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Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots... Again.

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Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots... Again.

Old 2nd Feb 2024, 00:11
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FAA medical

Out of interest has anyone who’s passed the farnsworth lantern test in aus ever applied for an FAA class one?
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Old 2nd Feb 2024, 21:13
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Originally Posted by poach
Out of interest has anyone who’s passed the farnsworth lantern test in aus ever applied for an FAA class one?
You will still have to pass a medical in the US to hold an FAA class 1 medical, ie. go through all the usual tests for color vision if required. Nothing carries over.

I am a CVD pilot who moved to the US about 10 years ago and recently got my color vision restrictions removed from my FAA class 1 by successfully completing the OCVT/MFT.
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Old 4th Feb 2024, 23:01
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I could write pages, but I’ll highlight just two examples which are emblematic of CASA’s lack of corporate integrity.

The first example is the contemptuous answers to the Senate’s questions on notice.

For those who haven’t delved into the detail, the background is that AvMed has been left to do whatever it likes, whenever it likes, despite the constraints and requirements of the law. The ‘DAME Handbook’ is used by AvMed as its compendium of bright ideas to achieve its noble cause. Just put it in the ‘DAME Handbook’ and bingo! The Handbook says it, so it must be a requirement. (To this day, the Handbook contains stuff that CASA has admitted is unlawful, but CASA leaves it in the Handbook because most of the people upon whom the unlawful action is inflicted are too scared and poor to challenge CASA. There’s some corporate integrity for ya..)

The AvMed zealots, who’ve been allowed to resume their crusade against CVD, simply put a bunch of stuff in the ‘DAME Handbook’ that implemented their preferred outcome. When questioned at Estimates, Ms Spence and Mr Marcelja claimed that the information on CASA’s website was inaccurate and not consistent with CASA policy, which policy they continue to say has not been settled.

Senator Fawcett asked these questions, among others, on notice after the most recent Estimates hearings:
1. Mr Marcelja indicated that the information on the CASA website did not reflect the intended policy.
a. Who has a role in authorising changes to the CASA website?
b. Does CASA have a policy or approved process for ensuring due diligence is applied to check for alignment with approved policy before changes are made?
c. If the answer to b. is YES, why wasn’t this process followed?
2. Ms Spence also indicated that the information was inaccurate.
a. Who drafted the information which was published on the website?
b. What steps have been / will be taken to ensure that individual employees are aware of their responsibility to curtail their personal views and support the agreed corporate policy position?
Very simple questions. In effect: Who did this and why were they allowed to do it?

Here are the non-answers:
Mr Marcelja and Ms Spence indicated that if information on the CASA website suggested that somebody who had passed the operational test would have a ‘co-pilot’ restriction applied, that this was not consistent with CASA policy.

A review of the website identified the Designated Aviation Medical Examiner handbook was published with some information about colour vision tests. The handbook was intended to give advance notice of impending changes. As the final policy is not yet settled, it has been removed and stronger processes have been implemented to ensure updates to the handbook are appropriately reviewed and approved.
Here’s the paradigm problem exposed by those answers: CASA is confident it will get away with them. CASA is confident that the Senate will do nothing substantial to get to the truth.

And that, folks, is why we’re in the aviation regulatory and safety messes we’re in. Parliament just watches as the monster it created goes about doing whatever damage it chooses to do, leaving individual victims to fight for themselves.

The second example out of many is that the CAD has been disappeared as a ‘third tier’ test.

For those who aren’t ‘up to speed’, here are the very simple CVD provisions of the class 1 medical standard in Part 67. (The class 2 medical standard has equivalent provisions).
Colour perception

1.39 Can readily distinguish the colours that need to be distinguished for the safe exercise of privileges, or performance of duties, under the relevant licence

Note: For how to demonstrate this, see subregulation 67.150(6).

[67.150](6) A person must demonstrate that he or she meets the criterion in item 1.39 of table 67.150 by:

(a) in daylight, or artificial light of similar luminosity, readily identifying a series of pseudo‑isochromatic plates of the Ishihara 24‑plate type, making no more than 2 errors; or

(b) for somebody who makes more than 2 errors in a test mentioned in paragraph (a), readily identifying aviation coloured lights displayed by means of a Farnsworth colour‑perception lantern, making:

(i) no errors on 1 run of 9 pairs of lights; or

(ii) no more than 2 errors on a sequence of 2 runs of 9 pairs of lights; or

(c) for somebody who does not satisfy paragraph (a) or (b), correctly identifying all relevant coloured lights in a test, determined by CASA, that simulates an operational situation.
Each of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) is described in the vernacular as a ‘tier’ or ‘level’ of test.

When Navathe was let loose to wage the crusade previous to this one, he inflicted the ‘CAD’ as a purported third tier test on CVD victims, even though the CAD does not simulate an operational situation in terms of para (c) of regulation 67.150(6). Even the designer of the CAD admits that it does not simulate an operational situation.

Many careers and career aspirations were destroyed by the CAD. The main reason it survived is the usual, practical one: In order to challenge its validity, a victim would have to endure the stress and cost of a Federal Court action. CASA’s decisions as to what test/s to determine as a ‘third tier’ test are not reviewable by the AAT.

Fortunately, some enlightened people in CASA followed the enlightened people in the NZ, and introduced the OCVA as a third tier test. Unfortunately, a change of people and opinions in CASA resulted in the OCVA being dumped, on the pretext of new evidence. CVDPA was told CASA was working on ‘strengthening’ the OCVA when CASA was doing nothing of the sort – or at least the AvMed zealots who ‘run’ the DAME Handbook and CVD testing requirements were doing nothing of the sort. Therefore, the CAD became their weapon of choice again.

I made an FOI request for the instrument evidencing the determination of the CAD for the purposes of CASR 67.150(6)(c). The result? Nothing. CASA cannot produce any evidence to show that the expensive test used by the zealots to destroy careers and career aspirations has been determined by anyone with the power of determination for the purposes of CASR 67.150(6)(c). There’s some more good governance for ya!

It may be pure coincidence that, in the wake of the meeting last month at which CVDPA indicated that it was organising a Federal Court challenge to the validity of the determination of the CAD, Ms Spence wrote to CVDPA and said, among other things:
No test is currently being applied as a ‘third tier’ test under 67.150(6)(c)
I should have learnt the lesson, long ago, that CASA will never cease to amaze with the many and varied ways in which it can pervert the regulatory regime.

CASA has one job in relation to CVD.

Just one, simple job: To determine a test, or some tests, that simulate an operational situation in terms of CASR 67.150(6)(c) (and CASR 67.155(6)(c) for class 2).

One job.

But CASA hasn’t stuffed that job up. No, it’s worse than a stuff up.

The zealots just don’t want to do the job, because the outcome of a validly determined ‘third tier’ test doesn’t suit their prejudice. (CVDPA will now have to organise a Federal Court application for a thing called a ‘writ of mandamus’, which is an order from the Court telling CASA to do its job under CASR 67.150(6)(c) (as well as a declaration that no reasonable person could determine the CAD because it does not simulate an operational situation).

The current situation is worse for CVD pilots than when CASA pretended the CAD was a valid third tier test. I’m looking at a letter from CASA to a CVD victim, dated 3 January 2024, which letter says this among other things:
The result of your Farnsworth Lantern test shows you failed this test and thus you do not meet the current medical standard for a Class 1 certificate.

CASA requires the following information to continue the assessment of your medical certificate.

A report of further colour vision testing with the Colour Assessment and Diagnosis [CAD] test.
There it is, in black and white, in a letter sent this year.

The zealots have already decided that the recipient of that letter fails to meet the medical standard because the recipient failed Farnsworth. That law about third tier tests is silly and inconvenient. But let’s add insult to injury: Make the victim undergo the expense of the CAD anyway because… we can.

That's one of the reasons for CVDPA's current recommendations.

Our only hope is that the OCVA is restored as a third tier test the passing of which will result in a ‘clean’ medical certificate so far as colour vision is concerned. That’s what happened during the brief period of enlightenment. But when judged by what they are doing rather than what they are saying, I wouldn’t be betting folding money – much less a career – on CASA doing that any time soon. I would be ecstatic to be proved wrong.

Last edited by Clinton McKenzie; 4th Feb 2024 at 23:39.
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Old 5th Feb 2024, 00:18
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Where are the consequences for lack of integrity?

Thankfully there’s a few individuals willing to expose what the average person would struggle to believe. Perhaps the enormity of CASA’s wilful disdain of its critics, practical realities and the considered opinion of legal experts is half our problem.

That the corporate body CASA has been given the power and duty to administer civil aviation in Australia and cannot follow the law that governs its attention to CVD pilots is a National disgrace.

It’s nothing short of scandalous that CASA has allowed its ruinous policies to wreck the lives of pilots who are barred from flying unnecessarily. It accomplishes this by flagrantly ignoring its own regulation and the proven results and practice of the successful OVCA practical test for CVD pilots.

Our MPs must be made aware and take responsibility because it is very obvious that CASA is unwilling to correct itself or, in the broader context, end the colossal waste that’s ensued from its make work programs, fee gouging and ever changing rules of unbelievable complexity.
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Old 10th Feb 2024, 02:08
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As I said in one of my recent posts, I should have learnt the lesson, long ago, that CASA will never cease to amaze with the many and varied ways in which it can twist the regulatory regime. Here’s another example from CVDPA’s recent interactions.

(Unfortunately, these posts have to be quite lengthy, because we’re up against ‘Brandolini’s Law’ (or, more crudely, the ‘Bullsh*t Asymmetry’): The amount of energy needed to refute bullsh*t is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it.)

As background, I need to remind everyone, again, of the simple CVD provisions of the class 1 medical standard in Part 67 of CASR (effectively repeated in the class 2 standard):
Colour perception

1.39 Can readily distinguish the colours that need to be distinguished for the safe exercise of privileges, or performance of duties, under the relevant licence

Note: For how to demonstrate this, see subregulation 67.150(6).



[67.150](6) A person must demonstrate that he or she meets the criterion in item 1.39 of table 67.150 by:

(a) in daylight, or artificial light of similar luminosity, readily identifying a series of pseudoisochromatic plates of the Ishihara 24plate type, making no more than 2 errors; or

(b) for somebody who makes more than 2 errors in a test mentioned in paragraph (a), readily identifying aviation coloured lights displayed by means of a Farnsworth colourperception lantern, making:

(i) no errors on 1 run of 9 pairs of lights; or

(ii) no more than 2 errors on a sequence of 2 runs of 9 pairs of lights; or

(c) for somebody who does not satisfy paragraph (a) or (b), correctly identifying all relevant coloured lights in a test, determined by CASA, that simulates an operational situation.
Those provisions, and the rest of Part 67, were added to CASR in 2003. By my maths, that’s over 20 years ago.

The next key point to note well is that, in those couple of decades, not a single syllable of what I’ve quoted above has changed. Not a single syllable of the colour perception criterion at item 1.39 of table 67.150 has changed. Not a single syllable of CASR 67.150(6) has changed. Ditto the equivalent provisions for Class 2. (If you want to confirm my assertions are correct by reference to primary materials, here is a link to the Civil Aviation Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 6) Statutory Rules 2003 No. 232. If you want to go ‘all out’ you can have a look at Statutory Rules 2004 No. 345 and 2013 No. 5, which made minor changes in CASRs 67.150 and 67.155, but not to the provisions I’ve quoted.)

Why am I telling you this?

CASA keeps quoting a provision – CASR 67.150(7) - as being relevant to its current ‘approach’ to CVD issues. That CASR says:
If a change is made to a criterion in an item of table 67.150, a person who held a class 1 medical certificate and satisfied the criterion immediately before the change, but fails to satisfy the criterion as changed, is taken to satisfy the criterion for 2 years after the day when the change is made.
CVDPA asked CASA how that provision could apply to a criterion – like the colour perception criterion at item 1.39 of table 67.150 - that hasn’t changed.


Here is what Ms Spence said, in writing, in response (and - Safety Warning! - make sure you’re seated and your seatbelt is fastened before you read this:
While the criterion which are defined in the table have not changed, the criterion for colour perception is the only one which the regulations specifically call out a method for how it will be established. Our view is that the intent of 67.150(7) could apply to the method.
But for the awful implications of CASA treating CASR 67.150(7) as if it has any current application to CVD, I would have fallen on the floor laughing at that explanation.


See if you can follow and understand this logic and, if you can, please post a description of why it makes sense to you:

1. Fact: Not a single syllable of the colour perception criterion in the class 1 medical standard in CASR - item 1.39 of table 67.150 - has ever changed.

2. Fact: Not a single syllable of the CASR prescribing the means of demonstration with that criterion - 67.150(6) - has ever changed.

3. Conclusion according to CASA: CASR 67.150(7), which is expressed to apply only if “a change is made to a criterion in an item of table 67.150”, applies to an unchanged regulation prescribing the way in which compliance with the unchanged colour perception criterion in table 67.150 must be demonstrated.

And to anticipate the questions, 67.150(7) is not about changes in an individual’s physical and mental fitness. Those changes can - of course - result in non-compliance the (unchanged) criteria in the medical standard. That’s the justification for periodic DAME examinations. But a change in an individual’s physical and mental fitness isn’t a change to the criterion in the medical standard.

Further, I know colour vision can change over time. However, the causes of those changes will be picked up by other ordinary tests. (Dr Pape can explain all that to anyone who’s interested.) Again, that's not a change in the criterion in the medical standard.

Further still, 67.150(7) has nothing to do with changes in third tier tests. Either a test has been validly determined, or it hasn’t. It’s binary. And the regulatory consequences – under CASR 67.150(6) - of passing or failing a validly determined third tier have never changed. That’s binary, too. Remember: not a single syllable of 67.150(6) has ever changed.

I’ll use an example to demonstrate the kinds of circumstances to which CASR 67.150(7) does apply in its plain terms. This example also demonstrates that Ms Spence was not quite correct when she said (my italics): “the criterion for colour perception is the only one which the regulations specifically call out a method for how it will be established”.
Hearing requirements

1.29 Is not suffering from any safetyrelevant hearing defect

1.30 If suffering from a hearing loss (measured in a quiet room using a properly calibrated, compensated audiometer) in either ear of more than:

(a) 35 dB at any of the frequencies of 500 Hz, 1 000 Hz or 2 000 Hz; or

(b) 50 dB at 3 000 Hz—

passes a speech discrimination test, or an operational check, carried out by an approved person in an aircraft of similar ambient noise level to that in which the person being tested is or will be operationally involved.
Item 1.30 looks to me very much like it has a ‘built in’ means of demonstration of compliance, through an operational test. Table 67.150 is in the regulations. Table 67.150 is the class 1 standard! But that issue aside…

Let’s assume item 1.30 was changed such that it prescribed maximum hearing loss limits that are more restrictive than are currently stated, without any operational test being available. That would be a change within the plain words of CASR 67.150(7).

After that change, a person who satisfied the ‘old’ hearing criterion but doesn’t meet the new, more restrictive criterion, is nonetheless deemed by 67.150(7) to satisfy the new criterion for 2 years from the change. That gives the person reasonable time to work out what to do to meet the changed criterion – perhaps hearing aids could be used to attain compliance - or to find a different job. And that outcome seems to me to make reasonable, practical sense.

Why would the zealots want to rely on CASR 67.150(7) as being currently applicable to colour perception? There can only be one reason, so far as I can see: They want to ‘cull’ pilots with CVD who’ve previously demonstrated compliance with the colour perception criterion through means with which the zealots personally disagree. The zealots want to write to those pilots – citing 67.150(7) - and say you’ve got 2 years to comply with the “changed” colour perception standard – in truth, the zealots’ personal opinion of what the standard should be - and, if the candidate can’t, too bad for the candidate. Off to the Federal Court for you, if you can stand the stress and cost.

The situation has deteriorated to the bizarre point at which CASA is preventing candidates from complying with the law. Candidates who fail Ishihara and Farnsworth cannot comply with CASR 67.150(6)(c) because CASA says there is currently no third tier test! You couldn’t make it up. The Civil Aviation Safety Regulator is preventing people from complying with the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, because CASA doesn’t want to do its one job and determine one or more ‘third tier’ tests.

As far as the zealots are concerned, it doesn’t matter whether or not a candidate passes a third tier test. CASA currently says, in black and white in letters to candidates, that the candidate fails to satisfy the colour perception criterion before the person has even attempted a validly determined third tier test! That renders any further test – third tier or otherwise - an expensive, inconvenient waste of time for the candidate, because CASA’s already decided that the candidate does not satisfy the criterion. Again, hence one of CVDPA’s current recommendations. Don’t do any test other than Ishihara and Farnsworth unless CASA says, in writing, that the other test has been determined as a third tier test and, if you pass it, you will get a ‘clean’ certificate so far as colour vision is concerned.

CASA’s citing of CASR 67.150(7) as somehow being relevant to the unchanged regulation prescribing the way in which compliance with the unchanged colour perception criterion in table 67.150 is to be demonstrated, is another example of what I consider to be a perversion of the simple and plain words of CASR. And CASA deciding that a candidate fails to comply with the colour perception criterion before the candidate has even attempted a validly-determined third tier test seems to me to be a matter of pre-judgment and refusal to give effect to the plain words of CASR 67.150(6).

Request: If you have received correspondence from CASA about colour vision deficiency and the correspondence cites CASR 67.150(7) (or CASR 67.155(7) for Class 2) as having some consequence for you, please let CVDPA know. The contact page is here.

Last edited by Clinton McKenzie; 10th Feb 2024 at 07:28. Reason: To correct a typo.
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Old 12th Feb 2024, 06:08
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CVDPA webcast - 14/02/24 @ 2030 AEDT

The next CVDPA webcast is scheduled for this Wednesday night - 14th February at 2030 AEDT.

We'll be reporting on the discussions from our recent meeting with CASA, along with anything further that may arise from tonight's Senate Estimates hearings:

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Old 12th Feb 2024, 10:58
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CVD in Senate Estimates - 12/02/24

As usual, bravo to Senator Fawcett for his questioning of CASA during tonight's Senate Estimates hearings

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Old 13th Feb 2024, 00:31
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My notes from the CASA appearance, in no particular order of importance.

Who is going to be consulted, about what and why?

Ms Spence has now reverted to her usual prevarication tool: “consultation”.

I note that when CAD was inflicted, by Navathe and his fellow zealots, on pilots and aspiring pilots with CVD, there was no consultation with the people whose interests were adversely affected by that CASA action.

I also note that when the OCVA was ‘suspended', there was no consultation with the people whose interests were adversely affected by that CASA action.

CVDPA was told it would be consulted in the supposed ‘strengthening’ of the OCVA that was supposedly going on over the last couple of years. There was no consultation with CVDPA and that strengthening process wasn’t happening.

The only ‘consultation’ happened in an echo chamber built by CASA.

A lot of that happened on Ms Spence's watch.


The pretext of “confusion” and “lack of standardisation” in the administration of the OCVA

Pretext: an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs.

Here’s what actually happened:

The zealots were let loose to implement their personal opinion that anyone who fails the ‘clinical’ tests – the first two of the ‘tiers’ of testing prescribed in the regulations – fails to meet the zealot’s interpretation of the legislated medical standard, and that’s that. The only remaining issue for the zealots is the extent of the restrictions put on the candidate.

The zealots stuck with CAD as a purported third tier test because almost all, if not all, candidates who fail the first two tiers will fail CAD, because CAD is just a colour vision diagnostic test – the clue is in the name. (That said, I’ve heard, second-hand, of candidates who have ‘passed’ CAD. I am waiting to get first-hand evidence of any person having failed Ishara and Farnsworth but having passed CAD and then been issued a ‘clean’ medical certificate so far as colour vision is concerned. If you are that unicorn, could you please contact CVDPA.) Operational tests became a non-existent ‘fourth tier’ to be undergone after the CAD was failed and the candidate had already been assessed as having failed to meet the colour vision standard.

All of that was implemented in fact, in both correspondence and (the usual) uncontrolled changes to AvMed documents. As noted above, there was no intention to ‘strengthen’ the OCVA as a ‘third tier’ test. Indeed, one of the documents disclosed under FOI suggested that candidates be put through the expense of an ACVA, after failing CAD, as a means of validating the CAD.

CASA has just one job in relation to CVD: Determine one or more tests simulating an operational situation as ‘third tier’ test. That wasn’t being done because the zealots don’t want to do that, and have carefree indifference to what the law says because they’ve been encouraged to have that indifference through being left to their own devices.

How to justify all this? We all know the answer to that in CASA: Safety! The silly flight examiners were confused and not administering the OCVA in a standardised way. The OCVA had to be suspended because it was about to rain aluminium. Mere pretext.

Meanwhile, due to the lack of adequate corporate governance, CASA could not produce any written record of the determination of the CAD as a purported third tier test, by a person with the power of determination. How to sweep that under the carpet? Just say there’s no currently determined third tier test.

That suits the zealots’ crusade perfectly. Candidates currently don’t even get the chance to pass a third tier test that’s enshrined in legislation that CASA is supposed to administer, competently and disinterestedly.

(When CVDPA funds a Federal Court application re CASA’s one job, there will be some interesting consequences for CASA if the Court declares, among other things, that the CAD was not and could never have been validly determined as a ‘third tier’ test. All of the people who undertook CAD because CASA asserted it was a ‘third tier’ test may be a bit miffed, and justifiably so.)

How to say something true to obscure the truth

“It’s not true Senator. We are continuing to offer further testing.”

Yeah, but it’s not third tier testing, is it Ms Spence. It’s testing that’s “offered” after the candidate has already been assessed by AvMed as having failed meet the medical standard and AvMed has already decided to restrict the candidate, the only question being how much. That’s why Mr Marcelja mentioned the ‘flexibility’ provisions. AvMed is currently ignoring the third tier test provisions – they are inconvenient to the zealots – and using the ‘flexibility’ provisions to be ‘nice’ to candidates with CVD.

Currently that “further testing” is effectively the candidate spending time and money to get a stick with which AvMed will beat the candidate, after CASA has already decided the candidate fails to meet the standard and will be restricted in some way.

We can’t recall what those documents disclosed under FOI say

So Ms Spence and Mr Marcelja fronted Estimates knowing that they would be questioned about CVD and didn’t ask for a brief on, nor have available to them, the documents about the issue disclosed by CASA under FOI? Seems incredible to me.

Incredible: too extraordinary and improbable to be believed.

Either that, or incompetence. When I fronted Parliamentary committees, I was properly briefed and armed with every document necessary to support any answers I gave to the breadth of questions likely to be asked.

This was after CVDPA refuted the bullsh*t that no one ever failed the OCVA, by producing to CASA a CASA AvMed document that had been disclosed under FOI. When the PMO stated, at the meeting on 23 Jan, no one had failed the OCVA, CVDPA emailed Ms Spence and Mr Marcelja (and Dr Manderson and Dr Aleck) a copy of that CASA AvMed document, and quoted and highlighted in the covering email, the specific text from that document. (I could spend a week exposing and refuting other bullsh*t in the FOI documents about CVD.)

The constant appeal to ICAO might have some credibility if, first, Australia didn’t file numerous differences to ICAO and, secondly, if the current provisions of Part 67 didn’t comply with ICAO SARPs on colour vision deficiency.

The people whose job it was to give domestic effect to ICAO Annex 1 Chapter 6 did so in legislation, now in what’s called Part 67 of CASR. Those people also arranged for the filing of differences. And it’s very interesting to note what differences Australia has filed in relation to the CASRs relating to colour vision.

Australia represents to the world that the CASR provisions for demonstration of compliance with the colour perception criterion – which haven’t changed in at least 20 years - comply with ICAO Annex 1 Chapter 6. In fact, Australia represents to the world that one CASR provision for demonstration of compliance with the colour perception criterion exceeds ICAO Annex 1 Chapter 6.

Australia tells the world that the CASR for demonstration of compliance with the colour perception criterion for class 3 in CASR ‘exceeds’ ICAO Annex 1 Chapter 6 requirements. And that’s correct. It’s correct because Australia’s class 3 colour vision standard is the Ishihara test alone. That’s in CASR 67.160(6). There is no ‘tier 2’ or ‘tier 3’ test in Australia’s class 3 standard. The legislature has decided that Air Traffic Controllers must pass Ishihara, even though that’s in excess of ICAO Annex 1 Chapter 6 requirements. (I’ll leave experts in ATC to decide whether that’s an ‘overkill’ in 21st century Australia and, if it is, to mount their own campaign for CASR 67.160(6) to be changed. My understanding is that it is due to long-held superstitions, in one of the ICAO contracting states, about different cultures and ethnicities having different emotional reactions to colours.)

Australia also tells the world – also correctly – that the provisions for demonstration of compliance with the colour perception criterion for Class 1 and 2 in CASR meet ICAO Annex 1 Chapter 6. That’s because the ‘tiers’ of testing in CASRs 67.150(6) and 67.155(6) are consistent with ICAO Annex 1 Chapter 6.

Short point: Requiring a pass in Ishihara alone exceeds ICAO requirements. Requiring a pass in one of three tiers of testing, including a test simulating an operational situation, meets ICAO requirements.

That’s why, when the OCVA was being administered as a ‘third tier’ test and candidates who passed that test were issued with a ‘clean’ medical certificate so far as colour vision is concerned, Australia did not ‘file’ a new ‘difference’ from ICAO SARPS. That wasn’t necessary, because there was no change – and there has been no change - in the colour perception criterion in the medical standard or in the regulation prescribing the means of demonstration of compliance. All that’s changed is the people and their personal opinions in CASA.

But if it’s about safety, what are you doing about FAA-certified candidates with CVD and NZ-certified candidates with CVD who are flying transport category aircraft in and out of Australia with ‘clean’ medical certificates?

Very good question Senator Fawcett. CVDPA also asked those questions of CASA – on invitation from CASA – and silence continues to be the stern reply. For obvious reasons.

It’s not about safety. It’s about AvMed zealots who’ve been encouraged to harbour grandiose delusions as to the significance of their personal opinions, through being allowed to, among other things, treat pilots and aspiring pilots with CVD as guinea pigs.

Last edited by Clinton McKenzie; 13th Feb 2024 at 01:11.
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Old 13th Feb 2024, 09:34
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I note that both New Zealand and Canada accept the D15 as a second level assessment. Why can't CASA also accept this test? It's quick and easy to administer, and a lot less stressful for subjects (speaking from experience).
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Old 13th Feb 2024, 21:57
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Originally Posted by ajax58
I note that both New Zealand and Canada accept the D15 as a second level assessment. Why can't CASA also accept this test? It's quick and easy to administer, and a lot less stressful for subjects (speaking from experience).
The answer, in principle, is that the Australian rule prescribing the means of demonstration specifies only one second level test, namely the Farnsworth lantern. It's here at paragraph (b):
A person must demonstrate that he or she meets the criterion in item 1.39 of table 67.150 by:

(a) in daylight, or artificial light of similar luminosity, readily identifying a series pseudo‑isochromatic plates of the Ishihara 24‑plate type, making no more than 2 errors; or

(b) for somebody who makes more than 2 errors in a test mentioned in paragraph (a), readily identifying aviation coloured lights displayed by means of a Farnsworth colour‑perception lantern, making:

(i) no errors on 1 run of 9 pairs of lights; or

(ii) no more than 2 errors on a sequence of 2 runs of 9 pairs of lights; or

(c) for somebody who does not satisfy paragraph (a) or (b), correctly identifying all relevant coloured lights in a test, determined by CASA, that simulates an operational situation.
The practical answer is that CASA AvMed picks and chooses the laws with which it strictly complies and those which it ignores and, due to inadequate governance, is allowed to get away with it.

For example, CASA AvMed treats the 'Optec 900' as a second level test, even though it's not prescribed. And CASA treated the CAD as a third level test, even though it does not simulate an operational situation.

My educated guess is that treating the Farnsworth D15 as a second level test would not suit the crusading CASA CVD zealots and their camp followers, precisely for the reasons you stated: Farnsworth D15 is quick and easy to administer, and a lot less stressful for subjects.

Last edited by Clinton McKenzie; 13th Feb 2024 at 22:19.
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Old 29th Feb 2024, 16:15
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CASA update

I'm pleased to report there is progress being made on the CVD front. There's been some positive discussions with CASA in the last week and it seems there is a genuine commitment to get this issue resolved favourably in the near future.

Latest CASA update below. We expect the consultation phase for the proposed legislative instrument to open shortly and we will have more to say once that happens. Suffice to say, CVDPA would encourage everyone to subscribe to the consultation mailing list and be ready to make a submission as soon as it opens, so that we can ensure our voices are heard.

Plan to improve colour vision deficiency policy for pilots

Work is underway to settle and formalise colour vision testing options for pilots who are not able to pass clinical colour vision tests. Our aim is to have new testing options available for pilots by the end of April that are formally prescribed through a legislative instrument. The tests will recognise that many pilots with a colour vision deficiency can demonstrate they are able to operate safely and competently without any medical or operational restrictions.

Consultation is currently underway through our Aviation Safety Advisory Panel, and public consultation on the proposed testing options is expected before the end of March.

The options will include an operational test designed to demonstrate a pilot’s ability to fly an aircraft safely through a robust and standardised operational test.


Interim measures


Pilots who are unable to pass the prescribed Ishihara or Farnsworth colour vision clinical tests and are seeking to renew their medical certificate are encouraged to call our Aviation Medicine team on 131 757 to discuss their individual circumstances.

We will work hard to ensure this interim period is as least disruptive as possible, whilst satisfying current safety and regulatory requirements.


More information


Subscribe to our Consultation and rule-making mailing list to receive an alert when consultation opens.
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Old 20th Mar 2024, 01:34
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Another update

As a further brief update, I'm again pleased to report that good progress is continuing to be made. CASA have recently established a Colour Vision Technical Working Group (TWG) which supports the work of their Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP). The TWG has already met twice in the past fortnight and is represented by a number of industry experts, including CVDPA.

The TWG has been considering and providing advice and industry sector recommendations into documentation, including a draft legislative instrument and flight examiner handbook appendix, which will form the basis of the new third tier operational testing under CASR 67.150 (6)(c).

We expect more information to be published publicly soon, but in the meantime CVD pilots should take some comfort in knowing that things seem to be finally headed in the right direction and a favourable outcome should be achieved in the near future. The objective still remains to have this all resolved by the end of April.

Aviation medicine colour vision deficiency technical working group

The role of the aviation medicine colour vision deficiency (CVD) TWG is to:
  • ascertain the pathway forward for pilots with CVD and the appropriate tests to undertake
  • ensure the implementation of an Operational Colour Vision Assessment (OCVA) that is fit for purpose and has been assessed to standard.

Membership:

  • Dr Jeremy Robertson
  • John O’Brien
  • Matt Handley
  • Steve Cornell
  • Lex Garriock
  • Ray Cronin
  • Dr Adrian Smith
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Old 20th Mar 2024, 02:55
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Progress

Glad to hear that CASA is being dragged into the real world. Reminds of the advice that “the beatings will stop when morale improves.”

It should not be forgotten that all the angst and troubles for CVD pilots should never have happened in the first place.

And, if not for the dedicated work of a number of individuals, be sure that any real reforms would not happen if CASA was left to its own devices.
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 01:41
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CVD testing process - open for consultation!

*** Calling all CVDPA members, supporters and those in the aviation industry ***

CASA last week opened consultation on a proposed legislative instrument which will see the reinstatement of an operational test, to be renamed the Australian Operational Colour Vision Assessment (AOCVA). The passing of this assessment will result in a clean medical with no CVD related restrictions. CVDPA supports this position and we strongly encourage all our members and supporters to take a few minutes to submit similar feedback via the link below so that we can ensure this issue is resolved ASAP.

This is off the back of over 2 years of significant uncertainty for both current and prospective pilots with CVD.

Join us also tomorrow night (Wed 3 April) at 8.30pm AEDT for a live webcast as we unpack the proposed legislative instrument and discuss how to be involved in the consultation process.


https://consultation.casa.gov.au/reg...ram/cd-2404fs/

Overview

Medical certification for pilots with colour vision deficiency requires an assessment against the medical standards in Part 67 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) using a series of tests.

A final determination as to whether a pilot meets the medical standard includes the opportunity to be assessed using an operational assessment. The process for this assessment requires a standardised approach to ensure the assessments are valid and reliable for a safe decision to be made.

We are inviting feedback on a proposal that seeks to formalise 2 testing options for colour vision deficient pilots who are not able to pass initial assessments of colour vision for their aviation medical certificate application.

Pilots will be able to choose either of the tests, depending on their individual circumstances and preferences.

The proposed tests are:
  • Australian Operational Colour Vision Assessment (AOCVA)
  • Colour Assessment and Diagnostic (CAD) test.
The option to use these tests recognises that many pilots with a colour vision deficiency can demonstrate they are able to operate safely without any medical or operational restrictions.

A pass in either of these proposed tests would satisfy the requirements of a Class 1 or Class 2 medical standard relating to colour vision and allow a medical certificate to be issued without any colour vision related restriction or endorsement.

Our aim is to confirm testing options for pilots by the end of April 2024 and for these to be formally prescribed in a legislative instrument.

An advance copy of the instrument is now available for review.

The instrument will provide certainty for medical examiners, flight examiners and CASA to support pilots with colour vision deficiency to understand and follow the processes for aviation medical certification.

We wish to thank the Aviation Medicine Colour Vision Technical Working Group (TWG), appointed by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel, for their ongoing input and contribution to the development of a workable and fair draft policy proposal that improves outcomes for colour vision affected pilots.

Opportunity to comment

Your feedback will help us make sure the proposed requirements are suitable, the final instrument is clear and it will work as intended.

Please submit your comments using the survey link on this page.

If you are unable to provide feedback via the survey link, please email [email protected]?s...0(CD%202404FS)for advice.

Documents for review

All documents related to this consultation are attached in the ‘Related’ section at the bottom of the overview page. They are:
  • Draft instrument - CASA xx/24 — Colour Vision Assessment Determination 2024
  • Schedules 1 and 2 - Colour Vision Assessment
What happens next

At the end of the response period, we will:
  • review all comments received
  • make responses publicly available on the consultation hub (unless you request your submission remain confidential)
  • provide an update through the Consultation Hub on any intended changes and next steps.
All comments received on the proposed instrument will be considered. Relevant feedback that improves upon the proposed instrument will be incorporated into the final instrument.

Material will be made available to support the implementation of the proposal including:
  • information and training material for flight examiners on how to assess the AOCVA
  • a new Clinical Practice Guideline explaining the assessment process to support medical practitioners
  • an update to the Flight Examiner Handbook to align with the policy.
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 10:06
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Video update

Well done CVDPA for presenting your take on the progress to a fair operational test.

It would seem that a less intense test regarding the PAPI would be better and there’s obviously no reason to put a limiting number of tests that an applicant can take.

Hoping for the ‘set in concrete’ outcome.
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Old 6th Apr 2024, 05:02
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CVDPA response to CASA CVD consultation

CVDPA has submitted it's formal response to the CASA consultation hub for the proposed instrument.

Overall our organisation supports the proposal and believes it represents the best opportunity to have this matter resolved as expeditiously as possible, by ensuring that a validly determined 'third tier' test which simulates an operational is once again available. Whilst we continue to assert that the CAD test should not be validly determined for this purpose, we've indicated we will not challenge this aspect further provided that the AOCVA remains available as an alternative and the passing of which results in the removal of all CVD related restrictions.

A replay of our webcast a few nights ago discussing the proposal is also available via our website.

We would again encourage all pilots to submit feedback via the CASA consultation hub so that we can ensure all voices are heard.

https://consultation.casa.gov.au/reg...ram/cd-2404fs/

Consultation closes on 14 April 2024.
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