Moody AFB To Install State-of-the-Art Safety Seats

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Moody Air Force Base is testing a new crash-certified seat to make flying safer for its loadmasters.

"If you were ejected from your seat at a crash, if you're not strapped in, there's a number of things that could happen to you," says Staff Sgt. Matthew Medley, a flying crew chief "Here you're locked in, you're not going anywhere."

The testing of a loadmaster crashworthy seat is in the works. And it's a stark difference from the two-legged seat airmen rely on now, with no safety straps.

"The government watches the installation of this seat," says John Harmon, an aerospace engineer, who monitors the design and drawings of the new seat.

He says it will be installed in the rest of the HC-130 P fleets at Moody soon.

"It's designed to a 300-pound man capacity. It has been tested ecstatically and dynamically tested to withstand a G-force of 16 G's," Harmon says.

Meaning it can withstand force 16 times the earth's gravitational pull.

So, if loadmasters need to scan for threats or communicate with a helicopter being refueled...

"Seats are positioned by the windows so that the loadmaster can be in the seat while he's looking for downed personnel," Harmon says.

"Something like this is not easy to do. It took a lot of intuition, as far as engineering goes to make this seat. It's gonna save lives," Staff Sgt. Medley says.

Moody Air Force Base officials say 51 aircrafts across the country will soon be equipped with these loadmaster seats.

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