that the pilot seat and any beside it are equipped with a safety belt that includes a shoulder harness. 605.24 (4) requires normal or transport category helicopters manufactured after September 16, 1992 to have each seat equipped with a safety belt that includes a shoulder harness. Since the definition of a seat belt mentions a shoulder harness, a reasonable person would conclude that if a belt comes with one, it should be used, except for rear seats in machines manufactured before September 16, 1992.


It might be a legal grey area, but any first-year lawyer could convince a jury that you were wrong not to have them worn, especially in the light of all those blitzes on vehicles by the RCMP.


I wouldn't take the chance myself - nobody's gonna pay your fine or replace your licence.



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I don't see the grey area...........


read......."a safety belt that includes a shoulder harness".........


and......."the pilot-in-command... shall ensure that the passenger's safety belt ...is properly adjusted and securely fastened..."


Looks crystal clear to me. Put it on !!


By the way.........are you the slightest bit concerned about your passenger's safety here........or just about spending time on the ground not making money???

Now imagine that it wasn't me that asked that question, but some high-priced lawyer that has been waiting to sue you and your boss since he left law school??


1, Stop being greedy.......that's for the bosses.

2, Stop arguing about legal nuances, pedantics, and semantics,.......that's for lawyers.

3, Start minimizing risk factors by wearing seat belts, (that for safety's sake and by definition INCLUDE a shoulder harness), and then fly the **** aircraft......that's what you are paid to do, and more importantly, that's what your passengers are expecting and deserve from you.


Thanks for your tolerance. End of rant.

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:up: And THAT Albert and Over, was exactly what I was looking for!


I do not see th point of having the shoulder harness there, if it was not to be used. And even as our machine was manufactured in 1968, we do have them, and they will be used. Thanks for coloring in the grey areas! :up:

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P.S. in addition to my earlier rant...a message to all Enstrom and Hughes 300 and Bell 47 tour operators.....


"703.69 No person shall operate an aircraft unless the pilot seat and any seat beside the pilot seat are equipped with a safety belt that includes a shoulder harness."


.....this regulation for a shoulder harness (and therefore it's required use) is not dependent on age of the helicopter.

Therefore, only the back seats of pre Sept 19 1992 helicopters are exempt, for air taxi (sightseeing) work.

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Over-Talk, you certainly do! If, that is, you mean to say that the exemption for pre-92 aircraft is ONLY applicable to sightseeing operations.


The oft-maligned (at least on this forum) HAC was instrumental in having TC's legal beagles reverse their previous position regarding the use of said rear-seat shoulder harnesses to the current interpretation that, IF INSTALLED, they are required to be worn. Ergo, many heli-skiing operations now remove said harnesses for the skiing season, replacing them for summer fire-fighting ops, as demanded by the provinces.


Furthermore, I don't expect anything approaching empathy from you, but many helicrew personnel will understand that, given the economics inherent in having to cut time (fares) to the bone so the customers of tour buses are willing to drop by and provide operators with business, every minute and staff position saved is critical in making helitour opelrations viable. Said viability means jobs, and a stronger industry. Yes, there are tradeoffs none of us would sooner see, but we don't want to see mothballed machiner, either.

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Sorry Downwash, with respect, as always....I'll try to be clearer...


Helicopters operating under Air Taxi Regs (i.e. sightseeing) must have seat belts including shoulder harnesses in seats beside the pilot (i.e. front seats), and they must be worn, regardless of when the helicopter was manufactured.

This is not a pilot's choice.


Most heli-ski ships were manufactured before Sept 19 1992 and therefore have some choices available for the folks in the back.


My original point remains, if the law requires it to be in there, then it must be worn. If the law doesn't require it to be in there, it is up to the pilot to decide what is acceptable.


Your thoughts ??

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