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20/25 vision

Discussion in 'Ask A Flight Surgeon' started by Bingduane, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Bingduane

    Bingduane New Member

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    Hi,

    My name is Brandon and I'm trying get all my medical requirements done to start flight school. I have 20/25 vision in both my eyes when wearing glasses. I just got my class 3 rating approved by the FAA but they say I need 20/20 vision to get my first class. If I cannot get it corrected better then 20/25 is there anyway to get my class 1 rating? Or do I need to choose a different career.

    I'm trying to read through other discussions to see if you've answered this, but if you can get back to me that would be awesome.

    Thanks
     
  2. wheelsup

    wheelsup Well-Known Member

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    Who says you have 20/25?

    The machines the FAA docs use are 50+ years old. They are also allowed to only use a certain type, I think there are 3 or 4, and the old standby FAA eye chart for which the 20/20 line is D-E-F-P-O-T-E-C (pronounced DEF-PO-TEC).

    I can hardly see 20/20 in my FAA docs machines. But when I go to the eye doctor using their new equipment I can see 20/15 in each eye.

    I suggest you go to get a new prescription and if you can see 20/20 in each eye they can fill out an eye exam form, I think it's form 8500-7 (Google will tell you) that you can bring to your understanding FAA doctor.
     
    Cessnaflyer likes this.
  3. Bingduane

    Bingduane New Member

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    Okay thanks,

    but do you know what happens if I cant get 20/20 prescription? does that mean I just cant be an airline pilot and need to pick a different career? or is there any other options? Because in my case I think 20/25 is the best I can get too without laser surgery.
     
  4. wheelsup

    wheelsup Well-Known Member

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    Again just cross that bridge when you get there. See what you can get at a place that does prescriptions.

    I think there is a SODA available for Class II but I'm not totally sure, but you'll need a Class I for ATP and airline stuff IIRC. You can still be a commercial pilot with a Class II but career and income potential will be limited.
     
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  5. Stoneage

    Stoneage Well-Known Member

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    You can easily get a SODA for minor vision deficiencies . You will have to take a medical flight test with the FAA (you can do a check ride at the same time) Just to warn you, there will be delays in getting this accomplished. Just get a First class medical exam (which you will fail) and then you and your AME will need to submit paperwork to the FAA and they will review your paperwork (and if they are not happy with it they will ask for more paperwork) after which they will approve you to take a medical flight test which you will then schedule with the FSDO. Do make sure all of your paperwork is in order as it takes the FAA at least 8 weeks to get to it and if they want more information it can take another 8 weeks until they review the newly submitted paperwork.

    First go to a GOOD optometrist and see what can be done for your eyes. If you know you will fail the test you might want to fail it by 20/30 rather than 20/25 in case your eyes get a little worse over time. otherwise you may need to get a new SODA.

    I made the mistake of getting a 2nd class exam, and my SODA is only good for 2nd class medicals. If I want to get a First class medical I will have to go through the entire SODA process again.

    Start your flight training and worry about it later, it should not be a problem.
     
  6. BajtheJino

    BajtheJino I'm looking at you.

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    And if you want a career in aviation bad enough, have the surgery. Everybody is lazing eyeballs these days. Do your research on local docs, pay in cash and ask for the discount or put it on your credit card. In the metropolitan area I last lived the "#1 rated Dr." charged $1500 an eye. 10% discount if paying cash. $3g's sounds like a lot to shell out when you're not even making a living flying but regardless it will improve your QoL and be one of the best investments you'll make in your lifetime. Dr. even did 12 months same as cash. Shop around.
     
  7. Stoneage

    Stoneage Well-Known Member

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    Refractive surgery will not typically improve vision beyond what is achievable with corrective lenses. At lease that is what I was told when I went in for an evaluation for refractive surgery.
     

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