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Cabin Safety Bulletin No. 1 - Seatbelt and harness serviceability
Date of Publication: Issued 9 November 2017
Who does this bulletin apply to?
This bulletin applies to all Australian air operators.
What is the purpose of this bulletin?
To highlight to operators the important role crew have in checking and reporting potentially unserviceable passenger seatbelts and crew harnesses.
A number of sources including CASA surveillance activities and reports from the travelling public have highlighted the need for air operators to regularly check and report if necessary the condition and serviceability of passenger seatbelts and crew harnesses.
If you see something, report it
The pictures below were collected by CASA inspectors and show both a passenger seatbelt and crew harness. Neither of these faults had been reported:
Why is it so important to have a serviceable restraint?
Statistics in both motor vehicle and aircraft accidents show that 'seatbelts save lives'. However they also prevent injuries in other situations such as moderate to severe turbulence and abnormal inflight situations. Therefore it is vitally important that seatbelts and harnesses are in a condition where they can be effective when you need them most.
The United States National Transportation Safety Board report on the Asiana accident highlights the importance of seatbelts in an aircraft accident:
Asiana Airlines flight 214 which crashed into the end of the runway in San Francisco on July 6, 2013 resulted in the fatality of 3 people, with hundreds injured. What is not well known is that of the persons that perished, 2 of the 3 were not wearing their seatbelts:
'The two ejected passengers (one of whom was later rolled over by two firefighting vehicles) were not wearing their seatbelts and would likely have remained in the cabin and survived if they had been wearing their seatbelts' (National Transport Safety Board accident report, 2013)
Don't wait until there is a maintenance inspection
Checking seatbelts and harnesses need not be limited to a maintenance cycle. It is recommended that their condition be checked on an ongoing basis by the operating crew. Any problems identified should then be captured in the operator's defect reporting system. For example, some operators have a cabin condition log process whereby the cabin crew of an aircraft will record deficiencies that may be transferred into the aircraft maintenance log.
What should we advise crew to look for when it comes to seatbelt and harness condition?
- Obvious holes
- Can't be adjusted (pulled easily through)
- Anything else that may affect the normal use of the restraint
View the cabin safety page.
If you have an enquiry please contact the cabin safety team on 131 757 and ask to speak to a cabin safety inspector or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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