richm
Topic Author
Posts: 599
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:21 pm

Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:56 pm

I've decided I want to try and attain a NPPL. I've had several trial lessons over the past 7 years, flying C152s, C172 & Piper Warriors. I have one hurdle to overcome though, I'm deaf in one ear.

I've had one or two trial lessons whereby I was able to hear all communications without a problem. On other occasions though, I've had significant trouble hearing ATC communications. In contrast, I have never had any trouble with regards to hearing the instructor. Does anyone know why this is? I do not understand why it's so variable. It doesn't make sense why I can hear the intercoms perfectly fine, but often struggle to hear ATC. Clarity itself doesn't seem to be the issue, it seems to be more related to volume.

Also, does anyone happen to know whether or not there's any specific headsets/amplification equipment and/or other devices that many benefit me?

Thank you

[Edited 2011-04-24 14:56:46]
 
YWG
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2001 11:29 am

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:29 am

Depending on your radio set up, you probably have different volume controls for both ATC and the intercom. One could just be turned down? Although if your instructor knows you're struggling, he would have probably looked at this already. Sometimes ATC is quieter, I'm not a physicist nor do I recall anything i learned in university physics, but I bet it would have something to do with the radio waves.

Rental head sets are often the cheapest pieces are garbage currency can buy. If you're really serious, see if you can try out a head set with Active Noise Cancelling before buying a pair. I have had a pair of david clarks for years now and they're amazing in everything from a single piston to a multi turbine aircraft. Noise cancelling makes a HUGE difference in the clarity of your head set (even in a 172!). Don't let anyone tell you different!

Goodluck
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5603
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:55 am

First and foremost, as YWG wisely notes, you should secure a good-quality active noise cancellation headset, pronto. You'll hear so very much better, and further, you'll protect the hearing in your remaining ear from damage.

Try some various models before dropping your hard-earned coin; the big money buys Bose, but I have a David Clark converted to ANR with the Headsets, Inc. ANC conversion, and (for me) it has better performance than the Bose.

I know a number of pilot colleagues who have chosen the Lightspeed Zulu headset, and they rave about it.

There is no reason whatsoever why you should be impeded from flying purely because of having hearing in only one ear. Best of luck!
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:54 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 2):
First and foremost, as YWG wisely notes, you should secure a good-quality active noise cancellation headset, pronto. You'll hear so very much better, and further, you'll protect the hearing in your remaining ear from damage.

That being said, do NOT waste your money on the BOSE headsets. They are extremely overpriced and I was not impressed at all with their performance. Get a lightspeed zulu, or even better JH audio or Clarity Aloft in-ear headsets.
 
YWG
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2001 11:29 am

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:13 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 3):
That being said, do NOT waste your money on the BOSE headsets. They are extremely overpriced and I was not impressed at all with their performance. Get a lightspeed zulu, or even better JH audio or Clarity Aloft in-ear headsets.

I haven't tried the "new" Bose head set, but I have heard good things. They do however run a hefty ~$1000.

I can honestly say I think the Zulu is waaayyyy too over hyped for what you get. I have compared the Lightspeed Zulu with the latest David Clark noise cancelling headsets and the DC's blow the Zulu out of the water. This comparative test was done inflight while two PT6 engines roared away on either side of me. Just my opinion though....
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:11 pm

Quoting YWG (Reply 4):
and the DC's

Which ones? The X-11?
 
YWG
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2001 11:29 am

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:14 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 5):
Which ones? The X-11?

Yes.
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17205
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:15 am

I don't know much about aviation headsets specifically, but I am in the headphone "biz". As mentioned above, Bose prices are very high. There's no denying they make quality stuff, but there is a hefty premium because of the "Bose" name on the product.

For aviation applications, I'd definitely go with active noise canceling. For non-aviation, I have become a passive canceling supporter. Even for cabin use.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
njxc500
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:47 pm

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:36 am

I have an older set of ANR Lightspeeds, and I couldn't be happier. I have been told that the noisier prop aircraft actually give you more noise reduction than quieter ones. I know that when I moved to a three blade 182 from a two blade, the anr made less difference when i turned it on after startup. Hopefully that makes sense, but Lightspeed told me these are calibrated to remove certain sounds, and the more of that sound that's there, the more gets removed.

Second, comprehension could be playing a factor. I recall times before I got my headset where I "thought" I couldn't hear them because they were talking fast or I simply didn't understand. Eventually you know what to expect them to say, and that helps you stay a step ahead, and moves your comprehension way up.

Ask around, you'll find one you can try. If that doesn't work, call lightspeed, you will talk to a person who cares. Not kidding either, their customer service is top notch. Maybe they have a trial or something.

Good luck.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5603
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Radio Comms For Deaf Pilots

Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:46 am

...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...

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