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06-20-2017, 10:05 AM
Hello all,

First let me start by saying I have used the search function :).

I am currently trying to come up with a plan of attack on how to approach trying to obtain a FAA Class 1 medical.

I am a ~ 300 hour TT ASEL private pilot with my instrument rating and a Class III medical. I am coming to a crossroads in my 11 year Air Force career as a Officer and I am trying to prep the battlespace to be a regional pilot when I get out of the Air Force at some point in time.

Long story short I am looking into doing an accelerated commercial followed by getting my CFI. And that first step is making sure I can get a class 1 (understand that I only need a 2 to be a CFI but I'm trying to get into 135 flying shortly thereafter)

The problem is I have Refractive Amblyopia in my left eye that hovers right at the 20/40 to 20/50 and is not correctable to 20/20. My right eye is at the 20/15 mark.

What should my plan of attack be in terms of approaching the medical process? I am new to the Los Angeles area as well so I do not have a AME in the area that I would trust to approach with questions as well. I am also thinking about doing the pilot protection option through AOPA and asking this question via that avenue.

Just not sure where to start. And I truly appreciate any valuable inputs you guys may have.

Thanks again,

06-20-2017, 10:38 AM
Not familiar with this condition, but is it not correctable with lenses, or not correctable with surgery?

Perhaps that would require a visit with a reputable ophthalmologist. Your choice to go civilian or with the military surgery, if even an option. I'd say with your income as an 11 year officer, pay for it if military will not. Taking leave and going to Wilford Hall could be an option too. I know the AF will perform all sorts of crazy surgeries if you want them, eyes shouldn't be too much to ask.

Also, at 300 hrs and 11 years in the AF as an O, make sure you really love flying (commercial on the road) to make this jump.. at least income wise. I did and do, but I stayed in the reserves, suggest you do the same if possible.

best wishes!

06-20-2017, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the reply!

So its a condition that cannot be corrected by surgery or lenses. Its a congenial condition that I have had my entire life.

Career-wise, I am trying to think of a way to retire from active duty at my 20 year mark and roll into a full time flying gig. Im thinking my approach will be flight instructing on the side while on active duty to get to the 1500 hour mark. I have a buddy here at LA AFB who flight instructs in the south bay and is flying 80 hours a month.

Thanks again for the insight.

06-20-2017, 11:24 AM
Dr. Bruce Chien is an excellent resource for situations like this. I have used him personally and was very impressed with his level of knowledge in dealing with the FAA and CAMI. You may want to visit his site:

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06-21-2017, 05:43 AM
You can also contact AOPA, AMAS or All very helpful. And yes, lot of excellent reviews for Dr. Chien.

06-21-2017, 07:12 AM
You can also contact AOPA, AMAS or All very helpful. And yes, lot of excellent reviews for Dr. Chien.

Guys thanks for the advice!

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