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The Aviation Forum > Aviation Gear > Flying Gear > Anyone use a lip-light?
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone use a lip-light?

I've been flying for eight or nine years, the last four being military. In my civilian days, I flew my share of night hours, and lighting was always an issue. I needed both hands to fly, and holding a mini-maglite in my mouth hindered communication. I rarely wore a hat under my headset, and hat mounted lights weren't common anyway. Some guys used head lights, but that destroys the whole "Cool Pilot" image.

My first year flying in the Air Force was almost all day flying, and light wasn't much of an issue. I was always in the back of a dimly-lit 737 (T-43) or in a dark simulator, but the lights were just bright enough to read, and dark enough to see the radar scope.

The problem is, some navigators will go to airplanes like that, but many of us didn't. I fly C-130's these days, and I am up front, in the green-house cockpit with the pilots. I see all the daylight, or all the dark. And we keep it dark at night. We also use Night Vision, so white or red lights are a big no-no. The dimmest red or white light is a spotlight to NVG's. We use green lights.

Fortunately, the Air Force issued us Lip-lights on our headsets and helmets. I never saw anything like this in civilian aviation, though I googled them a few minutes ago and they are available. Most are a few small LED's that mount under the boom mic, and a small wire runs up the boom to a battery pack that velcro's anywhere you choose to mount it on your headset. Mine sits right on top of the head band. The switch is on the back of the light, and is activated by your lip. Just kiss the mic and your light comes on. Kiss it again and it turns off.

I have no idea why these haven't caught on in civil aviation, but if you're looking for a convenient, hands-free cockpit light, it might be something to look at.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have one that mounts on my headset. I bought the optional "coin size" battery pack. It has a habit of getting turned on during the day & unnoticed drains the battery. Now I just use 1 of the 2 snap connectors until I'm ready to use it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For years I have used a Petzl Taktikka headlamp with red flip-down filter. Simple and very effective as a backup to panel lighting and for checklists and miscellaneous stuff not otherwise illuminated.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I use a Petzl headlamp that includes red LEDs (no flip down screen) in addition to a handheld LED light with both white and red diodes. I've never heard of the "lip light" before, but that's an interesting concept -- activating it by touching your lips to the mic. Are they common throughout military aviation, Colin?
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Haha - I saw the title of the thread and thought that you were referring to when you get a lighting problem and hold your flashlight in your mouth : )
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