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View Full Version : Only correctable to 20/30 vision


Nhowar02
02-08-2017, 08:07 AM
Possible future pilot here, I'm getting out of the Marines in November and I want to use my GI bill for flight school. I'd love to be a commercial airline pilot. There's just a little problem...

So in 2007 I was hit in the eye with an airsoft bb on my eyelid of my left eye, my vision changed after that. I went through many prescriptions. But once my vision settled I could never get that eye back to 20/20 with correction. Nobody seemed to know why.

One year ago I looked into getting lasik and the doctor noticed that I had a cateract in my left eye. So I took this back to the military ophthalmologist, and she didint see a cataract. I told her it's very difficult to see and you may need to dilate my eye. At first she saw nothing, after looking harder, she evidentially saw it. I wanted to make sure it was recorded before my lasik. So I proceeded to get lasik and now I have 20/20 (maybe 20/15) in my right eye. And 20/30 (maybe 20/25) in my left. The lasik doctor told me that I could get cateract surgery, but it's not worth it since a trauma induced cateract won't get worse until I'm at the age that old people get cataract. And with my eyes combined I have 20/20 vision, I don't have any glare issues, night vision issues, nor does it affect my daily life.

Is it possible I could get a waiver for my vision? Or would I have to get surgery in order to peruse this career? (That's if the surgery would get me to 20/20)


rickair7777
02-08-2017, 04:39 PM
It seems common for professional pilots to get waivers for one eye worse than 20/20, especially if you can see 20/20 with both. But this usually happens when pilots are older and already employed by an airline. An airline cannot fire them as long as they can hold an FAA 1C or 2C medical. Getting hired might be a different story...

Assume that foreign airlines will not employ you, they are very picky on medical standards and testing (although their pilots generally suck compared to US pilots).

Many US airlines would probably hire you, although there may still be a few which would not accept a waiver for that. Most or all regionals would probably hire you.

I would talk to an aviation medicine consulting company BEFORE you talk to the FAA or an AME.

Nhowar02
02-08-2017, 06:59 PM
Thank you! very useful information and relatively good news :)
from what I've read the Federal Air Surgeon (or through a AME?) would grant a SODA if appropriate, or maybe its something different for what my case is. From there i guess it would be up to the airlines if they will take me.

I will definitely get in touch with an consulting company to see what they have to say.

It seems common for professional pilots to get waivers for one eye worse than 20/20, especially if you can see 20/20 with both. But this usually happens when pilots are older and already employed by an airline. An airline cannot fire them as long as they can hold an FAA 1C or 2C medical. Getting hired might be a different story...

Assume that foreign airlines will not employ you, they are very picky on medical standards and testing (although their pilots generally suck compared to US pilots).

Many US airlines would probably hire you, although there may still be a few which would not accept a waiver for that. Most or all regionals would probably hire you.

I would talk to an aviation medicine consulting company BEFORE you talk to the FAA or an AME.


aviatorhi
02-08-2017, 07:22 PM
I do know one guy who is totally blind in one eye and still flies, so there is hope.

CaptYoda
02-09-2017, 12:05 AM
If your vision in one eye is 20/25 you might be able to get 20/20 on certain days probably and in certain lighting conditions. Ideally you want to be able to get 20/20 if at all possible on your initial medical. If that's not possible, do not despair.

Here is this from AOPA:
A special issuance is different from a waiver or Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA). Waivers are issued for static defects that are not likely to change. Useful vision in only one eye (monocular vision) is one condition for which a medical flight test might be used. There are several hundred pilots flying with monocular vision waivers. Upper or lower limb amputees can also qualify for a SODA with a flight test. Medical flight tests are sometimes conducted to demonstrate that an applicant can safely operate the aircraft.

I flew with someone you lost an eye due to a car accident. He had to do a flight test with the FAA for depth perception and was issued a SODA. He held a Class I and was a Captain, and that was almost 30 years ago.

navigatro
02-10-2017, 12:08 PM
D E F P O T E C

that is all you need to know.

rickair7777
02-11-2017, 09:19 AM
SODA: For static defects, a one time demonstration that the defect does not impair your ability to perform flying functions in the real world. Essentially a waiver based on the fact that a real-world test is a better evaluation of individuals than regulatory standards.

Waiver: For static defects, the FAA determines that while you don't meet the certification standards (and either cannot or have not passed a SODA) that the defect in question is of minimal impact on overall aviation safety.

Special Issuance: Like a waiver, but for conditions which are likely to change within the renewal interval for the medical class in question. This normally means that the medical is not valid for the normal length of time, or typical in the case of a 1C SI, that it is not good for ANY class of medical after six months.

The SI time interval is actually annotated on the medical, so a potential employer would see that. I don't think SODA's or waivers are noted on the medical certificate itself, they are a separate document which you retain which authorizes the AME to grant you a normal medical in spite of the defect.

Poker35
10-29-2017, 07:21 AM
D E F P O T E C

that is all you need to know.

Very funny... I had to 'study' for my test lol

Kenny
10-29-2017, 04:17 PM
Just had corrective surgery for a cataract in my left eye at the grand old age of 45! As soon as it was diagnosed my AME called OKC and got me a waiver. Just before the surgery I was essentially blind in one eye but still legal to fly. My AME said he has a few 121 guys that are monocular.

It can be done.



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