Say again?

Throughout his years as a musician Ravi the Raviator ran into a lot of musicians who had hearing problems — mostly the weekend warriors who played in bars. The professional musicians knew better, which is why he worked with Sennheiser to create a hearing protection package for those part-time musicians.

Once he started flying, he was surprised at the number of pilots who had suffered hearing loss. “I encountered more deaf pilots than rock and rollers,” he said.

Already sponsored by Sennheiser on his Rejuvenating Aviation lecture series, Ravi added a section to his talks on hearing loss. He’ll offer his insights tomorrow at Sun ’n Fun in a lecture, “Say Again? A Musician’s Insight to Pilot Hearing Loss” sponsored by Sennheiser S1.

“There’s no excuse for pilots to have hearing loss,” he said. “It’s an unnecessary gamble with the quality of life.”

He brings up a startling statistic: By the age of 50, pilots have lost their hearing five times more than the general population. “And the worst part is once it’s gone, it’s gone,” he said.

Pilots need to wear hearing protection not only when they fly, but also on the ramp. He also says kids should have hearing protection at airshows and when around airplanes.

“It’s a real safety issue,” he said. “Flying is risky enough without putting one of our prime senses at risk.”


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