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Seatbelts and neck injuries

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  • Seatbelts and neck injuries

    Was thinkn bout Robby Cooks misshap while i spent 8 hours in the "office" today, and came to a conclusion.Are shoulder straps on gyro harnesses needed?Are they dangerous?The reason i ask is coz, wen your go"n in, [ speakn from multiple experiances here] you instinctivly brace yourself moments before impact.We know that be"n straped to the machine till it stops flyn to pices and bouncing is much safer than be"n spat out, but of all the bingles iv had, iv never gotn hurt [ yet], and i havent worn anythn but a lap strap.If we come to a sudden stop, we lurch forward till the belts take hold. Well, most of us dose. Our head, inside the skid lid, is not restrained at all. The average adult scon is 7kg, plus helmet. Its easy to consieve the neck be"n under real stress tryn to hold back your head, and even easier to imagine it be"n snaped from such a violent bending moment.If, OTOH, we only had a lap strap on, we"d bend at the waist, absorbn some of the deceleration, till we were horisontal. Then our head stops, but our neck is now in line with the deceleration force, so its not go"n to be wiped.Bendn at the waist will probably have you head buttn sumthn , but id rather a rearranged face than a broken neck. :PWot say you mob? ???

  • #2
    Very good thoughts birdy but what if it saves you from sconing the instrument panel or joystick.


    • #3
      I likes the shoulder strap arrangement because it works well with the design of a pusher gyro.On the few occasions that I have sampled the taste of dirt from altitude I have been glad for a good restraint system. On one occasion, after a prop failure, I hit the ground with speed, rotors first, braking mast and then tumbling along the ground, end for end and side over side.When I finally came to rest, upside down, all parts were where they should be, feet on legs and head on neck.The pusher gyro has the pilot sitting in a nice place, right in the middle of a triangular structure made up of the mast, keel and two wheel struts. It doesnt matter which way the tumbling gyro hits the ground there are always three points between you and the dirt......providing you are strapped into the seat. A shoulder harness keeps the heavy part of your body where it should be, in line with the mast.If my body had have been flopping about during the tumbling crash I might have hurt more than my bank accountMy two bobs worth.Mark.


      • #4
        Excellent thought Birdy and what you say has merit. When you say shoulder strap, are you talking lap sash belt or the over both shoulders type?[full harness]Having been upside down twice [once in a Jabiru and once in my gyro] and having the usual Rosco type full harness, I emerged pretty well unscathed from both mishaps although my head did get belted around a lot more in the Jab obviously the helmet did its job in protecting my scone so I would say that a full harness is the way to go. My mishaps were at low speed and we all know the situation Birdy is talking about is a high speed impact in which the 7 kg scone is going to weigh so very much more and be sunject to a lot of force. If you ever watch V8 supercars in action, you will see the elaborate helmets and their atchments preventing the very occurences you are talking about Birdy and they seem to work reasonably well as when those cars flip, they do so at high speed !!So, we could look at diferent helmets and look at restraints for the scone which wouldnt be invasive although it would be another thing to get get hooked up to and might prove an irrantant when getting out of the gyro in a hurray So, personally, I think anything less than full harness is not on and for max protection, a helmet, even in enclosed cabs is desirable. Yes, I"m aware such arrangements will injure some but I think more will get out of a bingle in better shape than just a lap belt.


        • #5
          Its the sideways movement that does the damage. Thats the reason for head restraints in V8"s and speedway now. Internal injuries from lap belts are often horrendous. Try pushing your head sideways quickly, or get an SAS bloke to do it. it will probably be your last thought! Ken