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Hearing Loss Medical EASA. Any experiences?

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Hearing Loss Medical EASA. Any experiences?

Old 4th Jul 2022, 17:47
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Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 3
Exclamation Hearing Loss Medical EASA. Any experiences?

Hello (wannabe) pilots,

After working in another flied for some years, i wanted to chase my childhood dream and become airline pilot! I did an assesment for the KLM Flight Acadamy and passed it. The only formality was to pass my medical examination. It didn't turn out to be just a formality.... it appeared i have a hearing loss of about 45db on my right ear (on 1000hz). I never knew i had this, neither did i experience any negative effects because of this. My left hearing is perfect, and probably i have this hearing form birth and my left ear compensates for it.
The KLM doctor sent me to an ENT doctor (specialized in aviation) and to make it short: the conclusion is that my hearing is (according to her opinion) good enough for flying, i perform a speech discrimination test very good and a MRI scan showed that i don't have a active pathological process going on (so it's unlikely it will degrade further).
This rapport was sent back to the KLM doctor and he told me i don't comply with the requirements: not more than 35db loss on either ear seperately on 500,1000 and 2000hz. (In that he is right: on my right ear, i can't perform a audiometry on 1000hz that will show less then 35db loss. And i never will). He consultated the IL&T (the Dutch NAA), but they also stated that i don't comply with the requirements with the same argument, hence denial of type 1 certificate (hooray i can get a type 2 medical certificate, i can do everything as long as i don't need an IR. Not very convinient when i want a ATPL).

As i am diving in the EASA rules, it states indeed that initial applicants shall not have a hearing loss of more than 35db on the above specified frequencies (MED.B.080, (a, 1, ii)).

***Italic is copied from the EASA rules***

It also states that "A comprehensive ear, nose and throat examination shall be undertaken for the initial issue of a class 1 medical certificate and periodically thereafter when clinically indicated." (MED.B.080 (a, 2)).

Then it states (MED.B. 080, (b)): Applicants with any of the following medical conditions shall undergo further examination to establish that the medical condition does not interfere with the safe exercise of the privileges of the applicable licence(s): (1) hypoacusis (among onther, but i only write here what matters to my case).

Lastly the regulations state:
MED.B.080, (c), (1): Applicants for a class 1 medical certificate with any of the medical conditions specified in points (1 hypoacusis), (4) and (5) of point (b) shall be referred to the medical assessor of the licensing authority.

That are the regulations. The EASA requirements than go on with the General Means of Compliance:
AMC 1 MED.B.080, (2): Applicants with hypoacusis may be assessed as fit if a speech discrimination test or functional flight deck hearing test demonstrates satisfactory hearing ability. A vestibular function test may be appropriate. and (3) If the hearing requirements can only be met with the use of hearing aids, the hearing aids should provide optimal hearing function, be well tolerated and suitable for aviation purposes.

In my opinion, it doesn't state that it is not allowed to be assesed as fit on an initial test when you have hypoacusis. How i read it, you should then do a comprehensive investigation (i did just that at an ENT specialist), show appropriate hearing on a speech discrimination test (i also showed that) and show that it's no active pathology (the MRI shows that in my case). And although the ENT specialist said i don't need hearing aids, if I have to to chase my dream, i will use them ofcourse. But none of that was discussed, my medical simply will be denied because i don't meet this requirement of less then 35DB loss on 1000hz.

I just wonder: did anyone ever experienced something similar to this? How do you interpret these rules? Do you think the Dutch NAA (IL&T) made a proper decision considering the EASA rules or did maybe a NAA in another country made another decision in a case similar to this?

And lastly: does anybody have any idea why the CAA (United Kingdom) rules are similar to the EASA rules, but add much more guidance material which covers exactly this topic? I mean it's strange right: i live in the Netherlands and can't get a medical, but would i move 350km to the UK, i could get a medical. I would be able to work for a English airliner, fly to Amsterdam and land there with a medical license that the EASA would consider invalid. I think that's really arbitrary.

I hope somebody can give me some tips/advise/share his or her experiences because ofcourse i am gonna object to the decision and want to make my case as strong as possible.

Sorry for the long post and maybe the grammar mistakes.

Kind regards and thanks in advance,

Lex
Pilotlex is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2022, 11:21
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: everywhere
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Does the UK CAA allow you a >35db loss at 1000Hz? I read that you say the rules are similar but does it actually state this in the UK rules?

The last part shouldn't confuse you. Different authorities have different acceptable requirements. Aircraft land in the UK and EASA everyday from countries with vastly different standards.
A320LGW is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2022, 12:41
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Hello A320LGW,

The regulations and the general means of compliance state the same in the CAA as in the EASA rules. But looking at the guidance material, the CAA states:Initial applicants with a hearing loss of more than 35dB at any of the frequencies 500Hz, 1000Hz or 2000Hz, or more than 50dB at 3000Hz, in either ear separately should have an assessment carried out by a consultant ENT specialist to identify or exclude underlying pathology, assess stability of hearing loss and establish suitability for a hearing aid. The application should then be referred to a medical assessor.

A newly diagnosed hearing loss at an initial medical, with no evidence of stability, may require a number of months to elapse and then repeat audiometry to be undertaken before certification can be considered.

Class 1 applicants, with hearing aids that are well tolerated and suitable for aviation purposes and which enable them to meet the audiogram requirements, should follow the guidance below.
Initial Class 1 applicants with hearing outside the standards set out in MED.B.080 (a)(1)(ii), who can demonstrate stability and no significant underlying pathology, may be considered for Class 2 certification initially with a satisfactory report from a functional hearing test (see Profound Hearing Loss below). Following the issue of a Class 2 medical certificate, the successful completion of PPL training will be considered to demonstrate that hypoacusis does not interfere with the safe exercise of the privileges and Class 1 certification will be considered with SSL (Special Restriction as Specified) limitation “Functional Hearing Assessment Required within 3 months of renewal/revalidation medical”.

I don't say it's an easy way, but there is a way to get your type 1 medical in the UK with the hearing loss i experience.
Pilotlex is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2022, 13:02
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 19
For the UK CAA, get yourself a Functional Hearing Test. https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalap...detail&id=2875

Also, have a chat with an AME who will be able to help.

clarkeysntfc is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2022, 13:54
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That would be my plan b, i first try to get my medical in Europa by object to the decision.
Pilotlex is offline  

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