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
4 Replies
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1021 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.
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Amblyopia?
Traumatic eye injury?
Detachment?
epiretinal membrane?
....not quite enough information.

And, is the standards eye "perfect" per Humphrey 24-2 formal visual fields?  If you didn't submit the full formal eye evaluationyou also can't get "the ride".

However, one of the medical officers did tell me there was a move afoot to deny all, and to reduce the exposure of the Ops inspectors to the public, that such evaluation rides were going to be eventually given to the designees after they are trained  and "up to speed".  I have no idea how far this has progressed.....

I think one of my guys (July 2020) got the last authorization to the "ride".