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Old 05-11-2018, 05:34 PM   #1  
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Unhappy 1st class medical

I know this question has been somewhat answered so I apologize in advance for asking again. (This is my first time forum posting so stick with me) so I just got out of the Army and Iím thinking of pursuing A career as an Airline Pilot. However, I wear glasses (thick ones :,(...) and my left eye is only correctable to about 20/30. I do have both eyes corrected to 20/20 but like I said, my left eye isnít. Should I even apply for a university flight school, would the jobs even come if I was able to get all my ratings. Lastly, when I go to get my physical do I just ask the AME for a waiver? The schools websites only say 1st class medical exam required. It doesnít say anything about waivers or what ever... should I even try to pursue this or just cut my losses.
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:56 PM   #2  
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I know this question has been somewhat answered so I apologize in advance for asking again. (This is my first time forum posting so stick with me) so I just got out of the Army and Iím thinking of pursuing A career as an Airline Pilot. However, I wear glasses (thick ones :,(...) and my left eye is only correctable to about 20/30. I do have both eyes corrected to 20/20 but like I said, my left eye isnít. Should I even apply for a university flight school, would the jobs even come if I was able to get all my ratings. Lastly, when I go to get my physical do I just ask the AME for a waiver? The schools websites only say 1st class medical exam required. It doesnít say anything about waivers or what ever... should I even try to pursue this or just cut my losses.
The medical exam cost $100. Go get one done and see how it goes from there. Iím sure youíll be fine. Also go watch speed and angels if you want some hope. If someone can get shot in the neck and still become a fighter pilot youíll be fine.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:01 PM   #3  
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The medical exam cost $100. Go get one done and see how it goes from there. Iím sure youíll be fine. Also go watch speed and angels if you want some hope. If someone can get shot in the neck and still become a fighter pilot youíll be fine.
Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:53 AM   #4  
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Thanks for the feedback!
Please get a first class medical exam before you spend a dime on flying. Also do a full investigation into being a ATP before you start down that road. Like understanding you canít have a DUI and work at most airlines. Just be aware is all I am saying. Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:58 PM   #5  
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In fact, depending upon the REASON your eye is uncorrectable, it may actually be fairly easy for you to get a SODA (statement of Demonstrated Ability) for uncorrectable visual acuity in one eye. For that matter, there are a fair number of SODAs out there for monocular pilots:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...h/et/31-34/mv/

An excerpt:

Exam Techniques and Criteria for Qualification
Items 31-34. Eye - Monocular Vision
An applicant will be considered monocular when there is only one eye or when the best corrected distant visual acuity in the poorer eye is no better than 20/200. An individual with one eye, or effective visual acuity equivalent to monocular, may be considered for medical certification, any class, through the special issuance section of part 67 (14 CFR 67.401).
In amblyopia ex anopsia, the visual acuity loss is simply recorded in
Item 50 of FAA Form 8500-8, and visual standards are applied as usual. If the standards are not met, a Report of Eye Evaluation, FAA Form 8500-7, should be submitted for consideration.
Although it has been repeatedly demonstrated that binocular vision is not a prerequisite for flying, some aspects of depth perception, either by stereopsis or by monocular cues, are necessary. It takes time for the monocular airman to develop the techniques to interpret the monocular cues that substitute for stereopsis; such as, the interposition of objects, convergence, geometrical perspective, distribution of light and shade, size of known objects, aerial perspective, and motion parallax.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:22 PM   #6  
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67.103(a) requires 20/20 Distant vision acuity (corrected) for a 1st. Not sure if 20/30 is waivable or candidate for a SODA. Best to ask an AME before you submit for an exam.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:06 PM   #7  
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67.103(a) requires 20/20 Distant vision acuity (corrected) for a 1st. Not sure if 20/30 is waivable or candidate for a SODA. Best to ask an AME before you submit for an exam.
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...edia/guide.pdf

See item 31 page 58. The most common cause of this is amblyopia ex anopsia, generally from not getting astigmatism corrected soon enough as a child. If that's all it is the examinee can get the treating ophthalmologist to document that all the supporting paperwork goes up to the federal surgeon's office. If they have any serious doubt, they will have the local FSDO do a medical flight test, although for someone 20/20 and 20/30, that is unlikely to be a problem.

Basically, for almost ANY static condition, including one eye MISSING ALTOGETHER, a SODA is possible if the remaining eye is correctable to 20/20.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:26 AM   #8  
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Basically, for almost ANY static condition, including one eye MISSING ALTOGETHER, a SODA is possible if the remaining eye is correctable to 20/20.
Yes, the OP can almost certainly get certified and it probably won't be very hard.

But there's some risk involved in pursuing a career with a condition like this. Unlike some other conditions, your eyesight will not likely remain static as you age, and you're already starting out at a disadvantage. So there's some risk that the other eye might drop below limits later in life.

I would ask the AME what happens if the other eye drops below limits too, ie can you get a waiver with both eyes worse than 20/20, and up to what point?

For folks who are already established as career pilots it's a no-brainer to get a waiver and keep on pressing on. But for someone starting out, I'd get some professional advice about the stability of your vision. Also look into laser surgery... they can do some pretty amazing things these days and if your problem is a bad refractive error they might be able to fix that. If you do surgery use an actual ophthalmologist with EXTENSIVE lasik experience... DO NOT go cheap on this.

Bottom line, get some professional advice from an eye doc and AME so you understand the long-term stability and certification issues before you make a career decision.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:47 AM   #9  
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Yes, the OP can almost certainly get certified and it probably won't be very hard.

But there's some risk involved in pursuing a career with a condition like this. Unlike some other conditions, your eyesight will not likely remain static as you age, and you're already starting out at a disadvantage. So there's some risk that the other eye might drop below limits later in life.

I would ask the AME what happens if the other eye drops below limits too, ie can you get a waiver with both eyes worse than 20/20, and up to what point?

For folks who are already established as career pilots it's a no-brainer to get a waiver and keep on pressing on. But for someone starting out, I'd get some professional advice about the stability of your vision. Also look into laser surgery... they can do some pretty amazing things these days and if your problem is a bad refractive error they might be able to fix that. If you do surgery use an actual ophthalmologist with EXTENSIVE lasik experience... DO NOT go cheap on this.

Bottom line, get some professional advice from an eye doc and AME so you understand the long-term stability and certification issues before you make a career decision.
Actually, the amblyopia ex anopsia likely WILL remain static, at least through age 65. But non static conditions - keratoconus for instance - are a different matter. Those will predictably deteriorate and while the FAA may give you a SODA now, it will be time limited and subject to continual retesting and potentially downgradable by class as you get older. All things you need to consider.

But truthfully, all of us may be only our next physical away from being grounded. It is, as Stoic the Vast once said, "an occupational hazard."
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:27 AM   #10  
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Thanks everyone for the feedback! Of course I failed my physical (dr seemed kind of ****ed I walked in knowing Iíd fail) but he pointed me in the direction to get a medical evaluation flight) Iíve been trying to contact them for about 2 months now with no luck. So Iím at a bit of a dead end.
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