6.4 Special hearing tests

Speech audiogram

Failure to meet the standard obliges the applicant to undergo speech discrimination test (speech audiometry). Currently we require discrimination in one or more ears of 90% or better at any non-harmful sound level.

Operational flight test

If the applicant fails the speech-based hearing test, an in-flight test may be offered to experienced pilots. The operational check will involve evaluation of relevant aspects of the applicant's hearing by a CASA Flying Operations Inspector or an Authorised Testing Officer with test material transmitted from a control tower. Ideally the test should be conducted in the Class of aircraft that is the same as that which the applicant normally operates.

Standard protocol should be obtained from CASA and provided to flight testing officer.

Hearing aids and cochlear implants

It is essential that pilots using hearing aids or amplification for flying are tested in circumstances which replicate their individual practice or operational requirement. In other words, if a pilot uses hearing aids to fly, the flight test must confirm satisfactory performance.

The pure-tone audiogram performed by a DAME or any other person is treated by the Aviation Medicine Section as a screening test only and is never used as the final arbiter of an applicant's ability to meet the hearing requirements for a Medical Certificate. Audiograms performed by DAMEs are acceptable. However, any audiometer used for CASA-required audiograms must have been calibrated within two years of the date of such examinations.

Note: The audiogram result is to be entered into the medical examination report even when a full audiogram is uploaded.

Note: DAMEs are requested to upload the full audiogram whenever audiometry is undertaken. This enables trends to be identified which may be of longer-term medical significance.

Published date: 24 November 2021
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//search-centre/manuals-and-handbooks/designated-aviation-medical-examiners-handbook/64-special-hearing-tests
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