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Hi Guys:

I am as usual for me since I had the Brutal experience Pounding mky Predator upon my landing on March 28th 2010. I have been in the Fight, The FIGHT of my measly little life ever since I pounded in upon landing my Predator after a short X-C Flight from Mount Diablo. Since then I have come to the conclusion that I absolutely must find adequate Skull-Brain protection. I started my own Blog here regarding my trying to locate some form of Skull-Brain Protection. For with out some sort of a Helmet that offers Me more Brain Protection. The Days of my having my brain move through Space with the possibility of my Skull encountering a sudden stoop are OVER! I mean I will have to never ride my Skate-Board again. Nor will I ever be able to ride my Bicycle again. Also there are some other Activities that will elude me also. I want to Ride a
Warm-Blood Horse. Who I will take a stab at jumping Said Horse Seven Feet or More. Don't Laugh. I watched a Appaloosa at San Francisco's Cow-Palace, I saw Crocodile Clear a 7'2" Jump.

So Guys, Can anyone lead to find the Helmet Manufacturer of a Helmet? A Helmet that would Perform. I have had a Helmet that does not Perform. Guys, My coming back from my T-B-I has been one Brutal ordeal. This I do not want to contemplate doing again.

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By hgldr
Modern helmets don't seem to have an effective de-acceleration method, or "crush zone". Both my full face HG helmet and my bike helmet lack this important feature. Instead, what we have is stiff styrofoam which does not deform.
Last Friday the handle bar of my mountain bike touched a tree at a good speed (maybe 15mph?) and slammed me into the rocks. BAM, in less than a quarter second the helmet with my head inside hit the rocks. The sudden de-acceleration left a ringing in my ears for the next 10 minutes. A familiar sound because about 6 years ago I let my base tube catch on a bush on landing; BAM, helmet & head stopped suddenly at the keel bar.
Instead of stiff styrofoam I think we should have some sort of shock-absorbing substance. A 2-inch de-acceleration distance would be much better than a zero-inch distance.
Has anyone else found such a helmet?
Darrell Hambley
H4 , 44196
Wichita, KS
Yes, Yes. YES! We have a Problem. For the Helmets that we use do not address the Problem of softening the G-Load that Our Should a strike happen upon a Strike while Said Skull is in motion. ou might think That a severe Head Strike could never happen to me. Heck that's what I thought myself. But I got my Reality Check. Granted I nearly failed I nearly failed my Reality check. But now it is up to me. Yes it is up to me to recover. I get closer to the Day when I will know that I am One Hundred Percent recovered.

So, in closing. I said that I was in the fight of my life. I intend to win my Fight.
Given that you are alive it appears you are winning. Keep up the good work.
Suggest you try contacting some helmet manufacturers. I talked to some people at Kali Protectives (CA) and decided to get their Alpine helmet for a few reasons: #1. very light for its ratings, #2. has their form of MIPS type shear protection, and #3. the outer shell is designed to deform slightly in a crash rather than being totaly rigid. Their type of shear protection has a set of several elasotmer fingers that compress and bend prior to the typical foam protection compressing. They also have a replacement policy in case you have a strong impact with the helmet.
Suggest you do your own reseach to see what is out there. So far the Alpine fits well and the lighter weight seems to have reduced neck strain.
Another thing to consider is flying seated, as we all did in the beginning. When the bar digs in, the straps in front of the shoulders keep the head from hitting the keel. Another option is Jim Fenison's suprone harness, still under development.

Elsewhere in this forum I have described my new seated harness and also my joy and comfort at my return to seated hang gliding. The loss of performance over prone is mostly myth and the view is great.

User avatar
By mario
Hi Chris,
I’ve been thinking about your helmet queries and how much you miss the flying, and I came to a similar conclusion as Frank. I don’t think that there will be a helmet made that can protect you enough as long as you fly prone or aggressively. Perhaps you should be concentrating on finding the best harness style, glider type and flying style to allow you to fly reasonably safely and not putting your head out front. Do you really need to race or fly XC on challenging days? Would you miss racing? I’m sure you would, but you would be flying!!
As Frank suggest, there are options to the prone harness. You could even fly the WW trike and roll off and on the ground. How about a Millenium? As I understand it you were a good pilot, so I don’t see why you couldn’t be having fun flights off Mt Diablo once again and even doing XC on friendly days. Many of my older flying friends have had to accept flying a little more conservatively, useing less challenging wings, and/or landing on wheels or skids, but they are still flying.
Now, I don’t really know what limitations you may have now, so I can’t say you should start flying again, but since I know that you tried Sailplanes, I figure you should give this a thought. I left the sport for many years and could never shake the desire to be flying a hang glider. It was like torture when I’d look at those beautiful clouds in the sky or watch a hawk hook a thermal. The models and few sailplane rides with my brother helped, but it wasn’t the same. I’m so glad I was able to get back in the air. There is nothing like hang gliding. It has captured my imagination since my first flight when I was ten in 1973 and I still find it as exciting and magical.
Best wishes,
Good reply Chris!

Here is the link to my flight at POTM as viewed from a wing mount camera. The view from the wing gives a good idea of what flying seated is like.

This was the first time in 39 years that I had launched off anything higher than 25 feet. I quit hang gliding in 1979 and resumed at Dockweiler Beach in 2015 (25 foot dune). Just as Chris said, I also never lost my desire for hang gliding and standing on a windswept hill would make me want to run into the air.

Like most pilots who haven't done this in a while, i start out flying fast but ease back as the flight progresses. The ridge was soarable but the flight plan was to penetrate out away from the hill and do a sled ride to the LZ. The "frosting I put on the cake" was making a landing at the permanent spot they have there (missed it by about 10 feet).

My control bar is still rigged for prone which allows me to get farther forward in a seated position and my adapter bars allow me to reach the bar, when at trim, from a seated position.

What I cut from the end of the video was tripping when I landed. I didn't take the landing seriously enough, because of the forgiving beach I had been flying at before. This was hard ground at about 4500 ASL! I should have done a hard flare. But the wheels and seated position prevented serious injury. My left knee was injured but that would have been prevented if I had been wearing knee protectors.

Frank Colver
Thanks, Windlord,

I'm very fortunate to have those two great friends with their knowledge and regard for safety. Without them that flight would have never happened.

John took a chance with his impeccable hang gliding reputation in helping me launch, knowing that I hadn't actually made a HG turn more than a few degrees in 39 years. I asked him later, if I hadn't been able to ground handle well, prior to launch, would he have told be to not launch and he said "yes". He also helped in flying my glider earlier in the week because it appeared to be brand new when I bought it and no one had ever put it in a controlled turn. He test flew and gave it high marks which helped me avoid any concern about the glider's ability to respond to roll control.

Then there was Mike Meier, of WW, who said he didn't have a problem with me flying the Condor 225 in early morning conditions on the south face POM (this was not the big Condor 330). The Condor 225 is a Falcon 225 with a lighter build.

To Roadrunner: If you get out to SoCal let me know. You can have a great time at Dockweiler Beach, on my Condor 330, hang gliding safely and boost your confidence at the same time. It's amazing how much gliding enjoyment is available on a 25 foot sand bluff (that's how many pilots started in the beginning days of hang gliding sport and even do today).

Frank Colver
To Roadrunner: If you get out to SoCal let me know. You can have a great time at Dockweiler Beach, on my Condor 330, hang gliding safely and boost your confidence at the same time.
GREAT idea Frank!!! :mosh:

Hey, Hello fRANK:

Thank You so much regarding your offer that you will let me fly your Condor at Dockweiler Beach. You know: Most of you Guys have never met me. But I am quite sure that you guys have all met John Heiney. Well when the next time you see John, ask him if I can land a Hang-Glider. I am confident that John will reply to a question such as: {Can this Guy Chris McKeon Land a Glider?} By replying Yes, yes Chris can land a Glider.

But the big Problem with me is: That I can Not sustain a second Brain Injury. This means that if I put my Skull in motion. I must get control of shielding my Precious Brain from having another case of axon shearing. Yes Frank, I need a new Helmet. A helmet that will deal with shielding my Brain from slamming and shearing it's way to a complete stop in motion.

Frank, if I do indeed get a new Helmet. A Helmet designed using new Technology. Technology that would protect my Skull in the event that I should find myself once again slamming my Skull into the Ground. Well, when I have a Helmet that wil Perform when it is needed. Then, I will be flying once again.

By the way Frank regarding my ability to land. Well my last landing of a Hang Glider not withstanding I would say that I am a pretty hoyt Lander of a Hang Glider.

Ok, Then. Thanks again for your offer for me to fly your Condor. I hope that I will be able to take you up on your offer.
Good By Chris McKeon.
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