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Letters

Helmet Effectiveness

Letters | March 2019
Friday, March 1, 2019

The following statement in “Incident Reports” in the January 2019 Parachutist stood out to me: "The vast majority of helmets used for skydiving offer very limited head protection." The report further stated that severe trauma is very likely even when wearing a helmet in certain collisions.

I’m both a paraglider and a skydiver, and the subject of helmets is of great debate in the paragliding community. In many paragliding circles, skydiving helmets are discounted as not providing any kind of protection. The statement in the incident report by USPA seems to confirm the notion.

I think it is about time that some education on helmet certification levels and the various certifying bodies should be provided so that skydivers can make an informed decision as to what they choose to put on their head and whether they expect any level of protection from it. Maybe skydivers will then demand a better level of helmet be provided by manufacturers for our sport.

Scott Daubert | A-62468
Springfield, Virginia

Editor’s note: Skydiving helmets are not required to undergo any type of independent effectiveness testing, so the availability of data is limited. Though helmets are an important piece of safety equipment and provide great protection from a minor collision in freefall or a slightly botched landing, keep in mind that as the severity of the accident increases, the effectiveness of the helmet decreases. Parachutist is planning to run a comprehensive article on helmets in the May issue. 

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