May 30, 2012
Credit: Photo: Aviation Safety Products
The FAA is taking steps to ensure seat belts on board general aviation aircraft are used properly after at least one accident revealed the possibility of children sharing a single restraint. But a clarification the agency has issued on general aviation seat belt use stops short of prohibiting sharing.
Past interpretations of seat belt requirements have suggested that shared use of a single restraint may be permitted. In its recent clarification, the FAA states that this is approved only if it conforms to limitations in the airplane flight manual.
The clarification also stresses that the pilot-in-command must ensure the seat belt is approved for multiple restraints and the structural strength requirements for the seat are not exceeded. The FAA further emphasizes that it is safer for each person to sit in a separate seat, restrained by a separate seat belt.