A "breakover feature" in airline seats is supposed to assist in absorbing head impacts during a crash, when the passengers are in the brace position. However in some scenarios, most notably the forced water landing of US Airways Flight 1549, the NTSB investigation found that the seats did not have this feature, which led to shoulder injuries in some of the passengers who were in the brace position.
My questions are:
- Is it mandated by the FAA that seats in all commercial airliners should have a breakover feature?
- As a passenger, how do I know if the seats in my plane have this feature?
- If the seats don't have such a feature, is it still wise to adopt the brace position in case of a crash or forced landing?