About 12 and a half years ago I lost the sense of hearing in my left ear due to borreliosis. However, I have always wanted to get a pilot's license at some point in my life. I am aware that for some (or even all?) licenses, a medical examination must be passed and one-sided hearing loss is essentially a no-go.

So my question is: What are my possibilities with my disability? What kind of license could I still be allowed to get or will I have to bury this dream?

I live in Germany.


If you were willing to travel to the US (which is not all that uncommon to get a pilots license) and get your license under the FAA regulations you could do it as per the regulations,

§67.305 Ear, nose, throat, and equilibrium. Ear, nose, throat, and equilibrium standards for a third-class airman medical certificate are:

(a) The person shall demonstrate acceptable hearing by at least one of the following tests:

(1) Demonstrate an ability to hear an average conversational voice in a quiet room, using both ears, at a distance of 6 feet from the examiner, with the back turned to the examiner.

(2) Demonstrate an acceptable understanding of speech as determined by audiometric speech discrimination testing to a score of at least 70 percent obtained in one ear or in a sound field environment.

(3) Provide acceptable results of pure tone audiometric testing of unaided hearing acuity according to the following table of worst acceptable thresholds, using the calibration standards of the American National Standards Institute, 1969:

The way this is written if you can score at least 70% in one ear on the audiometric speech discrimination test you should be good to go. Note this is for a class 3 medical with will not allow you to fly commercial operations. I am not sure how the new basic med requirements fall into all this but your best if you have specific questions is to contact an AME directly.

From a practical standpoint, the cockpit of most small planes is fairly defining already and the headsets take mono signals from the radios so I don't really see how the lack of binaural hearing would present any issue.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, this is already very helpful and encouraging! However, I just read that I will not be able to fly D-registered airplanes with it and would probably have to fly N-registered planes (Link). Of course, I will be able to convert it to the German PPL(A), but I am not sure, if I have to get a medical re-evaluation. I did write to a local medical examiner, though, as you advised. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – basseur Oct 15 '17 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ @basseur I belive you can fly and more importantly have an N-Registered aircraft in Europe. I belive there are some questions around it on here somewhere. $\endgroup$ – Dave Oct 15 '17 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ Alright, I will look into it. Thanks again! $\endgroup$ – basseur Oct 15 '17 at 15:45

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