Colorblind and wants to fly

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Unregistered, May 7, 2012.

  1. Unregistered

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    What are the requirements needed to be a pilot with color deficiency ? Is there any hope to be a search and rescue pilot ( plane or helicopter) ?
     
  2. Jay Honeck

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    After flying for 18 years, I was declared to be "color deficient" by an AME with poor equipment and worse judgement. This ruling restricts me from flying at night, for reasons only a bureaucrat can fathom.

    Because I am a private pilot with no desire to fly at night, and because my wife is a pilot, too, (so we can still fly at night legally) and because I don't have unlimited time to "fight city hall", I went along with the decision quietly.

    I imagine this "condition" (were it real) would preclude someone from flying search & rescue missions -- at least at night.

    Edit: Can you see all the pretty colors in my U.S. map, below?
     
  3. steingar

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    I don't think you can get a PPL with color blindness sans special issuance, and I really can't see the conditions under which they'd give you one. You can go earn a Sport Pilot license, along with it's limitations. However, I don't think you will be flying search and rescue missions in any official capacity.
     
  4. AirDC

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    I'm guessing that someone with red-green color blindness might have trouble identifying what other traffic is doing by their position lights?
     
  5. Henning

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    If you are truly color deficient, no, there is no way you can be safe not being able to distinguish red from green from white light. That said, if all you have is trouble with the the Ichi Hara test, there are other tests such as the Farnsworth Lantern test and then there is a SODA test you can do with the feds on the field and the tower flashes lights and you call out the color.
     
  6. COFlyBoy

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    I have a buddy who is red-green color blind. He got a special issuance. It just took a ride with an examiner. He has no night restrictions and a Class 3 medical.

    I don't know if higher grades of medical would allow color blindness.
     
  7. Jay Honeck

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    For WWII bomber pilots forming up at night for another thousand-plane raid to Berlin, this makes sense.

    Sadly, I was born too late to participate.

    I can't imagine any other circumstance where seeing the position lights matter. I have never, in 1800 hours, been so close to another plane at night where position lights came into play.

    And, besides, I can tell red and green apart just fine... This is green:D, while this is red :mad:... :rolleyes:
     
  8. steingar

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    I stand corrected, though I can't imagine why they test for it and disregard the results. There I go, expecting the government to make sense!
     
  9. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Fe! Flying in formation while being shot at with a one in five chance of not coming back on any given mission? Glad I got to sit that one out.
     
  10. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Colorblindness; a major cause of public mayhem and calamity.
    Not.
    Just another rule the FAA has decided they need to oppress us.
     
  11. Henning

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    Because a displayed red lights mean 'stop/pass behind I have right of way' while a displayed green lights mean 'go ahead and maintain course and speed, you have right of way I will avoid you'. It's also necessary to figure out if someone is bearing down on you, or if you are catching up with them. The criticality of the requirement is real enough, it's typically the diagnosis of the condition that is flawed, not the color vision.

    First off, Ichi Hara is going to falsely indicate on about 15% of all tested under proper lighting conditions which is either real daylight through a window or a good 5500k light as in a MacBeth Color Checker booth with at oldest a latest edition with crisp white pages; not yellowed to tan and brown paper 1969 copy with the pages falling out under that wonderful green monochrome/spectrum fluorescent or other off color & temp metal light as I'm always handed the test at the AME's which I fail. I explain that I can see colors just fine and can trace out delineations between colors as well as shades for contrasts.

    I explain that I am rated as a Master Craftsman Color Printer & Photo Tech, have been since I was 23 and did a good bit of color correcting getting there lol; not only can I tell Red from Green, I can tell Chartreuse from Fushia as well:rolleyes:. I have had to argue my way through the color blind portion of the medical every time until the last time.

    Last time was a slide as will all my future ones with this Dr because two years ago he said "I'm sending you across the street to Dr Fiedler, he'll do a proper evaluation and what he says will go with me forever" Oh MAN! Opportunity for an AME who also does my USCG medical AND is also the only person on the US East Coast that can issue me a UK MCA/ENG1 medical I may be required on a Red Flag vessel; a man with whom I have been winning the same argument every time he has had to perform the Ichi Hara for 10 years prior, sometimes 3 times a year...:rofl: I dread seeing the old book come out under the nice "Warm Fluorescent" light 'Fine, I'm due for an eye exam'.

    Along with a full standard eye exam he does 7 color specific tests including Ichi Hara; viewed under guideline lighting conditions and passed all plates (there's only 3 that I have trouble with normally under crappy conditions) and the Farnsworth Lantern, a strobing light that goes from orange to a yellow green and you're supposed to call when you perceive the red-green shift, then there were a couple of color sorting exercises and a couple color selecting/matching exercises, all of which I passed showing normal color acuity. So when this last summer's medical rolled around I was faced with my first medical in over 20 years where I didn't wonder what it was that kept me from just getting the SODA letter.:D
     
  12. Unregistered

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    If its possiible to get around it should i do that testing 1st, or flight training? What license class is search and rescue?
     
  13. poadeleted21

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  14. poadeleted20

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    There's a lot of partial information and speculation above.

    The answers to the OP's question depends on the nature and extent of the color deficiency. The one thing the FAA has trouble with is an inability to distinguish aviation red from aviation green. If you can't, you'll be restricted from night flying and flying where light gun signals might be required, and that pretty well ends any chance of being a professional pilot, in SAR or anything else.

    However, many people who fail a colorblindness test such as the Ishihara (Henning's close but not correct on the name) can still be allowed to earn Private, Commercial, and even Airline Transport pilot certificates and fly professionally if they can pass a "Special Medical Flight Test." The big issues are being able to read aeronautical charts, and distinguish aviation red from aviation green from white lights. There is a process for this described in FAA Order 8900.1, but there's no need to get into the intricacies here. Suffice it to say that it's not a big deal.

    That said, any flight instructor should be able to take the potential pilot to an airport with a control tower and administer a "pretest" to see if the person can tell one light gun signal from another, and see if they can read an aeronautical chart, so you know before you start whether you'll be able pass the SMFT. Therefore, my suggestion is to find a flight instructor and go do that so you know going in what your chances are of the career you want.

    And there's no special class of license for SAR flying, but since you'll be getting paid for it (unless you're flying as a volunteer for the Civil Air Patrol or the like), you'll need the same Commercial Pilot certificate that any other pilot being paid to fly must have.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  15. Unregistered

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    Thank you for all of the information. Do you need the same commercial license for a helicopter? I want to do more than just be a sport pilot. I'm only fourteen but people keep telling me I won't be able to fly for sar, and I don't want to search from the ground.
     
  16. poadeleted20

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    A Commercial Pilot (CP) certificate comes with many different possible ratings, ranging from Airplane-Single Engine Land to Rotorcraft-Helicopter to Lighter Than Air Balloon. To get paid to fly, you must have a CP certificate with the appropriate rating for the aircraft you're flying. So, the CP certificate you need to get paid to fly an airplane isn't exactly the same as the CP you need to get paid to fly a helicopter, but it's close.

    You've got a couple of years before you can really get going on flight training, so there's time to work this out. Also, you keep mentioning SAR work -- are you planning to go in the military or other government agency like a sheriff's department?
     
  17. RotorAndWing

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    There are some Part 135 helicopter operators doing SAR work.
     
  18. Unregistered

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    I don't think the military is what i want to do. My 1st dream was k-9 police as I have a czech border control shepard that my mom trained. Then I started flight simulators, joined young eagles, and am going to my 3rd air academy this summer. There was a police search by my house with helicopters and I know that is what I want to do, and fly planes.
     
  19. jspilot

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    I have red / green color blind deficiency and earned a PPL. I can't flight at night or by color signals, says so on my license. I don't plan on flying at night and God forbid I ever lose my radio in flight I'll just have to find the nearest uncontrolled airport.

    You can have this removed if you demonstrate proficiency to a designated FAA person. The trick is I was told if you fail that proficiency test once you are never eligible to get higher than a 3rd class medical. To become a pro pilot I think you need a first class so you'd have to pass that test.

    I really don't think this has any impact on my flying except for the times I'm restricted to not fly. The test for this is so outdated and I know I can tell Red from Green apart but right now it's just not worth the hassle.
     
  20. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here's how it goes:
     

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  21. poadeleted20

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    Well, you're not going to be flying for a living if you can't pass the color test either in the doctor's office or the alternative practical test method. Try to find a flight instructor familiar with the special test protocol and see if you can pass. That will help you make appropriate plans.
     
  22. Henning

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    It sounds as you are quite young. I would suggest you go to a proper eye doctor and get fully evaluated for color vision, that way you have good information to make decisions from. If he says you are red green color blind, just give up any hopes of having command of an aircraft or commercial waterborne vessel, it's not going to happen. If you are good, keep the results to show the AME then get a SODA waiver, good for life.
     
  23. Unregistered

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    Now I'm really confused. I know I can't see any color plates. I don't know about a light test on the runway. What if I don't pass any test, can I fly during the day as a search pilot? Can I use a colored contact or glasses to help me? My grandpa used them because he was a colorblind electrician. Some people tell me I can practice light colors and pass,and then I'm told I don't have a chance. Am I right that I can get a pilot certificate at some level? But I probably can't be anything more.
     
  24. bbchien

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    See post #21. The practical answer is, "no".
    To the second question, "no" as well.
    To your last statements, "it depends". Get thee to a good opthalmolgist and find out if you are a deuteranope or a tritanope, first.

    You can get a pilot certificate, but your medical certificate will limit you to day options. And that can be very limiting if you are trying to do SAR.
     
  25. Henning

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    Sorry kid, if you are color blind, you are not going to get the SAR pilot job you desire, they can't have a mission pilot who can't get caught out after dark; that just isn't a reality. Reality is budgets are tight and every person they employ has to be able to do all of their job and some of another. I has knee surgery when I was 12, kept me out of a Navy pilot's slot and Naval Academy; life is full of disappointments, get used to it, this won't be the last.
     
  26. dan64456

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    Go to www.cvdpa.com

    There is an active fight going on right now. The group is still in its beginning stages, but it will continue to grow.
     
  27. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Like others have said, it depends on how colorblind you are so it would be good for you to consult an eye doctor. I know someone who has a SODA for a first class medical. I flew with him for a number of years before I even knew he was colorblind. He said he took the light gun test as a student and has not had to do anything else since then.

    Just out of curiosity, can you tell the difference between a red and green traffic signal?
     
  28. Henning

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    That's as good an indicator as any, if you're good there, just talk to the FAA and get your SODA done and be done with it.
     
  29. poadeleted20

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    Then do as I said above -- find a flight instructor who knows the routine and find out.
     
  30. SCCutler

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    I know a guy who is effectively color-blind, but passed a practical test, and has his ATP. Get out there and see what you can do...
     
  31. bbchien

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    Well, I've posted the outline and the documents. I do, organize a lot of mock light gun signal tests.....(CFI also) but you start with an opthalmologist. You need to know if you are an deuteranope or a tritanope.
     
  32. Unregistered

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    I'm a deuteranope. Iv been on line all night talking to my friends,pilots from the air academy that have flown with me. He is also a pilot for delta. He told me his friend is a delta pilot and got around it with practice. I'm looking at all the color tests and I can see some. He is going to help me. I can see stop lights. I have learned to tell differences that most never have too. I have been made fun of for years. I wrote a book for young authors and won first place called do you see what I see. No one sees what I see but I can learn it. I see color it's just a lot the same. My mom worked with me at 4 with an opthamologist out of chicago because I was having problems in preschool. I have been worked with a lot. My mom helps me learn little differences. I live by Peoria and I asked my mom if I know you, she said you tested my color for oshcosh. I know I can learn this.
     
  33. Henning

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    Ok, so lets make this simple, hook up with Dr Bruce to set up for a SODA, you pass or fail on merit. if you've been through all that, what you 'study' now is meaningless; this is your final exam in color learning since you were 4 with a known neurological deficit. Your mother knew and did everything from early on. You have 'learned' all you will learn. Just go take the test and find out, you only have to pass it once in your life, get it done so you can make decisions.
     
  34. Henning

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    I used to do a hell of a lot of B&W photography and printing and I believe you have a 30% chance unaided. If you are allowed glasses, I would recommend a rose Maui Jim on one eye, no promises it'll help, just something I would experiment with because of both color and polarization. If you really want to play with it find a green w/ polarized- tint lens and rotate then counter each other to see if you can perceive a consistently definable difference. Somehow though, I suspect you've been through this drill many years ago and came away with no glasses; I suspect therefor this may be an exercise in confirming that they won't work. If you can get a difference through perception with glasses now, I'd say you can pass the SODA with near certainty.
     
  35. poadeleted20

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    This kid doesn't have to travel all the way to Peoria for that. Any local flight instructor who knows the drill can administer an evaluation to see if you can tell the red light from the green and read a sectional chart.
     
  36. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    In post #32 he says he lives near Peoria.
     
  37. poadeleted20

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    Great!

    Young man -- go to the web site below and call Dr. Chien for an evaluation appointment. Then you'll know, and until then, you won't.
    http://home.comcast.net/~bbchien/site/
     
  38. denverpilot

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    How do you know it's a male? Sexist pilot! Hahahahaha.
     
  39. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ooh. I have some recollecton of a call from a mom about 8 months ago about this topic.....
     
  40. Unregistered

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    You are all a really big help. I don't think I can wear colored lenses for the test. They do help. My pilot friends are telling me to practice runway and tower lights. I told my mom about what I needed to do and she said I make her crazy. Ha ha. She said I need to finish my ground training and we can do the soda testing if nows the time. I am a boy butt my one sister wants to fly too. I'm 4 of 6. I will tell her what you said. I'm going to the new flight academy in Florida this summer. I get to be with the blue angels.