How Do You Know If Your Aviator Sunglasses Are Blocking UV Rays?

I learned to fly while I was in the USAF, not as a military pilot, but rather taking flying lessons at a nearby airport while I was receiving training from the Air Force in Texas. After I left the Air Force I attended Michigan State University where I continued to acquire advanced pilot ratings while studying Political Science. I had thought I would pursue a career as a diplomat.

Turned out that in those days if you weren’t from an ivy league college and weren’t connected a career in the State Department was not for a kid from the mid-western farm country.

So I decided to fly for a living, and in time became the chief pilot for a small company in Battle Creek, Michigan. This company was in the insurance business, and so in 1976 I started my own aviation insurance business which I sold in 2004.

Which led me to my current business, which is selling aviator sunglasses. As this business grows I am confronted with more and more interesting questions about sunglasses for pilots, and just recently I received the following inquiry:

From: Kyle ***
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 8:49 PM
To: customerservice@johnmichaelenterprisesllc.com
Subject: RE: Your Sunglasses Have Shipped!

John,

I recieved the sunglasses. I’m currently a pilot flying in Afghanistan. I’m curious if some lenses block more sunlight out more than others. I have the mirrored lenses and I can’t tell the difference between when I put the glasses on and when I have them off. There seems to be no filter of UV rays. They look and feel great under my headset though. Thanks for any information.

Kyle

This question brings up an interesting question: how do you know if your aviator sunglasses are blocking uv rays?

Randolph Engineering Aviator Matte Chrome Grey Lens Bayonet Temple Sunglasses

Randolph Engineering Aviator Matte Chrome Grey Lens Bayonet Temple Sunglasses

The visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum runs from ~390nm (390 nanometers) to 750nm while ultraviolet rays range from

  • UVA – 400-315nm;
  • UVB – 315-280nm;
  • UVC -What this means is that we can not see ultraviolet radiation therefore when you put on a pair of sunglasses and they don’t seem to make any difference it does not mean the sunglasses are not blocking out the ultraviolet radiation.The FAA has produced a Safety Brochure on sunglasses which you can find here: “Sunglasses for Pilots: Beyond the IMAGE”.In this document the FAA recommends that pilots choose sunglasses that incorporate 99-100% UVA, UVB and UVC protection. The only way you can know if the sunglasses you are purchasing provide that level of protection is to get that information from the manufacturer.For example, I provide a document showing the technical specifications for the Randolph Engineering sunglasses I sell. The document is “Randolph Engineering Sunglass Technical Specifications”which you can download by clicking on the link.These are for Randolph sunglasses I sell both here in the Pilot Store and at RandolphAviatorSunglasses.com.

    Right now you can get your very own pair with a 10% discount and FREE U.S. Shipping ($30 Express Mail International overseas) for just $ 98.10 using the discount code “aviator“.

    Be sure and get yours while they last!

    Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!

    JetAviator7+

    ps: Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter “All Things Aviation” here!

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