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5 Answers

Medical question about hearing

Asked by: 1824 views FAA Regulations, Private Pilot

I hold a Third Class medical certificate and was diagnosed with single sided deafness after my last exam. I have no trouble when wearing my headset. Would openly declaring this on my next exam cause me to fall into regulatory spins? I could pass the standard of hearing the spoken word in a quiet room with my back turned, but not so in a noisy environment, but headsets eliminate that challenge. I prefer to be honest but am aware of the FAA reputation.

does anyone have experience or advice in this area?


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5 Answers

  1. John D. Collins on Mar 11, 2013

    I would contact Dr. Bruce Chien in Peoria, Phone: 309-689-5242 . He is a senior AME and only deals with special cases. He can answer your question. Regardless, don’t withhold information on your medical.

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  2. Jim F. on Mar 11, 2013

    I concur with John about contacting Dr. Bruce, he’s a great guy and will do everything humanly possible to get/keep you in the air: http://home.comcast.net/~bbchien/site/

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  3. Best Answer

    Kris Kortokrax on Mar 12, 2013

    The hearing requirements are spelled out in 67.305. It sounds like you would be able to meet the requirement as stated (quiet room).

    If not you should be able to be certified by accomplishing a Special Medical flight test as outlined in Order 8900.1, Volume 5, Chapter 8, Section 1, Paragraph 5-1526 E 1.

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  4. Matthew Waugh on Mar 15, 2013

    All good answers – although they didn’t make the specific statement – if you have been medically diagnosed with a condition that should be reported on your medical application then you MUST report it. It doesn’t matter that you can pass the test OK, a diagnosis is a diagnosis.

    If you think you’re partially deaf, well that’s your decision, if a member of the medical profession, whether they are an AME or not, thinks you’re partially deaf then it needs to be reported.

    If you do report it then as you have suggested it may delay the issuance of your medical (and the advice to contact Dr. Chien and get all your ducks in a row BEFORE presenting yourself for a medical examination is good advice).
    If you don’t report it, and you don’t get caught, well good luck to you.
    If you don’t report it and you do get caught then the whole thing gets a lot more serious and, in my opinion isn’t worth the trade-off.

    I think that the FAA often makes people jump through excessive procedures to prove that a problem is not an issue when flying, and I have medical professionals who agree with me. However – in the end, I think that the FAA will certify you as fit to fly if indeed you are fit to fly, and if they say you aren’t fit to fly then you might want to pay attention.

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  5. Robin Brown on Mar 15, 2013

    Thank you, all, gentlemen; your advice tracks closely to my own thoughts. I have requested a consultation with my AME and asked the diagnostic data be sent. My concern was less with my AME but perhaps a clumsy outreach to learn if others tread this path and had insights.
    I have too much time and too much respect for fliers than to think of endangering anyone. If and when a time should come to ground for lack of acuity I will do it. I simply have no faith in government processes.
    Much obliged,

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