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Tunes And Flying...

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An iPod and a noise cancelling headset are a Godsend on those long offshore flights, especially when your copilot doesn't speak English.

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I'm loading up my ipod as I'm writing this, getting ready to go on tour tomorrow. When doing jobs that require 8-10 hour flying days, having music is a must.

However, that being said, the volume in my machine is always kept at a level where I can also listen to my engine and warning horns :punk: .

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However, that being said, the volume in my machine is always kept at a level where I can also listen to my engine and warning horns

 

This has to be the key. It's a background sound that helps the day go by, not the window rattling sound of the modern day stereo...

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Hey Rainman. What were you listening to when that Allison went quiet? Highway to The Danger Zone or Born to be Wild. Don't get me wrong. l like music but l like it in the bar when l'm drinking beer and it's loud.

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I am guilty of listening to music on my MP3 while flying and have NEVER had a problem with hearing what the A/C is doing. I would like to add a new wrinkle though....where do you draw the line???? How do you feel about low timers doing the same? What about an experienced pilot flying a new type of A/C? or even an experience pilot on a familiar type doing a type of job not previously experienced? I PROMISE I am not trying to stir the pot...I know what my answers are to the above, I am just curious what you guys think?

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I listen to tunes in the a/c all of the time. I will turn off the music anytime it may become a distraction though. Such as a busy fire with many aircraft and multiple radios going at once. The rest of the time it is just in the background.

 

When heli-skiing it is always fun playing some cornball tune on the way up knowing the guide is going to be cursing me for the next few runs because they can't get that tune out of their head. :P

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....where do you draw the line???? How do you feel about low timers doing the same? What about an experienced pilot flying a new type of A/C? or even an experience pilot on a familiar type doing a type of job not previously experienced?

 

Low timer... When im doing a cross country trip, sampling job or just flying to and from I usually have music playing in the background. Now when im doing any low level work or moving drills or just random slinging jobs I wouldnt even think about it, I seem to feel like I got my hands full... dont need the distraction of wanting to change the tune if a bad song slips through the cracks... The tunes in the background are never loud in the first place though, and plus they are in no way impeeding the noise from the beast of a 500!

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Gotta have tunes playing on long ferries, survey or any other type of operation that involves repetitive, monotonous tasks. I keep the volume below that of the radios and ICS. If I'm in a high traffic or ATC environment, I keep it off.

 

Safety-wise, I don't see an issue as this is no different from any of the dozens of different systems we're called upon to operate in the cockpit. It's all about cockpit resource management ;)

 

As far as connectivity goes, if you don't have an on-board cd-player, which is like 99.9997% of commercial ships, you need something to feed the tunes to your headset/helmet. I've tried having the earbuds on under the helmet/headset, but that gets irritating after awhile. I've also used a homemade cable that connects into an unused ICS port. This has the advantage of making the tunes available to all your pax as well, but the sound quality is so-so as it goes through the ICS amplifier. <_<

 

Last year I tried the infamous Cellset Adapter with the cutout feature (your tunes stop playing whenever something comes over the air or ICS). It went through batteries like crazy and the cut-out was really irritating as any little static on the radios, a pax coughing or me singing along to my tunes would mute the music for 3 seconds or so. I returned it afer two days... :down:

 

The best system I've tried and currently use is the Pilot-USA PA-86AH amplified cell/MP3 adapter. It requires a 9-volt battery and connects inline between your ICS port and your helmet/headset plug. I can use it with my iPod or my cell phone (unfortunately not both at once). You'll find it at http://www.pilot-usa.com in the accessories section. You can buy it direct from them for $139 USD, or check out your local pilot supplies store, as many of them carry these adapters. They aren't all listed in the dealers section at Pilot-USA. I bought mine at Aeroteknik in CYHU for 159.99 cdn this past spring. A 9V alkaline battery lasts about 100 hours of flying time. The only down side is the power switch is easy to snag in your flight bag, so when you stow it you need to remove the battery, otherwise it won't last very long.

 

I especially like the fact that this setup gives me an intermediate disconnect point (as recommended by the TSB after that CCG BO-105 went down off Marystown NL) in case I have to egress in a hurry.

 

If you've got money to burn, Comm-Innovations will make you whatever you like to your specs, but expect to spend anywhere from 250-500 bucks... :down:

 

http://www.comm-innovations.com/index.html

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