Brace Position for GA

meritflyer

Well-Known Member
In light of a recent loss of a very good friend, I got to thinking about how to properly crash land a small GA single. Obviously, we teach to remove headsets, slide chairs back, stow anything that could be a projectile, open the doors, and check seat belts.

My friend however, died of head trauma yet two others lived after a power loss in mid flight.

My question begs, is the typical brace for impact position appropriate for GA aircraft and emergency situations? Has anyone read any data or articles about such a possibility? I personally want to incorporate this into the way I teach and fly.

Any of your supported opinions and thoughts are always welcome.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
In light of a recent loss of a very good friend, I got to thinking about how to properly crash land a small GA single. Obviously, we teach to remove headsets, slide chairs back, stow anything that could be a projectile, open the doors, and check seat belts.

My friend however, died of head trauma yet two others lived after a power loss in mid flight.

My question begs, is the typical brace for impact position appropriate for GA aircraft and emergency situations? Has anyone read any data or articles about such a possibility? I personally want to incorporate this into the way I teach and fly.

Any of your supported opinions and thoughts are always welcome.
My thought would be is that he didn't have the shoulder harness tight enough. I think the brace position would be good for those without harnesses however those with would probably have a higher chance of survival.

Anyway...sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. My thoughts are with you, him, and his family.
 

XLR99

Well-Known Member
I can't recall any literature offhand, but from years as an EMT and RN, a few observations: there are a lot of other variables as well-position in the airplane, body size, side load or yaw at time of impact, etc. In general, you're going to improve survivability with a shoulder harness, which is why I refuse to fly in airplanes without them. If you don't have them, ie back seat, the brace position is probably better than sitting upright. This position protects the noggin from hitting the panel/yoke, side pillars or front seats, but you're still much more likely to have abdominal/pelvic injuries from all the deceleration forces being focused on the lap belt. Also, the brace position up front still puts your head right in front of the yoke and panel, so there's no guarantee of avoiding a head and/or spinal injury from the belt stretching and letting your head hit the panel.
That said, you can also get head injuries with a shoulder harness on, particularly if it's loose-belts stretch and fuselages deform on impact, so things that used to be far away end up much closer to you. Also, a 3 point belt won't really hold your torso well if there's side load.
So my summary- 3 point belts-torque 'em til it hurts and stay upright. Lap belt, torque til it hurts, then brace. No shoulder harness up front-stay on the ground.
 
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