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   AmSafe Installation

Cessna Cardinal Airbag Installation

Gary Lecher, a Cessna 177RG Cardinal owner, and his wife fly approximately 140 hours a year visiting their large family scattered throughout the United States. Included in these travels are two trips to the Bahamas for vacations.

Gary, with a 1000+ hours and commercial with instrument ratings, is a colonel (Ret.) from the US Army who also volunteers on a monthly basis for Angel flight duty. Prior to purchasing the Cessna 177RG four years ago, Gary rented aircraft but finds the Cardinal easier for his wife to enter and exit.

Gary has spent the last Four years updating his aircraft with a new interior, some avionics and now is updating his aircraft with the AmSafe® Seatbelt Airbag system.

Gary had seen AmSafe Seatbelt Airbags on commercial flights traveling for his job as a HIPA compliance officer as well as on the Diamond aircraft he operated. Gary decided to spend time researching the effectiveness of the airbags. His research made him “confident airbags will increase the survivability of an aircraft crash”.

During the annual Cardinal Flyers Online (CFO) convention this year in Phoenix Arizona, the group was invited to visit the AmSafe headquarters. AmSafe provided CFO with an interesting visit which included a presentation on airbags and a tour of the facility. Cessna 177 owners were also offered a special limited discount program. This offer, a $1,000 off list price, was, according to Gary “what tipped me over the edge” in deciding to purchase and install the system onto his aircraft. (Special offer ends December 24th so contact AmSafe for more details). Visit or contact AmSafe at for further information on seatbelt airbags and this special offer.

Gary chose Northern Air, in Grand Rapids Michigan as his AmSafe Authorized installation facility. Chris Allchin is the Director of Maintenance and Morris Alyea was the technician who completed the installation. Richard Heitzman, technical sales manager for AmSafe and an A&P mechanic was onsite for technical assistance. The installation went smoothly with only minor changes to the specs to accommodate the retractable landing gear hydraulic lines under the floorboard.

During dinner the night before (BBQ ribs at Smokey’s) Gary mentioned that he was concerned with the fact that “stuff happens” and wanted the seatbelt airbag systems on his aircraft in order to provide increased survivability for he and his wife in case he was unable to land the aircraft and she had to take over. Along with the new autopilot and GPS, Gary feels that the AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag system is the best update to the safety of his aircraft that he can buy.

To Contact AmSafe, visit or call them at 800-228-1567

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