1978-02-01

General Aviation Crash Survivability 780017

Statistics indicate that during the past decade (1967-1976) the number of general aviation aircraft involved in an accident is equivalent to at least 38% of the total U.S. production during that period. Estimates that an aircraft will be involved in an accident over a 20 year life range are as high as 60-70%. Recognition of this probability has led to crashworthiness and occupant survivability “packaging” design concepts as offering the most realistic approach to reduction of serious and fatal injuries when an accident occurs. This paper reviews and illustrates current general aviation aircraft accident experience relative to occupant impact injury and damage indexes, and provides new data relative to current-generation aircraft. Results clearly indicate that when the cabin structure remains relatively intact, the occupant is adequately restrained in an energy-absorbing seat system, the interior structures are designed to distribute loads and absorb energy, and the impact forces imposed on the occupant are within human tolerances, the occupant can survive without serious injury even when the aircraft is destroyed.

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