Re: Plane Nose Dives From Break

From:         dalden@legal.com
Date:         22 Jul 94 12:44:02 
References:   1 2
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IJ>A friend of mine recounts a story about changing seat positions
IJ>while ie ieight.  He was nearing the end of his light plane
IJ>instruction on a solo flight.  He is pretty short (5'3" or thereabouts)
IJ>and adjusted his seat position before takeoff.  Unfortunately the
IJ>latch wasn't completely engaged and the seat slid back to the stops
IJ>after rotation, leaving him with a view of nothing but blue sky,
IJ>out of reach of the rudder pedals and barely able to hold the
IJ>yoke.  He maintained control but was so unnerved that he never
IJ>completed his instruction.

He is actually very lucky.  A very significant judgment was won against
a U.S. general aviation manufacturer in a products liability action that
arose after a crash on departure ... the pilot's seat slid back.

Pilot's of general aviation twins should not only make sure that their
seats are securely locked, but that they can depress each rudder pedal
to its stop.  Their seems to have been an accident where, after the loss
of an engine, the pilot could not apply full rudder because his seat was
too far back.

The airliner [food tray in cockpit] accident reminds me of the number of
times I was easing/lowering my way back into my seat when I would look
down to see the hem of a pant leg caught on an engine condition lever or
flap control.  One has to wonder if pilot placement isn't a factor in
more accidents/incidents than we'll ever know.

-- Dave Alden