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DJ Todd B

My shoulder Harness loosens up automatically

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Common problem, many fixes have been tried.  I use grip tape in the buckles to keep the belts from sliding, others use belt keepers, velcro, or buy aftermarket racing harnesses.

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I ordered these from http://www.crowenterprizes.com/

Great folks to work with.

The buckle I ordered allows addition of antisubmarine 5th belt which I have not done. Standard plastic buckle is probably easier.

item 30104

 

2X2 4-Way 52'' Lap belt W/2''H-Harness Sewn into Lap

belt, Pads & Plastic Sternum Buckle Black

2 84.00 168.00

*** all wrap around *****

1 15.05 15.05 UPS Shipping Charges
1 Tracking# 1ZE83651-03-5869-4305

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Just be aware that while replacing the harness is probably a good thing, it technically needs an approval from Flight Design if your airplane is a SLSA.

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You can also put a 1" strip of Velcro about 4" long down each harness so when you pull it where you want it just press it to the Velcro. It will stay.

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My shoulder harness and seat belt also gets loose within minutes and is worthless. I intend to correct this by sending the whole assy. In for new aircraft quality webbing change or whole new harness and seatbelts. They will be FAA certified. I will record this in the logbook. If Flight Design has an issue with this, TOO BAD, its my butt up there, not theirs. If this were a certified aircraft an Airworthiness Directive would have been issued a long time ago. Flight Design has really dropped the ball on this and I would guess they have a lot of liability as there has been documented complaints for a long time. Jury rigged fixes have no place on aircraft safety harnesses.

 

 

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Madhatter, totally agree with your comments about our seat belt loosening situation.  There have been excellent links given on the forum for aftermarket belts.  You might consider getting a MRA from FD if you're going to change your belts.  Should you get a ramp check by a FAA person who is knowledgeable of FD aircraft and who might be sensitive to LSA owners/operators changing factory equipment without factory authorization, this might not have a good outcome for you.  I say this due to personal knowledge of this.

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Thanks all for your comments. Hypothetically what would be the outcome if one were ramp checked as noted above? 

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10 hours ago, Madhatter said:

My shoulder harness and seat belt also gets loose within minutes and is worthless. I intend to correct this by sending the whole assy. In for new aircraft quality webbing change or whole new harness and seatbelts. They will be FAA certified. I will record this in the logbook. If Flight Design has an issue with this, TOO BAD, its my butt up there, not theirs. If this were a certified aircraft an Airworthiness Directive would have been issued a long time ago. Flight Design has really dropped the ball on this and I would guess they have a lot of liability as there has been documented complaints for a long time. Jury rigged fixes have no place on aircraft safety harnesses.

FAA certified or PMA approved means nothing in the world of LSA. My point was don't just put in new belts. Go through the process of getting the proper approval.

The attitude of its my airplane and my butt is OK, but it is not you that I am worried about. You know the change was made and are willing to assume the risk. What I am worried about is the mechanic who is signing your airplane off for the condition inspection. If he or she doesn't know better, they are unknowingly risking their livelihood by signing off on your modified aircraft. As a mechanic I am not knowingly going to sign off a condition inspection on a airplane that has had its harnesses changed without the proper approval.

BTW, I talked with Tom P at FDUSA several years ago and he was receptive to the installation of different belts, so getting the proper approval shouldn't be a big issue.

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2 hours ago, ls6pilot said:

Thanks all for your comments. Hypothetically what would be the outcome if one were ramp checked as noted above? 

It is not just the ramp check you need to worry about. See my above post.

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My question stands. I am not worrying about a ramp check just curious about what happens if one is ramp checked and something like that is found.

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Most likely nothing will happen on a ramp check. The person doing the ramp check would have to be intimately familiar with the airplane.

The most likely scenario that would cause an issue would be after an accident or incident. Then the FAA will likely dig deeper into the maintenance records.

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I have delt witth the FAA a long time. Most of the new inspectors wouldn't even know what they were looking at. I have tried for years to have some light sport info incorporated into the yealy IA seminar. The chief of my FSDO said he is not interested. This problem falls on Flight Design 100%. I should not have to jump thru hoops to have safe seat belts. So many people have died from lack of shoulder harnesses on older certified aircraft that it is now legal to install a harness system with only a logbook entry as long as there is no drilling of structure. I hardly think that having the webbing changed to certified material by an FAA approved repair facility would be an issue. This is a Flight Design Inc problem and needs to be fixed now, not when someone dies because Flight Design's lack of interest.

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Tom, your point is something I hadn't considered because I'm not a mechanic but it is a very valid point.  In my situation, my aircraft had a ramp check done before my ownership because somebody who knew the previous owner had a misunderstanding with him and knew this owner had modified the CTSW.  This disgruntled person dropped a dime on the owner with the FAA and the result was a ramp check and loss of the CT's airworthiness.  This is an extreme case but these things can happen.  I think your comments about the mechanic loosing his license and/or the possibility of an incident where the FAA might become involved are more realistic points.

Madhatter, interesting comments about shoulder harness being allowed in G.A. aircraft with a log entry but I'm not sure if the older aircraft would have pre-drilled attaching points and still might need drilling with a Field Approval?

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1 hour ago, Madhatter said:

I have delt witth the FAA a long time. Most of the new inspectors wouldn't even know what they were looking at. I have tried for years to have some light sport info incorporated into the yealy IA seminar. The chief of my FSDO said he is not interested. This problem falls on Flight Design 100%. I should not have to jump thru hoops to have safe seat belts. So many people have died from lack of shoulder harnesses on older certified aircraft that it is now legal to install a harness system with only a logbook entry as long as there is no drilling of structure. I hardly think that having the webbing changed to certified material by an FAA approved repair facility would be an issue. This is a Flight Design Inc problem and needs to be fixed now, not when someone dies because Flight Design's lack of interest.

I am sensing a little bit of anti-authority in your post. The antidote for that is "Follow the rules, they are usually right". I just reviewed that renewing my CFI.

I to have dealt with the FAA for a quite some time on maintenance issues. A&P since 1983 and IA since 1990. Our FSDO has had presentations on LSA before, but it has been a while. IMO they were poorly done, and left attendees scratching their heads after. A little over 2 years ago I was ask to become a FAAST Team member, and completed all training. The FAAST team Leader then changed positions and it went nowhere. I also developed a presentation on maintaining a LSA that a mechanic should be able to understand. I offered to present the program at the IA seminar the past 2 years, but was not ask to participate. I didn't even offer this year.

The requirement to get an approval from Flight Design to change out belts comes for ASTM. ASTM task the aircraft manufactures on keeping track of modifications on aircraft they produce. For type certified aircraft this is done by the FAA. Having the webbing replaced or replacing the harnesses shouldn't be an issue, but the change is required to be documented by ASTM. The manufacture needs to make the determination that the change is compliant with ASTM standards, which are not readily available to us as aircraft owners or mechanics. As the owner of a SLSA airplane you are responsible for making sure that it is, and stays ASTM compliant.

I see Flight design as having 2 options. The first is approving a harness change, if it can be shown that the new harness is compliant with ASTM standards. The second would be in the form of a safety Directive requiring the replacement of old belts with a new belt of a specific make and model or made to a certain standard. I don't have an issue with the belts in my CTLS getting loose, and I would hate to be forced to replace them because of a SD.

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My job is to make the aircraft safe. I have been doing this for 45 yrs. I have informed FD of this issue numerous times and have seen no action. This is called Tombstone Legislation, they wait for someone to die before anything is done. I am not anti authority, I am anti stupidity. Seat belts are the last resort for survival and if you dont like my opinion thats fine with me. I have said my piece and will not respond to any more posts. I am done with this subject.

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32 minutes ago, Madhatter said:

My job is to make the aircraft safe. I have been doing this for 45 yrs. I have informed FD of this issue numerous times and have seen no action. This is called Tombstone Legislation, they wait for someone to die before anything is done. I am not anti authority, I am anti stupidity. Seat belts are the last resort for survival and if you dont like my opinion thats fine with me. I have said my piece and will not respond to any more posts. I am done with this subject.

My job is also to make aircraft safe, but I also realize that as a aviation professional I must also do it legally. All I'm saying is that you should follow the proper process if you want to change the belts. That is an ASTM thing, and not some silly requirement that Flight Design made up.

 

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1 hour ago, Madhatter said:

My job is to make the aircraft safe. I have been doing this for 45 yrs. I have informed FD of this issue numerous times and have seen no action. This is called Tombstone Legislation, they wait for someone to die before anything is done. I am not anti authority, I am anti stupidity. Seat belts are the last resort for survival and if you dont like my opinion thats fine with me. I have said my piece and will not respond to any more posts. I am done with this subject.

I am curious, what action do you think Flight Design should take?

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 Working with  Flight Design in the last few days to resolve the seatbelt and harness assy. I have talked to an faa repair station concerning rewebbing the seatbelt and harness with nylon webbing which will provide a much secure system as in certified aircraft. They believe the current problem is the use of polyester webbing which is thin and slippery. Germany has been contacted and said they will look at the issue. The cost of the change will be $216. per seat providing there are no issues with the adjusters. I will be sending in my harnesses in a few weeks and will let you know the outcome.

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