Hearing Loss Associated with Helicopter Flight,
GERMAN AIR FORCE INST OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE FUERSTENFELDBRUCK (GERMANY F R)
Pagination or Media Count:
The present comparative examination revealed indeed, that greater hearing losses can be observed in helicopter pilots of the Army versus pilots of the other services. With a high degree of probability they are the result of the special training requirements of Army pilots and the aircraft-type-specific noise intensity associated with helicopter flying. Nevertheless, these hearing losses in Army pilots with few exceptions lie clearly within the qualification limits promuglated for military flying duty in the German Federal Armed Forces. Provided applicable ear protection regulations are observed even long-term aircraft noise exposure will not cause above average hearing losses in helicopter pilots which might considerably impair the earning capacity or quality of life in older age. All helicopters employed by the German Federal Armed Forces are flown by pilots wearing flying helmets. Noise attenuation characteristics of these helmets protect effectively against the damaging noise intensities. Critical noise levels may, however, be experienced during external work on aircraft or during flight line operation near the runway. In those cases further measures have to be initiated, which bring about a reduction of noise caused by aircraft in flying operation as well as measures to improve ear protectors for pilots and nose-exposed maintenance personnel. To illustrate, the use of a soft plastic earplug standardized within the German Federal Armed Forces to be worn under the steel helmet or flying helmet is urgently demanded for reasons of hearing loss prevention.