Question

I have a slightly reduced hearing, something I do not feel has an impact in my day to day life, however it was still enough to be rejected from military service. My question is if my hearing loss is also likely to prevent me from my pilot dreams or is there light at the end of the tunnel?


Answer

You you can become a pilot without perfect hearing.

The military requirements can be stricter than those you are subject to as a commercial pilot in civil aviation.

It is not uncommon that people are rejected duty in the army due to them wearing glasses or having a slightly bad hearing but the good news is that your pilot dreams may still be realistic.

However, whilst many rules may be less restrictive than in the military, civil aviation still have some restrictions. Regarding the medical requirements for commercial pilots in EASA member states (EASA is regulating Europe, FAA the US), there is a law text/document called ‘Part MED’ (Part Medical). This document basically explains the limits regarding eyesight, blood pressure, color blindness and generally any other discrepancy of the human body.

According to PART-MED and with an age under 40 years your hearing will be tested every 5 years and over the age of 40 every 2 years. The requirements for a successful pass according to PART-MED is to be able to; “not have a hearing loss of more than 35 dB at any of the frequencies 500, 1 000 or 2 000 Hz, or more than 50 dB at 3 000 Hz, in either ear separately. Applicants for revalidation or renewal with greater hearing loss shall demonstrate satisfactory functional hearing ability.” There are also examples of pilots having hearing aids as a mean of compliance.

We have referenced the document below. It is totally free and accessible, and we highly recommend that you read the chapter regarding ‘otorhinolaryngology’ (hearing) as there are further requirements for hearing than those we have referenced in this answer.

EASA hearing requirements

In regards to becoming a pilot in general and to make the whole research easier, we recommend our book Help to become a pilot

We hope this answered your question, can you become a pilot without perfect hearing. If you do decide to become a pilot getting a really good headset is something we can thoroughly recommend to protect your hearing. If you read our blog about headsets you can get some ideas to what headset that would suit you the best  Headset blog

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