Recommended Brace for Impact Positions for Passenger and Crew Members - Aviation Professional

Recommended Brace for Impact Positions for Passenger and Crew Members

 

Recommended Brace for Impact Positions for Passenger and Crew Members


The brace position is one of the most important safety practices used in preparing for flight emergencies. The brace position has a dual function. First, it reduces body flailing, as passengers must lean forward or bend over their legs. Second, it protects the head from hitting a surface. Remaining in the brace position (until the aircraft comes to a final stop) will help to protect from injury during primary and secondary impact

It is recommended for passengers to use the “Safety Information Card” to assume the correct brace position.  Also, cabin crew members need to ensure that the passengers understand how to brace for impact correctly to reduce injuries.

In this article, I am going to explain to you the recommended brace for impact positions for Passenger and Cabin Crew Members, but you should know that recommended brace positions vary according to regulatory jurisdiction.

In my previous article which was published 12 days ago, I answered the question " Why Passengers & Crew Should Assume an Appropriate Brace-for-Impact Position". It is recommended to read this article to gain complete knowledge about this subject.

Unplanned Flight Emergencies (Landing or Ditching)

Unplanned flight emergencies occur with no warning and give the crew little or no time to prepare a course of action, and that is way, the flight crew may only have time to give the warning to brace for impact.

In unplanned flight emergencies, well-informed, knowledgeable passengers have a better chance of surviving. And the most important mitigation tool is the Cabin Crew Silent Review.

 

Note:  Most unplanned flight emergencies occur during takeoff or landing

Planned Flight Emergencies (Landing or Ditching)

In the case of a “planned” flight emergency, cabin crew members receive an advance warning and adequate time to prepare a course of action. For example, cabin crew members can prepare passengers for an emergency landing using the Emergency Landing Checklist.

While preparing the cabin for an emergency landing, cabin crew members must explain to the passengers the correct brace position. They must take into consideration, the size and physical limitations of the passengers, the seating configuration, the type of emergency, and many other factors.

In addition, cabin crew members must inform passengers when to assume the brace position.

For example, they should explain to passengers “When you hear the crew shouting “BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!”, this will be your signal to take the brace position; you must remain in this position until the aircraft has come to a complete stop”.

After that, cabin crew members should take their seats, adjust their harness, begin a “silent review”, and be prepared to “brace” when the command comes from the flight crew. Cabin crew members should repeat the command “BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!” verbally.

 

 

General Brace Position Instructions for Crew Members

In the event of an emergency, cabin crew members should not:

1)      hold PEDs or any other item(s) while seated on cabin crew seats.

2)      holding anything in their hands, so they can respond to the situation either by verbal communication using the Public Address (PA) system or interphone or by releasing themselves from their safety harnesses, as appropriate.

3)      Conduct any other duties while in the brace position, to avoid distractions.

 

Cabin crew members should be alert and immediately available to respond to a situation that may arise. They should remain in the brace position until the aircraft comes to a complete stop.

 

Brace Position for Cabin Crew Members

Cabin crew members occupying a single or double cabin crew seat (commonly referred to as a jump seat) should adopt one of the following brace positions where possible, based on the orientation of the seat.

Forward-facing cabin crew seat

In a forward-facing cabin crew seat, cabin crew members should brace according to the following instructions, as shown in Image(1):

a) slide back in the seat as far as possible towards the backrest; ensuring that upper and lower back is against the backrest;

b) securely fasten seat belt and shoulder harness:

1)      tighten firmly;

2)      seat belt and harness straps must not be twisted;

3)      when tightening the shoulder harness, make sure that the seat belt (lap strap) remains low across the hips and that the buckle is positioned correctly, as per manufacturer instructions;

c) place chin on chest;

d) rest hands on thighs;

e) place feet and legs slightly apart;

f) if there is no bulkhead within forward reach, keep feet flat on the floor and stretch out legs as far as possible; or

g) if there is a bulkhead within forward reach, keep feet flat on floor and slide them forward until the tips of the toes touch the bulkhead (do no push feet against the bulkhead.

 

Brace position in forward-facing cabin crew seats, without and with a bulkhead
Image (1): Brace position in forward-facing cabin crew seats, without and with a bulkhead


Rearward-Facing Cabin Crew Seats

In a strictly horizontal crash, the aircraft occupant’s feet move in the direction of the deceleration. In the case of cabin crew sitting in rearward-facing (aft-facing) cabin crew seats, the feet will, therefore, move towards the back of the cabin crew seat. This could cause injuries to the heels if they were to strike the seat frame. However, in the event of a more vertical crash, the possibility of injury to the legs increases if the legs and feet are under the seat and the floor is displaced upward, or the seat flexes downward. Also, in a vertical crash, there is the concern that if the feet are not flat on the floor, then the extra weight of the unsupported legs will be transmitted into the pelvis and spine, increasing the possibility of damage to those areas. Since the crash direction (vector) is not known before a crash, the recommended position is the one that should reduce more of the risk of injury, which is to place the feet flat on the floor with knees bent at 90 degrees.

 

Cabin crew members should brace according to the following instructions, as shown in Image(2):

a) Slide back in the seat as far as possible towards the backrest; ensuring that upper and lower back is against the backrest;

b) Securely fasten seat belt and shoulder harness:

1)      tighten firmly;

2)      seat belt and harness straps must not be twisted; and

3)      when tightening the shoulder harness, make sure that the seat belt (lap strap) remains low across the hips and that the buckle is positioned correctly, as per manufacturer instructions;

c) Lean back and keep head against the backrest/headrest;

d) Cross arms in front of the chest (do not hold the shoulder harness straps);

e) Place feet and legs slightly apart;

f) Place feet flat on the floor; and

g) Keep knees bent at 90 degrees.

 

Brace position in rearward-facing cabin crew seats, without and with a bulkhead
Image(2): Brace position in rearward-facing cabin crew seats, without and with a bulkhead



Brace Position for Passengers

Based on many types of research which have been conducted on passenger brace-for-impact positions, no single position has been determined. There is great variation in passenger characteristics and abilities, in-seat class characteristics, seat pitch, and direction of travel. Other variables include restraint design and airbags, and experimental testing protocols.

In this article, I am going to explain the brace positions for passengers & cabin crew members are recommended by ICAO Doc 10086.

 

Forward-Facing Passenger Seats Equipped with A Lap Strap Seat Belt Only

In a forward-facing passenger seat fitted with a lap strap seat belt only, passengers should brace according to the following instructions, as shown in Image(3):

a) sit as far back as possible;

b) fasten seat belt and tighten firmly (low across the hips to prevent submarining - when a passenger slides forward under a loosely fitted seat belt. The seat belt should not be twisted);

c) tuck chin onto chest;

d) bend forward (“roll up into a ball”);

e) place head against the seat in front, and

f) place hands on top of head, or

g) place arms at sides of lower legs or hold lower legs (holding onto the lower legs may provide a more stable position); and

h) place feet flat on the floor, as far back as possible; or

i) if passengers are seated at a bulkhead row or cannot reach the seat in front:

1)      bend forward and place hands on top of head; or

2)      bend forward and place arms at sides of lower legs or hold lower legs.

Brace positions in forward-facing passenger seats equipped with a lap strap seat belt only
Image (3) : Brace positions in forward-facing passenger seats equipped with a lap strap seat belt only




Note: The brace positions presented above apply to occupants of a height of more than 125 cm (49 in).

 

Infants and Children

The brace positions presented above apply to occupants of a height of more than 125 cm (49 in). In line with the recommendations found in the Manual on the Approval and Use of Child Restraint Systems (Doc 10049), infants and children whose weight is less than 26 kg (60 lbs) and whose height is less than 125 cm (49 in) should occupy an approved child restraint system (CRS) on board aircraft, in a seat of their own. The use of a CRS provides an equivalent level of safety to infants and children as that afforded to adult passengers wearing seat belts.

 

It is not possible for a parent, or guardian, to physically restrain an infant or child, especially during a sudden acceleration or deceleration, unanticipated or severe turbulence or impact.

In the event of an anticipated emergency landing or ditching, the infant or child needs to be secured in the CRS until the evacuation commences (reference ICAO Doc 10049, ICAO Doc 10086 for additional information).

Note : Children occupying passenger seats should adopt the same brace positions as adults. Due to their small stature, the flail envelope of children is smaller than that of adults so they are less likely to suffer secondary impact with the interior of the aircraft. ( TCCA AC 700-036 – Brace for Impact Positions for all Aircraft Occupants 4.4(1) )


Pregnant Women or Passengers Who Have Physical or Space Limitations

This section presents a proposed brace position for pregnant women or passengers who have physical or special limitations and are occupying a forward-facing passenger seat fitted with a lap strap seat belt only. Recommendations are not based on any testing but on a combination of medical subject matter experts’ (SMEs) interpretation and opinion.

a) slide back in the seat as far as possible towards the backrest; try to ensure lower back is against the backrest;

b) fasten seat belt low and tight; belt must not be twisted; ensure that the seat belt is below the belly;

c) place legs as wide apart as possible to assist with forward bending. Bend forward, leaning against the seat in front, if possible;

d) place hands on the back of the head one on top of the other; do not interlock fingers; tuck elbows in. Alternatively, place arms at the side of the lower legs;

e) if there is no seat in front, bend over and either place hands on the back of the head or place arms at the side of the lower legs; hold lower legs; and

f) keep feet flat on the floor with lower legs positioned slightly rearward of the knees, if possible.

 

Special Considerations for Persons with Disabilities and Attendants

Persons with disabilities may use a passenger seat belt or a restraint system for a person with disabilities, such as an orthopaedic positioning device, depending on their individual needs. Able-bodied persons or attendants accompanying persons with disabilities should adopt an appropriate brace position and refrain from assisting the person with disabilities until the evacuation starts. At that time, the attendant should follow the instructions given by the cabin crew as part of the individual safety briefing for special categories of passengers given prior to the flight.

Positions to Avoid

Do not rest head on crossed forearms

    risks fracturing both forearms

 Do not rest head on hands

 risks fracturing both hands/fingers

 Avoid having head tilted backward

 neck should not be extended

 but should be bent forward to reduce risk of injury to neck and/or larynx

Positions to avoid when adopting the brace position
Image(4) : Positions to avoid when adopting the brace position




Unacceptable Brace Positions

 

Examples of unacceptable brace positions
Image(5): Examples of unacceptable brace positions



Conclusion

To establish the best brace position for each person, it would be necessary to know such factors as the size and physical limitations of the individual, the layout of the interior configuration of the aircraft, the type of emergency, and the magnitude, direction, and sequence of crash forces, as well as other factors.


In this article, I tried to explain to you the latest recommendation which has been published by ICAO on (Doc 10086) The Manual on Information and Instructions for Passenger Safety. This document provides recommended brace-for-impact positions and sample commands used by cabin crew members to instruct passengers in the event of an emergency.


There are many guidance materials developed by States that can be used to determine brace positions for passengers and cabin crew members. This guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a) Canada: Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) Advisory Circular TCCA AC 700-036 – Brace for Impact Positions for all Aircraft Occupants.

b) United States: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular AC 121-24D – Passenger Safety Information Briefing and Briefing Cards.


 

I recommend that you read these guidance materials because I couldn't include all brace-for-impact positions in this article. After all, recommended brace positions vary according to regulatory jurisdiction.


I will be happy if you add any information to update this article or by sharing it on social media.


Remember that you are reading aviation professional website, thank you for reading.


Post a Comment

0 Comments