Flight Helmets?

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Derswede

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Well, I have a full face helmet for my bike. Don't plan to test the impact rating on it anytime soon, but it does rate high on the charts. I plan to wear it while flying the Hawk. I will also replace the 25 yr old harness. The helmet is additional protection...if I augur in, not much will help, but normally something is better than nothing. It has space for headset and mike. I will wire my own up, as I have a kit designed for high noise environments. I selected my helmet with one major objective in mind....visibility. Peripheral vision is one thing I will not compromise on. Mine is also a "flip-front", the face will swivel up. Makes it more likely to be used, as an inconvenient helmet may be ignored or not used (or off at the wrong time). I see guys riding in some states without a helmet, and I cringe. Heck, I may wear full armour while flying...esp. in training phase. I don't plan to wrap the Hawk up into a ball, but I did not plan to have to hit a girl in an SUV who was deep in a conversation when she ran the stop-sign when I was about 20 ft. from the intersection (me with right of way). I'd rather have it and gain some protection rather than wishing I had it 0.2 seconds before impact. A ruined jacket, a busted helmet and a pair of ruined gloves are little in comparison to getting up the next morning with no broken bones or skin rash. Bruises heal, and gear can be replaced. Any decent helmet is, to me, better than none. When the previous owner of N15E (Monocoupe 110 Clipwing) crashed it on takeoff in Colorado, his head hit the panel. Fortunately no permanent damage, but the head butt that could be seen on the panel was impressive and thought provoking.

Derswede
 

Lendo

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Well, I've torn two helmets and jackets to pieces but only at full throttle of my 1800 cc M109 Suzuki, and finally realize I also need knee protectors. However I've read reports of aircraft crashes where the occupants facial bones were embedded into the Instrument panel, so a helmet is good insurance, but I worry about the unprotected face.

Another thing I couldn't help noticing is that synthetic gloves melt from friction, so for bike riders I would recommend full leather. BTW I've still got the scars from that.
George
 

SVSUSteve

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My view is wear a helmet will only help on bailing out.
*squints and glares* Excuse me? I think you need to have your eyes checked then.

Crashes at flying speed will usually be fatal no matter what's on your head.
Properly restrained, wearing a helmet, and designing an aircraft to protect the pilot up to the reasonable limits of human tolerance (which are probably between 80-100 G for most adults in a longitudinal deceleration), you can most certainly survive a crash at the cruise speed of most bug smasher GA. Probably 1 out of 4 NASCAR races has a crash that exceeds the G load that you consider almost invariably lethal. The ag aviation industry had remarkable success in slashing their fatality rate in crashes because they realized that having to train a crop of new pilots this year (no pun intended) to replace the ones killed last year was a poor business model.


Landing crashes should be low speed (I know many aren't).
Most are. Most highway car crashes happen at higher speed than most GA landing crashes. The reason people think they happen at higher speed is because many designs are grandfathered in from the days back when the crash tolerance limits had more to do with what was easy to manufacture than the actual scientific evidence.

[QUOTE}I'm more concerned about what happens in a bail out. [/QUOTE]
Statistically, you're worrying about a problem that is the least likely option you will encounter.

Many attempted bail outs failed because the wearer was not conscious to pull the rip chord.
As the saying goes in science (no offense intended): "Citation or GTFO" regarding the "many" claim. I'm aware of ONE general aviation fatality in the past fifteen years where an unequivocal head strike that incapacitated the pilot. That get smashed his head into the vertical stabilizer root (there was identifiable hair, blood, and brain matter present). A helmet would not have helped much since he slammed his chest into the horizontal stabilize causing massive, non-survivable injuries.

The vast majority of GA bailout fatalities are due to insufficient altitude rather than a traumatic incapacitation. That said...if it gets you to wear a helmet, I'm not going to tell you not do just because your reasoning is not flawed.

If the helmet is heavy and uncomfortable I won't wear it. That's why I use a helmet designed for parachuting with an in-ear headset.
You know those are not all that rugged right? I would not trust one to protect me in a crash or a parachute jump (I have 19 to my credit so far BTW). They are more for show ("insurance purposes") and as a mounting platform for GoPros than real world injury prevention. They are "certified" basically to a glorified bicycle helmet standard.

You might check out the helmets worn by medical helicopter crews. They are designed to be comfortable and are actually designed to prevent head injuries in crashes.



I pretty much only wear a helmet when I'm wearing a chute, and I almost only wear a chute when in an aerobatic aircraft flying aerobatics.
Personally, I think a helmet is a good idea in most GA flying at least during landing and takeoff if you have room to safely remove it at cruise once the autopilot is handling the boring part of flying. That said...it's not something that I think should be mandatory EXCEPT in activities that carry increased risk of crashes (helicopters, aerobatics, ag aviation, pipeline patrol, etc)

By the way, my apologies for the delay in replying. I got remarried on Saturday and have been away on my honeymoon. We're stuck in the hotel room right now due to storms in central Florida and Julia is asleep due to her sinuses acting up thanks to the air pressure dropping.
 

SVSUSteve

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Tear-away gets sketchy too though. Think hitting a tree or poweline - if it tears during the first impact what happens to it during the 2nd 3rd or 4th?
Look at the research done by John Swearingen and Stanley Mohler at FAA CAMI in the mid-1960s. There's a lot of experimental data (and a few design ideas that are so simple that even I could build it) on how to "delethalize" a cockpit. The gist is that you don't necessarily want a "breakaway" panel but you do want one that is less rugged than your face or forehead. You want it to crumple before your sinuses do.
 

SVSUSteve

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Some panels are structural. Mine is. Perhaps even the ones that are not probably have enough mass attached to them to not yield readily to an incoming meat sack?
It's usually a matter of not thinking about it at the time of the design since it's not "in the regs" or driven home sufficient in many of the references on aircraft design.

Also, it's not necessarily "enough mass" on the part of the panel but designs that concentrate the impact force of the head (such as a sharp edge or small rounded corner) or something that is less ductile (easily bent) than the cranium or the bones of the face.
 

BJC

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That said...it's not something that I think should be mandatory EXCEPT in activities that carry increased risk of crashes (helicopters, aerobatics, ag aviation, pipeline patrol, etc)
We disagree. Helmets should not be mandatory, nor should automobile seat belt usage. It should be mandatory that I not have to pay higher insurance rates or government taxes to care for those maimed due to non-use, or, if they die, support of their dependents.


BJC
 

SVSUSteve

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We disagree. Helmets should not be mandatory, nor should automobile seat belt usage. It should be mandatory that I not have to pay higher insurance rates or government taxes to care for those maimed due to non-use, or, if they die, support of their dependents.


BJC
That's your choice.

I am really not sure how best to broach the rest of my response to this without risking offence or insult.

As someone who generally respects you, considers you a friend and loathes stupid people-- I would be remiss if I did not point out that it does not come across in a positive light. It makes you sound selfish, crass, and unfeeling in a "I got mine...I don't really care about you" sort of way. The social Darwinist implication is also far from flattering. I, of course, realize that you're an otherwise generally nice, decent person...otherwise this response would have simply consisted of a few words including a couple of obscenities.

That said....I'm not going to comment further regarding that. What needs to be said has been said and hopefully we can move past this difference in opinion and focus on other matters besides the social ramifications of people being stupid.
 

narfi

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I think he was just pointing out that buildings full of codes do not help people, nor does the burden on society supporting an entire class of people to interpret and enforce their ever changing interpretations.
 

Derswede

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If everyone had and used common sense, over half the laws in the world could be eliminated. SVSUSteve, congrats on the nuptials, I just hope that she likes flying.

Law or no law, I use protection in many ways. Having had a doctor literally mess with my brain means I'm already well down the slippery slope know as Luck, so will try to improve my odds by using seatbelts, helmets, etc. Life itself is risky, and "Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all." So, I don't need a law to tell me to stop at a stop sign, to wear a seatbelt, or to turn on my lights when it is pouring down rain, but let's be honest....LOTS of folks out there are major players in the Darwin Award Roulette and will literally hit the proverbial wall at some point, and thus NEED laws to protect us against them as well as from themselves.

Laws are there to hopefully minimise the carnage and to generate funds for local municipalities. Having encountered some of your "stupid people", I think all points are open to discussion. (referring to the cell phone user who I met due to her stupidity). I understand BJC's comments, as I have several LEO's in the family and have heard discussions about some who simply will NOT do things to help themselves survive. Thus the earlier comment, (Heard in these parts WAY too often) of "Y'all hold mah beer and y'all watch this!!! It is difficult to protect stupid people from themselves. Some of them do make YouTube, though.

Y'all don't know me personally, please do not take any of my ramblings as a negative, but I think that both of y'all make good points. As the old saying goes, "Ya can't fix stupid."

Derswede
"Carry on!"
 

pwood66889

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By the way, my apologies for the delay in replying. I got remarried on Saturday and have been away on my honeymoon. We're stuck in the hotel room right now due to storms in central Florida...
Congratulations. How Central? I'm up by TLH. I feel I'm "someone who generally respects you, considers you a friend..." so wondering. It rains here as well.
As to the discussion - I agree that more injuries runs up every body's bill at the hospital. But medicine is such a business that most economic (or reasonable) rules do not apply. Florida rules allow no helmets on motor cycling.
Speaking of .. I did my first solo off a Honda 150 cc bike. Yeah, hadda helmet. Decided to take up flying as more conducive to longevity.
 

Derswede

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While pondering all the above, one thought did pop up. Apologies for thread drift, but any recommendations for a decent 4 point harness to replace the antique in the Hawk? In looking around, I have found lots of non-DOT harnesses or what I call a "show harness." Cheap harnesses marketed to kids for their "Fart pipe cars". Looking towards Summit racing at present. Anyone have good success with a particular model or brand?

Derswede
 

BJC

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That's your choice. ... As someone who generally respects you, considers you a friend and loathes stupid people-- I would be remiss if I did not point out that it does not come across in a positive light. It makes you sound selfish, crass, and unfeeling in a "I got mine...I don't really care about you" sort of way.
Which approach, in the long term, will result in a change of behavior to a more responsible, personally accountable approach to living one’s life (and realizing the attendant benefits to society); having government rules, or educating the public through a transient period of sad accidents afflicting the irresponsible, where family, friends, churches and or independent charitable organizations provide the support that otherwise would fall to the taxpayers and insured?

I will always opt for individual personal responsibility over government regulation. That should not be interpreted to mean that I am opposed to government regulation; I am not. Corporations and other legal entities of two or more people usually need regulation. Operation of vehicles on public roads needs regulation .....
”I got mine...I don't really care about you" sort of way
That isn’t the way I look at it. I’m more of a “I worked hard, so can you ...” type.


BJC
 
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Aesquire

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First. Congrats!

Simpson is good quality stuff. Others may be fine but my personal experience is with Simpson. I'd suggest Summit Racing for a variety of choices. No, I don't get kickbacks.

A good pro parachute rigger that has heavy duty sewing machine(s) can be a valuable resource. Modification of commercial gear, especially. He or she should know the difference between box stitch & running W, and be able to explain it.

I won't debate helmet or seat belt laws, as I've already made my favorite Darwinian joke. ( 18 year old organ donors )

I will say that in my 20s, my mother complained I do too many sports that need a helmet.

In SCA (rattan sword and pole arm ) fighting, you WILL be hit by hard objects. Minimum armor protects groin, ( cup ) elbows, knees, solar plexus, throat, and head. ( hands too, but they are not a legal target ) The rules are to reduce serious injury and aren't directly applicable to In cockpit protection, where generally it's your body hitting objects as it moves under unforgiving Newton's laws.

In that context, and well supported by over a century of scientific research, and thousands of years of combat, it's the Head that is most important.

I am NOT belittling concerns for spine injury!

Just that readily available gear exists to protect the head. Spine protection is a relatively young subject in home built & GA design.

Please keep up the good work!
 

Voidhawk9

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Also, it's not necessarily "enough mass" on the part of the panel but designs that concentrate the impact force of the head (such as a sharp edge or small rounded corner) or something that is less ductile (easily bent) than the cranium or the bones of the face.
Now this IS something I am addressing in my aircraft, in front and back seat areas.
 

Aesquire

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Best practices for nuts and bolts is to have the nuts "down" in relation to gravity and expected acceleration forces. That's so if a nut falls off, the bolt stays. ( oversimplification )

But for safety, you want to hit body parts on bolt heads, not protruding bolts.

However! If you make that design choice. DOCUMENT IT IN BIG PRINT.

There was a U.S. jet fighter that had bolts inverted in IIRC, aileron or flap area, to fit in the restricted space. Service techs, when reassembling, used best practices, bolt head up, and the protruding end would then jam the control surface. Nuff said.
 

SVSUSteve

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I think he was just pointing out that buildings full of codes do not help people, nor does the burden on society supporting an entire class of people to interpret and enforce their ever changing interpretations.
That's a discussion in and of itself. Let's not go there please.
 

SVSUSteve

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If everyone had and used common sense, over half the laws in the world could be eliminated.
I literally have a sign above my desk at home that says "I feel a reassuring sense of job security in the stupidity and poor judgment of my fellow man". That about sums it up.

SVSUSteve, congrats on the nuptials, I just hope that she likes flying.
Thank you! She's kind of ambivalent about it honestly. I think she's flown once in an aircraft that wasn't an airliner.
 

SVSUSteve

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Which approach, in the long term, will result in a change of behavior to a more responsible, personally accountable approach to living one’s life (and realizing the attendant benefits to society); having government rules, or educating the public through a transient period of sad accidents afflicting the irresponsible, where family, friends, churches and or independent charitable organizations provide the support that otherwise would fall to the taxpayers and insured?
Unfortunately, we tried what you suggest and it does not work in the real world as a general practice. No oversight, no functional safety net, etc...basically the Victorian era. Even experienced community organization employees and volunteers will admit that they can't do it all and most rely upon government support to operate because donors are hard to come by. So much for the idea of charitable alternatives.

Trust me...I despise tax-sucking oxygen thieves probably more than you do due to the years I spent on ambulances and in emergency rooms but I will take the relatively small number (as a percentage now) over what would happen if we went for a free-for-all "Better hope the folks at church like you if times get tough" approach.

Or maybe I just had it drilled in my head by my grandfather that responsibility #2 (right behind of taking care of myself and my loved ones) is taking care of others in the most effective way possible. That isn't the convoluted and piecemeal approach currently used in the US (or the one you're advocating) and simply pulling the government out of that is not going to improve things).

That isn’t the way I look at it. I’m more of a “I worked hard, so can you ...” type
Same here. Great minds or something like that. Personally, unless you are literally unable to function AT ALL, if you're receiving support from the government you have to find a job on your own or you get put to work on infrastructure projects. The the TVA during the Depression.

Funny side note: one of the most ironic observations I have made is that people who are often feeding off of the hard work of others are often of a mindset that they are hard workers. One of the best examples I have seen is a meme of a fat redneck guy with the caption "I never asked for help from the gub'mint when I was on food stamps and Medicaid".

Okay....back to the original topic. LOL
 

SVSUSteve

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Do you believe your fellow man to be stupid or ignorant?


BJC
Neither, either and/or both. It depends on the person hence the inclusion of "poor judgement" and the recognition that different people have different strengths. I'm stupid when it comes to higher math and pretty much anything to do with computers or wiring. However, I do have my areas I know a considerable amount about. People are the same and thus what matters is the knowledge, etc with regards to the matter at hand.

I go by the dichotomy taught to me by one of my former bosses: Ignorance is lack of knowledge or experience because one has not had the opportunity to learn something. Stupidity is the refusal ("willful stupidity" in the words of Dr. King) or inability to take advantages of such opportunities that would be useful in his or her instance (such as in the case of someone with a learning disability, etc).

In the case of aviation, it's stupidity that kills a good number of people because there's no excuse for not knowing that you should not fly into IMC without proper training, do aerobatics at low altitude or in a plane not designed for it, not check your fuel levels before taking off and monitor your fuel flow, etc. We've all had the opportunity to pick this stuff up. It's not hard. Crashing because of any one is, in a way, a death resulting from a combination of poor judgement and stupidity. The psychology is WAY more complicated but that's one way to look at it.
 
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