The Importance Of Aviation Headsets In Flight Training

Pilot headphones are valuable tools in general aviation (GA) cockpits. Besides blocking unwanted sound, earphones facilitate internal & external communication while reducing noise-related fatigue. Though great for all types of flying, earsets are particularly valuable in flight training operations.

For those new to aviation, a general aviation cockpit presents several challenges. Rookie aviators often have little or no experience flying in light aircraft. An effective way to improve their experiences and simplify their flight training is by using aviation headsets.

One of the primary benefits of pilot headphones is hearing protection. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cites 85 decibels as a “safe” daily exposure amount for a period of up to eight hours. Above this noise level, OSHA notes that even short periods of exposure to loud noise can result in permanent hearing loss. Some individuals are susceptible to detrimental hearing damage at noise levels below 85 decibels. General aviation aircraft, particularly high-performance models, can generate noise in excess of 100 dB (A) at high power settings. To protect aviation students from possible hearing damage, earphones should be used for all flight lessons.

Another benefit of a pilot earset is the increased level of comfort it provides students. With limited general aviation experience, light aircraft cockpits can be overwhelming places. Loud noises, numerous strange controls & gauges, perplexing radio calls, and low-level turbulence can easily cause nausea, fatigue, and even fear. By blocking unwanted engine noise, earphones can greatly reduce any discomfort or fatigue a student might experience. Eliminating these undesirable factors increases the chances student pilots will continue their flight training. In addition, when used with a push-to-talk (PTT) switch, headphones remove the students’ need to fumble with a hand microphone for external communications.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of GA headphones is the ease of communication they provide to flight students. Communication is one of the three vital pilot responsibilities a student must master. The phonetic alphabet, radio procedures & phraseology, and required communications reports are daunting tasks for those new to aviation. In addition, rookie pilots must learn to identify navaids, listen to weather broadcasts, and contact flight service stations & FBOs. The sheer volume of required communication makes proper correspondence a crucial task for new pilots. These responsibilities become even more important in the instrument flight (IFR) environment. Besides these required external communications, flight training students must also maintain constant contact with their flight instructors throughout the course of each lesson. Imagine trying to learn by shouting back and forth over loud engine noise. By adding a headset, a pilot’s communication duties become much easier to perform.

Unlike many other disciplines, flight training requires constant communication in a high-noise environment. Improper transmission or reception of required information can have devastating effects on the safety of a flight. By reducing unwanted noise and facilitating clear communication, student pilots stand a better chance of successfully completing their flight training. Aviation headsets. are valuable tools to assist in making that happen.

Source by Corwin Smith

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