Back to Squawk list
  • 43

Air India Flight In US Denied Take-Off Over Seat Belt Tags

NEW DELHI: The American air safety regulator on Friday stopped an Air India aircraft to take off as scheduled from Chicago for India due to missing tag numbers from several seat belts. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Makes you wonder what other parts on the aircraft were not properly certified.
Fake aircrew licenses have been a problem in China periodically, but China's safety record is very strong.
Like the pilots.
sparkie624 2
LOL... As a Maintenance Controller and a Mechanic for 30+ years, I have seen a lot that makes me wonder... Some funny, some scary!
Chris Trott 10
I love how the "representative" of Air India said it wasn't a safety issue. Funny thing - if it ain't tagged and it requires a tag, then you can't verify it's an approved part and thus it's not a safe part. Kinda cut and dry. Not onerous at all, just the rules that applies to everyone.
India has a poor air safety record, but personnel rather than tags are the main cause, or so it seems.
toolguy105 3
To some safety means safety of flight meaning the aircrafts ability to get and stay airborne. A seatbelt is a safety issue and to me is a safety of flight issue for if the seatbelt is sub-standard and I hit turbulence will that seatbelt hold the passenger in their seat. If not then the passengers around that seat are at risk and we may have to declare a medical emergency and land at the closest airport. SAFTEY OF FLIGHT ENCOPASSES ALL PORTIONS OF THE AIRCRAFT INCLUDDING THE PASASENGER CABIN, not just those systems that enable the plane to fly.
I have heard for years that American carriers are the safest in the world because of the required checks on the maintenance of aircraft and the equipment or whatever on the aircraft,so this is not surprising..i am quite familiar with log books and write ups,some minor,some complicated,and if pieces and parts ,even seatbelts are not categorized or certified,the aircraft should not be allowed to depart....
sparkie624 5
We deal with that all the time... I have deferred seats unusable because of a missing seat belt tag... That is the law.. You fly in the US you work with these rules.... Not sure what happens, weather people steal them or just get damaged, but it happens... I have even had writes ups of missing seat belts because people like to steal them, or missing seat belt extenders...
Dee Lowry 1
Hi Sparkie. People do like to steal items off airplanes. Lifevests are a real popular items and liquor is a given. Taking a seatbelt or a seatbelt extension wouldn't float my boat but you never know what kind of people you're dealing with. They may be really into seatbelts and extensions! Anyway, you are right. You fly within US jurisdiction then you follow FAA rules and Regs. No getting around it.
Air India is in the middle of an ownership transfer from government owned to fully privatized. The airline has operated at such a tremendous loss over the past decade that the government could no longer keep it afloat. By privatization, it will be owned in large part by a group of banks and the airline will begin the long crawl out of insolvency. I believe the FAA action was simply a way of telling IA that shoddy paperwork and sloppy repairs would not be tolerated. I would expect similar incidents in the weeks and months ahead. And, it won't just be seat belts that are inspected. Every repair or service facility under FAA jurisdiction can expect routine inspections and friendly visits.
toolguy105 3
That is the way the FAA does over sight. Even if the repair is done right if the paperwork is not there to prove it the job has not been done. The maintenance log book is very much a vital part of every airplane commercial or private.
jbermo 1
I think that your assumptions are very correct. The FAA is sending AIA a message here!
Highflyer1950 5
I'll bet that if the FAA were to look a little closer they might find a lot more than seat belt tags missing? I could see pulling 44 pax off the flight, but crew belts that another thing.
Bryce Johnson 4
One of our aircraft was "denied takeoff" the other day for having tears on the underside of the seat cushions. This was deemed a fire hazard by the FAA inspectors and had to get replaced. It happens everyday to every airline....foreign and domestic
taterhed1 2
Well, as long as AIA doesn't use the seatbelts to strap down fanblades.....

(JK) ;}
As an engineer I have been taught that there are two types of goods, standard and nonstandard or substandard kind. No need to go into details.
The report says clearly two things
first, without the mandatory tags
second, Though not a safety issue,
If something is mandatory it HAS to followed no matter what.
So where is the question of safety issue ?
Going deeply how is NOT a safety issue ?
A sub standard seat belt IS A SAFETY ISSUE.
A Technical Standard Order (TSO) is a minimum performance standard
I guess the definition of TSO says all.
Majority of serious accidents occur due to minor negligences.
toolguy105 2
It is the confluence of minor things that lead to big things. This is why the FAA is so hard on the minor things. Missing paper work seem minor to many people but it is very important when it comes to safety of flight.
jbermo 1
The FAA is simply sending problematic AIA a message and putting them on notice. . . we're watching you!
Tom Barrett 1
I had my Mooney grounded at Annual Inspection year for the same reason by FAA inspector. ..I am really shocked that a 121 operation would have this problem
Seat belts are a replacement item as they get frayed or out of the use time.I Air India is so relaxed on small issues ,then what other regulations are being over looked? Maintence issues ? Crew issues ?
toolguy105 1
Those tags do not just show who manufactured the belt and that they meet a certain standard. They also show when a technician checked the belt for serviceability. Without the tag the flight attendant does not know if her harness is safe to use or if the seatbelts are safe for passenger use.
Tom Bruce -1
wow...wonder what's really going on....seems they could have issued warning that plane would have to comply by next flight to US? am I missing something?
Ruger9X19 12
Not to strange. Seatbelts are about the first thing the FAA checks after the A.R.R.O.W. paperwork during a ramp inspection. In fact the old 8700.1 General Aviation Operations Inspector's Handbook on aircraft inspection the first sept was determine general airworthiness (i.e. preflight) and step 2 was inspect seatbelts.

If they don't have a tag they would Notify you that you are in violation of TSO-C22g (I'm not sure if this is still used) or more likely Part 45.15 Marking requirements for PMA articles, TSO articles, and Critical parts.

A violation of either and the aircraft is unairworthy and no warnings are given. It is up to the operator not the FAA to make sure they are operating within the FAR requirements.
To add to your comment; my plane must have the seat belts replaced every 10 years or the aircraft becomes legally unflyable.
Tom Bruce 1
thanks Ruger
Sopps 3
I'm guessing this inspection didn't come out of the blue, I've been told by an Air India passenger that he was given a seat with no seat belt at all. If the FAA gets a report like that they are going to followup with an inspection and demand immediate action.
canuck44 -1
The irony is that Air India will remove the offending belts on this aircraft and all their other 777's, send them back to the manufacturer where they will be inspected, retagged and returned to service.
bengleman 6
I don't see how that's ironic at all. That's the proper procedure, unless you replace the belts. That just goes to support the fact that the regs aren't onerous, and it's just a lazy carrier. In any case, I wouldn't fly them because I can only imagine the other places they cut corners and thumb their noses at proper safety precautions.
Ruger9X19 3
That's assuming they got them from an approved source in the first place. I've see management types pull some crazy procurement stuff.
bpanther 1
This is Ai not PIA...

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

ToddBaldwin3 6
The way I read your post, you wouldn't mind flying on plane with sub-standard wiring, that might catch on fire too easily, or carpeting that doesn't meet FAA flammability standards. There's a lot more to safety than engines and wings. Even with the tags, counterfeit parts are a problem too.
Yes, defective seat belts can bring a plane down just as sub-standard wiring can bring a plane down. Great analogy. /sarc
AWAAlum 4
I believe Mr. Baldwin's point is not what brings a plane down, but rather, if a plane goes down, survivability.
sparkie624 6
Can you tell me where we stop "NitPicking"... I mean real... The plane is either 100% legal or it is not... Anything less than 100% is not acceptable in any form....

To put it in prospective an incident happens and this person now is not only ejected from there seat due to a wrong seat belt that did not meet standards.. Is propelled randomly trough the cabin either killing or injuring people on board the a/c. Hypothetical... Yes... Possible, most certainly... Look at the Asiana Flight in SFO - If the seat belts were not certified, then more people may not have survived...
bengleman 9
nitpicking? There's no such thing as nitpicking when it comes to minimum safety standards on a missile carrying passengers at over 500 knots and 40,000 feet! Your comment is what's absurd.
Ruger9X19 7
Of course all those parts are checked. What an absurd statement. Every part from rivets on up are checked and tracked via lot numbers, s/n, manufacturer id numbers, etc. All facilities parts are made in and repaired in are subject to checks to verify parts are properly tracked. Why would a critical safety device not be checked for compliance?
It wasn't many flights after the Shuttle became less of a space mission and more of a thrill ride for civilians until it came unglued in 1986.
The point being that familiarity breeds contempt. First it's the seatbelts, then the o-rings, then the engine mounts.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

That's not what the safety records indicate.
Derek Smith 4


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.