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Helmets are a funny topic I think. I have an HGU 55 and love it. And every time I show up somewhere that a lot of pilots are congregating (bars, nightclubs, brothels, courtrooms, and umm... umm... oh yeah... airports and fire camps!!!) a line up forms of people that are dying to tell me it's not an "approved" helmet.


Approved by whom seems to be the question (I know the USFS doesn't approve it but why would I give a #### what they think unless I was working for them?).


What I find funny is that when I don't use my helmet (which isn't often and is usually because I forgot it while packing hung over... like now...:) no one says anything at all. Not one person will come over and tell me that I should be wearing a helmet... why is this? Do we think that guys who don't wear helmets never will but guys with the "wrong" helmets can still be saved?


Ahhh the mysteries of life...



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I have both the SPH-5(dual visor) and the HGU-56. For me the SPH-5 is more comfortable for general everyday use. And I really like having the Dark and Amber lens combination for winter ops, especially heli-skiing. The HGU-56 tends to put pressure on my cheek bones after a few hours of use. But I do prefer the HGU-56 if I am doing alot of long-lining. The lower center of gravity is a little easier on the neck and the helmet isn't as bulky as the SPH-5 and makes it easier to long-line in the AStar or use a bubble window in a 206. The flush fitting bungee style visor on the HGU-56 is also great for keeping the wind out of your eyes if your slinging with the door off.

I have the Oregon Aero kits in both of my helmets and I highly recomend them.


I find that my SPH-5 is also quieter than my HGU-56, but that may just be do to the fact that the SPH-5 fits my head better.



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I replaced my sph5 this year with a Gallet. Oh man , my head loves it. no more bucket on my head, comfy! Also take a good look at the Alpha and the Alpha eagle. The only down side is it is a little noisey in the 500, fine in the astar or the jetbox.


I do recomend the OE upgrades, money well spent.


On visors: wear good sunglasses. Nothing beats a serengti driver lens in poor crappy wx



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Good recommendations on the French Gallet and English Alpha helmets. Both light and small. Who sells these now? I thought VanIsle was a Gallet dealer but they are gone now I believe. Are Gallet and Alpha approved by US Forestry ?? Anyone know how to find the 'approved' list?


The North American dealer for Gentex is Flightsuits Ltd in San Diego. Their service is good, much better than it was several years ago.


Fully agree on the Serengetis.....great glasses !!!

Unfortunately mine had such a large curve in the lens that a prescription lens could not fit in the frame, so I went to normal glasses with green and amber visors.

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