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Thread: Color Vision Restriction Removal, and the Operational Color Vision Test

  1. #1

    Color Vision Restriction Removal, and the Operational Color Vision Test

    I am looking for imput on the FAA's new "opperational color vision test" that is required for the first and second class medicals when you are not able to pass the color card test at the AME office. This has all changed since 2008 and has become much more involved. I am quite confident that I could pass the test as it is intended to be given. I can identify all the runway lights, light gun signals and identify terrain features which is what the test is for. My problem is the FAA guy who will be sitting next to me and how they would interperet my answers. To top it all off our FSDO has gained a poor reputation as of lately for grounding perfectly legal planes and pilots for flimsy and later disproven assumptions regarding airworthiness and pilot ability/knowlege. I am not nessiscarily looking to start a big anti FAA post just looking for anyone who has had experience with this issue lately.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    218
    While my experience isn't recent, according to the medical section of the AOPA website, you can still take an alternative color-vision test at an optometrist's or ophthalmologist's office. Some of those tests, i.e. the Dvorine 15-plate test, are less sensitive to mild color vision deficiencies (my case). Also, your physician may not understand the importance of the proper color temperature of the lighting used to illuminate the test plates. On the other hand, optometrists and ophthalmologists, being better educated in optics (my field) will understand that (my optometrist had me use natural light to take the test) and use proper illumination which increases the likelihood that you will pass. I was able to pass the alternative test and, with a letter to the FAA from the optometrist, was able to get my medical with no restrictions.

    Another advantage of this approach is that you can take the test without official involvement of the FAA. If you fail, there's nothing in the FAA records indicating that and you can still take the light signal test.
    Bill

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    2
    I did do the Flight Test, The flight consisted of light gun signals from the tower, runway and taxiway lights, and he had me point out some objects on the ground, Turns out I could see alot better at night then he could. It truly was a breeze, I also could not pass any of the pie chart numbers. T-

  4. #4
    Sounds easy enough, in what state did you do the ride in? I am currently scheduled to have my eyes checked next week at an optometrist so we'll see how that goes. I am afraid that if I tried to schedule a ride here that they would ground the plane and myself and I would still be out a clear medical.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2
    I did my ride in Cleveland. It was not a big deal at all. we flew over the check airman's house and I pointed a few things out. (Full Moon) My suggestion is point things out on the ground if you can see something. Keep the colors to yourself unless asked. also assume that the controller will do the colors in order White, Green, Red If you have to guess follow the order. The examiner was not at all out to bust me or the aircraft. Fly safe and do the right things and you will be fine. Good Luck

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    218
    Quote Originally Posted by mustangbuilder View Post
    I am currently scheduled to have my eyes checked next week at an optometrist so we'll see how that goes.
    We're rooting for you to pass. Let us know how you do on the test.
    Bill

  7. #7
    I did fail the Ishihara test at the optometrist (no suprize I allways fail that one). I played with a Farnsworth lantern flashlight and was able to see the colors there but even though it is meant as a replacement for the original Farnsworth Lantern and has been proven to produce the same results, the FAA (to my understanding) does not accept this device for testing. I think its because it can be purchased by the general public and is not regulated by the FDA, sorta like non-PMA parts in certified aircraft. So I guess my next step is to try and find a Farnsworth lantern or similar accepted device. I called several times to our local FSDO but I never got a reply which may be for the best as they don't have a good reputation here anymore.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Denton Texas
    Posts
    11
    Call up your local tower and ask if/when you could have some light gun practice on the ground from your car or plane. You'll need an aera when you can drive but not interfear with taxying aircraft, if you use your car. Or stand out on the ramp and use your cell to ask the tower to show you some light gun signals. You just need to be where you can see the tower. Most ATC tower operaters will be happy to help out if they arn't busy.

    Mike
    C 172 Pilot
    Mike Sundstrom
    EAA 1019808

  9. #9
    Hi: The Operational Color Vision Test (OCVT) is only the first part of the two step process for obtaining a Letter of Evidence (LOE) for color deficiency for 1st/2nd class. After you pass the OCVT portion you still need to do the Medical Flight Test (MFT) to finalize for the LOE. You can get around all of this by passing any of the about 15 different color screening tests the FAA allows. But you would need to make sure you use this test every time you do your medical. Contact Sue Sedlachek at 920-426-6112 for additional information or you can write me at gpinnell@charter.net and I will help you through it. Thanks! Gregory Pinnell, MD

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