Deaf Pilots - Safe or Not

Okay, let’s be fair. I only crashed into a mountain twice unintentionally.

For real, ATC is definitely my passion. The pilot thing was a backup just in case… and the irony is that I have a backup for the backup, which is going to college for the A&P Powerplant certification. Infinite Flight is a good way for me to live out the ATC dream, so I’m grateful for that.


That’s how we can tell the liars apart. Nice catch. ;)


Uh, I think you missed the ATC communications part 😬.

Again, not trying to offend anyone :)


two pilots at least, surely the non-deaf pilot could listen,

But thanks for pointing out.

Don’t worry @deaf. You will be a very good pilot one day. Nothing is impossible. Chase your dreams and you’ll succeed. Nothing is impossible in this world…

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I guess you can call me a liar, without knowing that I went to school for over three years learning the hearing impaired culture and trying to bridge a gap between hearing and hearing impaired, I may not speak/sign fluently but I’m 100% sure I could tell you in ASL, Spanish , English , we are here to welcome you not alienated you,

I can tell you though putting that I sign/speak ASL has helped me with many jobs, helping hearing impaired, kids with autism and my own family.

You should know that when you point a finger with judgment, you get three pointing right back at you. ☝


The problem with deaf pilots is that atc communication is voice based. So in order to fly airliners, you would have to be able to see what the controller is saying. So if you have a speech to text machine onboard, you could easily fly airliners. Of course the machine could fail and result in fatal miscommunications.

Lots of good points being made about being able to listen to ATC coms but also another point is that sometimes you can detec a problem with your aircraft by hearing a difference, perhaps an odd vibration or change in pitch to the engine? Saying that I am more than happy to fly with a deaf pilot, though am sure they would need a fully hearing co-pilot.

Their is an organisation in the U.K. Called Air-mobility that caters for pilots with different disabilities flying GA.

I would wager the only way for you to get in is if they develop some sort of hardwired synthetic neural interface that allows you to have the communications piped to your brain. But it will cost way too much money to get done.


Wow, respect to that! Anything is possible, you just gotta get your heart at it and get it done. The only person that can hold you back is yourself. Get out there and do what you need to do.

For everything that you don’t have, you have something else, so use that something else to get what you want.

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I am Infact 50% deaf. Will this affect me from joining the RAAF?

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Wiley Post flew with only one useable eye, aviation legend.

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would suggest you talk to the RAAF careers office about that, it might disbar you from being flight crew but there are other career paths you can take in the Services

That’s not true at all. Vital communication in the cockpit is essential in emergencies. You won’t know what the other pilot is saying and you cannot communicate your ideas in the event of an emergency. Also, you can’t have one pilot listening to communication. The reason there is two of almost everything on an aircraft is to correct something if one is wrong. If you’re relying on a single person in the cockpit for communication, the chances of making a mistake drastically increase especially in a commercial environment.


Simmer down. It was meant as sarcasm, hence ;)

A lot of @Deaf and myself’s gripes come from real world interactions where folks confuse ASL with hearing/speaking. Colloquialism with a sprinkle of irony on the side. That being said, I respect and appreciate those who take the time to learn ASL and conduct outreach.

I just chill and roll with the flow. Life is a terrible thing to live if we take comments too much at face value.

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My hearing clocks at 80db- requirement caps at 25db, so, statistically, mine is worse by nearly 300%. Nasty stuff.

One can dream, though. We’ll see where technology takes us in 10 years.


I remember my interpreter would tease hearing kids when they ask her to learn new sign to talk with me. They would just ask her how to say a word so my interpreter just said that word back to them. These kids would realize their mistake and asked her again, but this time how to sign it. Lol

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I disagree.

Let’s say the copilot is deaf and the captain is not. What happens if the captain becomes incapacitated?

Alright seem like idea of having a deaf person piloting plane is sitting well with most of you. My goal is actually to be an aerospace engineer, I want to design the planes. When I was young kid, I had already accepted that I couldn’t be a pilot in jetliner so I figured why not design the plane instead.

Do anyone know a good aviation college that would offer course to earn private pilot license along with the courses for master’s degree in aerospace engineering? Embry-Riddle seem a good candidate, but I’m not fond of it’s main location in Florida.


There’s always a “what if” no matter what, but, if your in an uncontrolled airspace, and your captain becomes incapacitated, than, I think the deaf pilot remaining would be fine.