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Shoulder Harness Vs 4 Point Restraints


bugdriver
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I am curious about the safety of a 3 point harness(car style shoulder harness) as opposed to the 4 point harness found in most helicopters. I know the R44 has the 3 point, but all other types that I have flown have had the 4 point. The operator I work for has just installed a 3 point in one of our helicopters, and I am curious as to their effectiveness in an accident.

 

Thoughts?

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Not that I have the aircraft experience of most of the folks here......

 

but. I have raced for a long time, all of our cars were required to have 5 point belts with 4" webbing on the shoulders and waist. After being in some pretty good roll overs and "off road excursions" I think safer is better.

 

Even in my daily driver I dont feel like I am "secure" and thats a 3 point system.

 

My theory is the more contact points you have the more the "load" of an impact will be spread out over your body. I have seen alot of broken collar bones in regular car crashes from impact. but I have only suffered some bruises while racing.

 

just my two cents.... but again, I'm new here and new to aviation.

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I am curious about the safety of a 3 point harness(car style shoulder harness) as opposed to the 4 point harness found in most helicopters. I know the R44 has the 3 point, but all other types that I have flown have had the 4 point. The operator I work for has just installed a 3 point in one of our helicopters, and I am curious as to their effectiveness in an accident.

 

Thoughts?

 

There is a factory mod out for R44's to have a 4 point harness installed.

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From a physics point of view the more contact made the better. The less weight per square inch in a crash reduces the impact signifigantly. In essense the impace on a 3 point has 25% more energy per square inch then that of a 4 point and in a forward moving accident could be as much as 50%. This 25-50% is most likely the difference between bruised and broken.

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Cole, that makes perfect sense to me.

As far as what is required by regulators, I discovered in the CAA regs that only a three point is required in light helicopters. You would think in that highly beaurocratic enviornment at the CAA, where they seem to have done studies on almost everything to guide the regulators, that 4 point would be required on most aircraft. But logic does not always prevail at the legislative level, does it!

I haven't found anything in the CARs yet.

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Its interesting, during the training for my ppl we had two different 172's. XTN has a 4 point and HJC has a 3 point and i feel no more restricted in XTN but somehow a bit safer.

 

In my opinion safety is something id rather have and not need then need and not have so 4 point sounds a but better... even if it means the extra .002 seconds to put it on :rolleyes:

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