Aussie Applying for FAA with Monocular Vision?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by kane.kasem, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi, I am currently a 15-year-old boy from Sydney, Australia perusing his dream to become a commercial pilot. Around mid-July, my mother took me in to get my CASA medical done to start my RPL (Recreational Pilots Licence) training.

    I found out that I had some slight problems with my vision. I apparently had minor problems with my depth perception. The optometrist said it wasn't a big issue but that proved to be wrong. Also, my medical test showed there wasn't enough information with my ECG testing. So I had to wait a month and a half to get tested by a cardiologist which I tested clear.

    Not long later I thought casa would just clear my case and give me my medical but I got an email saying my case would be taken up to a panel. There were many obstacles along the way but then the final verdict came. I got an email by casa saying in order to get my medical I need to do some flight testing (Judgement of flare, centerline judgment etc). The test would determine if I am capable enough to get a medical. But also in the letter it said

    "Please be advised, dependent on the outcome of the operational check, your medical certificate will be issued with the following special operational restrictions:
     Not valid for mustering or agricultural flying
     Not valid for rotary wing operations
     Holder does not fully meet requirements of ICAO Convention Chapter 6 of Annex"

    Initially, I didn't think much of this. I didn't really care about the first two and the last one I had no clue about. Until I called up CASA and they told me the last one meant "I cannot fly out of Australian Airspace". This was totally soul drenching as my goal is to be an International Airline Pilot. I've also been to another CASA certified ophthalmologist which basically said my vision cannot be fixed and i should really look into another career path.

    MEDICAL CONDITON

    These are my conditon as described by CASA
    "In simple terms this means that your left eye dominates your vision, and because of that your right eye tends to be lazy and tends to drift outwards when not focussing in tandem with the left eye; and when the left eye tends to be lazy with the right eye focussing, the left tends to drift away. This in turn denies the both eyes to provide appropriate binocular vision.


    Binocular vision is essential in aviation for distance estimation and depth perception. The latter is paramount when coming in to land as well as during low level or close formation flying. Some of the conditions like relative lack of oxygen or fatigue may worsen this, which are known aviation stressors."

    These are my conditions as described by my Opth

    "Condition= AlternatingXT, Monocular, Lacking depth perception 200ms at arc of 15"

    QUESTIONS

    The other day I was thinking what if i applied for a medical in another country like the FAA or CAA. Would the medical be less strict or more linnet towards monocular pilots?

    Have anyone gone through a similar situation as me?

    Are there pilots flying airliners with minimal depth perception or even monocular pilots flying?

    If I want to go to a flight school in America what would the process be? (From obtaining my medical to flying)

    And if I do obtain an unrestricted CPL how hard is it to gain a working visa in America?

    What is a SODA and wavers? I heard they are like restrictions and can they be removed off your licence?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome aboard

    You'll get the pros to comment soon enough.

    A SODA is a statement of demonstrated ability. It's a letter you get from FAA after you take an inspector on a flight and show that your vision (of whatever) doesn't affect your safe operation of the aircraft. Fir exapmle, some people can't pass the color-blind test but can actually function in an airplane.
     
  3. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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  4. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I just had my optomologist rant that you don't need both eyes for distant depth perception. Both eyes are only a factor at 14 feet or less.

    I mentioned that accident where the Captain with monocular vision was blamed for landing short.

    "Jim McMahon could throw accurately with one eye!"

    So take THAT FAA.

    Sent from my Nexus 9 using Tapatalk
     
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    There are quite a few monocular pilots in US airline cockpits...there's a waiver process, similar to yours, that involves a flight check.

    That's about as far as my experience goes, though. Good luck!
     
  6. nrpetersen

    nrpetersen Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have an undeveloped right eye (lazy eye) that has been about 20/40 for years & maintained a 3rd class medical for 40 years. It was never even an issue although the other eye was an easy 20/20.
     
  7. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Pattern Altitude

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    I have worked with a pilot that maintained a 1st class medical and worked as a captain flying corporate jets. He had one eye. No idea what the process was like but I’m pretty sure the FAA knew one of his eyes was made of glass.
     
  8. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    So If I already has experience and went for a SODA flight everything would be passed with flying colours? The problems is even with my flight test there would still be a restriction of NOT BEING ABLE TO FLY INTERNATIONALLY. So even with the SODA flight will there be restrictions.
     
  9. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you so much but what is a waver? :)
     
  10. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    Even with that issue could you apply for a First Class medical and if you don't mind me asking do you have problems with depth perceptions?
     
  11. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi there Thank you so much for your response but if you don't mind can you Private message me what airline did he/she worked for?
     
  12. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The waiver is another name for SODA.

    To solo as a student in the US, you need to have your FAA medical. If you can't pass that medical because of something with your vision, you can get a waiver/letter that says that you have demonstrated to an examiner that you are capable of dealing with the vision problems.
     
  13. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There is a "Medical" forum where you can post your questions. It is moderated by an AME, the FAA version of whatever your medical examiner is. You'll get some better info there.

    I don't know what happens if you have a "Australia Only" license and try to get an FAA version. Even if you could get your FAA medical, I don't know if the license would transfer. I don't know how that works.
     
  14. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Similarly, if a pilot has a pilot certificate from Australia they could apply for a US certificate and get a medical along with doing the SODA flight. A few hoops to jump through but doable as I understand it.
     
  15. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    What I was thinking is not too much in the distant future I would just go do an intergrated course in America. Get a new from scratch FAA medical and a FAA ATPL and hopefully that can open employment opportunities in other countries. :)
     
  16. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    So if I apply for a new FAA medical from scratch And go do a soda flight I would be all clear. With no restrictions on my licence?
     
  17. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The US medical certs can have restrictions or requirements. They usually have to do with vision such as correction for near or far vision. I’ve never heard of a restriction on where one could fly. I have also not heard of another country declining a valid US medical although occasionally there are administrative misunderstandings. Maybe other posters have heard of or experienced problems outside the US. Dunno.
     
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  18. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    In my opinion it is a little more complicated than that.

    I am completely blind in one eye from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and have a second class medical.

    There was a lot of back and forth with the Western Region Surgeon before he agreed to a demonstrated ability medical check ride with a designated pilot examiner.

    In was both about my cognitive skills because of the TBI and my vision.

    After successfully demonstrating what was listed for the check ride I am not restricted other than being required to wear glasses when flying.

    I am a rotorcraft (category), gyroplane (class) certificated flight instructor.

    When I have my annual medical examination and he asks me to cover one eye and read the chart I pull out my statement of demonstrated ability (SODA) and that is the end of that part of the examination.

    I put the number on my SODA down on the application.

    My SODA does not expire.

    I still had to pass all the regular tests. The SODA is only about my blindness and the part about; “have you lost consciousness?” on the medical questionnaire. It simple allows me to have a medical as a blind pilot, brain injured pilot.

    There will be some hoops to jump through as a non US citizen to get an FAA pilot certificate.

    It would not surprise me if CASA has something like that in Australia.

    Good luck with chasing your aviation dreams!
     
  19. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Kane, idle question:

    Prior to your application for the CASA mdeical cert, was your vision ever a problem for you? Did you, in fact, even know that you had an issue?
     
  20. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    Yea thank you so much. I will commence my flight check (With CASA) next year but thats going to require some flight training due the thing they want me to do. I basically need to be able to judge a flare of an aircraft on landing so yea :p (Even if I pass i still have my restrictions) I'll definitely have a look into the FAA Medical more in dept knowing theres more people in a similar scenario like me. So thank you so much for your response :)
     
  21. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    No not at all, When I was a kid around 6 I had lazy eyes which then got corrected by muscle surgery but that was it. My family and I thought everything would be normal after that. So just up until this year when I applied for my medical 9 years after my surgery I had absolute no clue I had this condition. Everything to me is functioning normally, Never had problems judging how far something is. I plays sports so things like heading a soccer ball, Catching a rugby ball dropping from 20m in the sky all required depth prescription but I was doing all these task fine. Things like being in a car and having trouble judging how far the next car is never occurred to me. So the news of me having lack of depth perception was a huge surprise to my family and I.
     
  22. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like a situation where an office test shows there is a problem, but a life test shows you have adapted. This is the sort of reason that caused waivers to be invented.

    Can you get a second opinion?
     
  23. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    I've have been for a second option with an Ophthalmologist and even a Third opinion with a Vison therapist/optometrist. Both of them found the same condition but at different results. So basically the first one with my CASA examiner was pretty bad I got 200ms where the normal is 50ms. The second opinion was worse I got 250ms. But the third one I got 100ms which is only two stages away from normal. So its pretty confusing.

    But even with a waver will there still be restrictions put in place?

    Thanks :)
     
  24. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's all over my head now: The waiver basically states, "no matter what the eye-doc results say, you've demonstrated that it isn't a problem." We are talking about different requirements for CASA, ICAO, and FAA here and I don't know how they all work together.

    You should check on the Medical forum of this board and get a better answer.

    edit: I see now that you have done that.
     
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  25. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Pattern Altitude

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    The company is no longer in business. It was a mid sized on demand charter company.
     
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  26. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    I didn't see it asked yet, what is the goal here? To obtain an Australian pilot license or to obtain a US FAA pilot certificate? Each will have their own advantages and restrictions. I would work on getting the medical required for the certificate/license sought. I've never had to deal with this personally, but I don't think having a medical issued by the FAA would necessarily help you obtain an Australian medical, if that's what you're hoping for.
     
  27. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

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    To make this sound the least confusing my goal is to firstly try and obtain a CASA Unrestricted licence. If that happens i can just receive flight training here in Australia. But right now the possibility of this is very slim. If all of that fails and I get issued with a Restricted CASA medical I would later then go try to obtain a FAA First class Medical Along with receiving flight training to get my CPL in America. So sorry if I confused you.