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Sky Arrow lap belt musings


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I think it was on this site that I've been encouraged to add lap belts to my Sky Arrow.


This shows the existing setup - two shoulder straps hooked to a "crotch strap":




Here's a link to the FAA's recommendation:




I queried the factory, and this was the quote I was given for the revised, 5-point belts (the first item):




Quite a bit more than I anticipated just to get lap belts.


Bearing in mind I'm Experimental, I'm left with a variety of options...


1) Do nothing.


In 35+ years of flying I've never had a case where this addition would have made any difference, and it's pretty unlikely in the next decade or two I will both have an accident and that injuries due to that accident would be exacerbated by not having lap belts.


2) Just add lap belts.


They'd cost about $60 each, and fabricating mounts should be easy (see link to install instructions below). Only disadvantage I can see is having two release mechanisms to futz within an emergency.


3) Swap out for a complete harness (non-factory).


Something like this:




Total cost around $550 when all is said and done.


4) Or just bite the bullet and do it the factory way, for what I'm sure will be close to $1,200 (!)


Of course, that upgrades my plane to what the factory provides now, and might enhance resale value. Still, being on a budget that is one heck of a lot of money for just the security of lap belts front and back. On the other hand, it is a $75,000 plane, so $1,200 to keep it "just so" might be arguable.


Anyway, my annual is in March and that's when I'd like to decide by.


Open to any thoughts - I'm right now leaning to just adding lap belts.


Here's the link to the install instructions for the factory belts to show how they attach:



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Looking at the existing harness, it seems you could make a lap belt with a slot in the middle, that could sled over the crotch strap buckle. You could cinch it tight on the sides, and on releasing the central harness lock it would jus pop free like the rest of the harness.


If you don't really think it's a safety concern (has there been a Sky Arrow crash where injuries were increased by the harness design?), I'd be tempted to just leave it be, and let the next owner deal with it. If you feel it's really needed, that's different and I would either use the new factory harnesses or a complete aftermarket harness system.

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Thanks, Andy.


I think there's been just one Sky Arrow LSA fatal:






Sad to look at and to consider the forces involved.


Hard to conclude from the narrative, but it seems like they feel the lack of a lap belt may have contributed to the severity of the injuries. That's what led to the SAIB I linked to in my post.


I had considered some kind of loop arrangement utilizing the crotch strap. There's actually an aircraft seat belt shop near the Blairsville airport that does work with Experimentals. Once I have a plan and the belts in hand, they may be able to stitch something together.

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