Hearing requirements for JAR Class 1 medical certification
The basic hearing test used throughout JAR-FCL 3 is the ability to hear ‘conversational speech when tested with each ear at a distance of 2 metres from and with his back turned towards the AME’ (JAR-FCL 3.235 and 3.355). This test is done at every medical examination for both professional and private pilots.
For professional pilots, and private pilots with an instrument rating, a further test called an audiogram is required (for the frequency of testing can be found on the Certificate Validity Table).
This measures the ability to hear sounds at different frequencies (pitch). Perfect hearing is measured as nil loss of hearing (0 decibel - 0 dB) at that particular frequency. Decreased hearing is shown as a decibel loss (10,20,30,40 decibels) at a particular frequency.
The frequencies that have to be tested are 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hertz (Hz), and the maximum allowable losses is shown below:
The hearing standards are now the same for
There may be some loss of hearing as a pilot’s career progresses (often due to noise induced hearing loss). If the audiogram figures reach a level 5 dB less than the renewal figures above, then an annual audiogram is required. However the hearing of experienced pilots at re-certification can be acceptable even if worse than the levels above, as JAR-FCL 3 Appendix 16 to Subparts B and C, paragraph 2 (b) states that: ‘If satisfactory hearing in a noise field corresponding to normal flight deck working conditions during all phases of flight can be demonstrated, recertification may be considered by the AMS (Aeromedical Section)’. This will usually take the form of a flight (real or simulated) with a training captain or instructor who reports that all tasks involving hearing were performed satisfactorily.