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Old 09-03-2008, 12:41 AM   #1  
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Dan64456's Avatar
Joined APC: Apr 2007
Posts: 449
Angry Letter of evidence no longer issued for alternate color vision tests???

Now apparently they have a new policy stating that you need to go thru this HELL I went thru EVERY TIME you go to renew your medical certificate? They "mistakenly" sent me a letter telling me that the FALANT was no longer accepted... All this time they were telling me that "My case was under review" was probably because they KNEW the policy was changing and wanted to throw me under this new blanket of discrimination. People with LOE's (Letter of Evidence) can still get by, but they are no longer issued via the FALANT results, so they basically faked an error by telling me that it was no longer accepted just to keep me in the system to backdate my case AFTER the policy came into effect. (Sometime in late July or August) I'm so p1ssed right now. My whole life dream has just been crushed. All the time it took the FAA to get me my amended medical certificate in the mail and now I have to go thru this every time? Not worth the gamble of 60+ grand for schooling for a crapshoot of being able to pass the SILLY unjust number in a bloody pattern test. Let alone fight the bureaucracy of waiting for the FALANT results (AND EXTRA COST TO ME) to fix my medical cert EVERY TIME I try to renew when I have scheduled flights with a company. I just wish I could have discovered this before so I could have saved the 8000 dollars from the costs of the PPL. I never would have continued with it in the first place. This is literally making me hate aviation. I am so discouraged right now that I can't even bring myself to fly anymore. This happened a year ago when I couldn't find a doctor with a FALANT (which is why I haven't flown in a year) and now again since I finally find one and pass it and they ironically change it after I shell out the 120 bux to take the damn thing. (Those and numerous D15 tests that I PASSED by the way, as well as visits to the optometrist.) Vacation days, time, and money all wasted for them to pull a 180 and send me the middle finger in an envelope. I'm half tempted to put the damn cert back in the envelope and send it back to them saying "thanks but no thanks, this won't do me any good. I can't go my entire life battling your incompetent staff and bureaucracy." So much for having goals or ambitions in life, only for members of an ill informed machine to sh1t on them.

So what do I do now, potentially waste money on getting current so I can take the crapshoot in-flight test (with some of the things having nothing to do with color perception? see below for the requirements) and an unknown chance at failing or passing? (Failing this one by the way brands you for LIFE, no more YEARLY FALANT options either.)
For first or second class medicals:
(a) Successful completion of an operational color vision test (OCVT) described above; and
(b) A color vision medical flight test (MFT). This is an actual flight test and requires the following:
(1) You must read and correctly interpret in a timely manner aviation instruments or displays, particularly those with colored limitation marks, and colored instrument panel lights, especially marker beacon lights, warning or caution lights, weather displays, etc.
(2) You must recognize terrain and obstructions in a timely manner; select several emergency landing fields, preferably under marginal conditions, and describe the surface (for example, sod, stubble, plowed field, presence of terrain roll or pitch, if any), and also describe how the conclusions were determined, and identify obstructions such as ditches, fences, terraces, low spots, rocks, stumps, and, in particular, any gray, tan, or brown objects in green fields.
(3) You must visually identify in a timely manner the location, color, and significance of aeronautical lights. To minimize the effect of memorizing the color of a light associated with a particular light system, the aviation safety inspector should make every effort to not use the light system name during the flight, but rather to ask you to identify a light color and the significance of as many of the following lights as possible:
(a). Colored lights of other aircraft in the vicinity;
(b). Runway approach lights, including both the approach light system (ALS) and visual glideslope indicators;
(c). Runway edge light system;
(d). Runway end identifier lights;
(e). In-runway lighting (runway centerline [CL] lights, touchdown zone [TDZ] lights, taxiway lead-off lights, and land and hold short lights);
(f). Airport boundary lights;
(g).Taxiway lights (edge lights, CL lights, clearance bar lights, runway guard lights, and stop bar lights;
(h).Red warning lights on television towers, high buildings, stacks, etc.;
(i). Airport beacon lights.

If you pass the operational color vision test (OCVT) and the color vision medical flight test, the inspector will issue a letter of evidence that’s valid for all classes and a medical certificate with no limitation or comment regarding color vision.

If you fail the signal light test portion of the OCVT during daylight hours, you will be able to retake the test at night. If you pass the nighttime test, your medical restriction will read, “Not valid for flights requiring color signal control during daylight hours.” If you cannot pass the OCVT during day or night hours, the restriction will read, “Not valid for night flying or by color signal control.”

Can't AOPA get involved here and throw some advocacy out there? Half of the doctors don't know JACK about color vision because there is no cure therefore no money to be made in researching it. Yet so many of us get told no, no, no, in life career choices because of something none of them even understand. (The cases vary from extremely mild to severe. Big difference)

What about the pilots out there now that are flying with LOE's? I'm sure there are plenty of them. What happens when the FAA decides to stop accepting them in the future?

This isn't even worth the stress or money anymore. I'm telling you I'm this close to selling all of my pilot stuff, and I'm so sad/angry/discouraged from all of this.

I even took some tests (Non FAA ones, administered by an ophthalmologist) that suggested I have completely NORMAL vision. Yet the stupid plates I can't pass all of them.

Imagine having 1 dream in life since you were a child. Then imagine being told by a piece of paper that you are destined for a life under fluorescent light bulbs rustling papers in front of a computer screen for the next 60 years of "your" life. This is about how I feel right now.

Aren't there people with HEART PROBLEMS actively flying with 1st class medicals now? And a perfectly healthy young guy can't just because he can't see a silly number in a silly pattern, yet can tell every other color apart?

I cannot enjoy PPL privileges as I cannot afford them nor justify the cost unless leading to a career.
Excuse my anger, but I feel compelled to express my feelings toward the FAA right about now, since my entire future life was affected by it.
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