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HeliTorque Forum Index » Torque, Chat, and Chill!

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PilotWolf
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:31 am    Post subject: Liverpool incident leading to helmet discussion... Reply with quote

Hope that this wasn't anyone here...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8699189.stm

Fortunately seems like only (relatively) minor injuries.

W.
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Last edited by PilotWolf on Sun May 23, 2010 9:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ALFA8C
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if the pilot's injuries would have been less if wearing a helmet was mandatory?
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALFA8C wrote:
I wonder if the pilot's injuries would have been less if wearing a helmet was mandatory?


Interesting point... having had jobs where helmets were mandatory, and other jobs where they arguably should have been but weren't, with some pilots almost irrationally opposing their use while others seemingly wanting them for no other reason than finishing off the whole helicopter pilot ensemble, I reached an interesting dichotomy:
1. On occasion, I have been exceedingly glad to be wearing a helmet
2. It is always a relief when you finally get to take the blasted thing off!

So personally, I would not like to see a blanket imposition of helmets - I think it is far better left at the ops manual level.

Thoughts?
(apologies for the thread creep!)
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veeany
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its a difficult one.

H500 wont fly without one and I don't blame him as I have said to several people if one of us takes a seagull in the chops who is most likely to get away with it ?

I don't know what the right answer is, if they were mandated there would almost certainly be fall in the number of people killed in helicopter accidents, which is a good thing.

Perhaps we woud see a small number of incidents caused by physical problems in the neck from carrying around the extra weight, which is a bad thing.

Some things should be mandated, some others are best left to the pilot concerned.

My hearts says don't mandate, my head says do !
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veeany wrote:
My hearts says don't mandate, my head says do !


I agree - as someone who owns one and rarely wears it Embarassed - and with my background knowing the difference it could make...

There was a long thread on this before - can't recall if it was here or on the dark side?

W.

PS. As my helmet has the same picture as my tattoo if my head comes off at least they can match it to the right body! Smile
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was a bit of a sceptic myself..... until I saw pics of the aftermath of a seagull meeting the windscreen & bulkhead of a Lynx.

Bit of a convert now, and don't find it too uncomfotable either.

Also seem to get less glare with the tinted visor compared to sunglasses too!
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only to stimulate the debate above whether helmets should be mandated (I certainly am an advocate of helmets under certain circumstances, and I would never criticise anybody for choosing to wear a helmet) - I know of a few instances of kangaroos and deers going through car windshields, some were fatal (for the humans!) while others suffered head injuries. Although rare occurrences, they do happen... a google trawl will throw up plenty of images to that effect.

Should helmets be mandated for car drivers in case of a freak occurrence like the above, or only for occasions when the risk is heightened (eg racing, track days)? On the flip side, who would argue that it is wrong to impose motorcycle helmets? Where is the boundary drawn?
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flip

From a common sense point of view yes they should be mandated for drivers based upon your evidence, however if we go down that road (which is why head and my heart say different things) and mandate such requirements then we turn into a nanny state or nanny industry where the thinking pilot or driver has the choices taken away from him in the name of 'safety'.

For the number of incidents involved it would be akin to mandating the use of High Vis Jackets as a blanket policy like some if not most places places seem to apply without any forethought just application.

I don't wear a helmet but I do consider it every now and again, I can make no logical argument against trying one out.

An interesting Subject to debate.
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not noticed too many kangaroos around the UK or US lately but can also confirm that deer will horrendously damage a car and driver... one rural ambulance station/police station I know of had an arrangement with a local butcher!!!

However statistically what is the comparison between bird strikes and (large) animal car strikes? How does a car interior compare with that of a helicopter? Are the forces inflicted similar? Suddenly becomes less of a similarity... google/seach 'mechanisms of injury' related to trauma...

Unfortunately the ridicule effect comes into it too. Step out of a SAR/EMS/police machine and no one would look twice at the crew wearing a helmet. Step out of an R22 from a $100 burger trip and await the piss take... Wrong but true. Look at the 'fun' we made of WG with her immersion suit - all in jest but again no one would look twice at a SAR/offshore crew wearing one.

Personally I don't wear it as often as I should because I find it uncomfortable and 'alien' - maybe because I am not used to wearing a helmet - never rode a motorbike, etc. Maybe if I wore it all the tim then it would be more 'normal'?

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Veeany

Are you saying I have a large neck ???
personally i feel naked if I dont wear one. The visors are better than sunglasses, the noise level is lower than with a normal headset. As long as you get a white one they are not too hot to wear, spent 10 hours across the last 2 days wearing one, not uncomfortable in cockpit temp of 110 farenheit
It is down to you at the end of the day what you wear !
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting responses.

PilotWolf - while you raise an interesting point regarding the differences between size of creature, and in construction, considering that we are discussing a blanket imposition would you not say there are some significant differences between, lets say, a Rotorway and a AW101? In the absence of any data I can only offer conjecture. However, birds are capable of doing significant damage to cars too:


Having said that, I took a bird (unknown type because I'm not particularly clued up on marine bird species, plus it was dark Shocked) to the bottom of an R22 screen at 80kts. Fortunately it did not break the bubble, presumably as a result of where it struck, yet I have seen far larger aircraft fair significantly worse when struck elsewhere.

Hughes500 - out of interest what type of helmet do you have? Having used an Alpha for 2 years I found my ANR headset bliss when the opportunities arose to swap (I appreciate that isn't comparing apples with apples).

Although I never felt naked without the helmet for flying, if I tried to ride my bike without one I'm sure I would - I guess like all things people become accustomed to certain things.
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flip2 - that is exactly the problem... size matters! Smile

I have never seen a bird strike on a car before! I think my best was one that hit a cow - it was flattened down level with the bonnet/boot - the driver had a very lucky escape and the cow survived too.

Whilst recently in Michigan a friend (who is new to encountering wildlife - not much big stuff on LA's roads) was advised to just hit any random deer that may run into the road! I pointed out that this really wasn't a good idea and was potentially fatal for her as well as the deer. She didn't really seem to accept it until the other day when we saw a car that had just hit a rather large stag - it looked like it had hit a brick wall at 70 mph.

As Huges500 says I think it has to be a personal decision - ideally based on risk.

What about the front seat passenger (flying or car)? Should they too wear a helmet? I accept that if they are blinded or injured the outcome of the flight is less critical than if the pilot is hit but what if it is your loved one/child?

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What about the front seat passenger

Another interesting point - if you go down the route of state paternalism then all occupants should wear them (front and back, unless bird strike is the only reason for wearing one), as per motorcycle pillion passengers.

I do know of several operators who have resisted the use of helmets for a very similar reason - if passengers see pilots wearing helmets they may wonder why they only get a set of earmuffs. Therefore costs rise as operators are expected or obligated to provide passengers with helmets too.
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...walked away from the aircraft, which suffered some minor damage..."

may need more than a service. ouch. hope the pilots ok.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been trying to post this for days...

It then becomes a worry regarding employer liability and duty of care!

I shan't go into details here but in a previous job the front line staff asked for stab vests as there was a justifiable need for them based on historical data. The 'top man' at the time decided that it was cheaper to pay out compensation if someone got stabbed - even fatally - than it was to provide protection to all the staff at risk. Needless to say it didn't go down well and the uni0n created merry hell - but we still didn't get the vests...

Would be an interesting day in court if I ended up with a head injury because my employer didn't want to scare the customer or pay to protect them. Best practice and all that? Wink

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