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Cropdusting Helmets (fixed wing)

Old 6th Apr 2011, 21:33
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: someplace sunny
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Cropdusting Helmets (fixed wing)

Does anyone know a good place to find a flight helmet for ag flying that would have civilian mic cords (or an adapter)? I've been on FlightHelmet.com | Serving Military, EMS, & Civilian Pilots 800-531-4898 does anyone know of anyplace else to go?
I've also never flown with a helemt before so can you guys give me some advice as to what kind of things I should take into consideration?
wasCorsair is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2011, 15:45
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: nebraska
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Try Gentexhelmets.com. I'm looking for a helmet too but don't know much about them either. I DO know that I want ANR. Anybody got any suggestions?
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Old 8th Apr 2011, 00:29
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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I purchased mine from Mid Continent Aviation, dual vizors, one tinted, built in boom mike and ear phones, have done about ten seasons {part time] and no complaints at all. The helmet doeas not have a noise cancelling system, but then I like the sound of a 600HP Pratt and Whitney! I you are flying in extream heat and no AC in the aircraft, get one with a vent set up.
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Old 8th Apr 2011, 17:20
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I use a HUG-55/P, which I had done custom. Mine has a Kevlar shell upgrade, and a leather interior over "temperfoam" that molds to one's head to help eliminate hot spots. I don't care for the "elephant ears" as standard, and prefer the hard David-Clarke style earcups. I added thicker temperfoam Oregon Aero earseals, and have no need for any noise attenuation. In fact, I'd prefer that the helmet let in a little more sound. In a turbine airplane, it's hard to hear sliptream, propeller noise, or the engine. I hear lower frequency sounds like airframe vibration just fine, however.

Government Sales has good deals on helmets. You can visit them at Flight Helmets - Flight Suits - Aviation Helmets

Flight Suits Unlimited, now doing business as Gibson and Barnes, also offers good equipment. I've used their services and am quite satisfied with their products. Flight Suits, Jackets by Gibson & Barnes

One thing that Gibson and Barnes does have is a clearance file, which is often overruns of products or returned products, usually at a terriffic discount. I picked up a helmet there that had been put together for a boat racing team. It was painted in the team colors, and was one extra helmet on the order. It couldn't be resold as new, and I got a great price. Same for their gear, such as nomex, uniform items, etc.

I prefer the HGU55 for it's weight. It's drawback is it's a relatively tight fitting helmet. If you're flying something like an AT-802 with air conditioning, not so much a big deal, but if you're working in a hot location in the summer, you're going to sweat a lot. The helmet is very light. It doesn't develop the hotspots that some helmets do, thanks to the lining. You can choose various linings and features to suit your needs.

I prefer a shaded visor I dont like to try to fit sunglasses under the helmet, but the shaded visor works wonderfully. The HGU-55 uses an elastic retainer, so no extra bulk from a cover or slide assembly to catch on things, add to weight, or complicate the use of the helmet. Some like the HGU-33 with the visor assembly; they're usually less expensive, but heavier, and I find that the extra bulk of the visor assembly just gets in the way.

Be aware that you can raise a visor with a visor assembly easily with one hand, but it's difficult to get the visor up and down on the 55/P with one hand or without getting prints on the visor. This can be a factor if you're flying in a really hot cockpit and sweat is running in your eyes.

You may be very glad you had a visor on in the event of a forced landing or crash, however. How much are your eyes worth? You can get clear visors for night work, if that's what you'll be doing.

Some helmets are wider but more open and cooler to wear; the SPH-5 is a good helmet, though built for helicopters. In a narrow cockpit, or if you're going to be bouncing around, the SPH-5 is a little too wide, in my opinion. The newer HGU84 is an excellent helmet, and is lightweight like the 55/P, but also a lot more expensive.

Some will try to get the cheapest helmet they can. It's a substantial investment. Having put mine to good use, I can testify that it's an investment you want to take seriously. Don't go cheap. Get good avionics, get a good fit, and find one that you're going to be comfortable using for a long time for wear, fit, weight, and utility. Be aware that sources such as flighthelmet.com are selling you a used helmet. Don't buy used; get a new helmet. It's tempting to go cheap. Don't.

Some like the Alpha and Gallet helmets; you can read about some comparisons and specifications with Helicopter Helmets: Helicopter Helmet Comparison Chart - Gentex, Alpha and MSA Gallet side by side comparisons

The Gallet and Alphas tend to be lighter but more expensive. I'm very satisfied with Gentex products.

I don't recommend ANR in a helmet, but it's up to you. I use ANR in other environments such as light general aviation cockpits, corporate cockpits, etc. My regular job at the moment is a 747, and I wear noise reduction in there. In an ag and fire environment, however, I like to have good contact with the sounds of the airplane, especially the slipstream and the engine. A helmet with earcups minimizes much of that sound without any need for ANR noise reduction. Even in the 747, the headset I'm using right now makes it just a little too quiet. It really reduces fatigue on a long leg, and I don't have a big need to hear the slipstream or engines in that environment. Ag and fire is different, though.

If you're flying turbine equipment, my recommendation would be to skip the ANR. If you're flying radial equipment, it really doesn't matter, because you're going to hear it anyway.

Last edited by SNS3Guppy; 9th Apr 2011 at 03:55.
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Old 10th Apr 2011, 01:49
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Great info

Thanks a lot guys! I'll check into to all of it and post what I find for anyone else in this situation. I'll be flying a Cessna 188 about 12 miles north of the equator so I suspect ventilation might be an issue...
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