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While AmSafe Inc. is probably best known to the GA community for

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While AmSafe Inc. is probably best known to the GA community for Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                 As seen in PIPERS
     KEEP ‘EM FLYING




Puttin’ On AAIRs
                                                               Randy Augustinak, Executive Director




I
     f you are like many aircraft own-                                                        Many of our members will recog-
     ers, you may have spent a signif-          While AmSafe Inc. is                       nize Michael as the creator of the
                                                                                           highly-respected and oft-quoted Avi-
     icant amount of time and money
                                              probably best known to                       ators’ Model Code of Conduct, which
     trying to increase the speed of
your airplane, while giving little
                                               the GA community for                        we previously featured in PIPERS
thought to addressing the dreaded           their inflatable restraints,                   magazine. Michael is an attorney, a
                                                                                           business man and a committed avia-
sudden stop (a.k.a. the crash). It is a     they are also the world’s                      tion safety advocate. He has devoted
subject that many pilots would rather
not consider but should. Helping pi-
                                             largest seatbelt provider                     much of his professional career to im-

lots and passengers survive airplane          for commercial aircraft.                     proving the safety record of general
                                                                                           aviation (see www.secureav.com) and
crashes is something that the folks at                                                     practices what he preaches.
AmSafe Inc. have been doing success-       appointed Piper Saratoga II TC, Piper              When AmSafe recently received
fully for many years. So, when our         Owner Society jumped at the chance              an FAA Supplemental Type Certifi-
friend and colleague, Michael Baum,        to send me there to witness the in-             cate (STC) authorizing the retrofit of
called to inform us that he had de-        stallation process at Falcon Field, in          a number of existing GA models,
cided to install the AmSafe Aviation       Mesa, AZ, as well as tour the AmSafe            Michael was anxious to be one of the
Inflatable Restraint (AAIR) in his well-   headquarters in Phoenix.                        first in line. Analytical by nature, he

 AmSafe headquarters,
 Phoenix, AZ.




                                                  AmSafe’s dynamic test sled laboratory.
had already studied the AAIR and            recognizable by their flashy color, as    mockups. Crash test dummies, called
recognized its value in small, general      one might expect from Sir Richard. In     ATDs, are carefully wired to enable
aviation aircraft. Clearly, an increasing   addition to producing the new re-         AmSafe engineers to monitor the ef-
number of manufacturers have drawn          strain systems, the AmSafe facility       fects of various G-loads and simu-
the same conclusion, since AmSafe’s         also repairs and overhauls belts, iner-   lated crash scenarios.
restraint systems are included as stan-     tia reels, buckles, etc.                     Various ATD sizes are used through-


                                            Spending Time With Some
dard equipment in a number of top-                                                    out the testing process, ranging from
selling airplanes, including Cessna,                                                  children to the standard 170-pound

                                            Intelligent Dummies
Adam, Cirrus, Beechcraft, Mooney,                                                     FAA pilot on up to the “big boys.” As
Aviat, Maule, Liberty, and Quest Ko-                                                  AmSafe Certification Manager John
diak. Refer to the sidebar for a listing       One of the most fascinating as-        Magish explained, important meas-
of approved Piper models.                   pects of my AmSafe tour proved to be      urements, including head injury cri-
   While AmSafe Inc. is probably            the visit to their in-house dynamic       teria (HIC), are recorded and analyzed
best known to the GA community for          test sled laboratory. This elaborate      during and after the simulated crash
their inflatable restraints, they are       facility allows them to test re-          sequence. The data gathered helps to
also the world’s largest seatbelt pro-      straints and anchor systems by using      ensure that the restraint system is
vider for commercial aircraft. Their        a variety of GA cockpit and airframe      minimizing or eliminating aviator in-
impressive Phoenix production                                                         juries to the greatest extent possible.
facility churns out restraints of all                                                    The entire crash process is re-
colors and styles. During our pro-                                                    corded by an array of high-speed
duction facility walk-through, Am-                                                    cameras that are strategically placed
Safe Aviation General Manager                                                         above and around the point of im-
Joe Smith pointed out some belts                                                      pact. These cameras generate more
that were destined for Richard Bran-                                                  than 1,000 pictures per second each,
son’s new North American operation,                                                   providing a detailed visual image of
Virgin America. The belts were easily                                                 precisely what the simulated cockpit


                                                                             As seen in PIPERS
occupants endure during a crash.           generator assembly, and an electron-      Falcon Field, in Mesa, and was in the
    The simulated crash I observed         ics module assembly (EMA). The            process of having the seats, floor, side
happened rather quickly (eerily so)        EMA is the brain that contains the        panels, etc. removed so the techni-
and was also surprisingly violent.         crash sensor, battery, and the neces-     cians at Flight Trails could access the
The important thing was that the           sary circuitry to identify a crash and    restraint system mounting points.
standard-sized dummy benefited             trigger deployment of the airbag. A       Depending on the aircraft being
from the strategically-placed inflat-      single EMA can handle up to three         retrofitted, as well as the equipment al-
able restraint (which operated flaw-       seating positions, and a fabric tube      ready installed in the aircraft, a “typi-
lessly) and came through the test          connects the airbag to the com-           cal” installation can take between one
none the worse for wear. (And you          pressed gas inflator.                     or two days. AmSafe’s Customer Sup-


                                           Back at Falcon Field
thought your job was tough!) A review                                                port Manager Jim Crupi and AAIR Di-
of the crash data, back in the sled con-                                             rector of Sales Yvonne Tillyer were
trol room, confirmed a survivable re-         While I was at the crash test facil-   both on hand to answer my many
sult–mission accomplished.                 ity, Michael’s Saratoga was back at       questions about the inner workings of

 Michael Baum in the “crash
 dummy” parts
                                                                                                                Work begins on
 room.
                                                                                                       Michael’s Saratoga II TC.




   It is important to note that an air-
craft inflatable restraint system dif-
fers substantially from the automobile
airbags that most people are familiar
with. Since there are forces exerted
on an aircraft during the normal course
of operations, including turbulence
and less-than-stellar landings, the
aircraft’s restraint system must be
“smart” enough to differentiate be-
tween these normally-exerted forces
and a bona fide crash. Equally im-
portant is the fact that the helium-in-
flated bags used in the restraints
must deflate quickly (within 10 sec-
onds) to enable the surviving occu-
pants to exit the aircraft without
undue interference from the system.
Front-seat occupants also need to be
protected from the yoke or control
stick, which the shoulder-mounted
system addresses, as well.
   The primary components of the


As seen in PIPERS
AAIR are the bag/belt assembly, a gas
                                                The Approved Model List for the AMSAFE Aviation Inflatable Restraint system
                                                has been expanded to include the following Piper Model under STC
                                                SA02276AK:

                                                PA-28-140, PA-28-150, PA-28-151, PA-28-160, PA-28-161, PA-28-180, PA-28-181,
                                                PA-28-201T, PA-28-235, PA-28-236, PA-28S-160, PA-28S-180, PA-28R-180, PA-
                                                28R-201, PA-28R-200, PA-28R-201T, PA-28RT-201, PA-28RT-201T.

                                                PA-32-260, PA-32-300, PA-32S-300, PA-32R-300, PA-32RT-300, PA-32RT-300T,
                                                PA-32-301FT, PA-32-301XTC, PA-32R-301(SP), PA-32R-301(HP), PA-32R-301T,
                                                PA-32-301, PA-32-301T.
Successful AmSafe AAIR installation on a 235.
                                                For more information, see http://www.amsafe.com/
the system. (Yvonne immediately
scored points with yours truly when
she walked in carrying an armload of
libations from Starbucks for every-
one in the hangar.)
   Unfortunately for Michael, his
very-well-equipped Saratoga was pre-
senting some unexpected challenges
for the technicians at Flight Trails.
Removal of the
seats revealed that
locating the EMA
was going to re-
quire some unan-
ticipated avionics The AmSafe installa-
work. Since my tion took place at
travel schedule Falcon Field (KFFZ),
                      Mesa, AZ.
was tight, we
quickly decided to scoot across the tar-
mac to view and photograph a re-
cently-completed installation on a
Piper PA-28-235, instead.
   As the accompanying photo indi-
cates (see above), the finished instal-
lation is clean, unobtrusive and, as
owners who have installed the sys-
tem will attest, comfortable and
hardly noticeable when worn. We’ve
also asked Michael to provide us with
feedback on his new restraint system
after he has had the chance to fly
with it for a while. We’ll be sure to re-
port back to our members with his
comments and observations.
   For detailed information about the
AmSafe Aviation Inflatable Restraint
system, as well as their other aircraft re-
straint products and repair services, visit


                                                                               As seen in PIPERS
them at www.AmSafeaviation.com.PIPERS

				
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posted:2/20/2011
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