Flying a helicopter or just being inside one can be a life-changing experience. The elevation, the rotators, and the noise of the wind that gushes past the helicopter all combine to give a unique yet unmissable experience. Given the dangers and uncertainty of nature, it becomes of utmost importance to have prior knowledge of how to sit inside one and, more importantly, fly one.
The preparations required before entering a helicopter can not be avoided or looked past at any cost. Any individual inside the vehicle needs to be cautious, well-prepared and equipped to tackle the oncoming issues. The helicopter helmet is the most important piece of equipment listed before one flies inside.
The need for helicopter helmets:
The safety that the pilot for their head needs is very necessary, and wearing a helicopter helmet reduces the chances of the pilot getting head trauma significantly. The extent of the amount of hit absorption that any given helmet can sustain depends on the brand and building quality. An adequate will be capable enough to provide secure protection to the wearer against head trauma. Even small injuries can lead to bad lacerations, so it’s better to be safe from even minor damages.
How to choose a suitable helicopter helmet:
Flying a helicopter is no mean feat in itself, and if one adds the dangers constantly involved, it is not hard to imagine why anyone would want to buy a suitable helmet for themselves while getting on board. Following are some of the most pronounced features to look for before buying a helicopter helmet;
- Protection – The most important characteristic a helmet needs to meet is being tough enough to endure hits and provide optimum protection to the pilot, irrespective of the situation.
- Durability – The helicopter helmets are not very cheap, so once bought, they must be durable enough to ensure multiple hits. They should last for a considerable time before being replaced by a new one.
- The material used for manufacturing the product – It is very important to keep an eye on the material used to make the helmet because this determines the quality and weight of the helmet. A material like carbon fiber, polycarbonate, or fiber is appropriate on both fronts. Other options available are fiberglass which is a cheaper alternative to the two mentioned before.
- Weight of the helmet – The light weight of the helmet is an invaluable asset to the pilot as it allows the pilot to maneuver as and when he desires. This also puts considerably less strain on the neck and the head as well when traveling is being done for long distances.
- Size – This is often an overlooked point; it is assumed that sizes are something that needs to be kept in mind only for clothes, but that is not the case. Each head is different in size, and they are unique to each individual. It is always advisable to first get one’s head measured properly for circumference and then buy the helmet accordingly so that there is no excessive movement due to loosening or too much tightening due to undersized helmets.
Going for a good brand is many folds better when choosing something as essential as a helicopter helmet because all the above points that were mentioned are more often than not available in quality brands.
Tests/safety standards that need to be met:
A helicopter helmet can only be approved for the market once it has passed specific safety standards and tests that can ensure that the manufactured helmet is fit for the people donning it on the helicopter. One of the most significant safety certifications is the USFS US DOI certification provided by DOI/USFS Aviation Helmet Standard ISO-certified laboratory. A handful of brands have thing certification, so checking this certification beforehand is a smart and safe way to go about it.
Some of the other general requirement that is made to be ensured by the helicopter helmets are as follows :
- The helmet should perform up to the mark and clear all the regulations.
- The helmet should be able to generate sufficient evidence for conformity.
- Abiding by quality management techniques can substantially help sort out the high-quality helmets from the low-quality ones.
- Inspection testing is necessary manually and with special test equipment and procedures.
- Analysis verification uses established technical and mathematical models, formulas, and simulations to help the determination of many essential qualities.
- Analysis verification uses established technical or mathematical models, simulations, formulas, etc.
- An actual demonstration involving activity, reconfiguration, and modification per the requirement is done.
- Check testing done under different simulations and conditions to test the superiority of the helmets.
The comfortability aspect and the communication aspect:
One of the major functions that a helicopter helmet needs to person is being adequate for the communication side of the whole deal. With advances in technology, one no longer requires multitudes of equipment nowadays because the helmets are coming in-built with high-tech communications systems that offer a range of great communication technologies that eventually help the pilot ease the hassle of managing multiple things and focus on flying the helicopter itself. The helmets are installed with speakers and Bluetooth. The helicopter’s helmets must be compatible with the electronics that should be put on.
Comfortability is another space where the helicopter needs to excel in order to be a top choice in the market. This is mainly because these helmets must be incorporated with proper padding so that concentration and comfort are never compromised, even while flying at a faster pace. The linings on the helmets make a substantial difference, and weight to thickness ratio is a very prominent factor in determining good helmets. Some flight helmets are provided with additional head & facial protective features and layers that aid in hearing protection from loud whirring noises; these are often customized features.
Extra features to seek:
The helmet user can be trained professionals, actors, and military pilots; therefore, depending on the needs and requirements of the graphics and design, the helmet itself can be chosen and presented in various color combinations and schemes. No graphics or design should be such that they hinder the quality and performance of the helmet in the long run. The purpose of these features is to depict the personality and likeness of the user, and they have to be limited to that only.
Helicopter helmets are one of the most sought helmets that needs all kinds of sorting and selection processes to make sure that the end product is the one that is up to the mark. The helmets that need to be selected must be primarily based on their built quality and the level of protection they can provide to the user at all times to hard and even minor injuries and trauma. The secondary features like the graphics and design need to choose to show up the personality, but they must never be put above the basic purpose of the helmets.
Be wise and well-informed when choosing a helicopter helmet, check for important safety certifications, try putting on the helmet on the head, and then see if the fitting is proper because an improper fitting can lead to an unmanageable situation when the helicopter is in the air.