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View Full Version : Mild Color Blindness

01-12-2019, 06:25 PM
Hello, new to the forum
I was just wondering to what extent of color blindness does the AME/FAA allow?
I took the online tests on enchroma and got a mild duetan(mild red/green) result
I looked at the ishihara as well and though there were a couple i couldnt tell, I could tell the difference in shade and color(could also tell vaguely what number it is if i looked long enough)
I can distinguish red and green lights throughout my daily life
I know there are options for alternate test methods, would i be able to pass those with my symptoms?
Please let me know if any more information would be helpful

01-12-2019, 06:51 PM
Iím sorry but we cannot diagnose you over the internet.
If I were in your position I would go to an eye-guru and get tested.
With the test results start checking online if you meet the 1st Class medical requirements.
If so go for it if not then you start looking into the process of maybe getting a waiver or a SODA.

01-12-2019, 08:01 PM

Download the above. Take it to any optometrist and tell them you want to be tested. If you fail one test, keep trying other tests until you find one you can RELIABLY pass.

If you canít pass ANY of them, it will get uglier and more expensive. But buck up. Over 10% of males have some degree of color blindness. A large majority of those can pass at least one of the standard tests.

As far as the Ishihara this is the standard:

Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates: Concise 14-plate edition: six or more errors on plates 1-11; the 24-plate edition: seven or more errors on plates 1-15; the 38-plate edition: nine or more errors on plates 1-21.

That is to say, you are DISQUALIFIED if you miss the indicated number or greater.

01-12-2019, 11:01 PM
Here is the 24 Plate Ishihara, test:

You might need to minimize the size of the page, but it should work. Test yourself (the 24-plate edition: seven or more errors on plates 1-15). This should give you a good gauge of where you stand. It doesn't matter if you barely see the number, as long as you can see it you should be fine. Remember that some are meant to be blank and others will show two numbers, the "right" one, and a different number that only color deficient people can see. Testing via a computer monitor at home is not ideal but in my experience, it should give you an idea of where you stand. If you're borderline, then it might prove easier in person with the real book.

If you have problems with the Ishihara plates, try the Dvorine Plates. It's easier, but that book is a bit harder to come by. Some AME's have them but you'll have to call around to be sure.

If you truly can't pass any of the alternates, then you'll have to demonstrate your ability to see the light gun signals at the airport among other things, but that's a whole other deal. It sounds like you'll pass the Ishihara's since you're only mildly deficient. Best of luck!

01-13-2019, 07:02 AM
The ishihara isn't the the be-all and end-all. If you have questions about it, the Farnsworth Lantern test will have a much higher pass rate, without need of a waiver or a SODA (statement of demonstrated ability).

As TiredSoul mentioned, visit an eye doctor first to discuss your condition.

There are several AME's (aviation medical examiners) who specialize in helping people thorough their medicals with special conditions; money well spent in the long run.

If you can't pass the Ishihara test, the FAA does allow a "light gun" test, involving checking the light signals received from an air traffic control tower. These signals are used to give a pilot information during a time of a radio failure (more of an emergency thing). The signals are red, green, and white light. If you don't pass the light gun test (used to give you a SODA), then you may have a permanent problem on your hands.

There's a test called the Farnsworth Lantern test, which involves a specialized piece of equipment hardly found any more (the Farnsworth Lantern), which has a much higher pass rate, for those with color issues.

An AME in Phoenix used to have two of them. He retired, sold his practice to another physician who continues under the same practice name, My Flight Surgeon. I don't know if he still does the Farnsworth Lantern (FALANT) tests. The FALANT has been replaced with a newer system, called the OPTEC 900.

Pilot Medical Solutions ( offers a referral for those; I believe you can also get it done at certain optometry schools.

01-16-2019, 12:54 PM
I think 90% of males have some degree of color blindness.
Me personally I have a very difficult time with certain shades of pink and purple.