View Poll Results: Flight Helmets for Gen Aviation

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  • Yes I wear one.

    8 53.33%
  • OK idea, but they cost too much.

    1 6.67%
  • They are not needed

    0 0%
  • I used to but stopped wearing one

    1 6.67%
  • Still gathering data about them.

    5 33.33%
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Thread: Flight helmets? Opinions?

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Flight helmets? Opinions?

    I have often thought it is a good idea. I do not do it now when I have float-clients because I do not want to buy all sorts of different size helmets for various clients.

    So what is your take on the flight helmet idea for general aviation?
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  2. #2

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    I have used a David Clark and a old military helicopter helmets with the ear covers cut out. I used my David Clark headset in both and it worked fine. The military one was nice due to the drop down sun visor, no need to take sunglasses on or off. I put my wife's Bose set in the David Clark helmet and it will fit. It did not take too long to get used to them and they do keep your head warm in the winter. The overhead on the cub is pretty close and in sever turbulence it is not too hard to hit it a few times. They are a bit heavy and can bother you if you have any neck problems. In a Younger life I rode motorcycles for years with no helmet never worried about it. In a crash, if you protect the brain you are way ahead on the road to survival. Like many things in live I don't need it to fly but don't mind having it there.
    DENNY

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'll be getting one once I start doing off airport work in a Cub. Thus far I've only flown a 172 on improved strips, and the thought hadn't even crossed my mind.

  4. #4
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    I've looked pretty hard at them and they have come a long way since way back when. First time I used a flight helmet was in the 40mile country w/ Ron Warbelow back in the mid 1980's. Data shows that helmets would reduce head injuries and death substantially. That along w/ 4 point harnesses would go a long way to helping a guy make it through a crash.
    A guy was arguing w/ me that he did not need a helmet for airport to airport use, and I asked him where he intended to land in between if something went wrong.
    I hope to have mine this summer yet, I already have the 4 point harnesses. After buying the plane, insurance, and doing a bunch of radio work, I'm getting short of cash. They are at the top of the list though, likely even higher than new skis for winter work.
    ARR

  5. #5
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    If you don't mind your head bouncing off the hard steel frame, don't wear a helmet. When you are laying there brain damaged, you won't have to think about how much money you just rolled up in a ball...

  6. #6
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    Re: helmets. Always in Cubs. Almost never in Cessnas. My head rattles in Cub tubes but isn't anywhere close to the Cessna spar. Cessna operators would be better served by well-fitted cargo nets.

  7. #7
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    I wear one and so does the wife. I have two, one I put a David Clark in a navy deck helmet, the other is a new style navy deck helmet that I changed the speakers, came with mil head set in it, and the mic and wired it for a split plug, Ga. I have $50 in the old style one and about two hundred in the new one. I like the old one best and wear it all the time. The new one is a DC white plastic deal but with a mil head set in it. I got them on eBay $45 for the first one and about &150 for two new style.

  8. #8
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    A navy deck helmet isn't a crash helmet. If it was the navy pilots would wear them, too. :-)

    I used to have a David Clark helmet. It was better than nothing but it wasn't better than a real flight helmet like a Gentex or a Gallet. Guys in the market for helmets need to find their own compromise between protection and price. The biggest item that'll drive the cost up in true flight helmets is the built-in earphones and mic. Add mil spec ANR and Oregon Aero liners to a true flight helmet and the cost will be in the $1500 range quickly. Some guys roll their eyes at that but don't think anything of spending $1000 on a popular ANR headset. Bottom line, buy the best head and hearing protection you can afford for reasons that make the most sense to you.

  9. #9
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    The new style navy helmet that I built for my wife and my back up IS THE SAME AS THE DAVID CLARK that is sold in Northern Lights. Sorry to pop your bubble, no it's not as good as a gentex but it's affordable and one whole lot better than nothing. Second it's a whole lot lighter than a full shell helmet, unless your aircraft is designed so the protection from the helmet is incorporated the helmet can cause neck injury. Third they are cool in temp. Vs. full shell. Most important at a $1000.00 cheaper a whole lot more people can afford one. Just a note, I saw where a couple of guys had there heads severed in a crash because of helmet wt. with early NVG's on. This of course is the extreme but wt. on your head is something to consider. Last but not least: since these helmets aren't approved by the Navy for there pilots: DO NOT EJECT FROM YOUR CESSNA OR PIPER ABOVE 200KTS !!

  10. #10
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    For several years I had a DC helmet with DC ANR headsets sitting on the shelf next to my Gallet. I wore the DC one time to test the ANR. That was it. Having the choice it was a simple decision which one to wear. My comments are a pirep from having both types. The limiting factor for most guys is cost. Nothing wrong with that. I have friends who use the DC. Whichever we choose I hope they all get retired with no no accident histories. BTW, the newer high-end flight helmets are very light.

  11. #11
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    A "bump" helmet would help, a full DOT crash helmet would be better. I heard that Comtronics has a DOT approved crash helmet, I need to check. I'd also measure the DC the same way. For me, if I'm spending $450 +/- on one, I'll get the best one. And before I go w/ the light crash helmet, I'll look at the others too, just in case.
    Let's see if I can get in touch w/ the guy over at Chena Marina that was talking to me about a presentation that was just made over there regarding safety and get the highlights. I remember he mentioned 4 point harness, helmets, and 406mhz ELT (easier and quicker to find you) but can't remember the rest.
    Some guys will certainly have to balance the cost of these safety "add ons" to their operating budgets. A guy has to wonder how much better he'd be to put the money into flight time and proficiency vs extras for the short term? But in the long run, I just don't see how the added "insurance" of the helmet, et al, can be ignored.
    ARR

  12. #12
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    I always wear a helmet and a survival vest, even if I'm just out cub'n around the valley from airport to airport. It's second nature anymore.

  13. #13

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    I bought the David Clark helmet this year and love it. 345.00 from Chief Aircraft, I tried some other helmets and they were to heavy and bulky. I flew 7 hrs yesterday with helmet on and no fatigue. I have cheap sigtronics headsets but put new gel ear seals from AC Spruce on and fit in the helmet just fine. I found the wearing the helmet is more comfortable than just my headsets. Well worth the money. I would highly recommend.

  14. #14
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    After serving in the USCG for many years flying in Alaska on Helicopters and pulling a bunch of Bush pilots out of mangled cockpits, as well as a friend of mine that did not survive due to the fact that the dome does not match up to a metal cross tube at all. I was to cheap to buy one at first. But decided to finally bite the bullet and buy one. I picked up a helmet from Gibson and Barnes and had them install the ANR. I love it and it fits great.

  15. #15

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    I thought I would bring this thread back up in light of recent accidents, that of course has me shopping for helmets.
    I was looking at Comtronics Pro-Com model and the David Clark K helmet. I have Lightspeed Zulu headsets to use with whatever helmet.
    Does anyone have reviews on these helmets?

  16. #16
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    ....and a piggyback question....does anyone have suggestions for a good compromised between protection and size? My head is up in the tubes so I need a helmet, but my head is up in the tubes and I still need to be able to turn from side-to-side?

  17. #17
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    If all you're looking for is a close-fitting/low profile shell to protect from headaches from the tubes you might like a ProTec. Not really a crash helmet but a decent and comfortable bump helmet. One bad thing about real crash helmets like the Gallet is they're hot. Bad hair day guaranteed. But the level of protection is clearly better. The David Clark's suspension makes that helmet much cooler to wear and you can increase the size to allow a wool hat for winter flying. I like the looks or the Pro Comm but haven't seen one in person. I'd be interested to hear about the liner.

    I have a Gallet but don't wear it in my Cessna. I have a ProTec but I can't stand the way the Zulus (don't) fit in the helmet. I used to have a DC with DC ANR headsets and I wish I'd kept it. I think that was a good compromise between protection and comfort. And I know Zulus can be fitted into it with a little modification. I hope somebody has experience with the Pro Comm. I might try one if the feedback is good. I recently tried to buy a Sport Tec (?) from Aircraft Spruce. A friend has one with Zulus and likes it but the company just closed up shop. Dang it!

  18. #18
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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  19. #19

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    Unfortunatly my leather cap barely fits with the canopy down, I would like to get one of these but I woudl have to make mods to my plane to fit.

  20. #20

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    I bought a DC Helmet from Aircraft Spruce for $325 or something, knew it would fit the headsets, and have no trouble with it fitting my head. Got it before I even picked up the J-3, have worn it every flight. Seems plenty warm for me without a wool hat in winter, I think a Gallet would be way too hot in the summer and I have heard about a lot of fit problems on other forums, of course it offers more protection. I am comfortable with the compromise between durability, weight, comfort and protection. Anything larger would be bumping tubes or restrict movement too much in my plane. Painted mine black to look better and also bought a second one so I will always have one for passengers.

    I do think you could put the time into to modifying a moto or snowmobile helmet and have a great deal more protection for a lot less than a Gallet. You can pick up a light carbon fiber helmet for about $400, and go from there. A kayak helmet like Float Pilot mentioned could also be modified, some of those Kevlar shells are extremely durable and would be a step above the DC for protection.

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