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Flight Helmets?

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BJC

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Pardon my French but that’s complete bull****. People used the “restricted field of view” argument when de Haven and company started pushing for shoulder harnesses. It was a facile argument then and remains so in this setting.

If you have seriously restricted movement from the lateral restraints, you have them pulled too tight. If it’s properly adjusted you should have enough slack in them to look almost completely left and right. They are designed to restrict head rotation when a driver’s head is as far forward as the device allows. The drivers have to be able to look left and right just like a pilot does and for the same reason (to avoid hitting anything).
Steve:

If you think that the field of view that a NASCAR driver has is adequate for an airplane pilot, then please do not fly VFR.
upload_2019-8-28_2-44-42.jpeg

BJC
 

RSD

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I don't think that seats with fixed head restraint wings are practical for aviation.
 

Wanttaja

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In any case, helmet hair *IS* real. I shot this picture of myself after I got home from flying....my hair doesn't normally part crosswise.



Ron Wanttaja
 

Topaz

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Clearly there are strong opinions all around. There are always ways to be "more safe", and effective ways at that, although they will extract their own cost in their own ways. It's easy to say, "Safety is our top priority!" but when it becomes the primary target, a lot of utility tends to go out the window. In the end, safety and utility must be balanced, and that balance is going to be different for every application and every individual.


Acknowledging that someone else's chosen balance is different than yours, but equally valid, is the only way to go. Bringing strings of asterisks into the discussion isn't going to solve anything.

But helmet head is a tragedy, no matter how you look at it. And Ron, I can't stop staring. o_O :D
 
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Aesquire

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I've gotten grief for my your choice attitude on helmets on motorcycles for..... 21st century? Ok, since they were hand laid up fiberglass, and long before Bell ( which folded, but another company bought the brand name ) started it's advertising campaign "It you've got a $10 head, but a $10 helmet".

https://www.motorstate.com/IfYouveGot.htm

just like there's lots of stupid reasons not to wear protective gear, like seat belts, there are lots of reasons to make wearing them mandatory.

"It will save insurance rates". Always been a lie. Sure, it saves the insurance company some money, but I have never seen my rates cut as each law requiring gear passes. And no one else I've met ever bragged their bill went down.

"It will reduce the burden of the public paying for the health care of the brain damaged" Ok, that's true. It's a slippery slope that can only end in outlawing anything even possibly dangerous, however. I know this sounds horrible, but head injured 18 year old boys are a prime source of transplant organs. If politicians were being practical, a donor card would be a licence to not wear a helmet.

The best reasons are never heard. "It's much nicer for the first responders not to have to deal with brain tissue all over the scene" ( personal experience ) And my favorite seat belt joke. " It helps the ambulance crew to find the crash victim" because climbing down a cliff to retrieve the guy thrown through his windshield is dangerous, and hauling a stretcher up the cliff is hard work. ( been there )

Still, you choose your own path. I'll insult your choice. Fair's fair. You get to, too.

And while I have mocked half helmets on motorcycles, I've personally seen them save lives. They don't do much to protect your face, but for bouncing your skull off pavement, airframes, or canopies, they are light years better than nothing. Pick one that goes low enough in back to cover the Occipital.

Bicycle helmets are one use items. With a lifespan as the foam ages. But they mass nearly nothing, are cheap, can ventilated the head well, and again, are far better than nothing.

The downside is helmet hair, stupid people making fun of you, and it may be destroyed already on a second impact. Consider Elliot Seguin's crash, where a bicycle helmet might not have been enough to do the job.

https://fearoflanding.com/accidents/accident-reports/experimental-jet-crashes-in-mojave/

Ultimately it's your choice. Advice is freely offered. Helmets have saved my life, so I admit both bias, and hard earned experience.
 

wsimpso1

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Pardon my French but that’s complete bull****. People used the “restricted field of view” argument when de Haven and company started pushing for shoulder harnesses. It was a facile argument then and remains so in this setting.

If you have seriously restricted movement from the lateral restraints, you have them pulled too tight. If it’s properly adjusted you should have enough slack in them to look almost completely left and right. They are designed to restrict head rotation when a driver’s head is as far forward as the device allows. The drivers have to be able to look left and right just like a pilot does and for the same reason (to avoid hitting anything).
In fairness, the viewing out if a race car is pretty much in the horizontal plane of the drivers eyes. Head on a swivel is important in airplanes, but is not sufficient. We need to see down and back at a 45 on both sides for the traffic pattern, we need to see up and forward in steep turns, lazy eights, wingovers, and box canyon turnarounds, and we need to see straight up to pick up the horizon twice in each loop. A lot of airplanes have skylights or bubble canopies for a reason.

Since most of us fly with three point harness and without helmets, what say we work toward getting everybody's torso securely connected to the seat and wearing a helmet before we get too far into how much like a NASCAR racer we should go with our little airplanes...

Billski
 

PTAirco

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I think most of us have the Bingelis' books and they are full of useful stuff. But it is fair to point out potentially dangerous practices.
 

litespeed

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For starters,

Most race cars do not have a seat like that.
You are not driving a race car

The general principles apply only, any other comparison is been used as a excuse not to wear a helmet.

If I can get a comfortable helmet to ride with including the need to look behind me, sideways etc to look for traffic- you can also for a aircraft.

I have never had a vision issue with a quality open face, mine includes a flip down screen and even a flip down sun visor. Looks a lot like a flight helmet and has the same vision ability.

Stop making excuses.

Helmet hair, really if your reason is looks or been subject to comments from people who would rather be dead than mess their hair- you should get yourself a spine.

Also, trust me your hair will look real bad with your brains and blood all over it.

 

Topaz

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For starters,

Most race cars do not have a seat like that.
You are not driving a race car
In fact, in terms of this discussion, we're not talking about driving a car at all, and yet any and all of the reasoning given here for airplane use applies equally to a road car. And yet how many of you drive to work - using a car - with a helmet on?

Stop making excuses.
I don't think anyone is. Nor is anyone explicitly arguing that nobody should wear helmets. What you're missing is that this is truly an individual choice, an individual balancing of risk versus benefit. If you choose to wear a helmet when flying, hey, more power to you. If I choose not to, that's my choice. Don't take the choices made by other people so personally. They're not saying you're wrong. They just haven't made the same choice you have.
 

Aesquire

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To clear up a few misconceptions.
Motorcycle helmets only here, not industrial or other.
In the U.S. there are 2 basic "levels" of helmet certification. DOT & Snell.

Everything legal for street use must be one or the other. They differ in impact resistance, ( penetration ) and energy absorption.

There are European standards, ECE & BSI...

Some U.S. Racing organizations require Snell, and some also accept ECE.

In the past, Snell standards required a "harder" helmet than DOT, which passed more impact energy to the head, but better protected against multiple impact penetration. But recently that gap has narrowed, as Snell changed to reduce energy transfer.

This is an over simplified version of a very complex subject. Bikers have argued endlessly about which is better. My pragmatic opinion is buy what is required by the rules of your organization. If there are no rules you need to comply with, buy what fits you best. Anybody's standard, not cheap untested junk.

The minor technical differences are unimportant compared to fit.

https://www.motorcyclelegalfoundation.com/the-safest-motorcycle-helmet-you-can-buy/#bsi

https://silodrome.com/snell-vs-dot-vs-ece-r22-05-helmet-standards-throwdown/

https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2019/01/29/helmet-motorcycle-safety-standards-2019-changes-fim-frhphe-ece2205-dot-snell/

I have used DOT & BSI Helmets.

And.... In the everything you know is wrong category, while there once upon a time was a difference between "plastic" & "fiberglass" helmets, if they both pass the standards, performance is acceptable, if not identical. Again, fit is more important.

What do I use? I have a HJC modular with flip up chin bar. It's a decade old and overdue for replacement. It's a fairly inexpensive helmet, ( $229 retail ) DOT.

And a Suomy Spec 1-R, full face. BSI. Expensive, feather light. ($695 retail )

Both models are discontinued. Both have adequate peripheral vision. The Suomy has great ventilation, not adjustable, and is loud. That only matters in an open cockpit.
 

SVSUSteve

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If you think that the field of view that a NASCAR driver has is adequate for an airplane pilot,
I was referring to the HANS device not the "wings" on the newer seats which (even in my safety first mindset) are complete overkill.

It's a matter of picking out what works for a new application and figuring out how to fit it in a way that does cause problems. There are ways to make a HANS device work in an aircraft without interfering with other functions. The cause of most neck injuries (and lot of the basilar skull trauma) is the result of the head and the torso decelerating at different rates. If you have something to tie those two together, you'd probably eliminate 75% of cervical fractures. If you kept the chin from bouncing off the chest, you'd cut the rate of basilar skull fractures (one of the most common fatal injuries) and aortic trauma (another leading cause of death; which is often caused (at least in part) by compression of the anterior chest wall next to the sternum) in half.

You would not even have to hook the HANS to the seat. The shoulder harnesses (let's be honest....anyone going for this would have four or five point restraints) would restrain the torso but still allow the range of motion necessary to reach stuff, etc.

then please do not fly VFR.
You and I both know that I don't like VFR flying anymore and that "see and avoid" is a complete joke under most real world circumstances for your average person without flawless eyesight (which I don't have). There's a reason why even the FAA is going to "sense, see, and avoid".

Then again, you also know I don't trust other pilots to follow the rules when they don't think anyone is watching. I'm looking forward to the ADS-B mandate because then at least there's a chance of knowing about the guy who refuses to make radio calls and comes barreling in on a straight-in final*.

*-Before anyone says it, yes, these guys are often coming off of an IFR flight. LOL
 

SVSUSteve

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Nor is anyone explicitly arguing that nobody should wear helmets. What you're missing is that this is truly an individual choice, an individual balancing of risk versus benefit. If you choose to wear a helmet when flying, hey, more power to you. If I choose not to, that's my choice. Don't take the choices made by other people so personally. They're not saying you're wrong. They just haven't made the same choice you have.
Even I am not arguing for them being mandatory. I don't want them to be mandatory because that will just make the "fighting the man" "don't tread on me" BS come out in spades. We have enough problem with that as it is.

Actually, I think helmets are pretty much something that only needs to be worn during landing and takeoff unless you're doing something that adds risk (aerobatics, cropdusting, scud running, riding with Jack Roush, etc).
 

SVSUSteve

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A lot of airplanes have skylights or bubble canopies for a reason.
Once again, Billski delivers.

I actually am trying to include as much plexiglass in my designs as I can manage. It gives me better visibility and it weighs less than "regular" structure.

Since most of us fly with three point harness and without helmets, what say we work toward getting everybody's torso securely connected to the seat and wearing a helmet before we get too far into how much like a NASCAR racer we should go with our little airplanes...
I'd just like to get everyone installing and using at least a three point restraint (preferably a 5-point; as a side point, I think a 5-point harness is more comfortable). I've lost count of how many people I have seen with their seat's torso restraint behind them after crashes. It is depressing as **** when the only fatal injury is from them bouncing their face off the panel.
 
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