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Operators of Titan T51 Mustang aircraft with a Flight Permit (Class 2 microlight) and aircraft with a Special Category – Amateur Built Airworthiness Certificate.
This Continuing Airworthiness Notice (CAN) alerts operators of affected aircraft of the importance of attaching the shoulder harness to the lower bar of the seatback frame.
This CAN is prompted by a CAA safety investigation of an accident with a Titan T51 Mustang aircraft. The aircraft experienced an engine power loss on take-off at approximately 250 feet AGL. The aircraft landed heavily resulting in the pilot sustaining fatal injuries due to the high load applied to the shoulder harness and failure of the seatback frame.
The seatback frame on these aircraft has two horizontal bars, an upper and a lower bar. Examination of the pilot seat revealed that the shoulder harness was attached to the upper bar of the seatback frame.
Shoulder harness attachment – correct position.
According to Titan Aircraft Company the attachment of the shoulder harness to the upper bar of the seatback frame is not a factory recommended position. To reduce the leverage on the seatback frame the shoulder harness should be attached to the lower bar of the seatback frame.
The CAA recommends an inspection of the shoulder harnesses for both the front and rear seats to determine the attachment position of the shoulder harness. If a shoulder harness is found attached to the upper bar, then reposition and attach the harness to the lower bar of the seatback frame.