FAA calls for removal of certain Zodiac seats
FAA is calling for more than 10,000 Zodiac Aerospace seats to be removed from service, citing design flaws that could cause injury if a passenger was thrown forward during a high-impact incident.
An FAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) released April 20 covers seats with model numbers 4157, 4170 and 4184. The seats are installed on Bombardier CRJ700s, -900s and Q400s; Embraer ERJ 145s, -170s and -190s; and Boeing 717s. Affected airlines include US carriers Delta Air Lines, Envoy Air, Island Air, Republic Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and United Airlines.
“The impact of the [passenger’s] head onto a typical transport passenger seat back during seat qualification testing normally results in an initial contact, followed by an unimpeded sliding motion down the back of the seat,” the NPRM states.
“The design of the affected seating systems introduce new injury mechanisms, such that the [passenger’s] chin can catch on the seat, causing high neck-bending loads and direct concentrated loading on the neck,” the notice continues. “This interaction between the head and the seat during forward impacts can result in serious injury to the occupant.”
The issue came to light after the Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil (ANAC), the FAA’s Brazilian counterpart, requested the US agency’s “review and input on test data submitted for seats to be installed in the Embraer ERJ models,” FAA told ATW’s sister publication Aviation Daily.
“The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute conducted tests with representative seats to determine the seriousness of the potential injuries cited in the [NPRM]. The seat manufacturer also conducted additional tests with the actual seats and provided the test results to the FAA,” the agency stated. (FltAware)