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Headstrong on HELMETS


By Pam Landis


Helicopter Helmets’ Experience Shows


Nearly two and a half decades ago, as a fledgling commercial pilot, I had the opportunity to fly with HelicopterHelmet.com founder Ron Abbott while he was working as a flight instructor in South Florida. Even then, his can-do, entrepreneurial spirit was noticeable. As the decades have gone by, that same spirit assists him in growing several businesses in a very competitive market.


Abbott began his career in Army Special Operations where his “get-it-done” mentality was recognized and cultivated. After the Army he went to a civilian flight school and became a certified flight instructor. As his career in the helicopter industry progressed, he went on to fly approximately 22,000 hours in sectors such as ENG, sling-load, HAA, tours, tuna boats, utility, firefighting and offshore oil support (his true flying love).


While flying for Air Evac Lifeteam in 1997 Abbott determined that he had a need for a helmet. He bought his first helmet at an army surplus shop, then proceeded to tear it down with the intent of refurbishing and customizing it for his own use. When other pilots saw the improvements he made, they were so impressed that they began asking him to refurbish helmets for them. Realizing there might be a market for helmet refurbs, Abbott began buying used helmets, breaking them down, and customizing them to meet pilots’ needs.


HelicopterHelmet.com has become a popular place for helicopter pilots to shop for gear. Why? Helicopter Helmets is run by a pilot who knows the industry and has a passion for safety and products that are truly useful for pilots.


Headstrong onHelmets


has done most jobs in the helicopter industry; he knows what works. He is an accomplished “rotorcraft pro” with


ATP and CFI ratings. His flying career led him into the helmet business, unlike other helmet suppliers run by non-pilots. Abbott surrounds himself with a team of professionals that believe in pilot safety and strive to make the best products. Some of those professionals are also family members. Son Alex (also a rated helicopter pilot) works alongside his father as the business manager.


Abbott


52


May/June 2017


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