NTSB Wants Airbags on Planes

The National Transportation Safety Board announced on Tuesday that it has adopted a study showing that airbags can provide additional occupant protection in general aviation. According to the NTSB, the study found that airplanes equipped with airbags provided added protection in accidents involving survivable forward impacts. The study also found that shoulder harness/lap seat belt combinations provide much greater protection in General Aviation accidents than a lap belt alone. The board found that wearing just the lap belt alone raised the risk of fatal or serious injury by 50 percent compared to the combination lap/shoulder belt. The NTSB also is recommending that the Federal Aviation Administration require the retrofitting of shoulder harnesses on all general aviation airplanes, among other recommendations. The complete safety study will be available on the NTSB website by February 2011.