Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics

Department

Applied Aviation Sciences

Committee Chair

Guy M. Smith, Ed.D.

First Committee Member

Nancy F. Lawrence, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to study the temporary threshold shift of general aviation flight instructors resulting from their working environment. Exposure to noise before a temporary threshold shift completely recovers can cause a permanent threshold shift with no possibility of recovery, resulting in permanent hearing loss. A result showing minimal to no temporary threshold shift would indicate that hearing personal protective equipment is working properly. This study used sound-level measurements, and audiometric testing, together with survey data to determine whether or not flight instructors were at risk for potential hearing impairment due to temporary threshold shift. Independent t -tests and descriptive statistics were used in analyzing the data. It was determined that there was a difference in temporary threshold shift based on the number of hours a flight instructor flies in a Cessna 172SP for only one frequency - 2000Hz in the left ear. All other frequencies tested in both ears showed no difference. Because there was a very low mean temporary threshold shift at 2000Hz in the left ear and no differences shown for all other frequencies in both ears, it was concluded that there was no need to improve or require additional hearing personal protective equipment, or to require decreased exposure times to aircraft noise.

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