PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots
Old 23rd Jul 2016, 23:13
  #694 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 110
It's worth noting that although this was an 'independent' panel, there were significant concerns raised at the outset about the actual independence of the panel, which consisted of:
  • CAA General Manager General Aviation (Panel Chair)
  • External senior industry Flight Examiner with experience in airline and general aviation operations
  • External Medical Examiner
  • External optometry and vision science specialist with experience in colour vision matters
  • CAA Chief Legal Counsel
The external optometry expert holds the only CAD test which is currently available in NZ, which was of significance because the proposed GD recommended the introduction of this test into the NZ system.

Under the terms of reference, the role of the panel was to reach a consensus and provide the CAA Director with recommendations on the appropriateness or otherwise of the proposed directions.

Despite the obvious concerns about perceived bias from the panel, they still managed to come up with a consensus which thoroughly rejected the current NZ CVD restrictions (of which CASA has been attempting to re-align with) and recommended practical flight testing be introduced.
In that respect, they are to be congratulated on taking an objective look at the available evidence.

The panel's comments about the NZ PMO Dr Dougal Watson are also worth mentioning:

15. Central to the proposed GD is the concept of aeromedical significance. Civil Aviation Rule (CAR) Part 67 defines aeromedical significance as: a medical condition is of aeromedical significance if, having regard to any relevant general direction, it interferes or is likely to interfere with the safe exercise of the privileges or the safe performance of the duties to which the relevant medical certificate relates. While there is no issue with aeromedical significance being used as a standard, it would appear that there is little in the way of guidance for determining what exactly, in terms of a flight operation, is significant in relation to CVD. In answer to a question regarding the reasoning behind the flight restrictions for a pilot who is CVD, the PMO answered that the “restrictions are historical”. This is a key issue for the Panel’s deliberations particularly in relation to the risk posed by a pilot with CVD, the different operational environments pilots operate in, and who should be determining restrictions to which a pilot is to operate.

16. The PMO also commented that he thought practical flight tests are unreliable. In the Panel’s opinion a flight examination has the same status as a medical examination in ensuring that a pilot is not a threat to the public and renewing their privilege to fly.
Given Dr Watson's past unethical and fraudulent presentations on the topic of CVD, the CAA Director has a fairly clear choice to make over the next few months...
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