Your book, Life in the Skies truly inspires me a lot.
I've been dreaming of becoming an airline pilot since when I was a little boy.
I have just graduated with a BS in Aerospace Engineering last March. I am planning to proceed to flying.
Will I be qualified to undergo flying training if I have hearing problem, especially on my left ear?
I am looking forward to your response.
Thank you captain
Sanie Flor Madrona
To become a pilot, besides checking your eyesight, the hearing test is also an important part of the medical test.
Normally, for an applicant starting off on his initial pilot training, the requirement imposed is fairly stringent. The AME (authorised medical examiner) would require the applicant to undergo a pure tone audiometry test and he would evaluate his hearing.
The applicant may not have a hearing loss of more than 35dB at any of the frequencies 500Hz, 1000Hz or 2000Hz, or more than 50dB at 3000Hz, in either ear separately.
If you are already a qualified pilot, you still have to visit the doctor to renew the audiogram test of your licence - something like once in 3 - 5 years.
For the hearing test, the doctor would see if you are able to hear a conversational voice at 6 feet, with your back turned to the examiner.
The FAA has a good ear/worse ear policy for passing this test.
The conversational voice test is the test most commonly used by AMEs. If that test doesn’t go so well, then the audiometric testing would be done including audiometric speech discrimination testing or pure tone audiometric testing.
A pilot can meet the hearing standard even if hearing aids are required. The medical certificate will include a limitation that states, "MUST WEAR HEARING AMPLIFICATION."
Additionally, the FAA regulations require medical examiners to provide medical certification to pilots who have unilateral deafness or loss of hearing in one ear, if the applicant passes any of the hearing tests.
Pilots with bilateral deafness, or loss of hearing in both ears, can qualify for a medical/student certificate that limits the holder to use for student pilot purposes until she qualifies for a private pilot license.
Pilots who successfully complete a medical flight test are issued a special certificate and a pilot license that prohibit flying in airspace that requires the use of radio communication.
As I am not an AME, I cannot say whether your hearing loss would affect your chances of pursuing a flying career. You should visit a doctor who is an AME to find out.
If you like what you read, more stories are found in my book LIFE IN THE SKIES (Preview here) and you can purchase a copy here. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my Twitter at @CaptKHLim or Facebook here