• Is it true that Pilots are not allowed to wear polarized sunglasses?
  • What is the worst thing that can happen if wearing polarized sunglasses in cockpit?
  • $\begingroup$ Asking several questions at once is not a good fit for this site. The first two are related and could be kept together, but the third is mostly unrelated and should not be here (and recommendation questions are generally not very good fit on SE). $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Aug 10, 2015 at 9:59
  • $\begingroup$ this document was already linked to this related question. It seems to provide the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Aug 10, 2015 at 10:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hello juni-j, welcome to Aviation.SE. I agree with Jan Hudec's comments. Here my slightly tongue-in-cheek answers: 1) no that is not true, 2) you can die, although that may or may not be related to the sunglasses, 3) see this question as well. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Aug 10, 2015 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ @JanHudec: I agree this is a duplicate, but for anyone seeking advice on polarized sunglasses, this question will be much easier to find. I, therefore, prefer to vote for keeping it open. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2015 at 12:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf, well, the point of duplicate is that the question stays there for Google to find and link to the answers of the existing one. But I don't actually think this is a duplicate. I was just linking to the resource, that was linked there already and that provides the information necessary here. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Aug 10, 2015 at 12:22

1 Answer 1


This FAA document describes considerations for choosing sunglasses for pilots.

Since the document concludes, that

Polarized sunglasses are not recommended

I presume there is no rule that would explicitly forbid it. However there is always the “operate aircraft careless and reckless manner” paragraph and if you badly screwed up while wearing such sunglasses and there was grounded belief that some of the disadvantages of such sunglasses contributed to the incident, you could be charged with that.

The document quotes following reasons why they are not recommended:

  • may reduce or eliminate visibility of instruments with polarization-based anti-glare filters,
  • may reduce or eliminate visibility of LCD instruments (LCDs emit polarized light by design),
  • may interfere with visibility through an aircraft windscreen by enhancing striations in laminated materials,
  • may mask the sparkle of light that reflects off shiny surfaces such as another aircraft’s wing or windscreen, which can reduce the time a pilot has to react in a “see-and-avoid” traffic situation.

Even if your plane does not have any instruments with polarization filters and no issues with striations in laminated windshield, filtering reflections from other aircraft is definitely not what you want.

Note that in most other situations, filtering reflections (from water, cars, metal roofs etc.) is desirable and is why polarized glasses exist, because reflections from close objects can be blinding. But in aircraft you are far from the sources of reflection, so the risk of blinding reflection is low, while the reflections can alert you to presence of other aircraft that might otherwise be hard to spot when looking towards the sun.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .