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Technical Paper

Crashworthiness Investigation of General Aviation Accidents

1975-02-01
750537
General aviation accident investigations can provide valuable data to the design engineer concerning the crash performance of current models and can indicate needed improvements for occupant protection in future aircraft. Current statistics and the historical background of major investigations during the past 65 years are provided. A five-year study of general aviation accidents occurring in the State of Michigan is used as a basis to illustrate recent findings relative to occupant injury mechanisms, relative crash protection, and crashworthiness performance of current models of aircraft. Results indicate that the degree of structural damage may not relate to the degree of occupant injury when the cabin area remains relatively intact. A primary requirement is documented for adequate upper-torso restraint for all occupants, and the excellent crash performance of such a system is described.
Technical Paper

Crashworthiness Analysis of Field Investigation of Business Aircraft Accidents

1979-02-01
790587
Business and executive aviation represent a combined total of over 40% of the general aviation fleet, but (1977) accounted for only 8.37% of all general aviation accidents recorded. During the period 1964-1977 some 7,351 aircraft engaged in business flying, and 883 in corporate/executive operations, were involved in accidents reported by the NTSB. These accidents were reviewed utilizing the University of Michigan Computerized Accident Files to provide an overall view of the incidence and nature of business/executive aircraft accidents relative to occupant crash injuries. In addition more detailed case studies of selected accidents investigated including a Lear Jet 25B, Cessna 421, Beech Volpar Model 18, and Ted Smith Aerostar 601, are provided to illustrate specific types of crashworthiness, occupant protection, or post-crash emergency egress findings applicable to business/executive operations. Post-crash fire was reported in 29 cases (16.3%) during the 3-year period (1975-1977).
Technical Paper

A Systems Engineering Evaluation of Passive Restraint Systems for Crash-Impact Attenuation in Air Transport Aircraft

1974-02-01
740044
Advanced crash-impact protective equipment and techniques which have application to crew and passenger crash safety in jet transport aircraft have been evaluated. Thirty-two state-of-the-art concepts have been analyzed from a systems engineering viewpoint with respect to several engineering, psychological, and medical disciplines. In order to provide a framework to determine the function level of each concept, an event-oriented flow chart of the crash and escape event has been prepared. The 17 events occurring during a crash are included, beginning with system installation and concluding with emergency evacuation of a disabled aircraft. Performance with respect to the events on the flow chart are rated in terms of hazards of system use, maintainability, reliability, human factors, and other technological considerations.
Technical Paper

Bioengineering of Impact Survival in Business Aircraft

1969-02-01
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.
Technical Paper

Experimental Impact Protection with Advanced Automotive Restraint Systems: Preliminary Primate Tests with Air Bag and Inertia Reel/Inverted-Y Yoke Torso Harness

1967-02-01
670922
Both the inverted-Y yoke torso harness with inertia reel and the air bag restraint system have had extensive independent development for some time by several engineering and research organizations for both aviation and ground vehicle occupant protection. The research reported in this paper consists of the first biomechanical primate evaluation of these concepts as experimentally adapted for possible automotive use. These tests are a continuation of a study involving the relative impact protection and effectiveness of major restraint systems utilized in general aviation aircraft and in limited automotive use. The objective of this test series was to determine how much protection those advanced restraint concepts provided; to obtain preliminary biomechanical and physiological data; to identify problems of technique and applications in occupant protection; and to provide an initial basis for direction of future test requirements.
Technical Paper

Impact Injury to the Pregnant Female and Fetus in Lap Belt Restraint

1966-02-01
660801
Although it has been well established that the lap (seat) belt offers considerable protection against injury or death in crash environments, there has long been controversy over the injury potential to the pregnant female. This question is of importance in consideration of restraint and seat protective environments for both aircraft and automotive vehicles. Most of the 4 million pregnant women per year in the United States travel by automobile, with a large number traveling by Commercial Civil Aircraft or the Military Air Transport Service. Thus a sizeable population is involved. This combined study by the Civil Aeromedical Institute, F. A. A., 6571st Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Holloman AFB, and the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, has been concerned with the clinical, experimental, and applied aspects.
Technical Paper

Occupant Impact Injury Tolerances for Aircraft Crashworthiness Design

1971-02-01
710406
Human impact injury and survival tolerance levels for various crash conditions are presented on the basis of currently available biomedical and biomechanical knowledge. Consideration of physical factors influencing trauma-including body orientation, restraint system, magnitude, distribution, and time duration of deceleration-are summarized, as well as tabulations and sources of data for both whole body and regional impact tolerances. These biological data concerning human impact tolerances are provided as guidelines for improved engineering design of general aviation crashworthiness.
Technical Paper

Civil Aircraft Restraint Systems: State-of-the-Art Evaluation of Standards, Experimental Data, and Accident Experience

1977-02-01
770154
The importance of crashworthiness and the role of restraint systems in occupant impact protection in U.S. civil aircraft design is being increasingly recognized. Current estimates of the number of fatalities which could be prevented annually in survivable accidents range from 33 to 94%. This study reviews the development of existing Federal Aviation Administration restraint system standards from the first requirement for safety belts in the Air Commerce Regulations of 1926 to present 14 CFR 1.1. The FAA and industry standards are critically evaluated for Parts 23 (small airplanes), 25 (air transports), 27 (rotorcraft), and 29 (transport category rotorcraft). State-of-the-art developments, including an overview of previous accident experience, results of experimental studies, comparison with other standards, and primary data sources are provided.
Technical Paper

Human Factors Aspects of Emergency Egress from a Business Jet

1981-04-01
810617
Past research has shown that although occupants often survive crash impacts of business jet aircraft, they are often injured either in the course of egress or because they are unable to evacuate. A physical task analysis was performed to evaluate procedures for emergency egress from a typical business jet to demonstrate how possible human factors problems can be identified. First, the tasks required for the flight crew to evacuate via all possible routes were determined. Second, each task was divided into a series of physical elements, such as reach and grasp, corresponding to each movement or exertion. Third, physical aspects of the aircraft affecting performance of each element such as location and force, were measured. The physical requirements of each element were compared with available human factors data, to rate its difficulty. Selected aspects of the analysis are discussed.
Technical Paper

General Aviation Crash Survivability

1978-02-01
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.
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