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.