I first flew back in the 1940s as a four or five year old. I have a vague memory of a seat belt locked with a wooden peg inserted into a webbing loop. The aircraft was probably a Vickers Viking, a very unreliable aircraft.

We landed at Lyon, France, no wheels on the grass and we have a photograph of the crew and passengers in front of the downed aircraft in a field! Was there ever such a seat belt?

aircraft in a field

aircraft in a field with crew & passengers in front of it

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Aviation.SE! Can you add that picture of the aircraft to the question? $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Aug 31, 2021 at 11:06
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    $\begingroup$ Related: When did airlines start using seat belts for passengers? $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Aug 31, 2021 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ Firstly yes I have a shot of the Aircraft on the ground in what looks like a field but is just off the Lyon airfield runway. It is a Vickers Viking operated by Airwork and the occasion was around 1948/9. I have not found a way to upload the picture. I cannot see the registration of the aircraft. Square windows! They don't do that anymore after The Comet. Happy to upload the picture if there is a way. $\endgroup$
    – hutchinson
    Sep 1, 2021 at 9:42
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    $\begingroup$ My sister has produced a date for the accident - May17th 1948 and the the flight was ex Khartoum to UK but no airport! $\endgroup$
    – hutchinson
    Sep 3, 2021 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ Extraordinary story! Btw, there is a book about Airwork, you may already know. I found a trace of a BEA report "aérodrome de Lyon-Bron (Rhône), Vicking (G-AIXS) 17 mai 1948", but it isn't available online, likely not digitalized. This was an Airwork aircraft and was lost 6 years later in an emergency return to Blackbushe. If I find something else I'll post it here. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Sep 8, 2021 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


Your seatbelt, as a five year old, may have been an earlier version of the loops they still use for very young children when travelling on a passenger's lap.

However, the Vickers Viking was generally equipped with seatbelts. This undated picture of a Viking interior from the SDASM archives shows a buckled belt on the nearest seat.

Vickers Viking - interior source

The Viking first flew in 1945. This picture from 1946 shows a Viking seat being manufactured, clearly with a seatbelt, indicating they probably were fitted from the outset.

Vickers Viking - seat manufacture



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