Fatal mishap report: First SPH-4B flight helmet recovered from a U.S. Army helicopter mishap

J. E. Bruckart, B. J. McEntire, J. R. Licina, D. K. Brantley, D. F. Shanahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The most common cause of death in helicopter accidents is head injury. Flight helmets can be designed to distribute and attenuate crash forces to the head. Experience derived from crashes using the U.S. Army SPH-4 flight helmet has led to modifications to improve protection. Within the past year, the Army has introduced the SPH-4B flight helmet which includes several new features to reduce injury in future mishaps. The first SPH-4B flight helmet recovered from a fatal mishap is described and correlated with the injuries to the wearer. The new shell and liner reduced the impact forces to the head. There were no side impacts to determine the performance of the crushable earcups in the helmet. The new SPH-4B flight helmet has several new and distinctive features that should improve survival in future helicopter crashes. Careful study of life support equipment retrieved from crashes is important to understand how the equipment performs in the crash environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-759
Number of pages5
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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