Bioengineering of Impact Survival in Business Aircraft 690335
Aircraft used for business (executive corporate transportation or personal business) and utility purposes now represent about one-third of the total United States aircraft inventory. Data from accident investigation of business aircraft involved in survivable accidents indicate serious injuries and fatality to the occupants occur most frequently as a result of the unprotected head and neck or chest flailing in contact with aircraft controls, instrument panel, or structure.
Improvement of current aircraft to provide increased occupant safety and survival during crash impacts is both necessary and feasible. Design considerations include folding seat back locks to prevent collapse, increased seat tie-down to structure, instrument panels and glare shields designed to absorb energy through structural design and padding, stronger seat structure, lateral protection, design and packaging of knobs and projections to minimize injury in contact, and installation of upper torso restraint. Passive restraint protection could be provided by current experimental systems such as the air bag, and use of side control-type devices to eliminate control wheel injuries. The single most important occupant protection advance would be through installation and use of upper torso restraint.