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This is my basic understanding of the FAR's regarding seatbelt rules for civil aircraft:

  1. PIC must brief passengers on how to operate belts (and shoulder harness if installed)
  2. PIC must notify passengers to put on belt (and shoulder harness if installed)
  3. passengers must have belt (and shoulder harness if installed) secured during taxi, takeoff, and landing
  4. PIC (and SIC if there is one) must have belts (and shoulder harness if there is one) secured during the entire flight
  5. shoulder harness does not need to be secured around crew if it interferes with operating the aircraft

Do I have this right?

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    $\begingroup$ Are you asking about U.S. air carrier type operations (FAR Part 121, etc.) or FAR Part 91 - general aviation operations? $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 16:59
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    $\begingroup$ part 91 operations $\endgroup$
    – Terry
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 17:10

1 Answer 1

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My interpretation of 14 CFR Parts 91.105 and 91.107, with respect to your question, is as follows:

Your points 1, 2, and 3 are correct.

Your point 4 is only partially correct: FAR 91.105 (a)(2) requires crewmembers to keep their safety belt (seat belt) fastened while at the crewmember station during the entire flight, as you have pointed out.

However, FAR 91.105 (b), regarding when a crewmember is required to have their shoulder harness fastened, only applies during "takeoff and landing." While enroute a shoulder harness is not required.

Your point 5 is correct. According to FAR 91.105 (b)(2): During takeoff and landing if having the shoulder harness fastened would result in the crewmember being unable to perform required duties, then it would not be required to be fastened.

As a note, my opinion of what constitutes "takeoff and landing," with respect to FAR 91.105, is when the aircraft is physically on a runway. However, a shoulder harness would routinely be fastened prior to physically being on the runway (during takeoff or landing).

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  • $\begingroup$ Slight clarification to point 5 to OP's question: it is not necessarily a matter of operating the aircraft. 91.105(b)(2) specifies "the crewmember would be unable to perform required duties with the shoulder harness fastened." Although you said this, I just want to point out the distinction to what they originally wrote. $\endgroup$
    – FencerPTS
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ @FencerPTS Fair point, but that is why I specified "required duties" in my answer. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 19:50

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