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Liberalizing medical requirements

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Liberalizing medical requirements

Old 18th Jul 2008, 14:49
  #141 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Nevers (LFQG)
Age: 39
Posts: 12
French class 1 with -7 dioptres

Hello everyone,

This is my first post on that forum. As there doesn't seem to be a presentation thread, I'm going to introduce myself : I'm French ("oh no, not another one !!", yes you just said that out loud ) and BTW, please excuse me in advance if I unintentionally mistreat your language. I graduated from an engineering college last year and now I'm working as a consultant. Very interesting job from all points of view. Except one : I certainly like to deal with computer software and all that stuff, but I would so love to be an airliner pilot...
I had my first flying lesson when I was 14, on a Jodel D120. After that I passed the french Brevet de Base, then the TT licence (which was our national PPL). More recently I got my FI rating so it's now my turn to transmit my passion.
Now, as I didn't pick a random thread to do this presentation, guess what did prevent me to become professional ? Yeah, I'm short-sighted. -7 dioptres, which is outside the limits.

BTW I would have liked to create a new thread to expose what follows, but apparently I can't (maybe 'cause I'm a newbie here). This one seems quite appropriate, though.

Well, short version : I got my class-1 medical ! In France, furthermore.

Longer version : a few years ago, the visual requirements were -3/+3 (like anywhere else, I think). When I saw the JAA tended to relax them by explicitely allowing variations until -5 at the initial and until -8 at the renewal, I began to wonder what were the reasons of those limits.

I came with these two facts :
- the more refractive a corrective lens is, the more peripherical deformations there are;
- myopia is caused by a too long eyeball. The retina is prone to potentially serious problems.

So I think the first fact is the main reason of that obsolete -3/+3 limit. Actually, it was an ICAO requirement. Optical technology evoluted, and now you can either wear glasses with high-index corrective lenses (which is my case), either wear contact lenses (which eliminate totally the problem). Furthermore, it was proven by experience than using high refractive correction is not a liability for flight safety.
In 2000, the ICAO removed all kind of limits in dioptres.

Now, about the second fact, the JAA Manual of Civil Aviation Medicine (JAA | Licensing: Manual of Civil Aviation Medicine) says that "the risk of chorio-retinal degeneration and retinal detachment rapidly increases if the myopia exceeds 5–6 dioptres", which motivates the current -6 limit.
I have the chance to have a ophtalmologist who proved, in spite of being constantly overbooked, to be dedicated and willingful to help me to get my medical certificate. According to him, even if many high refractive myopia are evolutive and will cause many serious problems (like the ones quoted), it's not my case (even if I have to undergo a comprehensive eye exam every two years, just to check).

My confidence grew considerably and I took an appointment to take the class-1 initial exam.

Now, please allow me to describe briefly the French aeromedical system, which is quite different from the UK one, I believe : there are five aeromedical centers (in which two of them are only allowed to do renewal exams). If you don't meet all the requirements, your medical folder is sent to the CMAC (Civil Aviation Medical Council) which, after studying it, decides whether to grant you a variation.

Well, back to my story : I went for the initial exam. Without surprise, I had to fill a variation request. A few weeks after, I learnt that not only I didn't get a class 1 variation, but that I no longer could do aerobatics (I never got to know for sure from where that limitation came).

Followed a quite crazy medico-administrative battle, involving a lot of letters, the French Ombudsman, the retirement of the CMAC president and finally an exam by an expert. I was notified of my class-1 variation (as well as the disappearance of that non-sense limitation on aerobatics) in January and I'm now studying the ATPL theorical knowledge by distance learning.

Now, it seems the attitude of the CMAC has changed considerably since the retirement of its former president. After reading that story, some nearsighted guys took the initial exam and got their class-1 too !

To conclude that post, I'm a bit surprised nobody here (or at least in that part of the forum, I didn't check the other ones) talks about the NPA on the future EASA medical regulation (NPA 2008-17, Part-Medical available here : Rulemaking | Notices of Proposed Amendment (NPAs))
The main breakthrough is there will no longer be variations. There will no longer be dioptre limits other than as an AMC (Acceptable Mean of Compliance), which will not to be strictly enforced.

Anyway, I think you short-sighted people can let your hopes grow about a future nice class-1 medical certificate !

Have a nice week-end !
Le Bigleux is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2008, 12:59
  #142 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Milan (Italy)
Posts: 48
Npa 17c-2008

I read Npa 17c-2008, but I'm not sure it removed refractive limits.
The documents is composed of two parts: the first is named "Draft of opinion", the second, "Draft of decision".
In the "Draft of opinion" (page 3), there are no refractive limits indeed, but only visual acuity requirements that can be reached with or without correction as well.
In the "Draft of decision" (page 22), instead, the rules are the same as the ones established by the actual version of JAR-FCL 3, then max refractive error is -6,00, +5,00.

So, It seems that the proposal of refractive limits removal, contained in the "Draft of opinion" was rejected in the "Draft of decision". Wasn't it?


ACIDO is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2008, 20:56
  #143 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: London
Posts: 5
New CAA Visual Docs

I noticed that the CAA have just posted new guidelines for vision dated August 2008. Unfortunately they looked exactly the same as the previous ones (Dec 2006). I was hoping for the removal of the uncorrected dioptre restriction. Has anyone spotted a difference?
Bips is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2008, 07:24
  #144 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Malta
Posts: 28
If you hold a Class 1, and all of a sudden your myopia has increased out of initial limits (nothing too dramatic..somewhere between -6 and -8 diopters), you can still get 6/6 correction with your specs and you have no pathology...can the doc NOT revalidate your medical???

My question comes from the 'MAY CONSIDER' wording in the requirements. Its like we dont have anything to support our claim that we are suitable..as a lot seems to be left to the discretion of the AME!

Last edited by Malta_Flyer; 1st Nov 2008 at 22:51.
Malta_Flyer is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2009, 21:58
  #145 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Flightdeck
Posts: 272
The changes that are listed in the first post in this thread, are they valid yet?
fabbe92 is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 08:58
  #146 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: EU
Posts: 261
As far as I know, but you will be able to find them on different sites.
Otterman is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 13:51
  #147 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Flightdeck
Posts: 272
I don´t understand. Does this mean that the new rules in the first thread are the ones they use today? That a you can become a pilot if you have type 2 diabetes and such?
fabbe92 is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 14:26
  #148 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: EU
Posts: 261
Sorry can't help you out on specifics. You either have to read the different national sites. Or you can contact an AME to get the information. Good luck.
Otterman is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2009, 11:37
  #149 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Perth
Posts: 430
Have to agree with Old King.

Nice to have the 'tick' every 6 months and pick up potential problems as early as possible
Can't disagree with you on that, though nothing to stop you going to the quack every week if you feel it helps.
ZEEBEE is offline  
Old 21st Feb 2010, 19:34
  #150 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Age: 62
Posts: 23
Post Insulin Dependent

Nice post Otterman,

You say in your post that the USA and Canada are less restrictive on there medical requirements. Well, I'm an insulin dependent pilot who lives in the USA and was flying for a major carrier as a Captain on the B-737. As of now I'm no longer able to fly because of the FAA rules on Insulin dependent pilots, but if I lived in Canada or Europe and now JAL rules I would still be able to fly. So my point is this, I think it's great that the medical requirements are less strigent for those that it may apply to. But the USA (FAA) is more strict then ICAO, JAL as far as medical requirements go. The FAA is always the last agency to follow reducing requirements. I have written everyone I can think of from the white House, to state officials Governor, Congressman, Senators, EEOC, FAA Medical Surgeons ETC... with no response to my condition. I f you would by any chance have any info on how and why JAL changed there policy on Insulin dependent pilots to carry a Class 1- medical that would be great. If so, I would use that info to send to the FAA and try once again to get the ball rolling for pilots in the USA. I need as much help as possible to get the FAA's attention on this matter. Thank you in advance if you can help at all.
cap2e is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2010, 06:31
  #151 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: In a suitcase.
Age: 38
Posts: 169

Did you write to any of the states that accepts pilots, who are insulin dependant? It seems like you have been caught in a black hole. Normally when a state adopts a new rule, already licensed people get grandfathers rights. If you cannot get through to the people, who makes the rules and normally don't know shit about our industry, why not move overseas to get a job? I know it might be hard to move family, but it seems like you want to continue cloud surfing!
SAS-A321 is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2010, 19:46
  #152 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: EU
Posts: 261
I am sorry but I don't know enough on this issue. In the last five years there has been a great loosening of medical requirements in Europe. In some cases more liberal then the USA (ie only one medical per year above 40). I am sure you can check online what the JAR (or is it EU-OPS) view is on diabetes.
Best of luck, sorry to read about your issue.
Otterman is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2010, 22:05
  #153 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Age: 62
Posts: 23

Thank's for the reply. Yes the move would be hard on the family. I'm still with the same company working in the training dept as a check airman, And I'm developing RNP procedures and training for the company as well. This task will be complete at the end of 2010. So I'm still making good money, but I miss flying terribly. Have a great day. Stay away from those big clouds when your surfing, they can be dangerous.


cap2e is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2010, 22:07
  #154 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Age: 62
Posts: 23

Thank's for the reply. I'm going to keep fighting and working on the FAA. Have a great day!!

cap2e is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2010, 08:02
  #155 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: EUSSR
Posts: 6
EASA Medical

New EASA medical rules should be implemented in April 2012. If one can hang on until then, here is the draft: http://easa.europa.eu/ws_prod/r/doc/...202008-17c.pdf

Hope that answers a few questions. Good luck.
wondering is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2010, 09:24
  #156 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Denmark
Age: 46
Posts: 4
Looks like good news for me. Have been waiting for this for a LONG time!!! The limit on diopter has been lifted in EASA's opinions regarding 2008-17C.

EASA - Opinions

Applicants with:
(1) astigmatism;
(2) anisometropia;
may be assessed as fit subject to satisfactory ophthalmic evaluation.

Distant visual acuity, with or without correction, shall be:
(1) in the case of class 1 medical certificates, 6/9 (0,7) or better in each eye separately and visual acuity with both eyes shall be 6/6 (1,0) or better;

(i) Applicants with diplopia shall be assessed as unfit.
(j) Spectacles and contact lenses. If satisfactory visual function is achieved only with the use of correction:
(1) (i) for distant vision, spectacles or contact lenses shall be worn whilst exercising the privileges of the applicable licence(s);
(ii) for near vision, a pair of spectacles for near use shall be kept available during the exercise of the privileges of the licence;
(2) a spare set of similarly correcting spectacles shall be readily available for immediate use whilst exercising the privileges of the applicable licence(s);
(3) the correction shall provide optimal visual function, be well-tolerated and suitable for aviation purposes;
(4) if contact lenses are worn, they shall be for distant vision, monofocal, non-tinted and well tolerated;
(5) applicants with a large refractive error shall use contact lenses or high-index spectacle lenses;
(6) no more than one pair of spectacles shall be used to meet the visual requirements; (7) orthokeratologicallensesshallnotbeused.

Stil some way to go until implementation, but its great news. Probably sometime in 2012
OYPJN is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2010, 16:38
  #157 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Brighton
Posts: 210
The EASA Opinions - Visual Standards

Intersting and just published yesterday. you are on the ball OYPJN!

I dont want to get over excited here but it seems there are NO limits for the refractive error (lens strength) for glasses or contacts. A bit like in the USA where if you can wear corrective lenses in oder to comply with the rules then its OK. At present its +/-5 dioptres for long sight for example.

it would be great if this opinion was adopted.

PS if you click that link then choose the second PDF entitled draft regulation on part MED page 24
Irishwingz is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2011, 23:12
  #158 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: GREECE
Age: 43
Posts: 466
EASA tougher the JAR-FCL 3

I have been reading the new EASA PART-MED medical standards that will be effective earliest Oct 2011 and it seems like EASA is going to tighten a bit the medical requirements regarding vision and cardio. Can someone confirm this.
Jimmy The Big Greek is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2011, 20:06
  #159 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Denmark
Age: 46
Posts: 4
This is not what I see on EASA's webpage.
Opinion Part-Medical

Do you have a link to where you found the information?

OYPJN is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2011, 04:39
  #160 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: way down south
Posts: 38
EASA April 2012

Hi All

Notice that this thread hasn't been updated in a while... Just wondering if any of you have managed to decipher any of of 'info' that's available on EASA website with regard to medical licensing???? I've gleaned that they will be be taking up the former JAA medical function from APR 2012 but have no idea if there will be any changes to the requirements.

If anyone has had the time or inclination to navigate the site I appreciate their interpretation.

Robot1 is offline  

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