# Flight Helmets?

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations / Flight Safety / Better Pil' started by TXFlyGuy, Jun 16, 2019.

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1. Jul 24, 2019

### SVSUSteve

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We are down near Tampa. We actually drove through Tallahassee on our way down.

I normally refrain from talking politics with people so I can avoid issues. As I told one of my volunteers at a training exercise in April: "There's a time for that sort of thing. This isn't it. Fair enough?".

If I can be of assistance, let me know.

It's actually been an area of concern for decades to anyone paying attention. De Haven was documenting vertical loads as a major problem by the early 1950s. The problem is that most people don't pay attention or have an attitude that "If you're a good enough pilot, you don't need all that crap".

As bright as Tony Bingelis was, one of his recommendations for seat design-- bolting the seat directly to the spare with ZERO stroking capability-- practically gives me a facial tic.

Summit or Simpson would be my first two choices. Keep in mind that the DOT standards are well below what is needed for maximal protection (then again....so is the aircraft you're bolting it to). If it were me (and I am back working on my design again), I would insist on something that meets the NHRA, NASCAR or (preferably) the Formula 1 ("FIA") standards. The testing on those makes the FAA/DOT standards look like the quality controls in a Chinese factory producing knock-off Vera Wang purses.

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2. Jul 25, 2019

### BJC

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Over 2,000 years ago, Cicero wrote, “Each should attend to what benefits himself, so far as may be done without injustice to another.”

That just about sums it up for me.

BJC

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3. Jul 25, 2019

### pwood66889

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"We actually drove through Tallahassee on our way down."
Lemme know iffn you will have time for coffee on your way back through. No, we'll not talk politics. I'm thinking about the seats I inspected for the Army.

4. Jul 25, 2019

### Derswede

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I am working to get some info from a friend ref. seats. He worked for Fairchild then Jeps-Burns for quite some time in Winston Salem. He has told be enough about burn and smoke from Foams to almost make me want to go back to wool and horse hair....then he told me how much cyanide that burning wool puts out. He is trying to get me some samples of currently approved foam seat cushions. As the Hawk has a sling seat, am looking at alternatives. When I redo the harnesses (probably one from Simpson) the seat will get redone as well. The seat cushion will be part of the desire not to kill my back in case of a loud thump. Being tall makes it just that much more challenging. I have read quite a bit on the seats selected in several of the planes documented on HBA, and want to say "Thanks" to all who have shared data.

Derswede
(Amazing how well brakes work after rebuild.)

5. Jul 25, 2019

### Aesquire

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I agree.

6. Jul 25, 2019

### Mcmark

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GForce is another safety manufacturer not mentioned. Meets the same spec as Simpson, not quite as much money. Should be available at Summit, eBay or Jegs.

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7. Aug 24, 2019

### PTAirco

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Even more than that, his ideas of using modified lawn chairs as aircraft seats gives me the heebie jeebies. Maybe lawn chairs in the 60s and 70s were made of sterner stuff, but I doubt it. Never mind crashing, pulling more than a couple of Gs will have you sitting on your jammed controls. In many homebuilts the pilot is the single heaviest item in the airplane.
He doesn't advocate making engine mounts from lawn chairs, but he might as well.

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8. Aug 24, 2019

### litespeed

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Do not take this personally but I must disagree

You are in fact by refusing to wear a helmet or agree to safety regs doing just that- creating injustice for others. If you are injured or killed by your refusal to wear helmet in a aircraft or riding a bike. Any injury you suffer, will require the help of others to help you recover or keep you in nappies etc.

Would you feel it ok for a family member to have to care for you for the rest of your life? Or to bring up your children alone? That certainly affects them.
What of the rescue crew?

You do not live in a vacuum and your actions effect others. As a member of society that gets all the benefits of the physical and social infrastructure it provides, you have a responsibility to minimise the risks to others and the cost to society of your actions.

narfi said:
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.
Building codes don't keep the people safe?

What about the high rise buildings that collapse killing hundreds in Bangladesh or that die in fires because of no proper fire exits?
Or the dead in the Grenfell tower fire in the UK?

All dead from someone who decided the regulations where for fools.

Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
9. Aug 24, 2019

### litespeed

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I have had over 35 years of riding motorcycles and know from experience- helmets save lives. So much more time in the saddle than the cockpit.

When in the cockpit of a aircraft- where there are lots of structure for you to bash your head even in very rough air- it helps a lot not to be stunned when flying. Remember we only ever hear of reports about helmets helping when the pilot survives. How many might be fatal because the pilot was incapacitated from hitting their head in flight and then crashed fatally. The crash studies will not show that, but could likely be a reason for the crash.

From personal experience a quality helmet has saved my life from a bird strike. I was hit in the visor by a Galah, which is a pink parrot of 1lb in weight. It was like been hit with a sledge hammer. The speed was approx 140km/h on impact, the lexan shield took the big hit and absorbed the energy. Without it, I can be sure I would have at best been heavily concussed and blinded instantly. Death would have quickly followed whether riding a bike or flying a aircraft.

Can you take a 1lb hammer into your face at 140km/h and keep in control?
The helmet saved my life- no question.

3 months ago, my son had a bike accident which included deep scars to the top, side and back of his helmet which was a quality composite AGV. No head injuries, had he not worn it the surgeon said it would have definitely been a massive head trauma ( they always check the helmet to indicate likely trauma). A cheap helmet of poly would have in his view caused trauma but possibly not fatal. His broken bones have healed quickly, brains do not.

If you can fit a helmet in the cockpit, you are greatly increasing your chances a fatal incident becomes a minor incident and get to talk about it.

If you are worried about the view from a helmet- shop around. You can get open face helmets that have a very wide view and do not restrict your vision, are very comfortable and have a lovely clear shield that flips down.

Do not use a polycarbonate helmet if a fibreglass or kevlar/carbon one is available. The poly helmets are for those with a cheap brain, mine is valuable so I use a valuable helmet. The poly transmits a great deal of the energy into the head as it just bounces without any deformation when struck. A composite one is designed to take the load by deforming and breaking the bonds between the fibers. That is why they recommend you replace it after a hit to the head- it has done its job. No racing helmet is polycarbonate in structure for very good reason. Just like harnesses, you get what you pay for.

Modern helmets are much lighter and much more comfortable than from years of old, there really is no excuse on comfort or vision grounds not to wear one.

If you have a 10 cent head, wear a 10 cent helmet.

10. Aug 24, 2019

### BJC

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I don’t ride any more - the drivers here don’t even see other cars, much less motorcycles - but you have totally misrepresented and or misinterpreted both my position and Cicero’s comment.

BJC

11. Aug 24, 2019

### litespeed

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BJC,

I commented in context of the your other comments here in the thread as well. Should I have included those comments in quotes? Yes

I will include the comments below in a post.

Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
12. Aug 24, 2019

### litespeed

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These comments plus the Cicero’s comment were what I was referring to. However I did attribute to you a comment about building regs and that was not fair, as that was in fact done by some one else interpreting your comment. I amended my above post to reflect this.

If you feel I have misunderstood or misrepresented you , please enlighten me.

This is not meant to be slight on you personally but considered reaction to your comments. Most of my working life has been helping pick up the pieces of peoples shattered lives from injury, whether by their negligence, the negligence of others, pure back luck or the effects of "social darwinism" has on them and their families.

Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
13. Aug 24, 2019

### BJC

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None of this conversation has been taken as a slight, but thank you for clearly stating that.

In the comments below, I’m discussing my views on societal behavior in general, as well as my personal behavior, and the potential impact on our hobby.

First, I wore a helmet when I rode. I don’t ride now, because of the 150,000+ retirees in this area who, when driving, can look right at a car or motorcycle, and turn into it or in front of it regardless of right of way. That seems to have affected the younger drivers here too.

Second, I commented that I am not opposed to government regulation. I believe that there are many activities that need regulations to protect the public. I do not believe that regulations designed to protect individuals from themselves are effective. They infringe on personal freedom.

Third, I cited Cicero, because, in just a few words, he described my philosophy about these subjects.

Fourth, I agree that, under current law and general practice, individual reckless behavior affects all of society. My contention, and Cicero’s, is that it should not. Further, I believe that the current system enables reckless behavior by providing safety nets for the reckless and for those that the reckless are (should be) accountable for.

Why, for example, with all that is known about the destructive effects of smoking cigarettes, should life-long non-smokers’ insurance rates and taxes include the cost of cigarette-induced lung cancer treatment for people who started, and continued, smoking fully aware of the potential results? Note that cigarettes are legal for people who have reached the minimum regulatory age. Would it be effective to make cigarettes illegal? Has that worked for drugs? Would the lack of a safety net for smokers drive more responsible behavior in the long term? I believe that it would. i.e., I believe that societal behavior would be better for all, in the long run, if the government ceased confiscating money’s from the productive to provide a safety net for the purposefully reckless. I do support the role of public education for all, provided by the government and paid for by society at large.

When a person’s reckless behavior causes harm to someone else, the reckless person should be temporarily, or permanently, removed from society, at minimal cost to society.

I am compassionate, and I am totally in support of being taxed to help people who are unable to support themselves. While employed full time (39 years), I made significant contributions to charitable organizations, and, in retirement, I have continued to support them with donations of assets. My motorcycle and two helmets recently were donated to a charity that supports children.

This is getting long, and straying far from HBA, except for the potential regulatory implications on our hobby. (Would anyone else here support a complete absence of government regulations on home built airplanes as long as the airplanes were operated in a place and way that protected the public?)

Summary: Individuals should be free to do what they choose to do, as long as they do not affect others, including affecting society via insurance rates and or taxes. Such a system would, in the long term, be more effective at improving reckless behavior than would more regulations and safety nets. This discussion is analogous to the discussion about capitalism verses socialism. Our hobby, homebuilding, would be much better off under capitalism that under socialism.

The implications to our hobby are implicit throughout this discussion - reference threads about the future of our sport, the potential benefits of changing Part 103, the impact of the LSA limitations, the FAA pilot certification process, etc. - so I an hopeful that our moderators will allow the discussion to continue.

I do not expect everyone to agree, and I take no offense with opposing points of view.

BJC

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14. Aug 24, 2019

### litespeed

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Thankyou BJC for your considered opinion.

We live in very different countries, for example here in Australia education and healthcare is government provided.

I am a smoker, stupid I know but my choice, and yes I have tried many times to quit. Yes, I will get free health care but we heavily tax cigarettes to a extreme level. A pack of 30 is $30 minimum and at least$22 goes in tax. This provides extra revenue for health costs later in life and it goes up every year to discourage smoking.
Essentially we tax things that cause harm but still allow the freedom of choice, same goes with alcohol.

We all pay a small part of our taxes to medicare but it covers all who need it. It is a great system and one of the best in the world. Our medicines are also very cheap in general. Diabetics medication is free but would only be \$25 monthly even if full price. We figure the cost of not providing it is far greater to society.

We are by no means communist but market regulation tends to restrict the worst excesses that capitalism can provide. But we are far from perfect.

Socialism over here tends to be giving big business the publics assets at no cost and allow them to rarely pay tax and damage the environment at will.

It is the very lack of regulation or policing of the them that tends to do the most damage over here.
The people tend to get restricted and the mighty dollar of business can do anything it wants.

Regulation is a two sided coin but without it humans excesses and penchant for greed and violence can be far worse. Society thrives when we allow individual freedom curbed by the need to cooperate so we all benefit.

15. Aug 24, 2019

### BJC

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Societal behavior, and the behavior of their elected representatives, can be interesting. Consider the following.

A few decades ago, several US states’ attorneys general got together and sued the big cigarette companies, charging them with covering up the addictive nature of cigarettes, and adding components to make them more addictive. The states won. The court ordered the companies to sponsor a public advertising program aimed at reducing the number of new (presumably young) smokers. The companies also were required to provide a percentage of their revenues to the states, ostensibly to provide funds to offset the negative business impact on the states where tobacco was grown and cigarettes made. The reality was that the funds went to career politicians’ pet projects. After a few years, the revenue transfers to the states started falling dramatically, because of fewer new smokers. That reduced the politicians’ slush funds. The states went back to the court that was overseeing the settlement, and petitioned the court to eliminate the advertising campaign, because it was too successful.

BJC

16. Aug 24, 2019

### narfi

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Please do not alter what I say when quoting me unless it is in obvious jest or parody.

I spoke nothing of building codes.
I spoke of the volume of regulations.

17. Aug 25, 2019

### litespeed

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This is your quote direct from the thread.

I did however by mistake make my first line below it in bold which was-
Building codes don't keep the people safe? those were my words not yours.

My apologies if that was confusing. But you clearly did discuss building codes not helping people.

18. Aug 25, 2019

### narfi

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No. I did not.

I used the word building to represent the container size required to contain superfluous regulations. A library is a building but I am not discussing the Dewey decimal system either.

19. Aug 25, 2019

### SVSUSteve

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I cringed at that as well. Bingelis’ whole mindset was “doing more with less”. It could be less access to the right parts or materials (not a problem anymore), lack of sufficient education (he was definitely one of the apostles of TLAR), etc. It’s kind of sad because you read his comments on safety and he often makes good points but then suggests a building method that ignores them. He makes a lot of really great suggestions and his illustrations are so well done that they’re usually Steve-proof. The trouble is that if you’re a would be builder with zero knowledge of proper construction and maintenance standards or safety...he could push you towards ideas that could kill you or a passenger.

Reading some of his “workarounds” (for lack of a better description) in Firewall Forward, etc makes me wonder if he didn’t actually try to make an engine mount out of the legs from a lawn chair at some point.

I always have to remind myself that, for many homebuilts, the pilot may well be close to the same weight as the engine (an IO-320 is what? 250 lbs?). It’s comes with the territory of working on a twin engine design I guess.

20. Aug 25, 2019

### BJC

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Not defending Tony’s lack of safety considerations in what he did, but one should remember that, like most things, the homebuilt movement has evolved dramatically since Tony did most of his writing. Most homebuilders back then had very little engineering background, and the ability to find information, explanations of the information, and how to use it were not available via a few clicks on a computer. Web based forums such as this one had not even been dreamed of. Most of the designers were not engineers, although many had behind-the-scenes engineers checking the critical items. Back then, pilot’s and homebuilders accepted more risks just to get to fly.

At a time when the EAA and want-to-be homebuilders needed information on how to get it done, Tony stepped forward and fulfilled that need. He was a prolific writer who help many builders. See https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-bu...bingelis-award/learn-more-about-tony-bingelis

If Tony were still with us, he would turn 99 years old next month.

BTW, I recommend David Prizio’s Powering Your Plane. https://www.eaa.org/Shop/ProductCatalog/Product.aspx?ID=2681564&SubTopicID=941

Keep learning. Keep designing them better.

BJC

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