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GrassStripFlyBoy

Seat Belt Upgrade

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Completed another item on my list of updates today, replaced the seat belts with camlock style.  Very pleased with the feel being a center point attachment, I like to keep belts snug and did not want to attempt the remedies to the factory belts.  Being E-LSA I bought a pair of aftermarket auto / universal belts, $55 for the set.  Only downside is they are heavier by 3lbs.  They are 2" webbing and required no changes to factory attachments.  Also picked up some pull tabs for the adjusters, but don't think I'll install them, seems I can leave the lengths where I like fit, and simply stab to camlock and good to go.

Belts.JPG

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Mike,

Purchased from Ebay, here is a link:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-5-Point-Cam-Lock-Quick-Release-Gray-Nylon-Harness-Seat-Belt-For-BMW/192873683458?fits=Year%3A2002|Make%3ABMW&hash=item2ce82ada02:g:L48AAOSwf~NdlBS0  

There are other styles and colors, for the lap belts, simply cut off the metal attachments and use the stitched loops direct to mounts.  The shoulder straps have about 3-4' excess length of webbing.  I cut the webbing at end prior to loop (sharp razor slice and melt so it does not fray), then passed this through the mount, double back, and use the inline adjuster to secure the two webs.  These pull test without moving, but I will likely add a second adjuster for piece of mind.

I also purchased these to secure the loose ends of straps, have not arrived yet.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adjust-Keeper-Molle-Webbing-Buckle-Tactical-Backpack-Buckles-Belt-end-Clip/183971942048?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=691662279409&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

Darrell

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Grass,

It does look good.  Doing something about my seat belt is on my list of things to do this winter so this is timely.

I assume that you use a five-point harness because they do not come in a four-point type?

That long tab at the bottom of the Quick Release does not get in the way?

Andre

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The "long tab" is the lever for releasing the attachments, (camlock unit remains on one side of lap belt, and the other three release), and does not get in the way.  Having an open connection on the bottom center of camlock does not matter, each connection is retained on its own, and release with the twist of lever.  For the money this is a very nice unit, works slick - I'm very pleased with the cam lock fit / finish / feel, nice smooth operation.  

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Grass,

Never mind.  I now see that the tab is the quick release handle.  It looks like there are a number of other options on EBay that use the same hardware but have a different name on them?  E.g. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-TANAKA-UNIVERSAL-RED-4-POINT-CAMLOCK-QUICK-RELEASE-RACING-SEAT-BELT-HARNESS/121646230917?hash=item1c52ae2d85:g:zHYAAOSwjVVVsfll

From what I can tell, all the 4-point harnesses use the same quick release with the five slots.   

Andre

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I first found those you link to, and considered them.  Have seen them in RV's as well, and red color coordinates with my graphics, but decided to stick with the grey without the branding plastered on them...

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I just ordered the red version of your grey ones.  Looking forward to installing them and having belts that actually do the job they are supposed to do.  I have never felt comfortable carrying EAA members and Young Eagles with shoulder belts that never stay on.

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This may have been covered elsewhere but is there an approved seatbelt that can be swapped for the factory ones?  2008 ctls.  Not e-lsa.

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As an update, I did install my new red seat belts.  It was an easy install as described by Darrell.  

The only downside that I can see is that the slack on the shoulder straps is taken off on the buckle end and there is only a limited amount that can be taken in after the top part of the harness is set.  I am quite thin and installed the belts for me as I fly from either seat.  That means that there may not be enough slack for some of my more corpulent friends.  I do not know for sure as I have not flown with one since changing the belts.

On the plus side, these belts do not slip off the shoulder and they stay snug when tightened.  

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As far as I know there has not been a MRA for any of the seat belts. Is it a good upgrade, I would say yes. Do they meet ASTM standards that our airworthiness depends on, I don't know.

It was about 5 years ago I approached Tom Peghiny about doing an upgrade. I think they would be receptive to an upgrade with TSO belts designed for an aircraft, like something from Hooker Harness's. Of course the TSO belts are going to be more expensive.

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1 hour ago, Tom Baker said:

As far as I know there has not been a MRA for any of the seat belts. Is it a good upgrade, I would say yes. Do they meet ASTM standards that our airworthiness depends on, I don't know.

I worked with Tom and Arian to get an MRA for a Schroth seatbelt upgrade for the CTsw. Search the forum here for information on part number.

The total cost for two with rotary buckles was around $1000 and took 2 months for them to build. The belts were a huge improvement. Flight Design USA has the MRA information. 
 

Kent

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On 1/5/2020 at 2:45 PM, okent said:

This may have been covered elsewhere but is there an approved seatbelt that can be swapped for the factory ones?  2008 ctls.  Not e-lsa.

Okent - there is a DAR on your field that will convert a CT to E-LSA for $300 - he did mine at time of purchase, visit Airtime for the particulars.  From my perspective, with insurance being the same, and no depreciation difference E-LSA v/s S-LSA, and you can still choose to use mechanics for work & inspections maintaining as S-LSA situation normal - having the option to break free from the MRA process on items such as belts would be reason enough.

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I hadn't really considered that because I thought there could be potential devaluation of the airplane.  

I guess since it would still be E-LSA there wouldn't be any  way to take advantage of a constant speed prop or -12 flap setting.

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35 minutes ago, okent said:

I hadn't really considered that because I thought there could be potential devaluation of the airplane.  

I guess since it would still be E-LSA there wouldn't be any  way to take advantage of a constant speed prop or -12 flap setting.

Per the FAA definition both would remove the aircraft from LSA status forever. 

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30 minutes ago, Tom Baker said:

Per the FAA definition both would remove the aircraft from LSA status forever. 

 What status would it then become from their point of view ?

 

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1 hour ago, Roger said:

 What status would it then become from their point of view ?

 

Boat anchor! Really there is nowhere for it to go certification wise except maybe Experimental Exhibition, and that can be kind of restrictive. 

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I was just reading about that and it looks like that would prohibit flying over any significant population density.

A non starter for me.

I think I'll just be happy with my 120 kts😎

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1 hour ago, okent said:

I was just reading about that and it looks like that would prohibit flying over any significant population density.

A non starter for me.

I think I'll just be happy with my 120 kts😎

The advantage of an E-LSA conversion is not in performance, it's in convenience, ease of maintenance, and cost.  Anybody can work on an E-LSA, the only thing requiring any maintenance certification is the annual condition inspection, and an owner can even do that himself after a 16-hour course.  If you are a hands-on kind of person the conversion is a great thing IMO.  The first year after my conversion I saved over $3000 in maintenance by my estimation.  That year I did the Annual, Rotax Rubber Change, pulled the wings and replace the sight tubes, and Carb overhauls myself.  This year I'll be removing/reinstalling the BRS myself, and pulling the wings again as well.  

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Wow!  I'm pretty handy but I just don't know if I have the time to do all that.

I could see myself doing this stuff once I'm retired but that's about 5-10 years away.

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On 1/8/2020 at 2:35 PM, okent said:

Wow!  I'm pretty handy but I just don't know if I have the time to do all that.

I could see myself doing this stuff once I'm retired but that's about 5-10 years away.

There's no free lunch, you have to spend either time or money!  :D

Honestly, the time investment is not that bad, if you have weekends free.  I did the hose change over a long weekend, I can do an annual in a weekend, and the wing pull is really just a couple of hours.  From what I'm reading about the BRS procedures, that should come out and go back in in an hour or so each.

And a real advantage of E-LSA conversion is that if something breaks, you don't have to hunt for a qualified CT mechanic, you can just fix it yourself if you're comfortable with doing it.  This really helps when traveling cross country, or if you live in an area with no LSA/Rotax/CT mechanics nearby.   And there's no real downside; you can always pay somebody to fix a problem you are not comfortable fixing or if you don't have time to work on the airplane.

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Thanks for the info Andy.  My kids are older now so taking a weekend to get the training is doable and I'm mechanically inclined and can follow instructions.

That may be the best option.

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If your not afraid to turn a few wrenches once in a while, then Experimental is the way to go. Owners can save a considerable amount of annual expense by doing simple repairs and after completing the 16-hour Repairman (LSA) Inspection Airplane Workshop, they can do their own annual Condition Inspections. Not to mention, as previously noted, do their own avionic upgrades, free of the LOA tether from the manufacturer. It's kind of a no brainer.

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