Looking Silly Are We? ProTec A Bravo Halfshell

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There has been a cool thread going on the backcountrypilot.org site for a while talking about the use of helmets in the cockpit.  Needed, not needed, cool, stupid, the comments run the gamut.

If you can put ego aside, it really is kind of a cool debate.  We of course see them in all facets of our life.  Bicycles, kite surfing, skiing, motorsports, they are everywhere.  If you fly for Uncle Sam in any way shape or form, you of course have been wearing them for a long time.  The big question is why the hell does a helmet in a GA aircraft stir so much debate?

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All I can say is that for me, it seemed like a cool idea, and as soon as I started flying tail wheel and trying to get the airplane into shorter grass strips, I figured – what the hell and bought a ProTec A Alpha helmet. This helmet is used in military applications and the half shell iteration has reliefs for earphones.  The David Clark ANR headset fits perfectly inside the helmet, is light, super comfy, and works great.

I did find a few small problems though.  First, it was a bit of a pain putting the headset on first and then the helmet over.  To solve this problem, I drilled two small holes in the sides and just zip tied the headset to the helmet.  Worked great.

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Second, the A Alpha really only worked well with my David Clarks.  This past summer at Airventure, I bought a ultra comfy set of Lightspeed Zulu 2’s.  I was pumped to swap em into the helmet, but when I tried, I found that they would just not fit.

A third problem (and probably the biggest) I found with wearing a helmet is with a passenger.  Its probably not a good idea when you have your buddy, wife, or girlfriend, hop in the pax seat, then toss em your ratty old head set (the one you had before you got your nice ANRs) while you buckle the chin strap on your helmet.  Not a confidence booster…

Anyway… If I was going to be wearing the helmet, I would have to bite the bullet and get a second, and after reading the helmet thread on the BCP board, I found myself down the internet rabbit hole once more learning that the A Alpha has now been updated and a new A Bravo has replaced it.

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In the fine tradition of having the passenger use your “old” stuff, I went ahead and ordered a new XXL (they tend to run small) version of the ProTec A Bravo Half Shell Helmet.  I ordered my last helmet from Protechelmet.com and found really great service and quick shipping.  The literature claims it fits for Peltor, Bose, Sordin, LightSpeed, and Dave Clark head sets, so I have my fingers crossed.  Hopefully the Zulu’s will fit in the updated version leaving my A Alpha and ANR DC’s for the pax.

Stay tuned…