What is Required of Helmet Safety for Pilots?
Your flight helmet is one of your essential pieces of gear. They protect your head during turbulence, reduce noise levels, and provide a place for equipment mounts like radios, sun visors, and NVGs. But what exactly are the standards for helmet safety for pilots? AVI Evolution is a recognized expert in this field. Let us guide you to safe helmets that are up to government standards.
United States Government Aviation Helmet Standards
On November 12th, 2019, the Department of the Interior and United States Forest Service released version 4.3 of the Aviation Helmet Standard document. The Office of Aviation Services (OAS) established general requirements for all aviation helmets for rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. OAS outlined four primary ways helmets would be verified to meet their standards. These include:
- Inspection verification without the use of special laboratory appliances or procedures. May include a visual examination, simple physical manipulation, and/or mechanical and electrical gauging and measurement.
- Analysis Verification that utilizes established technical or mathematical models or simulations, algorithms, charts, graphs, or other scientific principles and procedures.
- Demonstration Verification that involves actual operation, adjustment, or reconfiguration of an item under specific scenarios. Items may be instrumented and quantitative limits of performance measured.
- Test Verification involves thorough exercising of an item under specified conditions with instrumentation and data analysis accomplished in accordance with a set of applicable test procedures.
Under this regimen, the manufacturer/distributor is responsible for:
- Establishing their own manufacturing and process controls to produce helmets in accordance with requirements.
- Performing or having performed all inspections and testing.
- Generating and maintaining sufficient evidence of conformance.
- Submitting helmets and supporting deliverables that conform to requirements.
- Using recognized corrective action and process improvement practices.
Each helmet line is put through a rigorous testing process by the manufacturer. There is a specific sequence that must be followed. In order:
- Retention System
- Positional Stability Testing
- Impact Attenuation Testing Retention System
- Static Strength Testing
- Heat Exposure Testing
- Adhesion of Shell Edge Covering Testing as necessary
- Sound Attenuation Testing as necessary
- Communication Equipment Talk-Listen Testing as necessary