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AOPA 172 Sweepstakes: AmSafe airbagAOPA 172 Sweepstakes: AmSafe airbag

Additional protection when you need it most

Airbags, mandated in passenger vehicles since 1999, aren’t required in general aviation aircraft. But airbag seatbelts are standard or optional in many new aircraft rolling out of production.  You’ll also find airbag seatbelts retrofitted to our Sweepstakes Cessna 172. The first manufacturer of airbag seatbelts for commercial and general aviation, AmSafe provided pilot and co-pilot airbag seatbelts to replace the original three-point restraints in the 172.
March Briefing
March Briefing

The airbag will deploy between 40 and 50 milliseconds into an event when longitudinal deceleration is greater than between 6 and 9 Gs. Hard landings or turbulence won’t cause it to deploy.

“We have it certified to a significant level above [a] catastrophic event, so that we never have to worry about inadvertent deployment in the cockpit,” said James W. Crupi, AmSafe manager of programs and technical support. “We have a really good record with that.”

AmSafe offers STCed kits for Air Tractor, Aviat, Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond, Hawker Beechcraft, Mooney, Piper, and Thrush aircraft. Prices vary according to make and model configuration, but generally run between $4,000 and $4,500 for pilot and co-pilot seats for a Cessna 172. Installation is estimated to be between eight and 10 hours for a Skyhawk.

The installation adds about 2 to 2.5 pounds per seat placement to the empty weight. At annual, the airbag seatbelts must be inspected using a diagnostic tool. The inspection can be conducted at one of AmSafe’s authorized service centers, or the tool can be rented. The diagnostic inspection takes a few minutes per seat, Crupi said.

AmSafe is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to airbag seatbelts, the company manufactures pilot, crew, and passenger restraints and cabin interior products.

Email jill.tallman@aopa.org

Jill Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.

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