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Helmets on my mind


spankey51
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I'm a student pilot flying R22s in Connecticut.

My stepcousin was recently in a near fatal motorcycle accident involving a tree and his head, sans helmet. Apparently, he is in the hospital in a semi-vegetative state. Fortunately, he's doing a lot better, so things may be ok for him. I don't know him very well, but the incident sparked an immediate interest in helmets for me. I've been talking to the school owner and the mechanic etc... and they all have stories about being hit in the head by other heads, consoles, wreckage/schrapenel during accidents, etc...

 

I'm going for my private checkride on thurstay, then it's on to instrument... I'm into helicopters for the longrun, so I figured now would be as good a time as any to start looking for a helmet.

My plans are to get a helmet and fit it with an ANR system; but I'm having trouble feeling comfordable with my helmet choices...

I want to aim for $8-900 including ANR, so obviously I'm getting a used setup.

Are SPH-4Bs any good? I'm looking at helicopterhelmet.com, and they look head-worthy and are exactly the right price, but I hear SPH-4Bs are really old and heavy. Should I go for an SPH-5 or something? Just looking for a stable investment that will really work in an accident/svr turbulence.

I'm just a kid... and I'm going to helicopter school, so you can imagine how much money I have available...

 

Any help out there?

 

Many thanks-

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Get any helmet it's better than nothing and don't be put by the people that says it gives a bad impression with the customer's / students, I have worn one for the last 4 years Gentex sph5 with no complaints from any one including employers or passengers, what I wouldn't bother with is ANR wasting your money just buy ear plugs or go the whole hog and buy accoustic ear plugs about 130$ US
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Spend the extra cash now and get a MSA Gallet if you can.  You'll never need to buy another one.  Don't waste your money on the ANR (even the sales guy will try to talk you out of it.)  Plan on about $1700 and a few months wait.  Or buy an old SPH-4 for a couple hundred bucks, then upgrade in a few years--keeping in mind that the price will go up ~10% every year you wait.
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Spanky

 

Going with what Taff said, I just purchased a set of Communication Ear Plugs (CEP) which are acoustic earplugs. I will be installing them on my SPH 5. I do know people that have them and they love them. Much cheaper than ANR. Cost $108 shipped. As was also stated any helmet is better than nothing, but if you can afford it, get the best one you can get. I could probably afford an expensive one, but I found my helmet used on Ebay for  $150. Replaced many components, and repainted it myself. Now I have an almost brand new helmet (shell, mike and speakers only thing not replaced)  for under $400.00 (incl. the CEP) Good luck and good choice in going with a helmet.

 

Chuck

CEP Website

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Ok guys,

          I just bought a refurbed HGU-56/p on ebay from AndrewT's suggested store, and I'm going to try the CEP system; which is already installed... My only qualm with that is the hassle with earplugs, I'd rather just flip a switch for ear (ANR) protection than have to deal with the wires and earplugs in the CEP system, but I'll give it a shot.

 

Thanks for the help, be safe.

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Good deal. Please post on here how you like the CEP. I will not be able to install mine until Dec, so it will be nice to get another opinion. Dont worry about the placing and removing earplugs. To save your hearing and a few hundred $ its well worth it. Trust me on that one. I need them so I can hear better after one too many times on the range or elsewhere without proper earplugs. Fly safe

 

Chuck ::rotorhead::

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  • 3 months later...

I have a HGU-56/P with CEP's and wouldn't do it any other way. ANR is nice, but then you have to play with batteries and it's just one more thing that can break on you. If you get the CEPs properly fitted (or the right size ear plugs) you won't even notice them and the sound is absolutely crystal clear. I think they're still only like 118 dollars or something like that and they're tax deductible. Mine get a lot of use and abuse and they still work awesome. Just my personal opinion.

 

Oh by the way, chuck... if your still overseas and near an Army Aviation unit, try to see if you can get one of their ALSE techs to install them for you. Most of them know how to do it. You'll love 'em. I couldn't believe the difference between the CEPs and the regular hearing protection. I don't get headaches anymore from all the noise (blackhawks aren't the quietest thing on the earth) and I can actually hear the radios without blaring them. You can't go wrong.

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I have a HGU-56/P with CEP's and wouldn't do it any other way. ANR is nice, but then you have to play with batteries and it's just one more thing that can break on you. If you get the CEPs properly fitted (or the right size ear plugs) you won't even notice them and the sound is absolutely crystal clear. I think they're still only like 118 dollars or something like that and they're tax deductible. Mine get a lot of use and abuse and they still work awesome. Just my personal opinion.

 

Oh by the way, chuck... if your still overseas and near an Army Aviation unit, try to see if you can get one of their ALSE techs to install them for you. Most of them know how to do it. You'll love 'em. I couldn't believe the difference between the CEPs and the regular hearing protection. I don't get headaches anymore from all the noise (blackhawks aren't the quietest thing on the earth) and I can actually hear the radios without blaring them. You can't go wrong.

 

 

AScott

 

THanks for the tip. I was home for a little while in Dec, and installed them myself. Got to fly a bit with them, and they were great. Your right, radio was crystal clear, and after the first few minutes, forgot they were in. I am unfortunately still overseas, :( with 10 more months to go.

 

Hammer

Are you serious about a school running you off for wearing a helmet? If you are, then your probably better off going elsewhere. What were their reasons for this anyway? Would be interesting to hear. Also where is this school located? (no names needed) may just give others heads up if they are looking to train in that area.

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Yep. Serious. There were other problems I had with the school too. I would rather not say where, besides Texas. I have wathced the owner of the school really bash people on here, and would rather not go down that road.

 

I was told that they were worried that I would crack the windscreens with it. I'm glad to be at another school though, better aircraft, scheduling, and so much more.

 

By the way, I have a Gallet LH-250, with the sound suppression kit, and I love it.

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It's because they don't want their customers/students/public seeing you wearing one......"because, if you have a helmet on, it must be DANGEROUS," right?

 

PHI won't let their pilots.wear them because then the oil rig workers would all want them provided.

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If I was going to crack a windscreen I would rather do it with a helmet than my head.

 

Thats a no brainer............ :D ;)

 

 

It's because they don't want their customers/students/public seeing you wearing one......"because, if you have a helmet on, it must be DANGEROUS," right?

 

PHI won't let their pilots.wear them because then the oil rig workers would all want them provided.

 

Do you know if Air Log, ERA or any other GOM operators have the same feeling towards helmets?

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It's because they don't want their customers/students/public seeing you wearing one......"because, if you have a helmet on, it must be DANGEROUS," right?

 

PHI won't let their pilots.wear them because then the oil rig workers would all want them provided.

 

I'm not trying to start anything here, but I have heard the same thing, so one day I look up the number for PHI and I call them. The person who I talked to said it was not an issue. The pilots just chose not to. ( I have no idea who this person was, but I am thankfull that they took the time to answer my questions. )

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
It's because they don't want their customers/students/public seeing you wearing one......"because, if you have a helmet on, it must be DANGEROUS," right?

 

PHI won't let their pilots.wear them because then the oil rig workers would all want them provided.

 

I work in the Arabian Gulf. I fly oil workers and I wear a CGF Gallet. A couple of the guys wear SPH. No worries here, it is purely the pilot's choice.

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I'm looking to purchase a helmet myself. The site I am looking at offers both Kevlar and Fiberglass helmets, the difference being about $150 bucks. Is it worth the extra $$$ to get the Kevlar. Also, should I buy the dual Visor set for an extra $100 bucks? Or should I just switch the lenses out as needed. And does it matter if the cord is straight or coiled? (another $75 bucks) I'm starting my training soon so I could always upgrade when I need a more advanced one I guess.

 

Thanks,

 

Jake

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RFM1, weight is the biggest issue that I know of my x military flight helmet was kevlar, have 5+ lbs on your head for a length of time will wear on ya.

 

check out www.flightsuits.com and look at the SPH-5 nice and light compared to it's predicessors(sp?)

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I'm looking to purchase a helmet myself. The site I am looking at offers both Kevlar and Fiberglass helmets, the difference being about $150 bucks. Is it worth the extra $$$ to get the Kevlar. Also, should I buy the dual Visor set for an extra $100 bucks? Or should I just switch the lenses out as needed. And does it matter if the cord is straight or coiled? (another $75 bucks) I'm starting my training soon so I could always upgrade when I need a more advanced one I guess.

 

Thanks,

 

Jake

 

My 2 suggestions from your questions here. I wouldnt worry about the Kevlar if your not planning on getting shot at. The extra 2 pounds may get to you. My SPH 5 weighs approx 3 pounds, and it doesnt bother me at all. Of course the longest I have flown with it on at one time is about 2 hours, so it may be different for longer periods. But I would still rather have it than not.

Also go with the coiled cord. I have a straight cord and it is a pain hooking it up because the cord doesnt stretch.

 

Chuck

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  • 5 weeks later...

I am gearing up for private pilot exams and figure its time for a treat to myself. I see the point in wearing a helmet. but i am having the hardest time making a choice between getting a helmet or a DC. For the next couple of momths I will be stuck in R 22 and or 300C's. With summer coming I dont want to have sweat purring down or being hindered by my nogging getting stuck while trying to manuver in a R 22. Once getting commercial and going for turbine I might tally up the 1 k for a helmet, but right now DC sounds a good present

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I am gearing up for private pilot exams and figure its time for a treat to myself. I see the point in wearing a helmet. but i am having the hardest time making a choice between getting a helmet or a DC. For the next couple of momths I will be stuck in R 22 and or 300C's. With summer coming I dont want to have sweat purring down or being hindered by my nogging getting stuck while trying to manuver in a R 22. Once getting commercial and going for turbine I might tally up the 1 k for a helmet, but right now DC sounds a good present

 

That's a good idea on your part!!!! You'll ALWAYS be able to use that DC in any job, any helicopter, or any airplane for that matter. Your flight school might not even allow you to wear that helmet. Why? Because it hints at "danger" rather than "safety", and then EVERYONE is going to want one (including the instructors who will want them provided to them.) Now that's a lot of cash that could have been spent on flight training. See the business end of this?

 

For the turbine deal....when you get into any kind of charter--whether it be tours, air-taxi, oil-rig stuff, whatever--you're not going to be wearing that helmet for the same reasons mentioned above (because all the passengers are going to want to know why you have one and they don't.)

 

So unless you're going into EMS, powerline patrol, lift work, aerial photo, or jobs where you'll be inside the dead man's curve a lot, don't get one because you probably won't be allowed to wear it. Oh, and BTW, they'll be required most of the time in EMS, so they'll be provided to you by most programs.

 

And if/when you do buy your own, make sure you're WORKING so you can write it off as a job-related expense.

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Don't believe everything you read here. PHI does not forbid wearing helmets, and never has. Neither does any other GOM helicopter company. The pilots just won't wear them. There are a few government contracts, such as MMS and USCG, that require the pilots to wear helmets, but even those pilots usually find a way to avoid it. There just aren't that many accidents out here in which a helmet would be of any use. I've never, ever known a pilot in the GOM who would willingly wear a helmet, and I've been here for almost 25 years, and know a lot of pilots.

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Thursday when I will back @ the air field I will place my order for a DC with ENC. My confidence in building flight manuver skills out ways the need for a helmet as of now. But to some extent there was a lingering "cool" factor in the option for a helmet. And i think a lot of newbies come off with this "persona" or "dream" look of what a pilot should have. Flight suit, helmet, boots, etc etc.....but i dont have that way of thinking nore the money

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