Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Another safety upgrade arrives at my door!

I recently purchased a 3-point harness from Mark Smith of Tri-State Kite Sales (link in right-hand column) and as usual, it arrived promptly and it's very high-quality stuff! Currently on my MX I have just a lap belt installed. It has served me well for years, but other flyers have convinced me that a three or four-point harness is necessary. Sure, if nothing disastrous or no unplanned events ever happen, it probably wouldn't be a requirement to have one. I've been "shown the light" by others who weren't planning on extraordinary things happening either. My instructor friend, Don Addision, told me a story about his brother and a Rotec Rally. To abbreviate the story, his brother ended up crashing on the runway, going in at a 45 degree plus angle. This was due entirely to his non-ability to retain control. When he hit the runway, the structure of the plane absorbed most of the energy of the impact, including the shoulder harness that he was wearing. He walked away beat up and bruised, but if he would have been wearing just a lap belt, Don thinks he would have snapped his back right at the pelvis, sustaining major injuries, or even death. This story alone was enough to convince me that the harness was needed.

The harness I bought from Mark is very high-quality stuff, as I said previously. A picture is posted below this text. It has one snap-in type buckle in the middle, with the shoulder straps sewn to the lap belt. All length adjustment is done with adjustment buckles, one on each strap. The adjustment buckles all have little red pull straps sewn onto them, and the leftover length of strap from adjusting is held securely with velcro, keeping it from flopping in the wind. At the other end is a length of steel cable attached to the end retaining buckle. The other end of the cable will be attached to a convenient bolt on the root tube of the airplane. I can't wait to install it and check it out.

forecast for Saturday and Sunday is nice...about mid-60's but the wind is supposed to be from the west at 12 MPH, gusting to 24MPH. That wind forecast usually gets better when the day in question arrives, but sometimes it doesn't. I guess we will just wait and see. Going on about 3 weeks now with no flying. I'm jones'n real bad!


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