Real Answers from Real Pilots

Potential Ear Problems


(Jared Warren) #1

Hello all,

I have been researching this career path for a while and have not been able to locate an answer for this type of issue. There is no doubt that I am willing to make the changes and sacrifices to begin training. My only hold up from taking the plunge is an ear problem. I know the answer will be revealed in my medical exams but I do not want to spend the money if my ear problem will disqualify me from being a pilot.

I had a bone removed from my right ear when I was 10. I have minimal hearing loss in that ear, however due to my age at the time I am not able to fully understand spoken words that go in that ear. I would say I understand about 80% if my left ear is taken out of the equation. If both ears are exposed to the sounds I have virtually no loss in word recognition.

The bone was also replaced by a zinc alloy prosthetic. I have been flying since that operation and my Ear Specialist had no concerns with my ear reacting to changes in pressure.

Would something like this disqualify me from a career in flying?

Thank you in advance. I really appreciate that you guys take the time to help people realize their dreams.

-Jared


#2

Jared,

This is a bit of a tough one, at first I thought that you wouldn’t have any issues, then I started thinking that you might because some headsets are designed to only go with one plug in the outboard ear while the inboard ear is left open to hear the other pilot. It sounds like you would need to use a headset that puts sound into both ears. The only problem with this is that on larger airplanes we tend not to use headsets with double earphones. If you can find a way to work around this then you should not have any problems.

That being said, go get a First Class Medical and ask the doctor, they really are the best guides on these types of things.

Chris


#3

Jared,

Def with Chris on this one. We’re not medical experts and that’s what you need. Contact your local AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) and discuss the situation with them. That’s really the only way to be certain.

Adam