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What do you look for in good helmet


Tombofka
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  • 5 months later...

I use the David Clark Helmet, I bought it mainly because it was cheap and I already had a DC Headset to go with it. The helmet has a lot of ajustments but once you get it fine tuned it works like a charm. Comfort wise I cant tell the difference. It dissipates heat well also, Ive never had a problem with it getting to hot, but I have also not flown in the Summer heat yet either.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry to bump an old topic, but here goes anyway. I haven't worn a helmet since I got out of the Army almost 25 years ago. I don't know anyone who wears a helmet. I don't think they're necessary, and I'm certainly not alone. Helmet wearers are in the minute minority, and are relatively rare. Helmets are used in utility work, such as long lining and fire support, but that's about all. Headsets are what almost all pilots use.

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I don't know how I got listed as the starter of the topic......guess the original guy deleted his post or something.

 

As far as helmets, those of us that are in the "minority" as you put it, are the usually required to wear them. Most of us in EMS are required to wear them especially if you are CAMTS certified. Does the USFS require them for firefighting, logging, etc?

 

I don't really mind wearing one--they get hot in the summer is about the only downfall for me (but it keeps you warm in the winter!) I like the tinted visor since I can't stand wearing sunglasses. And in single pilot ops, I definitely keep a visor down in case of birdstrikes.

 

Much like a seat belt or airbag, a helmet can kill you just as easy. If you don't have it fitted right, it can snap your neck. Also, the chin strap can cut off your airway--I knew a pilot that died from that, but it was uncertain if he would have survived his other injuries in the long run.

 

On the other hand, our company had an accident a few years ago that a helmet saved a life. They found the medic had a six inch gash down the side of his helmet where the MR blade hit it........ouch, huh?

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I'd like to get a helmet, especially when flying solo.

 

I was thinking of getting a surplus SHP-4B and re-fitting it with GA comms.

 

Then I had another idea:I have a motorcycle helmet that I might be able to modify a little-just two holes. I can't really use it for the bike because air rushes up under the visor and makes my eyes water. I can't see. So, unless I put the windshield back on the bike, the helmet's useless. Therefore, why not a helo helmet? It won't be subjected to the forces of a bike crash, and if I get into a roll over, I won't bump my head and turn into a carrot.

 

Anyone have thoughts on this idea?

 

Later

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Using a bike helmet is a bad idea. Imagine the look on your passengers face when they see their helicopter pilot put on a motorcycle helmet! Plus you get laughs for years afterwards.

 

Best to get the real deal if you're going to use a helmet. If it's good enough for the military, it's good enough for us.

 

I don't know anyone who wears a helmet. I don't think they're necessary, and I'm certainly not alone. Helmet wearers are in the minute minority, and are relatively rare. Helmets are used in utility work, such as long lining and fire support, but that's about all. Headsets are what almost all pilots use.

 

Really? Well now you know a guy who always wears his helmet. Doesn't matter if it's a simple repo across the airport or a flight to a confined area... I never leave the hanger without it. To say they aren't necessary is a stretch I think. If you haven't needed one yet that's fantastic. But don't confuse never have with never will.

 

Fly safe amigos!

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I don't know about that motorcycle helmet idea......Like any other piece of safety equipment, helmets are designed to meet certian evils. I would think that motorcycle helmets are meant for more of a road rash and helmet vs. pavement impacts. Whereas helicopter helmets (that are even different from airplane helmets) are built more to take side impacts from moving objects or the collapsing airframe--note the HUGE ear cups, thick impact foam, and thin fiberglass outer layer. Not that a motorcycle helmet won't help in SOME accidents, but it might actually do harm in SOME accidents. I don't know.......but more importantly, you're going to look like a freakin idiot wearing the thing. Just go ahead and get one of those fake ponytails to hang out the back and you'll be a complete redneck.

 

Here's a helmet story from the infamous "Klank" on the JH forum. Enjoy!

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

 

There is a lot of talk about helmets on the forum, let me tell you about my little dilemma a few years back. My trusty old SPH-4 finally died and was laid to rest after a tragic garage backing incident. Looking for a replacement turned out to be quite an eye opener, I can’t believe how much these darn things cost, why the amount of beer that could be purchased for the cost of one helmet is staggering and quite frankly more than I can bare.

 

Having resided myself to just using the company provided headset I still feel somewhat uneasy about not having a helmet on the old noodle. (not that there’s that much to protect) Going out to the beer fridge in the garage I gander at the broken body of my old friend when I have a revelation. (yes you could actually see the light bulb above my head)

 

Digging through some of the old boxes in the garage, you know the ones that you move from place to place but never unpack because there’s nothing in them you need, I find my treasure. I pull out my high school football helmet and place it on the bench next to my broken comrade. Before I continue I must explain that, yes I did play high school, of course I played high school football, all real pilots played high school football. Now back to the resurrection.

 

With a fresh beer in one hand a screwdriver in the other I remember that vodka and beer gives me the runs so I set down my drinks and pick up my tools. This is going to work, the ear cups fit and the mike boom attached to the facemask with duct tape. The visor, what to do about the visor I ponder as I get another beer from the fridge, the beer fridge, my beer fridge that my wife will put leftovers in from time to time, man that makes me mad but what do we have here, colored plastic wrap? Wow when did they start doing that? I go to the pantry and I’ll be dipped in pickle juice, colored plastic wrap, I pull off a sheet and place it over the facemask, it sticks, cool. Now for the price of a roll of plastic wrap, some duct tape and a few bundle ties I have a new aviator helmet. Sometimes I wonder just how I got so smart, it really looks good and the more I drank the better it looked, I can’t wait to get back on shift and try it out.

 

With my new prize in my helmet bag I go to work with a skip in my step just like a kid with a new toy. During my preflight I plug it in and talk to myself over the intercom, works great, and hang it on the hook, I’m ready for action.

 

It didn’t take long and the tone blasted, launch. With the helicopter started I look up at the medic and motion to pull the plug from the APU, she stands there with the deer in the headlights look, I motion again as she wakes up and pulls the plug, secures the door, and gets in. Nothing is said as we get to the pad and the crew gets out to go package. Sure is a nice day as I sit on the step on the side of the helicopter waiting for the crew. A short time later we are loaded and back in the air, and on our way. Landing at the big city hospital we are greeted by a security guard and two other hospital people waiting at the edge of the pad for the blades to stop. Doing the two-minute cool down thing I notice the people pointing, talking and pointing some more, I worry that there is something wrong with the helicopter but they all have smiles on their faces. I’ll do a good walk around when I get out and we get the patient going.

 

Ship looks great as the crew comes back out on the pad, the nurse walks straight to the nose and points to my helmet handing on the hook. “What the heck is that” just like my mother did when she found my porn stash when I was nine. “That’s my new helmet,” I said quite proudly as I was waiting for them to notice so I could show them what a pure genus can do. “You’re not wearing that thing,” she states quite boldly as I am now puzzled at her reaction. “And why not” I say in a confronting manner. “It’s stupid and people are laughing at us” she bellows, “Stupid, I’ll tell you what stupid is, stupid is you walking around the hospital with your helmets on twenty minutes after we land, laughing, you should here what the staff says about you, now lets go” I climb in and grab my helmet, “CLEAR” and off we go.

 

Not one word is said on the way back, we land and out they go to the quarters, that’s right, go sit on your eggs and light up those phone lines I think as now I have a full case of the ass. I need to cool down before I go in so I take advantage of a beautiful day and wash the helicopter. After about 45 minutes I go inside, both doors closed for their rooms and two phone lines lit, cluck, cluck, cluck, I smirk as I sit in the command central recliner and fire up the Mexican channel.

 

I must have dosed off as the phone ringing startled me, “Klank, line two” is bellowed down the hall a moment later, I bet this is going to be good. I just love talking to the area manager about self-induced medical crew crap. We dance back and forth for some time as the word “Professional” is bantered back and forth and I throw the “when the company provides helmets I will be happy to wear it” and the like, this continues for some time.

 

I stood my ground and actually wore him down; finally he says loudly “Wear your darn helmet but, the shoulder pads have to go!”

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Hey, Maybe I can add shoulder pads and a chest plate to my motorcycle-aviator helmet. Kneepads, elbow guards, shin guards...Crashproof to the max dude!

 

I figure that the motorcycle helmet is designed to absorb impacts, and so what if it takes an impact whether it hits pavement at 60mph or the inside of a cabin in a rollover. I bet even a construction hardhat would offer some protection. Like I said, this isn't a full face, but three quarter face with a flip-down visor. The earcups are big enough to hold speakers, and only one hole to fit the boom-mic. The shell is thermoplastic, and I bet one hole won't ruin the integrety very much. Besides, it already looks like a helo helmet.

 

Now if one of ya'll would send me a helmet, I'd reconsider making one.

 

Later

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True, a bike helmet would be better than nothing in a roll over... but you won't be piloting a bike will you now.

 

But lets say you have a blade strike doing a confined area landing. Chunks of the blades, big and small, might start shredding thru the cockpit with horrific velocity. A bike helmet is simply not designed to take this kind of impact and would be about as much use as a brick of cheese at stoping the incoming blade pieces. A certified and purpose built helicopter crew helmet would fair far better in this scenerio.

 

What you're proposing is about as safe as riding your motorcycle with a mountain bike helmet. It might help a bit, but not much.

 

Plus I'm pretty sure using a motorcycle helmet would be just a wee bit illegal in the eyes of the FAA as it's not certified for use by flight crew members.

 

You only have one head amigo... don't cheap out on protecting it. :)

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[RANT]

 

But lets say you have a blade strike doing a confined area landing. Chunks of the blades, big and small, might start shredding thru the cockpit with horrific velocity. A bike helmet is simply not designed to take this kind of impact and would be about as much use as a brick of cheese at stoping the incoming blade pieces. A certified and purpose built helicopter crew helmet would fair far better in this scenerio.

 

And you think a Gallet or Gentex would stop schrapnel any better? Heck, if that happened, the last thing on my mind would be worring about the helmet stopping metal flying at me with horrific velocity. I'd better be wearing a flak jacket should the rotor disintegrate. That gives me a thought: why not weat a helmet AND flak jacket? It'd be way safer in case the rotors starts flinging. Heck, add shinguards, kevlar boots, and a chest protector. Can't be too safe you know.

What you're proposing is about as safe as riding your motorcycle with a mountain bike helmet. It might help a bit, but not much.

 

But I'm not wearing a mountain bike helmet on my motorcycle. This is irrelevent. Just for S&G, yes, a mountain bike helmet WOULD give some protection in certain instances-not on I-5 doing 120. As for a motorcycle helmet in a helo, maybe it's not the safest thing to do, but then again, do you think an HGU-56, Gentex, SPH-4, or that David Clark thingy would do any better? It certainly is better than just a headset. I bet it's just as good as, or better, any helo helmet on the market. It is designed for severe impact. I'd like to see how a Gentex holds up to a severe impact on asphalt.

 

 

Plus I'm pretty sure using a motorcycle helmet would be just a wee bit illegal in the eyes of the FAA as it's not certified for use by flight crew members.

 

Certified schmertified.

 

And correct me if I'm wrong, but the FAA writes CFR's (Code of Federal Regulations) and not law (United States Code). Therefore, if they don't write law, it's not illegal to wear a motorcycle helmet in an aircraft. Now if you can find a reference to motorcycle helmet wearing in aircraft being illegal, then show me. One day, I went looking for an Oregon statute on carrying a rifle on a motorcycle-to see if it was illegal. Guess what, didn't see one. I also went looking for any law forbiding the wearing of a helmet in a car. Still didn't see one. Sometimes law libraries can be fun. I guess one can wear a motorcycle helmet in a car while driving. I bet it'd be safer in a wreck too. Besides, if the FAA doesn't require helmets in a helo, what makes you think it'd be illegal?

 

I like the story Klank wrote. Maybe I'll get a football helmet and use that...complete with shoulderpads.

 

You only have one head amigo... don't cheap out on protecting it. :)

 

Cheap out? If anything I'm wanting to use a helmet. It may not be one of those "Aviator" helmets, but it does the job.

 

I don't want to come across as a nazi a$$h()le, but come on! You haven't given me one bit of emperical evidence that wearing a motorcycle helmet in an aircraft will do more damage than good. They both do the same job, constructed similarly, consist of a fiberglass or thermoplastic shell, have an energy absorbing styrofoam liner, and do a pretty good job of protecting ones noggin from severe impacts.

 

Now if you want to go on about asthetics, DeLorien,

but more importantly, you're going to look like a freakin idiot wearing the thing. Just go ahead and get one of those fake ponytails to hang out the back and you'll be a complete redneck.

I already told you it looks like a helo helmet. It's the AGV Dragon. Look it up. And I don't need a fake ponytail, I'll just use the one I have on my head. By the way, some people consider the term "Redneck" as offensive as the term "Nigger". I'd be careful.

 

Back to business;

 

My original question was about fitting comms into the helmet, not if it would protect my head, not if I would look like a bobble-head, not if it was illegal. As far as I'm concerned, if one wants to wear a skid lid, half helmet, full-face, or motocross helmet, then by all means do so. If one wants to wear a HANS, go for it. Even if one wants to wear the latest Army hardhat with HUD and laser guidance stuff in it, go ahead. But please, don't be obnoxous about their decisions. If TaIk2Kevin has that David Clark hardhat, great. Do you see me saying stuff like you guys are saying? I say good for you. It's their choice, let them be. Freedom of choice.

 

[RANT OFF]

 

Later

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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

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It shouldn't be that hard to fit the comms in the helmet. I've used a homemade headset for years, because the stock headsets hurt my ears. I bought some DC hearing protectors, the kind they use on aircraft carriers, with the deep domes, and put the comms in it. Works great, better hearing protection than the off-the-shelf headsets. Motorcycle helmets are designed for the same dangers as aviation helmets, just without the fancy electronics. They will all protect your head, and the motorcycle helmets have to meet crash specs, and are so labeled. The hard part is going to be mounting the speakers, and getting the sound suppression you need. CEPs are one choice, as are earplugs. You need aviation speakers, with about 600 ohm impedance. Standard 8 ohm speakers/earphones won't work well at all, because the volume will be very weak. You can get a transformer from Radio Shack, but the speakers from your old helmet would be a better choice, provided they still work.

 

I'm always amazed at the misinformation spread on internet forums. There is lots of stuff being spread in this thread.

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..........I also went looking for any law forbiding the wearing of a helmet in a car. Still didn't see one. Sometimes law libraries can be fun. I guess one can wear a motorcycle helmet in a car while driving. I bet it'd be safer in a wreck too..........

 

........My original question was about fitting comms into the helmet, not if it would protect my head, not if I would look like a bobble-head, not if it was illegal. As far as I'm concerned, if one wants to wear a skid lid, half helmet, full-face, or motocross helmet, then by all means do so. If one wants to wear a HANS, go for it. Even if one wants to wear the latest Army hardhat with HUD and laser guidance stuff in it, go ahead.......

 

Buddy if you want to our test pilot on this, go right ahead. With that attitude, I don't think any us will be able to stop you. The fact is, no data exist to say if that thing is going to help or hurt you in a helicopter accident. You can give us reasons all day long about how it could HELP you, and we could give you reason all night long of how it could potentially KILL you. So until a crash test dummy (or just a regular dummy) goes out and proves one of us wrong, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

 

If anyone want to see this brain bucket, here's the link: http://www.extremesupply.com/agvhelmets/agvhelmetsdragon.htm On sale for $99.95 with free s/h right now. Hell, that's a cheaper than my Trek mountain bike helmet. What a deal!

 

-Jonathan

 

PS: I'd like to see what happens to a person's neck when wearing a helmet in a car accident when the airbag deploys. They design those systems with average head weight and size. A helmet adds quite a bit of both. Plus, with the side curtain and rollover roof airbags that pop out, I can just see someone's helmet'd head bouncing around like a pinball in a slow-mo crash video. Once again, I leave that to the (crash-test) dummys before I try it.

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Yeah, that's the hardhat I have, but in camouflage.

 

PS: I'd like to see what happens to a person's neck when wearing a helmet in a car accident when the airbag deploys. They design those systems with average head weight and size. A helmet adds quite a bit of both. Plus, with the side curtain and rollover roof airbags that pop out, I can just see someone's helmet'd head bouncing around like a pinball in a slow-mo crash video. Once again, I leave that to the (crash-test) dummys before I try it.

I don't have airbags on my Jeep. Bike either, although the Honda Goldwing now has an airbag system installed on this years model. I hear that Honda is engineering airbag systems for their big cruisers. I want a system that deploys around the whole bike like the Mars rovers had. Or maybe like in Demolition Man where the styrofoam engulfs the interior of the car.

 

Hey Gomer, thanks for your input. It is greatly appreciated.

If the earcups are deep enough, I could possibly add earseals to kill the noise. More investigation is needed though. Thanks.

 

Later

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Rant all ya want Witch, but believe it or not we're only looking out for your safety. But what you're proposing is ignorant and foolish beyond measure.

 

I'd like to see how a Gentex holds up to a severe impact on asphalt.

It wouldn't hold up well at all. You still don't get what we're trying to tell you mate. These two helmet designs are meant to withstand 2 totally different scenerios. Whether it be their shape or what they consist of as far as materials... both are purpose built for that one type of event only.

 

If you don't want a helicopter helmet, go with a nice head-set instead. If you want a helmet search Ebay for a cheap used Helicopter Helmet

 

 

Certified schmertified

That is a fantastic attitude for an up and coming pilot to have Witch. Glad to see the rules don't apply to you cowboy.

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Rant all ya want Witch, but believe it or not we're only looking out for your safety.

Oh if that were only true. One thing I've learned from existing on this rock is that no-one is looking out for my safety. Not the Government, not my employers, not even my neighbours. The only one that looks out for my own safety is me.

 

If you were concerned for my safety, then I'd suspect you'd be at my house removing this fire-trap next to the house and getting rid of these chemicals under the sink. Well, maybe not.

 

 

I'd like to see how a Gentex holds up to a severe impact on asphalt.

It wouldn't hold up well at all. You still don't get what we're trying to tell you mate. These two helmet designs are meant to withstand 2 totally different scenerios. Whether it be their shape or what they consist of as far as materials... both are purpose built for that one type of event only.

 

I bet a Gentex would offer better protection than nothing at all. And as for two different scenerios and one type of event, both do exactly the same thing; protect the head from severe impact.

If you don't want a helicopter helmet, go with a nice head-set instead. If you want a helmet search Ebay for a cheap used Helicopter Helmet

I have a nice headset-David Clark circa 1985.

Certified schmertified

That is a fantastic attitude for an up and coming pilot to have Witch. Glad to see the rules don't apply to you cowboy.

What rules? The rules that say one can't wear a motorcycle helmet in a helicopter? Sorry, haven't seen those rules. Now if you could show me where they are...

 

 

I know you're adamate about the wearing of helmets. I too would rather have a helmet. What I don't want to see is some Governmental, or FAA decree stating that all pilots must wear helmets. If you want one, great, If not, no problemo. If one wishes to wear a motorcycle helmet, then I say go for it. My original query was about comms in the motorcycle helmet. It was not about the safety aspect.

 

I'm through with thread and will ignore any new postings. Nice chattin' with ya.

 

Later

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