Responses and Injuries to PMHS in Side-Facing and Oblique Seats in Horizontal Longitudinal Sled Tests per FAA Emergency Landing Conditions 2016-22-0006
The objective of the present exploratory study is to understand occupant responses in oblique and side-facing seats in the aviation environment, which are increasingly installed in modern aircrafts. Sled tests were conducted using intact Post Mortem Human Surrogates (PMHS) seated in custom seats approximating standard aircraft geometry. End conditions were selected to represent candidate aviation seat and restraint configurations. Three-dimensional head center-of-gravity linear accelerations, head angular velocities, and linear accelerations of the T1, T6, and T12 spinous processes, and sacrum were obtained. Three-dimensional kinematics relative to the seat were obtained from retroreflective targets attached to the head, T1, T6, T12, and sacrum. All specimens sustained spinal injuries, although variations existed by vertebral level. While the tension mechanism was associated with cervical spine injuries, complex distraction-coupled with bending and tension was attributed to thoracolumbar spine injuries. Skeletal fractures to the ribcage were attributed to compression induced by the restraint from the seatbelt, the presence of the armrest, and/or severe motions of the unconstrained torso. Pelvic injuries were also attributed to restraint offered by the lap belt on the accelerating torso-pelvis complex in the absence of the armrest. Lower extremity injuries occurred due to the unconstrained motion (flailing mechanism). These results serve as an initial dataset to understand the kinematics of different body regions, injuries and patterns, and potential injury mechanisms describing PMHS responses in the aviation environment.