The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently approved a standard that enables the use of new flight helmets for pilots of Air Tractor® aircraft, models AT-504, AT-602, AT-802 and AT-802A. The standard was developed by the United States Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Aviation Services and supported by the United States Forest Service (USFS). With the approval of the FAA, this type of helmet is added to those already approved by the Mil-Spec military specifications and by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for use in the aircraft models mentioned above.

Although the FAA does not require the use of a helmet on all other Air Tractor aircraft models, it is the manufacturer’s recommendation that pilots use an appropriate flight helmet on all models of their aircraft. In 2017, the OAS established that, while standards containing DOT and Mil-Spec specifications on flight helmets have long existed, until now no government regulator has written such a standard for civil aviation. As a result, the OAS commissioned the Southwest Research Institute to develop a standard that would allow the use of approved non-military helmets in the field of aviation for firefighting in the USA. The new DOI / USFS Aviation Helmets Standard directly affects pilots operating agricultural aircraft and aircraft for firefighting.
In July, the FAA approved the use of DOI / USFS helmets on Air Tractor aircraft, for which Mil-Spec and DOT helmets are still in effect. “All Air Tractor pilots should include a quality flight helmet in their safety gear,” says Jim Hirsch, President of Air Tractor. “We are pleased to know that the approval of these helmets gives pilots more alternatives.” From here you can access the list of companies that manufacture flight helmets according to the DOI / USFS Aviation Helmets Standard: https://www.doi.gov/aviation/safety/helmet All operators of the Air Tractor AT-504, AT-602, AT-802 and AT-802A models must request from their Air Tractor dealer a new identification plate to place on the aircraft and the new pages of the standard to update the manual Of flight.
The information from this story was originally published on the Latin America Air Tractor site and can be found here.