Flight Helmets?

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BJC

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Since this is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, and we are discussing helmets, I was reminded of a time predating the presence of professional offendees.

And by special request:


BJC
 

Hephaestus

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Just a few quick stories...

http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/news-items/2019/importance-of-flight-helmets/
The ATSB found that the pilot’s personnel flight helmet struck the internals of the cockpit and based on the extent of damage to the helmet, it probably prevented the pilot receiving a more serious head injury.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.facebook.com/FAA/posts/851149951593295&ved=2ahUKEwiFx5jCou_iAhVKxFQKHcTxDOsQFjAQegQIBhAB&usg=AOvVaw0Rqe1ETqpt7Z8IHNU8t-Tq&cshid=1560731807313

Helmet safety is catching on in the Alaska aviation community. Just three months after a pilot there escaped injury, another pilot has walked away unscathed from a Super Cub crash thanks to his helmet.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-wiltshire-40304283
"It is possible that the wearing of a suitable helmet would have mitigated injuries sustained by both of the accident crew."
 

Stl.Ed

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On the other hand, when you are belted into a seat, the extra weigh of a helmet increases the likelihood of neck injuries when the head snaps forward. This obviously isn't a problem on a motorcycle, bicycle, etc.
Race drivers tend to use a HANS Device or other head restraint to help mitigate the risk.
 

Vigilant1

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When possible, it's obviously far better to avoid having the head (with or without a helmet) contact anything. A good restraint system--with the straps at the right angles and attached to something that will tolerate the expected forces, is our first and best method to decelerate in a controlled manner and avoid contact with the aircraft. A helmet can only provide less than 1" of deceleration stroke. It's good for some other things, but it is no substitute for a well engineered and built restraint system.
 
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Hephaestus

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I'd still rather whiplash than a nasty concussion.

The weight of modern helmets isn't massive - generally if you're hitting hard going forward in an aircraft - whiplash and neck injuries will be the least of your concerns... The only guy I know who had a true GA major incident. Go around, too slow too much bank spun it in, had broken legs, broken ribs, a broken arm, concussion, punctured organs... The list went on and on, he was over a year before he was walking again. I'd hazard a guess he probably had whiplash too... Just a hunch. An extra couple pounds on his head wouldn't have made things much worse or better.
 

Voidhawk9

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Don't forget a proper and adequately adjusted headrest. It's not there to rest your head on. It's there's to stop your head flailing back after the 'recoil' from flailing forward and crunching up more of your neck in the other direction.
 

choppergirl

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Having bumped my head on an overhead I-beam while wearing a helmet, and also not wearing a helmet, I can tell you, wearing a helmet is a superior experience. The first, you're like thunk g-dammit and keep going, the second you're swearing up a storm and rubbing your head for five minutes. I, for run, keep running into my struts when I duck under my wing from behind, because I forget they are there, and it hurts. It happens enough, that I should put a warning sign on the top side of my ailerons.

There's other compelling reasons to wear a full facial helmet. Rain on the lips really stings (so much so you suck your lips in); it's impossibly hard to see through wet and fogged up glasses compared to a Rain-X coated visor; wind will make your eyes water; helmets keep your head warm; a bumblebee to the face hurts; and catching a random flying bug in the dual 55mph ear scoops on the side of your head is a nightmare you don't want to experience (like say, on take off or landing).

Not all motorcycle helmets are created equal. I've been told by other motorcycle riders that the carbon fiber ones are superior, and the common DOT approved "plastic" ones are junk.

There's also lightweight bicycle helmets too, if you're concerned about weight or whiplash. Better than no helmet at all, but don't protect you from the above *extra* things. The *extra* things are a real problem.

A pool noodle covering any tubes your head might hit adds an extra inch or so of crunch space.
 
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TXFlyGuy

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Don't forget a proper and adequately adjusted headrest. It's not there to rest your head on. It's there's to stop your head flailing back after the 'recoil' from flailing forward and crunching up more of your neck in the other direction.
Like this? Armor plate, bullet proof.
P1030873.JPG
 

Mcmark

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Most of the aerobatic pilots that wear a helmet wear the Bonehead Composites helmet. Much lighter than the military units.
 

Dana

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One thing to bear in mind is that motorcycle and flight helmets are designed differently, for different kinds of impacts, and are not interchangeable. A flight helmet is lighter, designed to protect your head against single impacts against aircraft structure, whereas a motorcycle helmet protects you against a more drawn out tumble and slide along pavement.
 

Charles_says

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Thanks, TX. I always wondered what the doctor was probing for there.
BJC

Hmmm..... You must not have heard the expression

" **** fer brains"....

You need a specialist for that ...
a "Cranioproctologist"

YES, I wear a Genyouwine USAF flight Helmet.
(converted for GA radio)
 

Riggerrob

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One thing to bear in mind is that motorcycle and flight helmets are designed differently, for different kinds of impacts, and are not interchangeable. A flight helmet is lighter, designed to protect your head against single impacts against aircraft structure, whereas a motorcycle helmet protects you against a more drawn out tumble and slide along pavement.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Have you seen the latest "classic" low-profile motorcycle helemts?
They look like the fibreglass Bell helmets that were fashionable when I started skydiving in the 1970s, but are certified to modern ANSI, DOT, etc. standards. They are about half the thickness of modern motorcycle helmets, but provide more headroom in tight cockpits.

Also consider the low-profile helmets made by BONEHEAD and worn by aerobatic pilots. They include just enough room for earphones, etc. and some even come with visors.
 

SheepdogRD

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I plan to fly with helmets for both seats. What I've really wanted was a helmet that would work with Bose headsets.

The Team Wendy search and rescue helmets -- specifically the SAR Backcountry (https://www.teamwendy.com/products/helmets-accessories/helmets/exfil-sar-backcountry) -- seem like they provide very good protection at reasonable cost. These helmets have glass-reinforced polycarbonate shrouds with optional mount points for lights and cameras. I like polycarbonate, of which the best-known version is Lexan. Polycarbonate doesn't crunch in like fiberglass, or turn into tiny knives like broken carbon fiber.

The helmets come with two thicknesses of foam pads to make them fit almost any head size. I'd keep the extra pads handy for fitting other heads.

Within the last year, the wish to use these helmets with Bose headsets was answered. John Hartz made a Bose headset converter that eliminates the headband and connects the earcups to the helmet without any rewiring or additional electronics. When he posted his system on the Facebook Big Tire Pilots group, I liked it the whole idea, and so did others. It got good response. He made more of them, and posted the instructions on assembling them. Now he's opened Sky Cowboy Supply Co. (https://www.skycowboysupplyco.com/), selling his "Stirrup Converters" that adapt Bose, Lightspeed, or David Clark headsets to the helmets.

I'm planning on buying Bose A20s, ordering the SAR Backcountry helmets with the optional rail kits and Peltor adapters, and buying Sky Cowboy Stirrup Converters. One issue: the Sky Cowboy site notes that headset disassembly probably voids the Bose warranty, so I'll keep all the parts I remove in case I need to reassemble a headset before sending it in for repair.

If you have a military helmet already, you can still buy Peltor adapters and the Stirrup Converters and mount your headset to your helmet. If you'd rather not do the work, Sky Cowboy sells complete, assembled systems as well.

I don't have this system (yet), and I've never tried one on, but it's the most appealing package I've seen. When I think I can give a pretty good estimate for an airplane completion date, I'll get these on order. The helmet is the long lead time item, with delivery currently at 4-6 weeks.
 

Old Koreelah

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I modified an old lexan bicycle helmet. Made cut-outs to accomodate my Dave Clark, removed it's over-head hoop and bolted the earpiece arms to the helmet shell. The power pack for my ANR is riveted to the back of the helmet.
Comfortable, light and heaps safer than a bare head.
 
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