three high time pilots i know offer differing opinions. one swears(and a lot) that a helmet saved his life in an accident. i have seen the helmet and its a mess. another has done mostly logging and has worn one out of habit. a third rejects the idea of wearing them and says by thinking of accidents (wearing a helmet) you will have one (he has'nt he tells me). i had to wear construction helmet when working in the trade and a motorcucle helmet on the road. i am safety minded and dont care what it looks like either. thanks for the advice and opinions helipilotnz
If you can't see the value in wearing a helmet in a R22, then I suspect you will never see the value.
Skidbiter; you really need to get out more. Look up the CAA accident reports and investigate the death of Glen Hemepo in Rotorua in 1998. The only mark on Glen was an impact to his right temple that would've certainly been avoided if he was wearing a helmet. In the NT in 2000, one of our mustering lads ran an R22 into the planet at an estimated 70kts. Tore it all to bits as it tumbled over the MGB mast. We he awoke, he was on fire but alive thanks to his Alpha. Seen the damage to that one first hand.
Not only that; it is also illegal to ride a bicycle in NZ without a helmet....one would think it prudent to put one on your noggin inside a helo
Additionally, when you graduate to something with hydralics in the range of 3000psi, as sudden hardover of the servos could cause your brain to come in contact with the numerous sharp edges inside the big twins. Take a look at an S76 cockpit for example. In this situation not only will the helmet save your bacon but it will not come off your head like a headset will.
If you are going to spend the big bucks and go new then go Alpha. If you are going second hand (as I have...) then avoid the SPH4 (mesh interior) they have a nasty habit of snapping your neck with the sharp edge on the back of the helmet during a whiplash. Called a C4 break if I recall correctly. The mesh is also very uncomfortable. SPH5 is a better model.
Other than that, do what others have said and save your bucks....you are gonna need them.
If you want to wear a hemet go for it. I have done almost all of my training in the Gentex SPH-5, in a R22. Alot of people at the school made fun calling it a crash helmet (like I care), but I wouldnt fly without it. Aside from being more comfortable than any headset I have worn, I feel better for the wearing. I read a stroy about an Ag pilot who clipped a fence while turning around at the end of one run. As he realised what happened he shut the throttle and prepeared for impact. After he came to he found he was unable to move his head, undid the strap of his helmet and pulled his head out. The entire weight of the helo was being suppoted by the helmet after rolling over. Needless to say he would have been severely injured at best without it. If I was told I coulnt fly with a helmet Im not sure that I would. The majority of injuries from accidents in aircraft are to the head.
SKIDBITER Hi there, I don't know what they do in the land of Oz, but here in Canada, most Transport Canada Inspectors and examinere (the ones I have had mys students fly with) always wears one. I always wear one, even just for ground runs! Why risk your head, your job and your life, when wearing one could perhaps save you? Think about birdstrikes, a two pound bird coming at you at even a puny speed of 70 knots will make a mess of your face, not to include the flying debris of windshield! If the customer starts asking question such as "how come you're wearing a helmet and I'm not?" my answer would be: "I fly this thing all the time, you anly fly once!"
I don't want an accident, and I'm not looking for one, but I am well aware that they do happen, and they can happen to anyone!
In human factors we learn about hazardous attitudes, one of the is involnurability, or It won't happen to me, the proper antidote is: "It CAN happen to me!"
To wear a helmet or not to wear a helmet........that is the question.
In my job I have witnessed first hand what happens when it all goes wrong and the pilots involved did not have an accident in mind when they prepared for their flights.
One did not even get off the ground.........was not wearing a helmet and is no longer with us. Another was in the midst of a very tough job and had it all go to hell in a handbasket very quickly.......was wearing a helmet and is still with us. Sobering facts but true.
I personally wear a helmet and wore one all through my CPL (H) training. I even wore one when I did a lot of door off fixed wing flying......it was the only way to hear the radio. I have 3 that I wear at different times when flying helos (Alpha x 1 and SPH4B x2, as well as 8 others in a personal collection APH-1 through to new Alpha (all mint and unissued)) and they all fit inside an R22.
The decision is ultimately yours but what price do you put on your life..........I know what I put on mine and the cost of a helmet is a small fraction of that.
Im just looking at maybe buying a helmet, so far have looked at the Gentex and the Gallet. I was just wondering about what others in the industry think about helmets. Any advice given is greatfully received. Hughesy.
My employer provides helmets and flying suits for the pilots our choice and I went for the Gallet LH150 after 10 years with an Alpha and prior to that a Gentex SPH4. In my opion the Gallet is far superior to the other products and the service from Trevor Norris Flight Helmets Australia was very good. The noise attenuation with the Gallet probably isn't as good as the Alpha but that is easily overcome with the use of foam ear plugs. The Gallet for me is much more comfortable (no pressure spots like the Alpha) feels more secure and has less wind noise when long lining. I have heard however that it may not be crash worthy certified like the Alpha's maybe somebody can confirm or deny that.
Ask around what people are using and their reccomendations this is the right forum for that info.
I got mine from Mid Continent Aircraft. It's a form fitted helmet. The kit comes with a wax mold that you use to make an impression of your head. On a long day I typically wear it for up to 12-14 hours a day. If interested, call Doug @1-800-325-0885. Barryb
I was curious the other day and went to the ebay site to see if any Helmets were out there. Seems a lot of folks have them for sale. www.ebay.com I have a couple myself Im almost ready to part with, but shipping them outside the U.S. could be a pain....Check out ebay and search for flight helmets. It will give you some prices and pictures.
Thanks guys for your advice! I did forget to ask what people thought about the retention types. Either the older style webbing or the new Comfor Liner systems found in the newer helmets. Whaddya reckon?
HGU84/P With Navy style Visors and no NVG mount Slightly expensive, but well worth the dough!
With the TPL Liner and a skull cap (Skull cap mostly to absorb the sweat, so that you don't have to wash the liner every other week)
Have the nev ZETA Liner on order from Oregon Aero, and I am gleefully awaiting delivery!!
The helmet looks like the style fighterpilots use, but is built for helicopters, witout the "Giant" earcups. Comfy to wear, and good facial protection, since the visors cover a larger area. The only "bad issue" is that the visors are clumsy to handle with one hand, but then again, I rarely move them until after the flight is over.
I use the CGF Gallet and I would recommend it to anyone. I´ve used for over 3 years and 1500hrs now and not had any problems.
Mine has an ANR noise reduction system and volume knob. It´s really a noise buster! although I hate to have to remove the 9 volt battery every 10 hrs to recharge it but after flying a whole day after forgetting to recharge I´ll remember. It really makes a difference to have the ANR system.
Its good to have avolume knob because I used to do alot of instructing and if you fly with lot of different types of people with different headset or helmet types then sometimes a volume setting which is comfortable to your fellow aviator will not be good for yourself, so its not enough to simply adjust the volume on the radio or intercom (Single ICS setup!).
The helmet is lightweight, not bulky and the dual visor setup works fine. I have a dark and a yellow visor. The yellow is used in white out conditions which I fly a lot in. However it doesn´t work in all different light conditions for white-out flying!
Somebody mentioned that he´d heard it was not "Crash approved" !!! I sure the company can provide information on chrash test´s but I´m sure there is a limit to all helmets chrashworthiness?
I do not recomend buying a used old helmet! Motorcycle helmets have a life limit of I think 5 or 6 years, I´m sure there is a limit to the life of a helicopter helmet until the composite material becomes brittle, I would at least not take the chance.
Very comfortable and lightweight. Mic boom too long you have to curve it so it sits in front of your mouth and doesn't always stays in place. Love the visor system with the spring loaded exterior visor. Comes really low (if you want it too) and covers the entire opening of the helmet so there is no sun coming from the sides reflecting inside the visor (probably good too for stoping the wind if you're long lining with your head outside). Love the chin strap because it is comfortable and easy to clip in and out. Nice to have one visor inside the shell as it reduces the bulkiness of the helmet. Comes with a visor protector (finally!!!). Took a long time for them to figure out that we don't wear it to watch TV! Pricey to have the carbon fiber visor protector with the NVG mount (around $1000 CDN).
The story is... do I wear my helmet? NO! Because its LOUD IN THERE!!! I had to return it to the distributor (6 weeks and counting...) after trying to get use to it. It gave me headaches and felt so much more tiring after even a short flight. I tried the good old ear plugs (...as Boycie would say! :-) ) but just not practical when you fly with customers or in a crew environment to have the radios cranked all the way up (especially if the other pilot has a helmet without a volume control... of course!!!
The distributor sent it to France so the highly skilled engineer at MSA could try to figure out what is going on. Another pilot from our base got one at the same time I did and he returned it as well. They supposedly changed some foams and the earcups seals. We'll see if it does make a difference... suppose to get it back any day now. Will let you know.
I have a friend who owns one with the ANR and loves it so it seems like the way to go if you have an extra $1000 to spend... might have to do that if the modifications didn't improve the noise level.
For your information... I use to own a Gentex SPH-5 for 5 years. Not the best one out there but found that it was a good buy for your money. Only problems could be the bulkiness and weight. Especially for longlining when you have a weak neck!
Thanks guys for all your info! I ended up going with the Gentex, and I used it for the first time on frost protection. (my first commercial work! ) I found it very comfortable to wear and it kept my head warm! Plus it looked good when arriveing at my block with some female workers hanging about! So thanks again for all your help. Fly safe Hughesy
I would like to refresh the look of my faithful SPH4. What kind of paint can I use and are they special preparation of the helmet to be done. I am currently in the far East where some supplies are a little hard to come by.