Working as ground crew around helicopters brings with it a number of risks, one of the most common of which is bumping your head on parts of the aircraft that stick out, or getting hit with debris from a helicopter’s downdraught when it takes off or lands. A simple impact helmet is provided to ground crew that can protect the wearer from impact damage. This lightweight plastic helmet has no ballistic protection, but does protect the scalp from bumps and falling clods of earth etc. It is made of green plastic, with large cut outs over the ears:
These cut outs are to clear ear protection that is also worn with the helmets, as seen here:
As can be seen, goggles are frequently worn with the impact helmet and to help hold them on a tab with a press stud is fitted to the back of the helmet’s exterior:
The helmet would be worn for lengthy periods of time, so the lightweight would be appreciated, as would the extensive padding and cradle inside to ensure it was a comfortable fit on the wearer’s head:
The helmet uses a three point attachment for the chin strap, making it secure on the head, with a black plastic fastex fastener to secure it:
The part of the strap that passes under the chin has a vinyl covered chin pad, again to ensure it is a comfortable fit:
The chinstrap is actually a sperate part and has its own label and NSN number:
The helmet has a sticker with its stores details printed on stuck to the underside of the shell:
The helmet is regularly used by groundcrew in the field, here another example can be seen being worn by a soldier supporting Apache operations on exercise:
Back in the 70’s we wore yellow plastic helmets when working on 101’s.
They looked more like a kid’s version of a construction helmet, thin plastic with a small bill on the front that just made it harder to look up.
I have a large, deep groove running almost the full length of the top of my head (thankfully still covered with hair 🙂 ) from ducking under the A/C, as we had to during parking procedures, and hitting an antenna behind the nose wheel which pushed the helmet back and carved it’s way along my scalp. Almost 50 years on and the scar’s still there.
Eventually we started cutting the bills off and that made it a lot easier.
The US Navy ‘cranial’ was a little similar to this and a much sought after trade item when Sqn’s were visiting one another or on TD to a USN base, they worked extremely well so of course we never issued them.
Nice you chose Apache Armourers at work loading 30mm to showcase the helmets in action 🙂
Most of them would have been painted very creatively if we’d had them to wear.