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Author Topic: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?  (Read 9592 times)

CorsairDrvr85

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Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« on: May 21, 2016, 02:12:26 pm »
Reading several sources, seems safety virtually requires shoulder harnesses.  With so few airframes, I am not seeing options for Commander restraint system STC's or vendors.  Anyone have any luck with that challenge?  Also, are Commander seats suited to configure in club orientation?  I think that would be preferred for us, but not sure if that is structurally possible. 
I did pick up a vertically adjustable seat for the cockpit, which I understand is the turboprop set up.  NOAA had them in their Shrikes and that was the source.....in fact, I would prefer to have both seats up front that style if anyone knows a source.  Are the seats identical or left/right specific in the turboprops?

Thanks for any suggestions-

O'B

Adam Frisch

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 02:22:45 pm »
There is a way to put harnesses in as field approval (maybe even a minor mod) and it's been done on a lot of airframes. I was going to do it on the 520, but sold it before got around to it. Give Morris a call, he'll know: 321 403-8813
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 06:09:51 pm by Adam Frisch »
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

donv

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 06:01:32 pm »
If you're talking about pilot seat shoulder harnesses, I think they are a good idea. Just look at the photos of Jack Roush's accident to see why... Can't help you on adding them, however.

As for the club configuration, I think that's the best way to set up a short-body Commander. It's very common and shouldn't be an issue.

ghancock

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2016, 10:19:42 pm »
Shoulder harnesses would be a good addition but club seating not so much.  I tried it and yes it is easier to get in and out of the plane but the person sitting backwards never seems to be happy.  I ended up turning mine back around.  As for trying it it is quite simple to move the seats around, or at least it is in mine.  You slide the seat all the way back, pull a lever on the back of the rail and slide it on off the rail.

The only catch is the back seats might have to be pushed off the front of the rail first and then slid backwards over the back.  The reason is the back bench seat stops the seats from sliding all the way back.

What we ended up doing though is removing the seat behind the pilot seat for room for cooler and food on long trips and then leaving all seats facing forwards.  It gives you lots of room for climbing in and out and keeps the passengers happy with being able to see what is out front instead of looking at the back wall.

Good luck,

Glenn
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You can't win an argument with an ignorant person,  they'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

donv

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2016, 01:35:25 pm »
If you plan on using all the seats, then all forward facing is probably better. If you plan on using only 1 or 2 of them, then I prefer club seating-- because you never have a seatback in your face.

Steve binnette

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2016, 06:39:50 pm »
With the club seating you can also kick your feet up on the seats in front of you.

CorsairDrvr85

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2016, 12:30:00 am »
There is a way to put harnesses in as field approval (maybe even a minor mod) and it's been done on a lot of airframes. I was going to do it on the 520, but sold it before got around to it. Give Morris a call, he'll know: 321 403-8813

Had a nice conversation with Mr. Kernick today.   It feels a bit like talking with a legend, honestly!
He was great to speak with and I feel better about the ability to install harnesses.  Specifically, he pointed out that installation can be done under Advisory Circular guidance and no STC or 337 is required......that the FAA allows safety equipment to be installed without a lot of red tape (paraphrasing) and that the greater good is served by allowing such modifications.

He has a process to install inertia reels in Commnader seats, depending upon the type and for the rear bench seats, he had a couple of solutions, as well.
On the club seating topic, he stated that Commander seats can be installed in that configuration, with the caveat that they must have headrests.  However, he noted many blow off that requirement in the Commander fleet.

Seems like a wonderful guy and obviously, as noted elsewhere, a font of knowledge & history on these aircraft.

ghancock

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 07:37:48 am »
Morris rocks!  He's a great guy and will spend time on the phone with you helping as much as possible.  I wish I could figure out what happened that I can't call him anymore.  My phone goes to his voicemail and he never gets my messages.  Have to send him emails all the time.  Obviously it is something with my phone number because you guys are still able to call.

Glenn
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You can't win an argument with an ignorant person,  they'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Bruce Byerly

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 11:49:00 pm »
Reading several sources, seems safety virtually requires shoulder harnesses.  With so few airframes, I am not seeing options for Commander restraint system STC's or vendors.  Anyone have any luck with that challenge?  Also, are Commander seats suited to configure in club orientation?  I think that would be preferred for us, but not sure if that is structurally possible. 
I did pick up a vertically adjustable seat for the cockpit, which I understand is the turboprop set up.  NOAA had them in their Shrikes and that was the source.....in fact, I would prefer to have both seats up front that style if anyone knows a source.  Are the seats identical or left/right specific in the turboprops?

Thanks for any suggestions-

O'B

I had the late model 3 point harness of the Jetprops retrofitted to a 690 years ago and we turned that over to Commander who offers a kit for 690's.  I just did the same engineering and field approval with my 500B using parts from said kit. I believe the AC that Adam references targets lighter planes but your inspector may see it differently.  Sure seems like the FAA would be smart to simplify and encourage shoulder harnesses on all planes not so equipped.  I like the 3 point as its comfortable to wear, the inertial reels work better, and it's not dependent on the seat and track junction to hold in case of sudden stoppage.  I have seen a bolt in install in other 500's with a bolt head sticking through the skin but unsure of the source or underlying structural support.  Hope this helps you and happy to help anyone who wants to do this upgrade as I'm a big proponent of the harness. 

JimC

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2022, 10:49:52 am »
Does anyone have any current suggestions on the best way to get a field approval for shoulder harnesses on a 500B?
500B, B200

donv

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2022, 12:13:39 pm »
Doesn't Twin Commander have a custom kit for that?

JimC

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2022, 01:16:16 pm »
CK 129E for inertia reels applies to the 500S, but not the 500B.

CK 170 for shoulder straps only applies to turbines.
500B, B200

donv

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2022, 01:39:53 pm »
You might check with Twin and see what they have to say. I'm guessing that is because the seat types are different between the 500B and the 500S, so possibly switching out seats might make a difference.

Although I vaguely recall Bruce saying something about a difference in the sidewall structure which was an issue.

Bruce Byerly

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2022, 12:16:21 am »
Doesn't Twin Commander have a custom kit for that?

Yes like most things for Commamders, you take it to someone who both knows the AND wants the job.

JimC

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Re: Club seating and shoulder harnesses: recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2022, 06:01:33 pm »
Gary says he has a kit that will work for field approval. He's researching parts availability now. Fingers crossed.

What I'd *REALLY* like to do is put AmSafe's airbag in the kit Gary has.

https://www.amsafe.com/airbag-systems/general-aviation-agricultural-experimental/
500B, B200