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Sore Back In The Astar

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Hi Guys


Had a thread a while back as I used to get a sore back from the 500 when longlining which I know is common. Got that all sorted but now I have been doing a bit of work in a BA Astar (not lifting) and my lower back has been giving me some real grief...Anyone else had this in the Astar ?? Usually starts after about 3 hours or so. Flown other Astars with no trouble so also wondering if its that particular seat. Keen to hear any quick fix idea's


Thanks in Advance



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T tail,


I've had back problems in the past as well, especially in the Jet Box. I was shown this stadium seating back a few years ago. It's a product that crapy tire sells(did last summer) and it's basically for sitting in bleachers and with a little tweeking it works great. I remove the back portion of the seat cushion from the a/c (stow with a/c in case you have a machine swap) and install said personal cushion and enjoy the benefits of comfort and improved visibility of the dash. I'm a little taller so with a Eurocopter back pad I'm to far forward and for longlining with the factory back pad......well let's just say It's really hard on the door frame and the paint on your helmet. And another bonus is it packs easily on top of your duffle bag when travelling to/from job.


I hope that's a start



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Was off 3 months last year do to lower back issues. Picked up a lumber support cushion (obus form, purchased at shoppers drug mart) and now i can't fly any machine without one now or i'm sore as could be in about 20 minutes. Highly recommend it and it doubles as a nice little pillow when your waiting for your crews!. Cheers

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Your back problems are going to get alot worse, not to mention the insurance claim with no STC on the Canadian tire mod, if you are in a crash or hard landing or worse.



As a 225 pounder (6'3'') I agree with you on this JW. When I started in the biz I flew a Bell 47 and was only 5' 6'' and 160 lbs. And naturally grew into the 212/76. I am working on growing to 6' 6'' and 260 so I can get into the crane :lol:


Seriously though I am a bit confused about the need for an STC for a pillow. I thought as long as it wasn't connected to the machine no STC is required.



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Your back problems are going to get alot worse, not to mention the insurance claim with no STC on the Canadian tire mod, if you are in a crash or hard landing or worse. The only solution is that you need to be flying an AC that is ergonomic. Kick the dwarf out of the medium! :punk:


Bigger guys should be flying bigger helicopters, period! Small guys fly small helicopters. :lol:


It's the natural order. :lol:


Good luck.


I guess I should rip up my 212 certification and get back on the ol 22 then hey?

Being a physically vertically challenged guy and all

Oh but wait I can take more fuel because I'm lighter, am comfortable in all machines I fly and do the job as good as anybody else can. Minus the attitude.



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I'll start this by saying I'm no expert....but this is what is happening in our company right now, so draw your own conclusions.


We (astar drivers - production longline guys mostly) got sick and tried of going from one machine to the next and having different seat cushion set ups (some backs with big lumbar supports, others without, seat bottoms that were all pounded out and legs resting on the front of the seat frame) that we petitioned the higher powers. Discussions where had, prototypes were made and passed around for input...and the seat cushion then set off for mass production - so I'm not sure the stc thing is an issue, maybe the fire rating, which is usually in the cover of the seat more so than the foam.


Before these changes though..I took the back cushion out and replaced it with a standard bed pillow. This is the cat's &ss. Compresses when you lean against it or bend to longline, but supports sitting up right..

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I have been flying with the Obusform lumbar support for years now, mostly in the jetbox, but also in the R44. I also use the Obusform seat pad in the 206's, got tired of having sore Glutes' after 3 hours in the saddle. No mod, just tuck in the straps and good to go. I use the smaller Obusform tube in the 355 seat, just a little more lower back support than the stock seat.

Can't figure out why a machine worth almost a million bucks can't have a seat design worth more than 20 bucks, I'm talking about the 206's in this case.

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Let me just say this, do not ignore your sore back, because it could end your flying career.

I,m 51, 10,000 hrs of flying mostly Bell mediums,6,2" and was always around 190 lbs, kept fit running, walking and such and about 11 years ago my low back seized up after a day of standing around marshaling a mtn bike race.

I have been to everyone, physio,s, chiro,s accupuncture, massage and so on, bought all the recommened stuff, and am now probably looking at having to quit flying for good. Luckily, I have saved my money over the years, and now make more with my investments than I ever did flying, but I live in varying degrees of pain and discomfort every bloody day

I realize that I am not providing much of an answer to the question, but what I am trying to impress is, do not ignore the pain, even the discomfort of a low back problem.

Oh, and I can say that I virtually did no long lining, so that was not a precursor.


So, not only do you have to fly safe, but fly in comfort.


Cheers, GWK

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