Airbags on airplanes? - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Airbags on airplanes?

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

(WFLX) - An airbag on your airplane could become a reality. Safety experts say plane crashes do not have to be as deadly as they are right now.

In a simulated airplane accident, two crash dummies are strapped in. The crash is comparable to a head-on car collision at a speed of 30 miles per hour. The dummy with an airbag in his seatbelt survives uninjured; the other is killed instantly.

Most new single engine planes already have airbags, and FAA regulations also require new planes to have sturdier seats. But, some say, new safety standards, which were approved in 1988, should have been in place years ago.

"The air carriers pushed back against the immediate retrofitting of their aircraft because, they said, it was going to cost over a half-billion dollars if they had to do it quickly," said former NTSB Director Pete Goelz.

The expense will, in some way, be passed along to air travelers. But, some say, given what can happen in a crash, it could end up being a very small price to pay.

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