In use in commercial and general aviation for many years, airbag technology has now become standard equipment on all current production Air Tractor aircraft.
The AmSafe airbag system is an important new safety enhancement for agricultural aviation, according to Leland Snow, Air Tractor president.
Also available as a retrofit kit, the AmSafe airbag system consists of two gas inflators, an electronics module and seat-mounted crotch strap. The five-point restraint harness installs to existing seat and seatbelt attach points. When sensors detect a major crash event, the system deploys the airbags to protect the pilot’s face, head and torso. Analysis of 26g crash simulation testing has shown that the system decreased FAA-defined head injury criteria by 80%.
The crash sensor’s predetermined deployment threshold will not allow inadvertent deployment during normal flight occurrences such as hard landings, vibrations or turbulence, according to Air Tractor officials. Equipped with its own internal battery pack and sensor, the AmSafe airbag system is independent of all other aircraft systems, enabling it to deploy even if the aircraft has had a complete electrical failure.
The AmSafe airbag retrofit kit may be purchased from an Air Tractor dealer and installed at the Air Tractor factory, dealer shop or an AmSafe-authorized service center.