Any pilots in the crowd here?

I’m a private pilot but haven’t flown in years… Have just been thinking about getting back into it one of these days. Just thinking about the headset, etc… There are some that are basically receiver in ear type earplug sets, but most are just the over the ear headphone style
I recon I’ll be just fine just taking the aids off and using the old over the ear things.
Or maybe some would actually cover the aids behind my aids so that the mics are inside…but my loss isn’t so bad that I can’t get by without the aids. I sure am getting used to them though and don’t want to go without!

Anyway, was just wondering if there are any GA pilots here and what you do…

Only been wearing aids for less than a year, and it’s been more than ten since I last flew (Glasiar RG) so I haven’t tried aids inside an aviation headset. However, I do wear them inside Quiet Rider muffs Quiet Ride Ear Muffs Helmet Speaker Installation | Quiet Ride Ear Muffs when motorcycle riding. The muffs are very similar to an aviation headset except that instead of using a headband spring to make the seal, you inflate bladders to clamp the cups to your head. I have speakers inside the muffs, a boom mike, and an intercom that provides connectivity.

The main reason I wear the aids inside the muffs is to avoid having to put the aids on and off. I’ve experimented and tried different schemes. Mostly I’ve muted the aids while riding. Lately I’ve left them turned on but at a couple notches below the default volume level. One issue on the bike that you won’t have in a plane - I can’t reach the buttons on the aids while riding, so if I need to make changes I have to use the app, which is a pain with gloves on even though I have the phone mounted where it’s easily reachable. Most of the times I want to make adjustments are because I inadvertently hit a button on the aid when putting on the helmet, or when putting on glasses inside the helmet.

There’s little benefit to having the aids on while riding - slightly better clarity when listening to music or talking on the phone. Also somewhat better when stopped and someone’s talking to me.

I’ve also been wearing the aids inside an open face helmet without the muffs while riding an ATV. That gives me phone connectivity plus a big improvement when someone’s talking to me with my helmet on.

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Yes Dusty, all very similar thoughts and issues! Being able to hear notifications form the phone I’d imagine is very nice, especially for map directions, etc.

I hadn’t thought of it till your post, but can you use the phone through the aids while the aids are under your headset? Obviously you can hear the phone, but do the mics in the aids pick up your monitoring loop from the intercom system to get your own voice when you speak?

I have worn my aids under my listening headphones which are on-ear…and I find the aid mics catch stuff from the room that is leaking in, and it’s a very odd experience. I never have liked my on-ear headphones, and this issue makes them even worse! I’d imagine whatever headset style, the cups would have to be large enough to complete enclose over the aids.

I’ve intentionally and unintentionally :slight_smile: used the bluetooth phone-to-aid connection while riding. It works great for hearing, but is 100% useless for speaking because the aids’ mics are enclosed inside the cups, and the boom mike isn’t connected. It did work while stopped, which surprised me.

When using the bluetooth intercom phone-to-speakers, but with the aids turned on, I get the sound from speakers through my open domes, plus some corrected sound from the aids’ receivers (speakers). It’s hard to tell which is which because it’s still a noisy environment. Wind noise on a motorcycle at high speed, even with a height adjustable windshield and a closed helmet, is still heard as a din inside the muffs. I can get the level down if I raise the windshield so I’m inside a sort of barn-door bubble, but then I’m looking through the shield instead of over it. I can’t say the usual noise is worse than inside a light plane, but probably more variable instead of the steady drone inside a cockpit. I experimented by using the app to mute and unmute the aids at high speed while listening to music. It seemed clearer with the aids on. Still subjective though. One way I can rate the sound quality - no matter what I’ve tried, at high speeds it’s frequently hard to tell what song I’m listening to at first. Until I recognize it, it’s a mismash. I’m only hearing some elements and they don’t make sense. It might only take a few bars then my brain connects the dots and it sounds as good as I could expect. If it was music I’d never heard before it would be hopeless. Maybe that would be a way to take some subjectivity out of experimenting - play unfamiliar music with and without the aids active.

I’m curious. Not sure if you’re in the US, but does the FAA (or whoever certifies pilots where you are) have a problem certifying you medically with a demonstrated hearing loss? What level of hearing loss revealed in a flight physical is seen as “too much” of a loss to fly?

It’s been a while since I had a medical. Last ones were in the US, (class 3) and the examiner whispered something from a few feet away. If you heard it you qualified. Not sure what the next step would have been if you didn’t hear it. From a practical point of view, aviation headsets are loud.

I just got a 3rd class special issuance with no hearing restriction issues. Gotta wear bifocals or reading glasses to see the panel, but no hearing question. I took my first flight in 30 years on my 70th in late Sept. and just wore my Oticons under a Dave Clark rental headset. Other than the usual thing of controllers going on automatic-UN-understandable, I really had no issues either with hearing or with comfort.

I have not yet tried Bluetooth inside the cockpit and I’m not sure I want to until I’m current, have figured out GPS/ADS-B, the SFAR procedures here in the DC area … and maybe glass panels. Then I’m going to listen to John Hartford’s Steam-powered Aereoplane to while away time on a cross country!

I don’t know what the standard is, but you can find it by reading the manual for AMEs available on line. I had to listen to someone whispering behind me three words one might hear in a cockpit and tell them what was said. I got at least two correct, and the third was either “light” or “right” and I must have heard well enough that there was no restriction for audio issues on my special issuance. It was SI for other issues.

There are many airports with no radio. Deaf pilots are restricted to airports with no radios. Private planes are very noisy and using a smartphone with live transcript app can be a problem. Why not use a flight computer with text to show texts from air traffic control to tell you flight level and directions, otherwise a co pilot would be required to tell deaf pilot atc directions?