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Helmets - Should you? and Which?

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Helmets - Should you? and Which?

Old 30th Sep 2002, 04:53
  #101 (permalink)  
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On the other hand, G-PLMA's accident.
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Old 30th Sep 2002, 05:12
  #102 (permalink)  
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Nr Fairy,
nobody is saying here that wearing a helmet will save your life in case of an accident, but it should be obvious that it will increase your chance of survival.
Hopefully one day the manufacturers will get their heads out of their...and install airbags in every machine.
Any good car you buy these days has at least 4 to 6 airbags up front (front, a-pillar and side airbag on each side) there is absolutely no reason they couldn't be installed in every machine.
Nick, if you're reading this, you think we might expect this in the near future (keeping your recent question in mind on what could be improved.)?
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Old 30th Sep 2002, 05:54
  #103 (permalink)  
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Almost: That Vietnam story is simply amazing. One of the most incredible things I've read in quite a while.

NR: I read that report a few months ago. A 2-3 inch section of cord with connectors is something I would imagine is a no brainer - when I read the part where it described the doctor finding him, I thought he had forgotten the emergency cord disconnector or something. Seems like something that simple should be SOP. RIP Pilot.

I've got a question here - are there some flights you shouldn't wear helmets? VIP passengers I'd think wouldn't like seeing a helmet-headed pilot greeting them any more than a helmet-haired pilot. ENG personalities would probably be unrecognizable with the visor down. Tour pilots/guides would probably scare the passengers. Any thoughts?

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Old 30th Sep 2002, 18:09
  #104 (permalink)  
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sounds like the helmet definately helped in this one too.

here's yet another good reason

This one tops it all,
I saw this picture before, but had a hard time finding it again.
For any non believers out there, let this be a lesson>
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Old 30th Sep 2002, 19:09
  #105 (permalink)  
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almost :

I know that G-PLMA's accident was a freak, and that helmets can save your life much more often than they take it.

I think I was after promulgating the point of the enquiry, which was that a small extension lead may have saved this guy's life, and may save yours or mine.

Disclaimer - no umbrage taken or intended.
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Old 30th Sep 2002, 19:28
  #106 (permalink)  
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Sorry about that NR, a small extension indeed might have done the trick, a weak link/plug somewhere in the cord might have done too.
This also very noticable during dunker training when you forget to unplug and after doing everything according to procedure, you find yourself stuck to the machine because of your helmet.
When seconds count this is definately something you don't want to happen.
Every trip I make sure that my (curly) cord is not tangled up in my belts or stuck behind something that might stop me of getting out in a hurry.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 1st Oct 2002, 00:27
  #107 (permalink)  
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I am a big fan of helmets!

Also see the previous thread on this topic at:

helmet thread

If the articles in that thread, and this one, are not enough to convince, there is an accident that always sticks in my mind in relation to helmets. The pilot died from head injuries several hours after the accident, and only a couple of hours before they found him. His helmet was on the backseat when he went in, not on his head.

Huey Accident

There has been a report by either CONCERN or the HAI (I dont have a reference copy) that concluded that despite a great deal of opinoin to the contrary, MOST patients and pax felt that helmets made the flight crew look MORE professional and DID NOT scare them!!

Me wear one!
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Old 1st Oct 2002, 04:05
  #108 (permalink)  
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Well, despite being unable to load some of the pagelinks you guys have given, I'm pretty convinced I should stick with me lid.

And for those who have read the G-PLMA incident I wear my UK Mk 4a which has a good foot of downlead from the helmet and I use an 18" coiled extension, so I hope there's little chance of such an occurence happening to me.

I have to admit my original question was more our of curiousity than much else, but having read the response I really am glad I wear one.
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Old 2nd Nov 2002, 22:02
  #109 (permalink)  
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Use of ear plugs?

All pilots in the company that I work for use helmets.

We fly a scheduled helicopter airline route flying. We never have any complaints from passengers about why we fly with helmets, I guess everebody is just used to seeing all helicopter pilots wear a helmet in the country and its just common sense that the most important person on board the helicopter should not be knocked unconsious by bird-strike through the windshield, turbulence or bad vibrations due to blade failure or ice.
Even in case of a crash it important that the pilot is able to help the passengers and call help and get them to safety.

Well any how, the company recently has recommended to the pilots that they also wear ear plugs (disposable foam plugs!) underneath the helmets for hearing protection.

I would just like to hear any comments from you out there, what are your views, good or bad?
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 05:18
  #110 (permalink)  
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I have used earplugs under headsets and my helmet from day 1. I wouldn't be without them. The earplugs take out a lot of the wind noise and higher frequencies. Makes the day a whole lot more comfy.
A good mate once observed that you can wear glasses or even repair you eyeball but they don't let pilots fly with hearing aids. Simple stuff really.
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 06:13
  #111 (permalink)  
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These work:

CEP Link
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 06:15
  #112 (permalink)  
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I use etymotic er-20 earplugs while riding my motorcycle, and even around the city when I take the subway. I'm not a helicopter pilot, yet! But I thought I'd mention this product as they're superior to regular foam plugs -- musicians such as singers, drummers, etc, use them too.

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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 06:33
  #113 (permalink)  
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I also use earplugs under my headset, since i dont have ANR it helps to soften the radio and other noises.

*just a side note. I use the foam earplugs, and would readily switch to ANR helmet, but at the moment I don't fly enough to justify the cost, plus I just plain can't afford it.

Last edited by Barannfin; 3rd Nov 2002 at 19:37.
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 10:55
  #114 (permalink)  
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Im have also used ear plugs since day 1. My instructor got me on to this. He pointed out that it really helps with noise fatigue. I always wear a helmet, and as helmets have no volume control I usually turn the comms up and get non helmet wearers to turn down their headsets. If you are logging big hours, I'm sure that this must help out long term.
Old 3rd Nov 2002, 13:33
  #115 (permalink)  
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Actually they do let pilots fly wearing hearing aids. I know of at least one pilot from your country (if you're from Canada as your profile says) who flies and wears 2 hearing aids as the result of a bad accident.
The only trouble I find with earplugs in hot, humid conditions is that they make the ears sweat even more and increase susceptibility to outer ear infections.
Wish my company issued us with Alpha helmets with ANR - that really would be an advance over heavy David Clarkes with poor noise attenuation.
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 14:00
  #116 (permalink)  
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But what about the bones

[SIZE=3]So then how about this.
Your ear has three little bones, whose task is transferriing sound vibrations into the cochlea. So if the earplug is inserted into the ear canal does it lead to an air damping effect that could do more harm than good.
Question 2 what about the vibration caused by by the transmission.
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 17:20
  #117 (permalink)  
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Some pilots have voiced concerns that they will not hear abnormal noices indicating some problems with the aircraft or passengers shouting and trying to inform the pilot of impending trouble, smoke e.t.c.

So in that way a ANR system is better than earplugs, because it doesnt block out noices, just decreases the sound from the frequency ranges harmful to your hearing, actually you will still hear differences or sound changes in the transmission/gears, the whine in the turbines and blade slapping. ANR/ENC will just make it a lot more comfortable. And an added side benefit is that the radio will sound much clearer.

I have heard before that use of ear-plugs for many hours each day (5-8 hrs) could cause ear infection, but I have not heard any prof or research that indicate that it is true, obviously the guys that use ear plugs in the above posts dont seem to have that problem!
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 17:28
  #118 (permalink)  
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Used to use earplugs, recently switched to ANR. Now the radio is MUCH clearer, and all comm volumes are waaayyyyy lower. Pax have to turn up headphone volume, though. Oh well.

Always wear my skid lid!
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 18:17
  #119 (permalink)  
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Alpha Helmet

Just to note, the Alpha helmet isn't great if you want to do any long-ish sorties, like in excess of 1 hr 30 mins or so. Not so long ago I wore a Alpha helmet that did fit well, but after about 1:30 I got terrible headaches where the helmet stopped the good flow of blood over the top of my head.

If possible go for ex/current military type helmets, better fitting and they come with the added sun visor.

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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 19:11
  #120 (permalink)  
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Notarious is a bit off base, the three little bones are nice, but there is a lot of meat between the ear plugs and that stuff. The real problems are air pressure problems with some types of plugs and ear damage due to noise:

1) The plugs we all wear are the roll-up foam kind, which don't seal airtight, and thus allow pressure equalization. They cut ambient noise by 20 dB, and are very effective. Rubber airtight plugs are dangerous in aviation, as they can get pushed into your ears as you descend. The foam kind are issued like popcorn in aviation outfits around the world.

2) Noise reducing headsets might not protect your ears against the high frequency sounds that might be a problem, as the sound cancellation circuits are not very effective above about 1000 HZ, so damaging sound levels above frequency are still a problem, and must be blocked with well-sealed earcups and plugs. The active noise cancellation is great for comfort and clarity, however, and so are really popular around here.
Here is a simple plot at the web site of a company that sells ANC headsets:

3) The best protection is a good set of well fitted earcups and a sound sealed headset/helmet. Plugs are an addition to this first step. A soft gel earcup is mandatory, and needs to be changed every few months.

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