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Supplementary passenger protection and restraint systems, like passenger airbags and smoke hoods, are being developed. Some of theses systems have been adopted by general and business aviation and may eventually find their way onto airliners. New requirements for increased passenger safety may also force these changes.

For instance, the inflatable lap belt concept will rely on electronic sensors for signaling and a stored gas canister for inflation.

Potential hazard

  1. Devices could be susceptible to inadvertent activation, causing deployment in a potentially unsafe manner.
  2. Rescue crews may inadvertently trigger gas generators used for air-bag-type protection systems.
  3. Rocket-propelled recovery parachutes in some aircraft may be accidentally triggered by rescue crews or may explode in post-crash fires.

The consequences of inadvertent deployment as well as failure to deploy must be considered in establishing the reliability of the system. Manufacturers must substantiate that the effects of an inadvertent deployment in flight either would not cause injuries to occupants or that such deployment(s) meet the requirement of Sec. 25.1309(b). The effect of an inadvertent deployment on a passenger or crew-member that might be positioned close to the inflatable lap belt should also be considered.

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