Seatbelt Bracket Failure Cited In Fatal Crash

A seatbelt bracket failure has been cited in the fatal crash of a Cessna 140 in British Columbia last year that killed a beloved member of the B.C. flying community. Erissa Yong died when the aircraft nosed over during an aborted takeoff from the Stave Lake airstrip, an abandoned aerodrome north of Maple Ridge that is still in use by backcountry enthusiasts. The TSB was able to determine the centre lap belt bracket fractured during the accident and Yong was unrestrained. She died at the scene and a coroner later determined the cause of death was  cervical spine trauma.. Another pilot in the aircraft suffered minor injuries. Her seatbelt remained attached to the bracket.

Early production numbers of both aircraft models were originally equipped with an aluminum alloy seatbelt bracket but Cessna used steel brackets in later aircraft. After a similar fatal 2014 nose-over accident in New York, Textron and the FAA both issued bulletins calling for replacement of aluminum brackets with those made of steel. The TSB has determined that about two-thirds of 120s and 140s registered in Canada were originally equipped with the failure-prone aluminum brackets and owners are being urged to ensure their aircraft have the steel type.