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  1. #1
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    Small Aircraft and children

    My mom works for a charter aviation company and they offered to let me bring both DF and SIL on a ride in one of their planes. Obviously we all want to go. But none of the guys knows if you can install a seat in the airplane. Its a small 4 person plane made by sirus. its called the SR-22. Its has 4 pnt harnesses in all seats and i've never heard of anyone installing a seat into this type of belt (lapbelt that meets in the middle with 2 shoulder belts that tighten individually) no retractors just a pull tight mechanism similar to that of a race car drivers belt (sort of like a middle lap belt mech.).

    I really think she would like to go but i just cant imagine her riding with no seat. I was thinking of getting her turbobooster and using the harness in the cockpit but that doesnt seem like a good idea. Its meant to fit large ppl and she is very narrow i'm worried she'll slip between the shoulder straps (heck, they just barely fit me!)

    Anyone ever take kids in this type of plane?

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    I remember reading an article about kids on small planes a couple of years back, but I can't remember any of the details. Jennifer of CPSafety.com may have some information. Otherwise, I'd post on the CPSP list.

    Also, there's something wrong with the coding of your signature, which is causing it to not show up properly.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  4. #3
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    My fiance is a pilot, too.... From a brief conversation (which he was tentative about because he likes to have facts in front of him) he did say that such planes are known for having a higher crash risk than even passenger vehicles on the road - obviously the death rate then is very high - but, he's not sure whether that involved long distance, or any other variables that might or might not be relevant. He also said that in his training there was never any mention of using carseats for kids (just parachutes) & he *thinks* carseats can only be used in commercial flights. FWIW, we're thinking about him getting a $30K private plain to keep at the airport when we move since I have to provide transportation for DD's supervised visits with her dad & the drive would take 3-4 hours, which means we'd have to pay for hotel - the plane would just be more fun & I wouldn't lose out on getting in some normal weekend responsibilities I hope you can get some more concrete responses!
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  5. #4
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    i asked this on a piloting board and all they could tell me was that kids under two its suggested that they are just held in a person's lap and that i buy a turbulence belt (one of those vest things commercial airliners dont allow!) and kids over two should use their own seat and the pilot will just have to make the belts fit her as best as possible.

    Cirrus themselves has a brochure with a 3 year old shown sitting in the front seat turned around looking back at the camera with no car seat (but they managed to hide how the harness fit this little boy.

    I'm not too worried about it crashing. The plane has its own parachute and several other safety systems. Its considered the safest plane in its class. Its more that i know the pilot whos taking us up is big on playing and doing fancy turns and stuff and i'm worried she'll slip out of her seat or get hurt being tossed around.

    I've noticed the siggy issue i just havent gotten around to figuring out why it doesnt show up. I've been so busy, we're moving this week into our new apartment and SIL is coming in 2 weeks so it keeps getting forgotten. I'll go it. Really i will.

  6. #5
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    Some experience here

    Hi! I, unfortunatly don't have a Cirrus, but my husband works as a mechanic at one of the US's busiest Cirrus Service Centers here in FL- so I might be able to help. We actually had this conversation yesterday. FWIW, he had a customers plane in this past week that had one of the large Britax seats in the back seat. (DH has now been instructed to take pictures for me next time he sees one. He said that he didn't poke around, but it was installed FFing and seemed very secure. )

    His personal opinion was that the harness in the cirrus would be the best protection unless the child would fall out of it. According to him the seats are designed with a honecomb seat bottom to absorb impact from landing on the bottom of the aircraft. The car seat, he said, would not sit on this part, but on the frame of the seat. If the child would fall out, then a RFing seat would probably be best.

    Also, yes, this plane is the safest personal aircraft on the market. If you have a compentant pilot then you are going to be VERY safe. My husband has heard first-hand stories at Cirrus conventions and such from the people in a plane when the parachute was used to prevent a crash- I heard one of these stories. The couple had NO injuries and their wine glasses in boxes in the back were all still in one piece. Other stories are simimlar. You might want to go to COPA's website (Cirrus owners and pilot assn) and see if anyone has posted what they have done or what Cirrus has said to do with young children. I do know that they were looking into options for smaller harness or something- but since I am not in the buisness and my DD has never been in one I can't tell you what I did. I would be interrested in contacting Cirrus after I get my CPST next month and getting a statement from them or pushing for an answer.

    I hope this helps a litlle.
    Joy
    DD 8-21-03
    DH- who tries to keep me happy by telling me about all the carseats he sees in airplanes!

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreaming_of_Speed
    I'm not too worried about it crashing. The plane has its own parachute and several other safety systems. Its considered the safest plane in its class. Its more that i know the pilot whos taking us up is big on playing and doing fancy turns and stuff and i'm worried she'll slip out of her seat or get hurt being tossed around.
    I hear that! I'm betting that stunts have a lot to do with accidents in small private plains ... but, it seems like Joy has some pretty good advice - if I might be the devil's advocate for once I do think it's less likely something drastic would happen on only 1 flight of fancy & it could be a really fun experience for your DLSIL
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  8. #7
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    Do you want me to try?

    If you'd like me to I can go and play with installing my WZ in one of the SR22s sometime. Just let me know if that would help. I think that really, in an aircraft that size you are protecting against three things: 1- turbulance, 2- impact on a rough emergency landing, and on the Cirrus 3- the force of the parachute deployment. I think that a snug-fitting car-seat would be reasonable safe and protecting anyone too small to stay in the harness. But, that's just from thinking about it more and talking about it more.
    Joy
    (I will have to get registered on this board I guess!)

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by papooses
    My fiance is a pilot, too.... From a brief conversation (which he was tentative about because he likes to have facts in front of him) he did say that such planes are known for having a higher crash risk than even passenger vehicles on the road - obviously the death rate then is very high - but, he's not sure whether that involved long distance, or any other variables that might or might not be relevant.
    My husband and I are both pro pilots, though I'm not currently flying. (heck, even my screen name is an aviator's joke )

    All aspects of flying are very safe. Small aircraft are significantly safer than hopping in your car and traveling to the grocery store. However, if you DID have an accident, it would be more likely to be very serious. The numbers are skewed, though. With cars, all mishaps are called accidents. With aircraft, minor mishaps are legally called incidents and more serious mishaps are called accidents. So, only the more serious events get categorized against all types of car accidents. Not real fair. Did I make any sense with any of that?

    Anyway, with any decent pilot, you can feel perfectly safe allowing your child to fly in charter aircraft. Our son flies with us regularly and loves it. A child seat works well in some planes, but not all. I have some photos that will show you what we've experienced.

    Sadly, I have no advice on four point restraints. My personal opinion is that in turbulence or other minor occurence, an aircraft seatbelt would restrain the child sufficiently. In a very serious accident, it probably wouldn't help, anyway.

    Here are my two shots of Jett

    Jett in a Learjet 35a


    Jett in a Cessna Caravan


    Oh, and I'm really new here, but am Past_VNE over at Mothering.com if any of you frequent there.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    This would be an edit, but that last post, of Jett, was by me. I didn't realize I was logged in on my laptop, but not this computer. Oops.

    Anyway, I wanted to add that Jett was belted into the Caravan mostly just to keep him out of trouble. I had ridden as a passenger on the way to our destination, a short flight, but needed to fly part of the trip home. He was still within my reach and watch. It sounds odd, but it was really a reasonable situation. Two pilots onboard a single pilot aircraft, so we could keep good tabs on the babe.

    Edit, again: The pic of Jett in the Caravan might confuse you. He wears the helmet because he was born with craniosynostosis. That's a premature fusion of one or more joints in the skull. He had surgery to open it and allow his skull to grow normally. The helmet provides pressure on his forehead and rear of his head to prevent the joint from fusing again. He wears it until this May. It has nothing to do with him flying. He wasn't wearing it in the Lear because I left it home that day, as we had flown to the beach for the day.
    Mama to DS (12/04), DD (2/09), DS (1/13)
    2015 Toyota Sienna SE 8 passenger
    2004 Mercedes Benz E55 AMG

  11. #10
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    The planes and pilot are safe and i know it. The thing is within the last week they've had 3 mechanical failures that required emergency landings. No one was in eminent danger but 2 of the problems were ones that are serious enough the considered using the parachute safety feature.

    I took a marathon up there today (Friday) and tried to install it. It wasnt exactly easy, the sr-22 is not as room as the planes shown above and most of the time i was standing on the wing (slippery!) and being pregnant its not as easy to install the seat as it was when i was thin (at 16 weeks i look 6 months pregnant!) I decided to loosen the shoulder harnesses (the plane's not the car seat's!) all the way so they'd slip off the seat and under the armrests and then use the lap belts to secure the seat. It wasnt as tight as i'd like in a car (i didnt use the lock offs or a tether so thats to be expected) but its a small chance anything will happen and it should be good 'enough' I installed it FFing but right after i took her to the doctor and she's only 28 pounds so she could RF and i think she'd see better that way. I'll try it again soon.

    My friend's son has the same sort of helmet. I was pretty sure of what it was before i read your 2nd post. Its not a bad idea to use a helmet if you're not using a seat and can only use a lap belt for the kiddo!

    I've decided to do it. Shortly after the twins are do, DF and i need to go to MI to talk with a few vendors for the wedding and it just seems easier to fly than to drive (we've always driven) so this should give SIL a taste of flying so she doesnt freak out (queen of the drama queens i tell you!) The twins will both be in infant carriers and she'll have a marathon so we'll be quite a sight in the airport!

  12. #11
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    All aspects of flying are very safe. Small aircraft are significantly safer than hopping in your car and traveling to the grocery store. However, if you DID have an accident, it would be more likely to be very serious. The numbers are skewed, though. With cars, all mishaps are called accidents. With aircraft, minor mishaps are legally called incidents and more serious mishaps are called accidents. So, only the more serious events get categorized against all types of car accidents. Not real fair. Did I make any sense with any of that?
    I think that's more like what he meant ... after asking him to clarify based on what you said, Mach Knockers, it seems like I might've misunderstood him before -- sorry & thanks for addressing it further Love the pictures -- very cute! Although the helmet reminds me of the orthotic helmets my dad makes for babies who need their skulls re-shaped (I can't remember what that's called when a baby's head is flat on one side?) Anyway, great for keeping kiddo safe when a carseat won't fit
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy
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    papooses,

    Jett's helmet is an orthotic, too. The condition you're thinking of is positional plagiocephaly. Those helmets are generally open-top bands, kinda looking like what wrestlers wear. Those helmets do not create pressure, they allow for growing space and creating a properly shaped skull. Their need has greatly increased due to the whole Back to Sleep campaign. Jett's helmet also affects his head shape, so it does have a cosmetic side effect, though the point of his surgery was to keep him from getting raised intracranial (brain) pressure, causing eye and learning problems, jaw malocclusions, etc. His helmet is frequently mistaken for a plagio helmet.

    Wow, that got really OT. Sorry.
    Mama to DS (12/04), DD (2/09), DS (1/13)
    2015 Toyota Sienna SE 8 passenger
    2004 Mercedes Benz E55 AMG

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