5 Reasons to Wear Protective Eyewear Around RC Aircraft

While the dangers of commercial helicopters are probably obvious with the possibility of debris getting into eyes, not to mention the dangerous blades whirling above the machine, the dangers of recreational or remote control helicopters may not seem as apparent. Even though remote control helicopters are not as dangerous Quadcopteras “real” helicopters, they still call for employing safety procedures and donning safety gear. Unfortunately, some simply view them as toys and fail to do what’s necessary to keep both operators and onlookers safe.

While no one wants to eliminate the fun, we must admit that mom was right when she said, “It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.” And there are a lot of ways to get injured by remote control helicopters.

Before reviewing those ways, let’s first understand some of the “forces and velocities involved in a 30-size helicopter with average wood blades at 1800 rpm” as provided by Heliguy. First, each spindle, blade holder and nylon nut screwed to the helicopter must hold 270 pounds (122Kg) to keep the blades from flying away. And second, the tip speed of each blade is about 250 MPH or 413 KPH.

The force that the blades have is like having someone who can throw at about 50mph (81 kph) hit something with the tip of an 8 ft. (2.5m) ruler as hard as possible. If that something is a person, they would be in pain. The point being that the force of these blades, while not likely causing death, can do some serious damage. Heliguy also says to “remember, these statistics are for 30-sized helicopter blades. 60-sized helicopters are much more powerful, and their blades are considerably longer and heavier.”

While the strength of impact varies from one machine to the next, these numbers at least indicate a need to be cautious when operating and simply when near remote control helicopters.

Looking at this in a practical sense, what specific sorts of dangers can these types of forces present?

  1. Rotor wash: Air turbulence caused by a helicopter’s rotor can send flying debris into the air and likely into the eyes of the operator or nearby spectators. That is, unless eyes are properly protected.
  2. Inexperience: Quadcopters are very easy to fly for novice fliers, and most Quadcopters can hover automatically. Unfortunately, inexperience often leads to mistakes which lead to injuries. Making sure an operator isn’t flying a machine he isn’t ready for increases safety for both the operator and spectators.
  3. Location: Quadcopters tend to be closer to the operator than traditional RC aircraft, so the chance of being hit is increased. Also, some aircraft are made for indoor operation, which increases the chance of injuries like corneal abrasions (scratches to the surface of the eye).
  4. Adverse conditions: Outdoor weather conditions and malfunctions often lead to errors and accidents, especially when not taken into consideration prior to takeoff.
  5. Maintenance: Every landing, general use and even minor crashes put stress on aircraft that can lead to breakdown. While having a maintenance program makes logical sense and many pilots implement them consistently, they can get neglected as adrenaline from the excitement of the sport flows.

In addition to common sense, taking time to learn how to operate the aircraft, and making sure aircraft is properly maintained, wearing protective eyewear helps ensure that the most likely injuries don’t happen.

What’s the best option that doesn’t compromise style or comfort and take away from the enjoyment of the sport? And what options work best for indoor operation?

Goggles provide whole-eye protection by eliminating any space through which debris can make its way to eyes. Perhaps goggles aren’t your thing as you’d like to wear something a bit more fashionable. Then safety glasses with good wrap-around protection provide a solid alternative. Some are even available with a foam-lined lens, which provides protection from flying debris, similar to a traditional goggle. There are a lot of lens options as well that make wearing protective eyewear just as functional indoors as outdoors.

Taking time to plan for safety can keep the sport of flying remote control helicopters – and most other sports for that matter – safe and fun.

Airsoft Safety, Part 2

 

airsoft injuries

Airsoft BB’s can cause significant damage to your body. Always wear protective eyewear and safety gear.

Airsoft Safety, Part I discussed the history of Airsoft along with the potential for injuries when using Airsoft guns. Today’s post addresses a hopefully obvious danger with Airsoft and provides some basic rules for Airsoft safety.

Stating the Obvious

Because Airsoft guns look and feel so realistic, they make great training tools for the military and police. At the same time, because Airsoft guns look and feel so realistic, they create an interesting social issue – or public safety issue – at the same time.

Most states require Airsoft users to be at least 18 in order to purchase and own an Airsoft gun. However, those under 18 can use Airsoft guns with permission from a parent or legal guardian.

While most adults play Airsoft games do so in a controlled environment, many younger users do not simply because of transportation availability. Instead, younger Airsoft users are often seen in residential neighborhood playing their games in backyards they can walk or ride bikes to.

In a day and age where young kids are shooting others with real guns, kids – actually anyone – carrying Airsoft guns that look like real guns can potentially be perceived as threats. No one wants someone getting killed because an Airsoft gun was mistaken – even rightfully so – for a real gun.

The simple solution involves always treating Airsoft guns as real guns and developing an understanding and respect for firearms. This goes for youth and adults alike.

In addition to this understanding and respect, Airsoft King also recommends the following for preventing any mistaken identity between Airsoft and real guns.

  • Do not expose Airsoft guns in public.
  • Do not play Airsoft games on public property.
  • Get permission before playing Airsoft games on private property.
  • Keep Airsoft equipment completely concealed in public.
  • If confronted by law enforcement when carrying Airsoft equipment, comply immediately and totally with their requests.

Common sense goes a long way in preventing mistaken identity with Airsoft guns.

Airsoft Safety Rules

In addition to common sense rules, the following rules can keep Airsoft a fun and safe activity for all ages.

  1. Always wear eye protection. Never remove it while on the playing field or still in a game.
  2. Find eye protection that fits comfortably. Many players simply wear safety sunglasses, but many prefer goggles or sunglasses with a foam-padded lining around the lens area. Favorite products of some Airsoft users include the Pyramex I-Force, the Elvex Go-Specs II in Desert Camo, the ESS Crossbow, the Radians Extremis, and the Guard-Dogs G100.
  3. Keep a gun’s safety on and its barrel plugged in designated safe zones. Do this to prevent accidental discharge from Airsoft guns in areas where eye protection and safety equipment is often removed.
  4. Always treat every gun as if it’s loaded. This means following the rules for basic gun safety.
  5. Be aware of where a gun is pointed. When not in an active game, keep guns pointed away from people or safely stowed.
  6. Keep finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Again, common sense can prevent accidental firing that leads to injury.
  7. Keep gun unloaded until ready to use. Don’t carry guns loaded, wait to load guns until just prior to Airsoft activity, and remove ammunition as soon as activity ends.

For more detailed Airsoft safety information, check out this article by the Airsoft Safety Foundation.

Adults playing Airsoft not only protect themselves by following these rules and guidelines, but they can also set a solid example for kids playing Airsoft. Parents allowing their kids to play Airsoft are responsible for their kids knowing & complying with the rules and for making sure they are properly supervised. Use common sense and educate yourself and your kids about the safe use of Airsoft.

New Elvex Reflect-Specs Hi-Viz Safety Glasses

Elvex Reflect-Specs

Elvex Reflect-Specs will help you be seen in low-light conditions.

Elvex has launched a new safety glasses innovation that helps increase worker visibility at night and low-light conditions. The new Elvex Reflect-Specs feature a patented frame design that integrates a reflective panel into the temple arms. This highly reflective panel adds an extra level of visibility and safety for workers who need to be seen.

Why Reflect-Specs?
Just like you see jogger’s running shoes reflecting light at night, when retro-flective panels are moving, they are more likely to be seen. Since workers are always moving their head during work activities, this motion greatly increases the ‘flashing’ of the retro-flective panels on Reflect-Specs and increases visibility and safety of workers.

Specifications:

  • Super lightweight 0.9 oz. polycarbonate frame.
  • 10 degree base curved polycarbonate lens for a tighter wrap and improved protection.
  • Integrated nose-piece for increased comfort.
  • Rubber tipped temples for increased comfort and reduced slipping.
  • Meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 standards.
  • Available in Clear, Clear Anti-Fog, Amber and Indoor/Outdoor lenses.
Elvex Reflect-Specs in Action

Even a poor iPhone picture demonstrates the increased visibility provided by the reflective panels.

Suggested Uses:

  • Road Construction
  • Utility Workers
  • Mining
  • Airport Workers
  • Emergency Responder
  • Jogging & Bike Riding