Seat Harness Problem for Tall Pilots?


I just started flying an SR-20. I’m about 6’3" tall and have to recline the seat back to fit in the airplane and then lean forward to reach the controls on the Garmin Perspective displays. In this seat geometry the harness inertia reels are so strong they pull the harness up over my stomach. If I tighten the lap belts enough that this doesn’t happen they’re so tight they are very uncomfortable. My physical build is trim so I don’t have a big stomach to help keep the harness from riding up.

The harness for me is very uncomfortable, annoying, and my biggest disappointment in the airplane. Is this a common problem for tall, trim Cirrus pilots? Has anyone already solved this problem?

I’m thinking of getting a length of seat belt strapping I can sit on and tie or Velcro loop the other end around the lap belts to hold the harness down.

Any suggestions?



I’m taller than u by an inch. I have never had any problems. I don’t have to lean the seat back, or lean up… Or have problems with the seatbelts… Yes I drive a G1 SR22 but I have sat in the G5s on several occasions and never had the problem with them either… I’m not sure what to tell you.

6’6" and thin and I have never had an issue with either cirrus I have owned. I keep the seat back fully erect with the seat in the rearmost position. You must be all torso to have this issue. Perhaps wear a lower profile headset?

6’4", slim. I have the seat all the way back (beyond the rear locked position) and the seat back fairly upright. It’s very comfortable.

But, as you describe, the lap belt rides up my midsection if it’s not uncomfortably tight. I seem to be constantly adjusting it downward. So…I agree. And I have not found a solution.

I agree with you. I’m 6’1" and 190lbs but ‘all torso’. With the seat upright and my feet squarely on the rudder pedals my Bose A20 rubs the headlining so I have no choice but to recline the seat. I asked Cirrus about this and they suggested pedal extensions??? Not what I wanted to hear, I hoped that somehow the seat could be lowered, apparently not. The best solution appears seems to be, get used to being a little more reclined than you might like. I got used to it.

Thanks guys for the quick responses.

To be more precise, I’m 6 ft 3.5" tall. My seating height/torso may contribute more to my height than my legs. I’ve been adjusting the seat forward until my knees touch the instrument panel and then reclining the seat back until my Bose A20 headset doesn’t hit the headliner. This position means I can’t reach the controls of the Perspective displays without leaning and slouching forward. I’m going to have to try positioning the seat farther away (as many of you do), which lowers the seat, and set the seat back recline more upright, and see how that works out for me. I wish the Cirrus engineers would have provided even an inch of vertical adjustment to their seats…

I’m surprised so many tall pilots are not having problems with the harness pulling up. I’ve had it ride all the way up over my rib cage and am constantly have to keep pulling it down. I’ve flown two different SR-20s and each behaved the same way so I don’t think it’s the case one airplane’s overset inertia reels. I do think the Cirrus inertia reel springs are set way to high. In my surface vehicle, my shoulder harness stays right up against me as I move and I hardly even know its there.

The SR-20’s I’m flying have airbags in the harness straps. I don’t know if that’s standard for all Cirrus airplanes. It wouldn’t surprise me, if because of the additional weight, that the inertia reel springs are stronger. Do all you guys have the airbags…?



I am 6 inches shorter than you and I don’t even pull the seat that far forward. The seat rails are designed to rise as you go forward, so doing that is jamming your head up into the headliner. I suspect you have gotten used to and like a seating position that is pretty far forward. That would be ok but as you lean the seat too far back it creates consequences.

Suggestion, try the seat back erect, the seat pulled forward only enough that with slightly bent knees you can press on the brakes. I bet that works better.

I think you’re too far forward. Your knees shouldn’t be in the general vicinity of the bolster panel. Move the seat back and tilt it more upright and you should be good. As was mentioned, the seat moves downward the farther you move it back, so that should leave enough headroom for you.

6’ 5.5" 255#. Seat fully aft and back 1 click aft of neutral. Hip belts tight and low to keep the 4 point harness from creeping up your torso (this is the ideal restraint position - don’t have the buckle above your groin area). No issues reaching anything even copilot map pocket.
I think u need to play with more positions… :wink:

The SR-20’s I’m flying have airbags in the harness straps. I don’t know if that’s standard for all Cirrus airplanes – probably not. It wouldn’t surprise me, if because of the additional weight, that the inertia reel springs are stronger and maybe set too strong.

For all the guys responding here who do not have problems with the harness riding up, do you have airbags integrated into the harness straps? This might be a key difference I’d like to pin down…



I do not have airbags. After reading im surprised people sit so close? I keep my seat ALMOST all the way back. my seatbelt will ride up after I lean back in cruise, but I always thought that would happen with anyone? So I adjust the seat belt when I put the seat back in approach/landing configuration

I’m 6’ 4" and use this set up… set all the way back when entering/exiting. Backrest almost all the way erect and then one click forward on the seat when strapped in. Adjust belt to be at waist level. Never an issue either.

The seat belt airbags have been standard equipment for almost 10 years now. While mine does not have them, more Cirrus have them than don’t. And I have flown plenty with them. That is not the issue. Position and angle are.

Yes air bags… Irrelevant I think.
The junk in the map pocket behind the seat often impairs retraction of shoulder straps… So make sure they aren’t stuck too.

6’6" and I agree the seat belts ride up and can get very annoying. No belly does not help In this case. I don’t fly with them on except on take off and landing.

Seat belts ride up?
That’s really strange. I’m 6’2" and have no trouble. In fact, Alan and Dale Klapmeier are taller than me and they have no trouble. Got a photo?

Likewise. I am 6’2" , almost 10 years in my SR22 with airbags and never a problem, provided I tighten up the lap belt to keep the buckle down low. I have the seat fully back to get in , then slide the seat forward 2 Clicks when flying. So comfortable[:)]

Yikes! I am reminded of the clear air turbulence I hit about 6 months ago, one huge thump on an otherwise reasonable day for flying. Hit my head on the roof hard enough to knock off my headset and glasses. Console flew open and everything in it and seat pockets were strewn across the aircraft. I had a heck of a headache. And that was wearing a seatbelt fairly tight, as is my habit.

And I am 5’6". It could have incapacitated me easily. Good luck.


I have a SR-20 G3 - and I do NOT have the problem that you describe… now, I have a BIG BELLY - so, one idea - drink some beer - enough to create a shelf that you can use to keep the belt from riding up [;)]

I suggest you ENJOY your food more… and move off that “slim” torso model… ha, I can only dream of being called slim…


Okay, thanks for the feedback. Strange how some have never experienced this problem and some routinely do. I’m going to try the farther aft and more erect seat back position. I’m now wondering if the strap cinch mechanism just isn’t working well in my case and others with the problem.