08.25.2011 12:54 PM

Question from youngest son

“Daddy, why do sky divers bother to wear helmets?”

Anyone? Anyone?


  1. Ted says:

    Not going to protect you if your parachute doesn’t open. But even if it does, you still land pretty hard and you could land in trees or other rough terrain.

  2. Michael says:

    Well, I’m no sky diver. Why jump out of a perfectly good airplane, and all that? But I suppose there is the possibility of landing awkwardly and splitting one’s melon on a rock.

  3. PALGOLAK says:

    IMHO iIt protects their noggins from banging against tree branches, telephone poles, etc. on the way down.

  4. Ted H says:

    Well obviously a helmet would not help in a high speed collision with the earth if a chute failed completely. That is unlikely though, and more likely scenarios are a rough landing and a tumble, hitting some trees, getting dragged by the chute, etc. A helmet would provide protection in all of these situations. Does that sound reasonable?

  5. Nuna D. Above says:

    “Daddy, why do sky divers bother to wear helmets?”

    Explain that it obviously has something to do with a socialist, freedom-infringing nanny state.

  6. Tdotlib says:

    Don’t forget about getting out of the plane door. Hit your noggin hard enough to pass out and there’s nobody home to open your chute!

  7. Cameron Prymak says:

    just a guess but perhaps in case you hit your head exiting the plane and then became unconscious before pulling the chute.

  8. Ted (not the other one) says:

    It keeps you’re head, and whatever might be inside of it, neatly in one place for the guy that has to scrape you off the pavement.

  9. Pedro says:

    I’m actually not inclined to think this way but there is actually an answer to the question posed?
    You’ve gotta have a certain world view to entertain an answer to this question no? Take this to its conclusion.
    I’ve gotta go with hitting yer head on the way out – nothing else makes sense – just a Con way of thinking, sorry (for me I guess).

  10. MattMcD says:

    It gives you something to attach your helmet camera to.

  11. CQ says:

    In case an underaged cyclist or skater (in Manitoba) passes by during a landing.

  12. Curtis in Calgary says:

    If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try skydiving.

  13. James Bowie says:

    When one exits the airplane there is a possibility, due to changing wind currents and turbulence, that the plane might drop in altitude at the same time the jumper leaves the plane. If this happens, it is sometimes possible for the jumper to take a head shot from the tail of the airplane. Wearing the helmet helps to prevent the unconsciousness which might otherwise ensue, preventing the jumper from depoloying the parachute.

    The helmet isn’t to protect you from the ground; it is there to protect you from the plane. Knocking yourself out on the elevator or the non-retractable wheels of your Cessna can be very fatal.

  14. Chamberlain says:

    (If there is irony here it is that you’re likely safer jumping out of a plane without a helmet than you are jumping on your bike without it.)

    • CQ says:

      Really? Know of a lot cyclists who actually died specifically from preventable, non-alcohol related, head injuries – as opposed to just being run over by an average 2000 lb. motor vehicle while weavering along their way home from a nearby watering hole – and/or at night without industrial roadway visibility?

      • Chamberlain says:

        (I think you mis-read my comment. Head injuries end lives, or careers. Too often a helmet would have made the difference in how the story ended.)

  15. iphone 5 says:

    Often inexperienced (and, less often, experienced) skydivers get picked up by heavy gusts of wind as the come in for a landing. This can move them off course and cause them to hit the ground with excessive force at an unpredictable angle making head injuries a risk.

  16. Deb L says:

    Very good question. I have a friend who went thru all the skydiving training. On his first jump, he broke his leg. It might have been his head without a helmets.

  17. James Curran says:

    this one time…at band camp…

  18. Raymond says:

    I’ve jumped twice. Young & silly recently papered commercial pilot hoping to get a summer job flying jumpers.

    Realized that unless you’re in the military, there is really no good reason for it.

    Therefore, it isn’t really for one’s protection…often there isn’t anything betweeen the ears to protect.

    Smart kid. Good question.

  19. JStanton says:

    This is one of those occasions when you get points for the question.

    The answer is far less interesting.


  20. Steve T says:

    I’ve been skydiving a few times, and I think another reason for a helmet is the tight quarters inside the airplane. They often cram 4 or 5 people, plus the jump instructor, in the back of the plane. The person near the back is standing in an area no more than 5 feet high. Bonking your head on the ceiling of the airplane is a very real possibility!

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