This would normally go in Medical and Health but I specifically want to target open-cockpit pilots, so here goes.
After getting the PPL my dream is to graduate onto the Tiger Club's Turbs by way of the Tiger Moth; and yesterday I took the first step by booking a session with one of their check pilots. I've flown open cockpit before, when I was much younger - loved it, and that's why I'm doing it now. I don't have a helmet and goggles so the Club loaned me a set. My Sennheisers weren't compatible as there was a set of 'phones in place in the helmet. I must say, it all looked the part - the mouthpiece clipped loosely in place and the goggles went over my specs no problem. So it was all fine on the ground.
I don't remember much about my joyrides in a Tiger and a Pitts back in '81 so I'd read a bit about flying the Tiger on the web. Nobody mentioned the noise. It was bl***y deafening!
I think the problem was the ill-fitting headset, particularly the mouthpiece. The 80 knot blast came straight into the cockpit and was amplified by my mouthpiece. The check pilot was excellent - he shouted slowly and clearly and I divined just about everything he wanted me to do.
Now I suffer from low-level background tinnitus. Despite my being a musician it never bothers me and I forget it from month to month. Midway during yesterday's sortie I could not so much hear as feel
my head ringing, and I knew I was going to be in for a session once we got down. And so it was. My tinnitus had upgraded itself to 'in your face' and 'full on'. There was no telling how long it was going to last. Well I'm now typing this twenty four hours later and the noise hasd subsided to a sulky 'almost background' level once again, and I'm a worried man.
Now that I've finally reached the stage when I can fly what I want to fly am I going to be stopped by tinnitus? Or will a better headset cure the problem? I never get this problem with my bog-standard Sennheisers in spamcans.