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Your opinion about helmets?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 10th 04, 10:14 PM
Dave Russell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Your opinion about helmets?

My parachute rigger has been after me for years to start wearing a
helmet when I'm wearing a 'chute. It always seemd kinda silly...

Today I was in the FBO when one of the local ag pilots got his helmet
back after a rebuild job. He rolled an airplane over on it's back
last year after an engine failure at 50 feet (big dose of luck,
excellent stick-n-rudder... totaled the plane but he came away just
scraped and sore). He also got back the bits and pieces left of the
original helmet... egad. His parting comment to me was that he'd
never fly aerobatics without a helmet.

Now, I don't do aerobatics in an Agcat at 50 ft, but his point was
heard clearly.

So, anyone used one? How much too heavy are they under g's? How
uncomfortable on a good day?

-Dave Russell
8KCAB
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  #2  
Old March 11th 04, 01:17 AM
Jerry Guy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Dave,
I'll try not to run on about this. I changed over from a mesh hat with
headset to a helmet last year. These were some of my thoughts.

I flew at the time, a Pitt S2B, with a 10 year old off brand headset.
(No ANR) An S2B and an AG-cat gotta rate about the same for cockpit
noise. IT'S LOUD. Tried many mods to the headset, intercom, etc with
little to no improvement. Time to step up to ANR. Flew a Bose set, they
were nice, and quiet but about a kilobuck per seat. Had been considering
a helmet for Acro but seemed a bit pricey at about $1300 all up with ANR
headset built in, custom fit liner, Kevlar shell (about all the add-ons
save for an oxygen reciever). So, the difference between the Bose
headset and the ANR helmet from flightsuits was about $300 bucks.

Whatta you get for $300? Mostly piece of mind. I've seen plenty of
pics/articles and heard many a story of people who survived
accidents/forced landings etc., but had the altimeter knob stuck in
their forehead, had the rear seat instrument panel in a 'B' wrap around
their head, flipped over in forced landing whacking their head on the
tarmac. Understand, this is not the same quality as a motorcycle helmet,
there is no Snell or DOT rating on these. They are definitley not legal
for use on the street or racetrack.
In the same line of thinking, I recently read an article comparing the
risks of flying ones own aircraft, regular GA, not acro. The risks in
terms of accident rates and fatalities are about the same as riding a
motorcycle on the streets. (Certainly you'd where a helmet riding a
motorcycle, it's likely even the law where you live).

If you had to exit the aircraft and ride the chute down, it'd be a real
****er to survive the crippled aircraft, the parachute ride, just to get
KO'd or worse by a tree branch, or the runway, or your aircraft on the
way out. In that way I consider it a piece of lifesaving equipment, a
had mine painted bright yellow. In S. Florida there's not much on the
ground thats bright yellow, I want the rescuers to have no problem
locating me.

The Kevlar shell is very light, fitted correctly you'll hardly notice
the weight through +6 -4 Gs. One side benefit for those of us needing
glasses, the tinted face shield eliminates the need for prescription
sunglasses.
It can get quite warm inside the helmet, my skull cap liners usually
come out soaking wet. But, how long are your acro flights? For the 40
minutes or so I'm usually up it's not bad.

I have had a problem with the cords from the headset to the jacks, they
don't tolerate much bending/twisting, I've had to have mine repaired
twice, for free, but it's still a hassle packing it up, shipping and
being without for 2 weeks.

I'm seeing more people use them in competition acro, few enough that
you'll still take some ribbing. Those are also usually the same people
that will ask to see it and try it on when you're away from the group.

I have no interest in any company that sells/manufactures helmets, but I
do work in healthcare.

Jerry

Dave Russell wrote:
My parachute rigger has been after me for years to start wearing a
helmet when I'm wearing a 'chute. It always seemd kinda silly...

Today I was in the FBO when one of the local ag pilots got his helmet
back after a rebuild job. He rolled an airplane over on it's back
last year after an engine failure at 50 feet (big dose of luck,
excellent stick-n-rudder... totaled the plane but he came away just
scraped and sore). He also got back the bits and pieces left of the
original helmet... egad. His parting comment to me was that he'd
never fly aerobatics without a helmet.

Now, I don't do aerobatics in an Agcat at 50 ft, but his point was
heard clearly.

So, anyone used one? How much too heavy are they under g's? How
uncomfortable on a good day?

-Dave Russell
8KCAB


  #3  
Old March 11th 04, 03:02 PM
nametab
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I'm a helicopter test pilot and aerobatic pilot. I use a helmet any time I'm
doing something unusual. If I'm flying from point A to point B, I use the
ANR headset for comfort and cool, but when I'm testing or aerobatic, the
helmet comes along. I have an ANR kevlar helmet. It's light, but after some
G's you do notice the weight. I will say that the helmet is better than any
headset at tuning out the noise. ANR works great in the high and mid range,
but the helmet really cuts the low frequency.

"Dave Russell" wrote in message
om...
My parachute rigger has been after me for years to start wearing a
helmet when I'm wearing a 'chute. It always seemd kinda silly...

Today I was in the FBO when one of the local ag pilots got his helmet
back after a rebuild job. He rolled an airplane over on it's back
last year after an engine failure at 50 feet (big dose of luck,
excellent stick-n-rudder... totaled the plane but he came away just
scraped and sore). He also got back the bits and pieces left of the
original helmet... egad. His parting comment to me was that he'd
never fly aerobatics without a helmet.

Now, I don't do aerobatics in an Agcat at 50 ft, but his point was
heard clearly.

So, anyone used one? How much too heavy are they under g's? How
uncomfortable on a good day?

-Dave Russell
8KCAB



  #4  
Old March 11th 04, 08:07 PM
ShawnD2112
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

People really get ribbed about wearing a helmet in competition? I hardly
know anyone here in the UK who competes WITHOUT one! If someone didn't wear
one, then they'd get a ribbing. I bought my helmet even before I bought my
Pitts, simply because I knew I was going to be flying acro, I just didn't
know what in.

Shawn
"Jerry Guy" wrote in message
...
Dave,
I'll try not to run on about this. I changed over from a mesh hat with
headset to a helmet last year. These were some of my thoughts.

I flew at the time, a Pitt S2B, with a 10 year old off brand headset.
(No ANR) An S2B and an AG-cat gotta rate about the same for cockpit
noise. IT'S LOUD. Tried many mods to the headset, intercom, etc with
little to no improvement. Time to step up to ANR. Flew a Bose set, they
were nice, and quiet but about a kilobuck per seat. Had been considering
a helmet for Acro but seemed a bit pricey at about $1300 all up with ANR
headset built in, custom fit liner, Kevlar shell (about all the add-ons
save for an oxygen reciever). So, the difference between the Bose
headset and the ANR helmet from flightsuits was about $300 bucks.

Whatta you get for $300? Mostly piece of mind. I've seen plenty of
pics/articles and heard many a story of people who survived
accidents/forced landings etc., but had the altimeter knob stuck in
their forehead, had the rear seat instrument panel in a 'B' wrap around
their head, flipped over in forced landing whacking their head on the
tarmac. Understand, this is not the same quality as a motorcycle helmet,
there is no Snell or DOT rating on these. They are definitley not legal
for use on the street or racetrack.
In the same line of thinking, I recently read an article comparing the
risks of flying ones own aircraft, regular GA, not acro. The risks in
terms of accident rates and fatalities are about the same as riding a
motorcycle on the streets. (Certainly you'd where a helmet riding a
motorcycle, it's likely even the law where you live).

If you had to exit the aircraft and ride the chute down, it'd be a real
****er to survive the crippled aircraft, the parachute ride, just to get
KO'd or worse by a tree branch, or the runway, or your aircraft on the
way out. In that way I consider it a piece of lifesaving equipment, a
had mine painted bright yellow. In S. Florida there's not much on the
ground thats bright yellow, I want the rescuers to have no problem
locating me.

The Kevlar shell is very light, fitted correctly you'll hardly notice
the weight through +6 -4 Gs. One side benefit for those of us needing
glasses, the tinted face shield eliminates the need for prescription
sunglasses.
It can get quite warm inside the helmet, my skull cap liners usually
come out soaking wet. But, how long are your acro flights? For the 40
minutes or so I'm usually up it's not bad.

I have had a problem with the cords from the headset to the jacks, they
don't tolerate much bending/twisting, I've had to have mine repaired
twice, for free, but it's still a hassle packing it up, shipping and
being without for 2 weeks.

I'm seeing more people use them in competition acro, few enough that
you'll still take some ribbing. Those are also usually the same people
that will ask to see it and try it on when you're away from the group.

I have no interest in any company that sells/manufactures helmets, but I
do work in healthcare.

Jerry

Dave Russell wrote:
My parachute rigger has been after me for years to start wearing a
helmet when I'm wearing a 'chute. It always seemd kinda silly...

Today I was in the FBO when one of the local ag pilots got his helmet
back after a rebuild job. He rolled an airplane over on it's back
last year after an engine failure at 50 feet (big dose of luck,
excellent stick-n-rudder... totaled the plane but he came away just
scraped and sore). He also got back the bits and pieces left of the
original helmet... egad. His parting comment to me was that he'd
never fly aerobatics without a helmet.

Now, I don't do aerobatics in an Agcat at 50 ft, but his point was
heard clearly.

So, anyone used one? How much too heavy are they under g's? How
uncomfortable on a good day?

-Dave Russell
8KCAB




  #5  
Old March 11th 04, 08:14 PM
ShawnD2112
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I guess you gotta ask yourself one question: how much is your head worth?

I bought an HGU-55 from Flightsuits in California and have been pretty happy
with it. It's the US military helmet in a civilian version, but you can get
it with O2 mask instead of a boom mike if you want. I seem to remember mine
was about $800 all in, but I didn't get ANR. Looking back, I'd get ANR.
The single seat Pitts is a loud place to be.

I got mine because I didn't want to successfully get the airplane on the
ground after an emergency only to have my head caved in in the process.
Granted the helmet isn't as strong as a motorcycle helmet, but it's better
than nothing. Not too heavy, no problem when pulling Gs, tinted visor's
very nice (and looks cool, too!). I don't wear it when tooling around in
the Taylorcraft but the energy level's a lot lower in the machine. I always
wear it when I'm in the Pitts, regardless of the purpose of the flight.

Except once. I had a problem with my comms setup and I was trying out a
headset to try to isolate the problem. And my mate jumped me in his One
Design at 3,000 feet. I gave him a crap fight because I was too busy
fighting a loose headset in the cockpit. That's another reason I always
wear a helmet! (BTW, I've never beaten him but I've often given a pretty
damn good go!)

Shawn


"Dave Russell" wrote in message
om...
My parachute rigger has been after me for years to start wearing a
helmet when I'm wearing a 'chute. It always seemd kinda silly...

Today I was in the FBO when one of the local ag pilots got his helmet
back after a rebuild job. He rolled an airplane over on it's back
last year after an engine failure at 50 feet (big dose of luck,
excellent stick-n-rudder... totaled the plane but he came away just
scraped and sore). He also got back the bits and pieces left of the
original helmet... egad. His parting comment to me was that he'd
never fly aerobatics without a helmet.

Now, I don't do aerobatics in an Agcat at 50 ft, but his point was
heard clearly.

So, anyone used one? How much too heavy are they under g's? How
uncomfortable on a good day?

-Dave Russell
8KCAB



  #6  
Old March 13th 04, 12:57 AM
Dave Russell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I knew soomebody in here would know what I needed to know; you guys
are great. Now, one last question: kevlar or fiberglass? I'm sure
kevlar is stronger, but is it heavier?

Again, thanks for the help!

-Dave Russell
(yes, I realize that that was actually 2 questions, but... you know.
;-)
  #7  
Old March 13th 04, 05:12 AM
nametab
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Nope, kevlar is lighter!

"Dave Russell" wrote in message
om...
I knew soomebody in here would know what I needed to know; you guys
are great. Now, one last question: kevlar or fiberglass? I'm sure
kevlar is stronger, but is it heavier?

Again, thanks for the help!

-Dave Russell
(yes, I realize that that was actually 2 questions, but... you know.
;-)



  #8  
Old March 13th 04, 08:15 AM
ShawnD2112
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Not so's you'd notice. In fact, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that
pound for pound, Kevlar is stronger so it should therefore be lighter. I've
never flown with a glass helmet, but the kevlar's so light you don't even
notice the weight on your head, even under 6 Gs.

Shawn
"Dave Russell" wrote in message
om...
I knew soomebody in here would know what I needed to know; you guys
are great. Now, one last question: kevlar or fiberglass? I'm sure
kevlar is stronger, but is it heavier?

Again, thanks for the help!

-Dave Russell
(yes, I realize that that was actually 2 questions, but... you know.
;-)



  #9  
Old March 13th 04, 02:32 PM
F224
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

You should wear a helmet, but skip the ANR. I have David Clark ANR headsets in
my Stearman, and it wasen't worth the extra expense.

The Navy has stoped using ANR systems, seems the noise you don't hear still
damages your hearing. Guys who have used it are seing a 15-20% loss of hearing
over as little as six months. The helmet sellers at Sun-N-Fun I spoke with last
year were all talking about this and now refuse to sell ANR systems without a
release of liability. That should tell you something.


A bush in the hand is worth two at the bar.

Dave Funk
 




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