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Thread: Medical?

  1. #1

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    Medical?

    Ok, a younger generation person, whom I know, got interested in being an Air Traffic Controller due to my flying, Oshkosh, and exposure to all that, and has been going to school for that; they recently went in for a physical for it, and to everyone's shock (including theirs) was diagnosed with mild color blindness- its apparently hereditary, but has been so mild it's never been caught before, and they've had eye exams- their vision has always been excellent. What came out was that they generally can distinguish between red and green, it's closer shades like grey-green and green can be difficult. They went to an eye dr. for an eye exam immediately, and they said it was "very mild". Is there a way to get past this to be an air traffic controller? They're kind of upset, they were really interested in the career, and in aviation- is there any hope here? The AME was helpful, (said they could get Class III medical) but Im thinking we need some help here to get this fixed.

  2. #2

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    As one with some level of color ineptitude myself, I am lead to understand that there is NO cure/treatment for the condition. I will note that IF 100% color acuity IS a requirement for Air Traffic Control? I sure don't want MY controller to be 'marginal' in that area - lol
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Seems to me the first order of business is to determine what's the color vision requirement for ATC personnel, 2nd is this person's condition disqualifying, and if it is, 3rd is it waiverable? All these are questions for the FAA, not us internet heroes.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
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  4. #4
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    There is no corrective treatment for color blindness.
    per the FAA website....
    ATC applications must possess 20/20 vision or be corrected to 20/20 with lenses.
    ATC applicants must have normal color vision.
    Might want to talk with an FAA rep directly. Don’t know if they do waivers.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  5. #5

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    If the color vision deficiency is mild, and ATC doesn't want him, have him investigate being a pilot. Easy to get a waiver if you can tell the difference between the green and red light gun. The test is literally going out on the ramp and having the tower point the light gun at the individual. Pass and get a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA).

    Best of luck,

    Wes

  6. #6
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    First, you should find an AME with a clue. There are a number of reasons why a person might fail the standard Ishihara color tests from poorly maintained plates to crappy fluorescent lighting in the office. A good AME uses bright natural light and a well maintained set of plates and has at his disposal a number of alternative tests.

    If all else fails the student can go for a light gun test. You only get one chance at the latter, so it behooves you to work with an AME and probably practice it before submitting to it for real.

  7. #7

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    There are now glasses that can correct for SOME types of color blindness.

    Like someone else said, talk to the FAA about this, not us uninformed denizens of the internet.

    https://www.allaboutvision.com/condi...nd-glasses.htm
    EAA 745 - White Bear Lake MN

  8. #8
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    There are now glasses that can correct for SOME types of color blindness.

    Like someone else said, talk to the FAA about this, not us uninformed denizens of the internet.

    https://www.allaboutvision.com/condi...nd-glasses.htm
    Well Kim, why don't you follow your own advice? That's a nice non-FAA article you provided. The FAA doesn't allow such lenses to pass the color tests.

    Here is the color vision page from the FAA AME manual that supports every thing I said and refutes your disinformation:
    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...ch/item52/amd/

  9. #9

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    Is the color vision requirement more strict for Air Traffic Control than for 3rd class medical? I initially failed the plate test (red/green), but passed with Farnsworth lantern test (like mini-Christmas lights - red, green, blue, amber). Same as a driver's license. I do have some trouble with magenta shading on a paper sectional, but that's about all.

  10. #10
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAPPYDAN View Post
    Is the color vision requirement more strict for Air Traffic Control than for 3rd class medical? I initially failed the plate test (red/green), but passed with Farnsworth lantern test (like mini-Christmas lights - red, green, blue, amber). Same as a driver's license. I do have some trouble with magenta shading on a paper sectional, but that's about all.
    ATCers have to have second class.

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