I want to get a Instrument Rating but due to being colour blind there is a restriction on my licence that does not permit night flying. The CAA have informed me that I need the night rating to be able to start to the IR course. I am not interested in flying at night or in any commercial flying, I want the IR mainly for business trips to Europe. I already hold a IMCr but not much use in Europe. From looking at the new rules it looks like the new IRr will only allow fight in cloud during the journey & not instrument approaches.
I have been told it is possible to obtain a night rating with a safety pilot. Does anyone know anything about this?
I have not heard of the "safety pilot" route. I suspect you already know the following, but:
Among other things, you need: "5 Take-off and full stop landings at night as PIC of aeroplanes" (LASORS E4.2c) for the Night Qualification. Legally, who could your non-PIC passenger be, before you have the NQ?
And, for reasons I never began to understand, you definitely do need an NQ before you can even start IR flight training (LASORS E1.2). The CAA confirmed this to me in writing last year.
Good luck in your search for a way. Why is a day-restricted IR not permitted? I believe there are day-restricted CPLs.
The CAA colour blindness tests are much more stringent than the FAA. I went through all the CAA hoops unsuccessfully, but passed the FAA tests. The CAA use the Holmes Wright lantern test which in my opinion is more difficult that the one you get from your doctor/optician. So there really isn't much point in paying the money to do the CAA test. I wonder how many pass it?
You could consider a US instrument rating and a US registered aircraft.
Interestingly, the Australians did a big study of colour blindness and decided that it wasn't anywhere near as much of a problem as previously though. They relaxed their requirement considerably. I wonder what EASA will do?
Location: Down at the sharp pointy end, where all the weather is made.
I haven't heard of anyone passing it after failing the colour blindness test at their medical.
Well, here's one, me!
I did my initial issue Class 3 at Heathrow in 1982, failed the Ishihara test (as I expected to, having been through it at a medical in my teens) and was given the lantern test, which I passed. However, I was told that as my myopia was just outside limits, I was unlikely to get a Class 1 at that time.
I carried on to get the PPL, then night, then IMCr. I then got the CPL exams done, then the CPL flight test and did the UKCAA Class 2 Medical (slightly less stringent myopia requirements) and was then issued with an unrestricted BCPL.
Scroll forward 25 years. JAR came along and decided that the myopia limits set by the CAA were too strict and I found I was comfortably within them. Now, the big leap, the FI course and the requirement for a JAR Class 1 to earn money. I went to Gatwick for the initial issue and asked to do the eyesight test first in case I failed it - didn't want to waste a whole day! The guy doing the test took out a sheaf of micro-fiches and noted that I'd passed the Lantern test in 1982 - he said that it was 'good for life' and took it as a colour-blindness 'pass'. The rest of the test went OK. Of course, by now being in my late 50's my blood pressure was a 'fail' and it took many months, hundreds of £££'s etc to get that sorted out.
As far as I can tell and according to legend, the requirements for colour vision are based around either a) the need to be able to distinguish lamp signals from the Tower or b) be able to distinguish threshold greens/edge blues, stop reds etc (more a requirement at night, you'd think).
Colour-blindness is a fickle thing, I think I see in glorious Technicolor and can certainly distinguish both Tower lamp signals and aerodrome lighting so consider myself safe in that regard.
As for myopia, I think that now being in my 60's and successfully converting to Varifocals some time ago, I'm better placed than those who have previously considered themselves to have good eyesight who now struggle to see over half-moon specs (bl**dy dangerous, in my opinion) or are in denial about needing expensive correction.
I sail through my eyesight tests and seem to have no trouble passing my Class 1 revalidations every 6 months - just keep taking the tablets!
Well, now I've heard of 1 person. My impression was that you are unlikely to pass it after failing the Ishihara test. I came from the discussion when I failed the test, but I wonder if there are any statistics.
The point I was trying to make is that the H-W lantern test seems to be quite difficult so isn't really much of an alternative for most people, but I don't have the actual statistics.
Last edited by Zulu Alpha; 16th Jun 2012 at 16:05.
Well, Peter has criticised the Ishihara plates on a number of occasions for being too strict and finding too many false positives.
At least a lantern test should be reasonably 'honest' in that it's attempting to test colour vision using a task that's as similar as possible to the real life task of seeing navigation lights at night.
According to the web, the CAA now uses a computer based test, which I'll have to learn about - I thought there were other options such as Nagel anomaloscopy and the Farnsworth-Munsell test, which have their own problems.
Add me to the list that failed Ishihara test, but passed at the CAA.
I took the computer based test there last year. It takes about about an hour, and comes up with an incredibly accurate description of your colour response in both axes. The idea behind the CAA test is that (for red-green at least) they figured out an empirical point beyond which you start to lose the ability to read the PAPIs, and set that as the limit.
So a good rough guide is: if you can read PAPIs, then you will probably pass the CAA test.
I normally manage about 4 out of 16 on the Ishihara test, but I was well within the CAA limits.
The Holmes Wright lantern test that I took involved sitting in a dark room looking at pinpricks of lights that were some distance away (you viewed them in a mirror). You had to describe whether they were white red or green.
I don't have any problems with PAPIs but failed the H-W lantern test
It sounds like the new test is different. I hadn't realised that the CAA had changed it so my comments above are wrong as they refer to the H-W test.
Last edited by Zulu Alpha; 16th Jun 2012 at 19:50.
I have no chance to pass the colour blind test, I know that already. I am interested in day only IR. Does any one know a European country where you can do the IR without having to to the night qualification?
If it is any help: in the late 60'ies my father failed the Ishihara test as expected. but with the help of a friendly BelgCAA examiner, we were allowed to borrow a signal light for 'training'. So, over a couple of weeks he 'learned' to identify the colours of the light correctly. We sent him to the other side of the airfield and sent a series of signals that he wrote on a piece of paper. Repeated until he got it right. Took several weeks. He continued flying until he lost his medical at 85.
I think , because he knew he was colourblind, that he never even attempted to identify colours before we 'trained' him. Worth a try.
I found the W-H lantern test to be easy to pass (got 100%) while the Isihara Plates were extremely hard.
It is also apparent that one could practice for the W-H by buying some coloured LEDs and some switches I did actually do that but never got around to putting them together by the time I went for the test...
I think Flyin'Dutch''s post above is very significant...
Historically, thousands of wannabee airline pilots went to the outlying bits of Europe (Hungary was popular) to get the initial CV test done. In fact any ICAO contracting state would have done the job. This is unsuprising because if e.g. you fail the W-H test, you can never re-take it in the rest of your life, so if you think you are marginal and might pass it on a "good day" then the last thing you want to do is to do the initial one at say Gatwick
The FAA route is no longer useful because EASA FCL requires (2014 onwards) that if the "operator" is EU based (see the other thread) you need the EASA pilot papers and an EASA medical as well. I imagine some pilots who can get only FAA medicals will be able to continue flying by sorting out a non EU residence, which is obviously easy if you don't mind living somewhere where it rains rather a lot Sadly, Croatia is not a good plan...
The CAA used to offer a concession to ICAO CPL/ATPL holders with ICAO Class 1s but I have no idea if they still do this.
I failed the Ishihara test for my Class 1 at Gatwick having previously passed it on at least three previous occasions, my original Class 2 medical, my HGV medical, and a medical for a job.
I then took the Colour Assessment and Diagnostic test (CAD) and passed that fairly easily. I can't remember the exact results now but it was good enough for a Class 1 but not good enough for me to be an Air Traffic Controller.