Medical First Class Vision Issues
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Hey Everyone,

Hoping for some guidance and information based on your thoughts and prior experiences in regards to vision requirements for a medical first class. When I was a baby I had strabismus surgery(correction for an eye misalignment) with amblyopia(brain favors one eye over the other). I had it corrected, however my left eye was never able to fully reach perfect vision.

I currently have(corrected with contacts) 20/25 vision in my left eye, and 20/15 vision in my right eye. I have no color vision issues, no alignment issues, no depth perception issues. I recently went and had my Medical First Class Exam fully intending to be deferred and requesting a medical test flight or special issuance. Even my AME saw it as a walk in the park. However I just received a letter from the FAA denying me for the defective vision, no mention of any special issuance or test flight, did not even state that my request for it was denied. 

I am very scared at this point, as I slowly see my dream slipping out of my hands. I am not sure how to move forward or if I have any options. Anyone else have any pointers or guidance?

Thanks everyone!
-Mitch
7 Replies
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Don't know.  But I have two....
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1154 Posts
Bruce Chien:
Well, we have about 1,500 part 121 flight deck guys with this one-eyed waiver.  So I think the answer is "yes".

How many were hired with one eye as opposed to losing one after being hired?

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Well, we have about 1,500 part 121 flight deck guys with this one-eyed waiver.  So I think the answer is "yes".
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1154 Posts
Bruce Chien:
Well if your Humphrey 24-2 visual field is normal in the "Standards" eye, (FAA will require each eye, separately), you can get the one-eye Wiaver ride.  Then no AMe will ever examine the left eye. The kicker is you'll have to become a PVT ASEL with a 3rd class so that you can be PIC for the waiver evaluation @ the FSDO. 

So if he goes that route (getting the "no passengers" Third Class medical to go through PP training), and then does the Special Medical Flight Test for monocular vision, can he get a First Class medical once the SMFT is done?  And if so, will any airline hire him like that?

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Well if your Humphrey 24-2 visual field is normal in the "Standards" eye, (FAA will require each eye, separately), you can get the one-eye Wiaver ride.  Then no AMe will ever examine the left eye. The kicker is you'll have to become a PVT ASEL with a 3rd class so that you can be PIC for the waiver evaluation @ the FSDO.  So you sort of have to "ante in", which is, actually very pleasant!
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Hey Bruce,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Sorry for the lack of information.

You are correct, It is amblyopia due to strabismus. I had strabismus surgery at 2 years old to correct for the misalignment, however it left me favoring my right eye. So I am able to correct to 20/15 in my right, which when you ask if its perfect that would be a yes, there are no issues with that eye, no abnormal readings or numbers outside of the standard range. its just slightly myopic so I wear a contact to obtain the 20/15. My left eye is the one that will only correct to 20/25, and has amplyopia. I have very good depth perception readings, and no misalignment issues. My left eye just never fully made it back to full strength.