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Retractable shoulder harness? & Reaching the FLap Handle

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:47 am
by reecewallace
I'm having problems reaching the flap handle in my 170 when pulling it from 0-10 degrees. I'm not short by any means, 5'11".

I have to have my shoulder harnesses as loose as possible in order to reach the flap handle when it's on the floor. The maxed out length of the shoulder harness even slipped through the bracket and came undone once—sketchy.

My plane even came with an STC'd extension handle to make it easier to reach, but it feels quite crap and is large and in the way.

I'm wondering about installing a retractable portion of the shoulder harness, similar to a car. Can anyone give me suggestions on a specific model? Obviously, not looking to break the bank with this one but it certainly compromises safety the way I have it.

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:59 am
by Bruce Fenstermacher
I've used models of AMSafe which I was able to secure as scrap as they were removed from helicopters I use to fly for frayed belting. At that time I searched and searched the net to find a way to buy just the retracting reel from AMSafe. It appears AMSafe does not want to sell to individuals and I could not find a way to buy them.

The best bet is to buy the STC'd belt system from BAS Inc. https://basinc-aeromod.com/

They are pricey but what isn't.

Looks from your headliner zipper, that you have a B Model. And I'd bet your current belt is attached with a bolt into the provided nut plate in the center carry through spar. So removal of what you have should be easy. If in fact you have the wrong headliner and you have an A model or prior, there is no nut plate and then you have some other means of harness attachment which my interfere with the BAS installation. So unzipping your headliner and looking would be worth a few minutes before and purchase.

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:55 am
by reecewallace
Bruce Fenstermacher wrote:I've used models of AMSafe which I was able to secure as scrap as they were removed from helicopters I use to fly for frayed belting. At that time I searched and searched the net to find a way to buy just the retracting reel from AMSafe. It appears AMSafe does not want to sell to individuals and I could not find a way to buy them.

The best bet is to buy the STC'd belt system from BAS Inc. https://basinc-aeromod.com/

They are pricey but what isn't.

Looks from your headliner zipper, that you have a B Model. And I'd bet your current belt is attached with a bolt into the provided nut plate in the center carry through spar. So removal of what you have should be easy. If in fact you have the wrong headliner and you have an A model or prior, there is no nut plate and then you have some other means of harness attachment which my interfere with the BAS installation. So unzipping your headliner and looking would be worth a few minutes before and purchase.


Appreciate the insights. This belt seems to be exactly what I need. I'll do some digging and see if I can find one perhaps off a salvage or someone with an extra first.

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:42 pm
by GAHorn
Inertia reels are truly useful and convenient. However I have the type you have and my work-around is to slip my shoulder out of the harness to initially deploy flaps from zero... then slip back into the harness for the rest of the flight, since further deployment or stowing does not present a problem.
(And I agree with you about the “EZ Flap” handle: Ugly, cheap, unnecessarily cumbersome...and doesn’t look ORIGINAL!) :lol:

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:59 pm
by daedaluscan
I hate unnecessary stuff in the cockpit, but I have got to love the EZ Flap. I literally never have to look or feel for the flap handle, it is right there next to the throttle. YMMV.

Just the fact the you do not have to "reach" for the handle is a big plus for me. I actually installed it for my wife who could not physically reach it from her seat cushion.

I do wish it was maybe two inches shorter. Maybe it will shrink in the night?

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:01 pm
by 170C
I am 5' 11" also and have learned that I can leave my shoulder straps somewhat loose and just barely reach the flap button with my middle finger. After doing this time and again I learned how to rotate my right shoulder a bit and reaching the flap button is easier. Try different techniques and fine one that works for you. In the case of an off field emergency landing I would hope I would remember to tighten my shoulder harness as much as possible. BAS retractable ones would be nice, but are sure overpriced, but they apparently have the only game in town.

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:19 pm
by GAHorn
170C wrote:. BAS retractable ones would be nice, but are sure overpriced, but they apparently have the only game in town.

Not exactly, Frank... AS long as no structural changes are made to the airframe then ANY inertia reel shoulder harness arrangement can be accomplished with merely a logbook entry, per the “Advisory Letter”. So, If one were to purchase an inertia-reel harness that can utilize the existing nutplate... then go for it.

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:29 am
by ghostflyer
I purchased the EZY flap handle at Oshkosh one year fitted it and found it became loose again and again . After flopping around the cockpit this waste of money was removed and thrown in the trash . I was talking to a FAA person on their stand at Oshkosh some years later and the conversation was cantered around modifications and the legality of some of the mods done [ naturally mine are all STC,d ] :mrgreen: . One point he brought up was on modifications [gap seals and illegal tabs fitted ] to flight control surfaces and their controls .
He brought up the subject on flap handle extensions as he had also seen them for sale at the air show . It was HIS opinion that they were not safe and could cause issues on landing and rapid deployment . This is one of the very rare situations that the FAA and myself are in agreement.

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:32 am
by n2582d
Here is Cessna's version of the EZ Flap on the C-188 Agwagon:
SK188-7.pdf
(153.82 KiB) Downloaded 43 times

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:29 am
by dstates
Alpha Aviation is another option. I was trying to find people who might have gone this route a while back and got no responses. If you already have belts installed overhead, you probably wouldn’t go this route either, but I thought I would share the option. I ended up ordering the BAS belts myself. I’ll be installing them soon.

https://alphaaviation.com/cessna-100-series-stc-stc-sa02211ch/

Doug

Re: Retractable shoulder harness?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:42 pm
by GAHorn
n2582d wrote:Here is Cessna's version of the EZ Flap on the C-188 Agwagon:
SK188-7.pdf


A couple things about that SK188-7:
1- It restricts total flap deployment to only 20-degrees. :cry:
2- I’m quite surprised that the SK only provides a replacement placard for the flap handle... and No Flight Manual Supplement!..?? 8O

Re: Retractable shoulder harness? & Reaching the FLap Handle

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:54 pm
by 170C
Thanks George. I wasn't aware of this. I'm not familiar with other brands of retractable shoulder straps.

Re: Retractable shoulder harness? & Reaching the FLap Handle

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:01 pm
by rnealon1
No one has mentioned the B. A. S. shoulder harness; I installed these, inertial reel, no problem reaching the flap handle.

Bob

Re: Retractable shoulder harness? & Reaching the FLap Handle

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:57 am
by GAHorn
rnealon1 wrote:No one has mentioned the B. A. S. shoulder harness; I installed these, inertial reel, no problem reaching the flap handle.

Bob


The first response to the OP in this thread:

Bruce Fenstermacher wrote:....
The best bet is to buy the STC'd belt system from BAS Inc. https://basinc-aeromod.com/

They are pricey but what isn't.
....