April 1, 2009
By Ian J. Twombly
AmSafe Aviation and Air Tractor announced March 31 that the agricultural aircraft maker will now carry seatbelt airbags as standard equipment on every aircraft. The system is also available as an aftermarket retrofit on Air Tractor and many other aircraft.
The airbag system consists of two gas inflators, an electronics module, and a seat-mounted center strap. Although Air Tractor’s five-point harness serves as a first-line of crash protection, AmSafe 26-G crash tests indicate its airbags reduce FAA head injury criteria by 80 percent.
“The AmSafe airbag is another layer of pilot safety,” said Leland Snow, president of Air Tractor.
According to AmSafe, the airbag deploys in roughly 70 milliseconds to protect the pilot in the event of a significant crash event. The company claims to have no false deployments in more than one million flight hours with the system.
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