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Shoulder Harness On Passenger Flights?


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Everyone who's ever flown a medium on fires is familiar with some guys in the back pretending to wear their seatbelts... there are big (usually native) guys who can't even get the **** thing around them.


I tell everybody to wear their shoulder harness as well as the lap belt... then I get very solemn and tell them that I don't want to alarm anyone but I've had two friends killed because they were not wearing their shoulder straps. This (true) story has never failed to ensure that the guys in question insist on the shoulder harness.


That being said, I will wait as long as it takes in an Astar for everyone to belt up... In a medium I wait until I have plausible deniability. And anyone that thinks that when they get the thumbs up from the back, everyone's belted in, is deluding themselves (of course I'm talking about sometimes, not always).


As for sight-seeing rides, I wouldn't budge until all pax were completely secured. You're not charging time against your components on the ground and if you're efficient, you can still get all your rides done in a day.




P.S. I flew in to a fishing lodge a couple of years ago with a certain helicopter company and the shoulder harnesses were tied up with elastics in the hat-rack. When we asked about them (there were three pilots in our group), the pilot who was flying us in said, "oh we don't use them... it's too much of a pain".


I wonder if they ever found the big elastics we took off of those straps?

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just a thought on rear-seat shoulder harnesses in Bell mediums: Anyone ever "LOOK" at how they are installed? the fact that the bar that attaches them to the fwd pylon, is low, and usually too low for the average passenger, that in any kind of forward motion impact, they will actually CAUSE injury? and that does not include the fact that the inserts that the hardware attaches them to the pylon is weak, or the fact that during a crash scenario, the transmission ripps out of the mounts and plows through the pylon into the cabin?


Personally, I won't wear them, and tell my passengers they have the choice, legal or not, because they are more likely to be injured by wearing them....in a vertical crash they might not cause more injury, but the seats will hurt them just as bad anyway. Once that big tranny come smashing into the back of their heads, its all moot anyway.


am I the only one who questions the validity of the seat belt mod, or what?

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If you gotem use em! Remember its about managing risk, would almost seem fool hardy not to!

The regulations only provide a minimum guideline. If installed and found not not used after an investigation? I don't know what the insurance and liability issue would be?- I doubt seriously that bell would install untested parts that cause injury- don't know enough about the subject to say anymore!

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Actually, the area is somewhat grey - compare CARs to FARs where shoulder harnesses are specifically mentioned. Most TC inspectors will interpret it the way I did, but many won't. You could always try telling them that without a shoulder harness fitted they will hit whatever it is in front of them at 12 times the speed of it coming the other way.


And yes, sometimes they can cause an injury, but compared to the number of times they save lives and the speed of accidents happening, it's rather a daft argument not to have them - shoulder straps help reduce inertial injuries.


As for saving minutes on helitours? Nah, don't think so. Been there and done that for more years than I care to remember. If you're taking the trouble to do up a lapstrap it's only a few seconds to do the job properly.


Legal language might be for lawyers, but you need to know it too.


Winnie - if you are getting pressure to fly without straps, you could get away with it the way CARs are written, but check your Ops Manual, which is also the law, and get get a written instruction from your company to fly without them.



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I think shoulder straps ahould be used regardless of any other potential event like the transmission ripping out of its mounts in the Bell mediums. The complaint I have with the straps installed in most of the fire fighting mediums is that they are there to meet the contract demand and in themselves are a liability in a situation where the a/c were to roll over.

We go to great lengths to ensure that the escape ladder is installed, seat legs are painted to be identified as an escape ladder, push out type windows are installed, etc. Yet, once the rollover happens and these shoulder straps are undone, they become traps for confused passengers trying to get out of the a/c as they just hang there at full length.

If safety were the real issue, these straps would be of the recoil type which would ensure that they are out of the way as soon as they are released. This would also apply to the lap belts in the pax seats.



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Albert: Not getting any pressures! It was actually one of our ground crew who aired the issue, and that was due to "interpretation" more or less.


I said that they are there, USE THEM, and we agree to that.


The argument conversation really) was wether it'd save some time.

I agree to putting them on. The only time I've allowed anybody to sit in the back of the Jet Box without the Shoulder Harness on, was a kid whom I know, who is autistic (don't worry, he's 5 years old!), and he freaks when it is put on, but enjoyed flying.


IF my pax can't get the belt around them, they aint riding! :up:


Did not believe I was going to stir such a pot...

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It's quite a pot - I remember having a standup row with Northern Mountain "management" about it. Actually, I'm not so fussed about shoulder straps in the back seat, even though I recognise they are a Good Thing - it just strikes me as daft that anyone would even think of not wearing one in the front seat.


cheers anyway



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Over-Talk, we're in accord. The apparent difference seems to have been about which seats (front or rear) we spoke. :D


The excellent '3-point' seat and shoulder harness combination mentioned by 407 Driver and yourself certainly do resolve most of the difficullty, including retractibility, but MAN do they cost!!! :(

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