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November 30, 2009
Park Rapids, MN
September 12, 2009
Accident Number: CEN09LA579
Airbag Equipped: Yes
On September 12, 2009, at 2230 central daylight time, a Cessna 172S operated by the
University of North Dakota, had an accident during takeoff from runway 31 (5,498 feet
by 100 feet, asphalt) Park Rapids Memorial Airport (PKD), Park Rapids, Minnesota. The
pilot, a 21 year old male, was 71 inches tall and weighed 144 pounds. He was the sole
occupant of the airplane and he received minor injuries. The 14 Code of Federal
Regulations Part 91 instructional flight was departing UUV with Grand Forks, North
Dakota, as the final destination. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual
flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed.
University of North Dakota staff shipped the left and right front restraint systems to
NTSB Headquarters for further analysis, and the shipment was received on October 27,
2009. The left front restraint system was documented on November 9, 2009. The right
front restraint system was not documented except as needed to provide a comparison with
the left restraint.
The restraint (number: 7035-1-021-8096, date: A0608) was manufactured by AmSafe. It
had a 3-point connection system, including lap and shoulder belts, retractor, buckle, and
an integrated lap-belt airbag (figure 1). Overall, the restraint system was intact. The
general appearance of the belt portion was slightly mottled and dirty suggesting heavy
use. (The condition of the right belt was similar.) Additionally, there was minor fraying
of the belt at approximately 36 inches from the attachment bolt.
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Figure 1. Photograph of left front seat restraint/airbag system with deployed airbag.
The seat belt buckle assembly (number 7035-201) was tested and found to be functional.
The seat belt ret