Wannabee from Western Washington

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HAPPYDAN
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Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby HAPPYDAN » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:06 pm

Hello! I'm Dan, fully retired finally, so now HAPPYDAN. My journey to enjoy the wonder of flight began with a WWII surplus courier plane (tandem box kite) piloted by a local farmer, sometime around 1956. An Army career saw me riding in (and parachuting out of) a variety of aircraft. I completed a ground school course 3 years ago, passed with 95%. But lack of time, money and available aircraft curtailed my progress. Now I'm back and ready to go, but having just failed a 3rd class medical for color vision, the door of opportunity appears to be closing. I'm hoping to obtain some advice from others on this forum.

SportPilot
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby SportPilot » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:59 am

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Last edited by SportPilot on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack Tyler
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:36 am

Hello, Dan. Welcome to the forum and congrats on reaching retirement age while still looking for some adventure.

As you probably know, color-blindness is not a 'yes' or 'no' condition, nor is there a single test format for determining it. I suggest you dig into the subject and understand it from an FAA and 3rd class medical perspective, as you may find it quite feasible to return to your AME - or another AME - for a retest, and even pass a waiver ride should you repeatedly fail the vision test. Put differently, there's so single answer to your Q and your best option is to be better informed.

Here's a post on the topic from over on the Pilots of America forum. I suggest you follow the imbedded link as Dr. Chien is a well regarded AME who's knows all 'corners of the 3rd class envelope'. Good luck to you.

"Quote:
Originally Posted by CanIflyyet
I am red-green color blind deficiency. Am I able to obtain medical clearance to earn my class three private pilot? I have good distant vision 20/20 and nearsighted vision of 20/30. I am just a bit worried if I am not able to get my medical clearance because of my color blind deficiency. I was told by my optometrist about 8 months ago that I have a mild case of red-green deficiency. Although, I tried trying those online color blind test, I had a hard time getting them right. I fear I might fail this part of the exam.
A SEARCH of this forum found this from Dr. Bruce Chien, our über-AME.

http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/sh ... stcount=14

'Originally Posted by cocolos
I believe I am partially red-green colorblind. I've done a couple of online test that have more or less confirmed it. I was curious, should I schedule my 3rd class medical exam or try and see an optometrist and see if I can do one of the alternative color vision exams?
Dr. Bruce's response:
Cocolos, first pay an AME and don't expect to touch paper during a consultation. Make sure he has a couple of different color dot tests and see how badly or how well you do. Insist on DAYLIGHT, it matters. If he's really an airman advocate, see about him getting you in front of the tower light guns, which is half of the third class waiver exam.'

There are all different levels of red-green deuteranopia, from moderatley easy to certify to "OMG I'm not sure you can pass the operational waiver ride".

In fact, I have gotten one guy who is CLEARLY quite colorbind (red gree, severe) but he was able to memorize all the colors of the sectional, the legend, the MALSR (Instrument lighting array), and passed his FIRST CLASS color vision ride. He has, "color perception adequate for the performance of airman duties". He may not see magenta as magenta, or green as green, but he knows enough to be able to identify whatever it is he does see as "green" or "purple".


But the waiver ride is only TWICE in your whole life, so think about that LAST.' [End of quote from Dr. Chien]

Doing the color dot plates in direct sunlight makes a huge difference as that's the lighting environment they were designed for, not tubular fluorescent lights many offices have. The color temp of the tubes is way off from sunlight and will tilt the results.

Notice Dr. Bruce mentions doing a consult with the AME. Again important since a consult is just that, you working with the doc to find out if certification is possible at all and if not, what is needed to make it so. If you go "actual" first and fail the color test, then you're stuck with restrictions you might have had the chance to test out of.

Only once you know you will pass the exam and achieve no restrictions, should you go "live" with the exam and get your certificate.

If the AME refuses to do a consult, find a different AME.

If you really want this to be done right, reach out directly to Dr. Bruce Chien via his website, http://www.aeromedicaldoc.com/how-to-start.html. Dr. Bruce will do all that is possible to help you achieve your goal of gaining the medical certificate."

Dan, that particular thread can be found here: http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/sh ... +blindness
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

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FastEddieB
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:36 am

Many (most?) with color vision deficiencies can get a "Statement Of Demonstrated Ability" from the FAA.

In my case, I went up with an examiner and had to identify aviation red, green and white as displayed from a tower. I did so one time about 40 years ago and have flown an entire career with it, getting my Commercial, CFI and CFII. Each exam I would still fail the color vision portion (at best I get 1 or 2 plates right) but present the "S.O.D.A.", the doctor would write down the number and that was that.

In my case, no restriction for night or anything else.

Right now that seems to be your only option, but unless you're totally color blind, which is rare, there should be an easy path to getting you in the air.

Did your AME not mention any of this?

edited to add: Jack and I must have been typing simultaneously! Dr. Chien is an excellent choice and one I would have made if I could have recalled if I could have thought of his name.
Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
CFI, CFII, CFIME
FastEddieB@mac.com

HAPPYDAN
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby HAPPYDAN » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:14 am

Thanks for all the informative responses. To be fair, I first learned of my red-green deficiency upon my Army induction exam. I scored 100% on the FAST (Flight Aptitude Screening Test), but was rejected for flight training based on color vision. This was the first time I was even aware of the problem. Fast forward 44 years. I (erroneously) believed the 3rd class standards for color vision would be somewhat more relaxed. I thought I had researched adequately, but apparently not. The flight school I'm working with needs at least a 3rd class Medical approval to solo their Cessna 162 (insurance). My AME did explain the options, but also added that the underlying issue is safety, and liability in the event of an incident. So all that said, I'm here fishing for options and alternatives, and appreciate any advice I can get.

3Dreaming
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby 3Dreaming » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:38 am

I have had students before with color blindness, and one who could not pass any of the color vision test. He still has a medical and a private pilot certificate. I could be wrong, but I think they should have issued the medical and placed a "no night flight" restriction in the limitations, which could later be removed by a couple different methods.

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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby SportPilot » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:34 pm

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drseti
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby drseti » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:37 pm

The exception, as already mentioned, is gliders. You can fly these at either the Sport (if LSA compliant) or Private level, even with a failed medical. Even motorgliders.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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CharlieTango
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby CharlieTango » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:41 pm


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drseti
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby drseti » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:55 pm

The Lambada is the aircraft in which I got my self-launch endorsement. It qualifies as an LSA.
Hardest part of the training was learning not to land straight ahead when the instructor cut the engine at 300 ft.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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pjcampbell
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby pjcampbell » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:46 pm

What sort of color blindness would get an outright failure rather than a night time exclusion?

SportPilot
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby SportPilot » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:59 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3Dreaming
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby 3Dreaming » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:04 am

SportPilot wrote:http://www.leftseat.com/baggish.htm


From the article.
Many student pilots with a color vision deficiency don't know they have it, because it doesn't affect their daily lives. Therefore, most learn about it during their first visit to an aviation medical examiner (AME). This is unfortunate, because the AME is required by the FAA to prohibit anyone failing a color vision test from flying at night or by reference to light-gun signals.

How can I remove a restriction from my medical certificate?

The best way to remove a color-vision restriction is to successfully complete one of the FAA-approved alternative tests listed above. This is preferable to the other option, the color signal light test, because FAA authorization is not required, no waiver is issued, unsuccessful attempts don't have to be reported, and the color signal light test option remains available.

This is how I understood it to be. Unless there was something else your medical should have been issued with the "night flying light signal restriction". I think I would call the AME and quiz him about that.

HAPPYDAN
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby HAPPYDAN » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:23 am

pjcampbell wrote:What sort of color blindness would get an outright failure rather than a night time exclusion?


Yeah PJ - What they said. That "dot test" is, IMO, a bunch of baloney. The only noticeable issue I have is trying to discern magenta from blue on the sectional. And all that does is indicate presence of a control tower. I've been driving and riding M/C since 16, now 64. No violations. Never flunked a driving test. 23 years in the Army - Infantry and Signal, no problem. Right seat navigator/observer in a Kiowa, no problem. Night parachute ops, steer and assemble on light signal - no problem. Now this. Surprise! But, on a lighter note, I will pursue the S.O.D.A. with confidence. "Only quitters are losers".

HAPPYDAN
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Re: Wannabee from Western Washington

Postby HAPPYDAN » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:29 am

SportPilot wrote:http://www.leftseat.com/baggish.htm


Wish I would've seen that article before I crawled into this quagmire!


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