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Old 5th May 2001, 23:51   #1 (permalink)
Posts: n/a
Angry Colour Vision and Class 1


(pls accept my apols in advance, this is a long post ! - only just found this site and have 24 years of frustration to vent !)

I am now 37 and a computer engineer (before you think I'm a FE !) and have desperately wanted to fly commercially since early childhood. At 13 I had a routine eye test and failed the Ishihara plates, was told by the optician that flying was OUT. Wrote to BA, they confirmed I would not be able to fly. I remember that day as if it were yesterday... my dreams crushed in an instant.

Foolishly, I accepted the optician's and particularly BA's word as gospel and spent the following 10 years growing up as a bitter and rather lost soul, gazing sadly at the trails of the jets on UG1 from my dead-end office job window.

At 26, when looking out of my window on a holiday flight turning base, I saw the runway lights and realised I could see all of the colours fine, and decided to question my diagnosis on my return. Through a series of exchanges with the CAA, I established that an applicant can fail the Ishihara but still get a Class 1 if the lantern test was passed. My hopes renewed, I sat the Giles-Archer (I think) at Cardiff Eye Hospital and to my delight, passed.

My dreams were soon crushed again when I quickly amassed a file full of 'sorry, but you're too old for sponsorship' letters from every UK airline, and my subsequent pleas to the Chairmen of each were all in vain.

However, this time, I decided to go to Gatwick and take the definitive test at the CAA. I was told by the ...LOCUM... (the 'proper' AME was unavailable) that my acuity was exceptional adding that 'only about one in 2000 have vision that sharp'. Nice, but not the issue ! - I passed the Farnsworth D15, failed the Ishihara, failed the lantern test under office lighting, and only *just* failed it in the dark.

The guy seemed to have difficulties in operating the lantern and I strongly suspect that in his inexperience, he used the smallest aperture setting, as the lights were so minute it was hard to see ANY light, never mind differentiate the colour ! However, it was only much later that I discovered that the 'medium' aperture is supposed to be used, and at the time it seemed rather academic as there was no way I could raise the money to get trained.

I also remember vividly, sitting outside the CAA building on a wooden bench in a small garden area, and trying to hide my tears from passers-by, and wondering how many others had sat here with their dreams crushed too. I took some solace in the fact that at least I wasn't a line pilot who'd just had his career erased.

Since then, I have been lucky enough to get 3hrs in BA's 1-11 sim at Cranebank (gratis, after I wrote them my life-story !) AND 1hr in Britannia's 767 sim at Luton (WOW!), and occasionally pop over to my local airfield (wave when you take the turn at SWANY !) for the odd '20 min trial lesson'.

Sorry - I'm turning this into War & Peace, so I'll get to the point.. !

I have read with great interest all the posts on Colour Vision and would love to hear from anyone who has any interest in the colour vision / flying area.

There may still be a chance for me to pass a lantern test - though I gather it's now 'Nagel's Anomalascope' (?) (anyone taken a colour test at the CAA recently ?), but it would take me too long to get the cash together to get to CPL/IR and then, I doubt my chances of getting a job aged over 40 with the bare minimum of hours. (especially as the nice CAA would endorse my licence 'Colour Defective - Safe', even if I did pass the lantern / Niggle's Anomolowotsit)

I still dream of being able to fly, and would be in heaven if I could drive even an old Twin Otter on the mail run, but I guess I should stop torturing myself and stick to taking my (simulated !) 767 into LHR in pea-soupers with one engine out !

Thanks for reading this far !

Cheers Guys (& Gals).

Old 6th May 2001, 07:51   #2 (permalink)
inverted flatspin
Posts: n/a

Here is how the FAA handle the colour vision issue. It is very fair and they have a large body of both medical and real world flight experience to support their position in regard to this issue.

My case was straight forward. I failed the ishihara test and my AME recommended that I go for the signal light test. I passed and was issued a SODA valid for all classes of medical. When I returned to renew my medical The AME had a shiny new Titmus vision tester. To everybodys surprise I passed the Colour plates on this machine (ishihara plates, but mounted at the correct distance and properly lighted) this was then confirmed when I passed the Farnsworth Lantern. The FAA are in the process of removing my SODA and replacing it with a letter that states that I meet the standards without the need for a waiver. this is important for professional job applications, needless to say I am chuffed about this development.

All well and good I suppose but oh if it were only that simple, I am Irish and would like to return and get a JAA licence. I had a go at the Holmes wright lantern but failed so my battles with the IAA/JAA are only begining. That is something for another post however but here are the details on what is acceptable to the FAA

Color Vision
(Attachment for Procedure for removal of color vision restriction)

All Classes: 14 CFR 67.103(c), 67.203(c), and 67.303(c)

***ability to perceive those colors necessary for the safe performance of airman duties.



Pseudoisochromatic plates. (American Optical Company [AOC], 1965 edition; AOC-HRR, 2nd edition; Dvorine, 2nd edition; Ishihara, 14-, 24- or 38-plate editions; or Richmond, 1983 edition, 1 5-plates).

Acceptable substitutes:

Farnsworth Lantern

Keystone Orthoscope.

Keystone Telebinocular.

LKC Technologies, Inc., APT-5 Color Vision Tester.

OPTEC 2000 Vision Tester (Model Nos. 2000PM, 2000PAME, and 2000PI).

Titmus Vision Tester.

Titmus 11 Vision Tester (Model Nos. Tll and TIIS).

Titmus 2 Vision Tester Model Nos. T2A and T2S).


The test plates to be used for each of the approved pseudoisochromatic tests are: Test Edition Plates
AOC 1965 1/15
AOC-HRR 2nd 1/11
Dvorine 2nd 1/15
Ishihara 14-plate 1/11
Ishihara 24-plate 1/15
Ishihara 38-plate 1/21
Richmond 1983 1/15

The following conditions should be ensured when testing with pseudoisochromatic plates:

The test book should be held 30 inches from the applicant.

Plates should be illuminated by at least 20-foot candles, preferably by a Macbeth Easel Lamp or a Verilux True Color Light (F1 5T8VLX).

Three seconds should be allowed for the applicant to interpret and respond to a given plate.

Testing procedures for the Farnsworth Lantern; Keystone; LKC Technologies, Inc.; OPTEC 2000, Titmus, Titmus II, and Titmus 2 Vision Testers accompany the instruments.

The results (normal or abnormal) should be recorded.

An applicant does not meet the color vision standard if testing reveals:

All Classes

Seven or more errors on plates 1-15 of the AOC (1965 edition) pseudoisochromatic plates.

AOC-HRR (second edition): Any error in test plates 7-11. Because the first 4 plates in the test book are for demonstration only, test plate 7 is actually the eleventh plate in the book. (See instruction booklet).

Seven or more errors on plates 1-15 of Dvorine pseudoisochromatic plates (second edition, 15 plates).

Six or more errors on plates 1-11 of the concise 14-plate edition of the Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates. Seven or more errors on plates 1-15 of the 24-plate edition of Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates. Nine or more errors on plates 1-21 of the 38-plate edition of Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates.

Seven or more errors on plates 1-15 of the Richmond (1983 edition) pseudoisochromatic plates.

Farnsworth Lantern test: An average of more than one error per series of nine color pairs in series 2 and 3. (See instruction booklet).

Any errors in the six plates of the Titmus Vision Tester, the Titmus II Vision Tester, the Titmus 2 Vision Tester, the OPTEC 2000 Vision Tester, the Keystone Orthoscope, or Keystone Telebinocular.

LKC Technologies, Inc., APT-5 Color Vision Tester: The letter must be correctly identified in at least two of the three presentations of each test condition. (See APT-5 screening chart for FM-related testing in instruction booklet).

Certificate Limitation
If an applicant fails to meet the color vision standard as interpreted above but is otherwise qualified, the Examiner may issue a medical certificate bearing the limitation:


Special Issuance of Medical Certificates
An applicant who holds a medical certificate bearing a color vision limitation may request reevaluation or a SODA under the special issuance section of Part 67 (14 CFR 67.401). This request should be in writing and should be directed to the Aeromedical Certification Division, AAM-300. If the applicant can perform the color vision tasks, the FM will issue a medical certificate without limitation with a SODA.

Demonstrating the ability to perform color vision tasks appropriate to the certificate applied for may entail a medical flight test or a signal light test. If a signal light test or medical flight test is required, the FAA will authorize the test. The signal light test may be given at any time during flight training. The medical flight test is most often required when an airman with borderline color vision wishes to upgrade a medical certificate.

X-Chrom Lens
This lens is not acceptable to the FAA as a means for correcting a pilot's color vision deficiencies.

Yarn Test
Yarn tests are not acceptable methods of testing for the FAA medical certificate

Note that the FAA list of acceptable tests is rather long, this is a direct result of their experience with this problem. A lot of people are on the borderline with this problem and if you can pass one of these tests they will be OK and even if you can't then the signal light test is still an option.

following is another post with details of the signal light test.

Good luck

Old 6th May 2001, 07:56   #3 (permalink)
inverted flatspin
Posts: n/a

Procedure for removal of color vision restriction
The newly revised standards in Part 67 specify that applicants for all classes of medical certification have "the ability to perceive those colors necessary for the safe performance of airman duties."

If the airman does not pass the color vision test administered in the Aviation Medical Examiner's office at the time of the FAA physical examination, the following options are available to remove the restrictions from the medical certificate:

(1) The more desirable option that does not result in the issuance of a waiver is the successful completion of an FAA-approved alternative test. The attached sheet from the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners lists the optional tests and requirements for satisfactory completion based upon the class of medical applied for. The alternative test may be administered by an ophthalmologist or optometrist of your choice. Send successful results to the FAA and you will be issued an amended certificate without the night flight/color signal restriction. Instead of a Statement of Demonstrated Ability, the FAA issues a letter that you will present at each physical examination to verify that you meet the color vision standards.

There are several advantages to this option: (a) No authorization from FAA is necessary; (b) results of unsuccessful attempts need not be reported; (c) no SODA ("waiver") will be issued, so the airman need not claim a "waiver" (when applying for a professional flying position, for example); (d) if the airman is unsuccessful with an alternative test, the second option is still available.

(2) A "waiver" allows individuals who do not successfully pass the pseudoisochromatic color plate test administered in the medical examiner's office to have the night flying/color signal control limitation removed from their medical certificates by correctly identifying color signals flashed from an air traffic control tower.



To be prepared for the color signal light test, we suggest you visit the airport and ask the tower specialist to flash the color signals in your direction. Have someone with you who has "normal" color vision to confirm that you correctly identify the colors. The FAA Inspector's Handbook also allows the inspector to ask you to demonstrate the ability to read aeronautical charts, including colored airspace and ground terrain designations most commonly found on sectional charts. You may or may not be asked to do this in addition to the light signal test.

Call the Aeromedical Certification Division in Oklahoma City and request an authorization for the color signal light test. Indicate the FAA Flight Standards District Office you intend to visit. The FAA will copy the authorization letter to that facility and to you. After receiving the letter, which is valid for 90 days, call the FSDO and schedule the test. Avoid midday tests when the sun is directly overhead. Late afternoon or cloudy days are the best conditions to view the light signals. Some facilities will accommodate an after-hours appointment if you ask.

Upon your successful completion of the test, the examiner will be authorized to issue the waiver (Statement of Demonstrated Ability) removing the restrictions from your medical. The FAA will usually upgrade a waiver to a higher class medical certificate without requiring a repeat of the signal light test.

To contact the FAA in Oklahoma City use the following address and phone:

Aeromedical Certification Division
CAMI Building
P.O. Box 26080
Oklahoma City, OK 73126

If you have additional questions, call the AOPA Medical Certification Department at 800/872-2672.

Attachments — Color Vision GAME Pages

Old 7th May 2001, 07:34   #4 (permalink)
Speed Racer
Posts: n/a

I too was in the same boat as you! - sorry if this seems long and boring.. if you dont wanna read it then dont! But this is my tale of how i managed to get the medical, even being colour defective

Luckily i was 17 when i realised i could see the airfield lights correctly, and learned of the alternative tests that could be done to accquire a class 1.
After failing the ishihara at age 11 in a state run screening process at school, and told "you are colour blind, which rules out any career as a pilot, electrician, etc.. NEXT!" - great way to learn that your ambitions of being a pilot have just been dashed. I was completely gutted to say the least.
For the next 6yrs i farted around at school, doing the bare minimum, because i had no idea what i wanted to be when i was older. Well i knew what i wanted to be - a pilot, but was still under the impression that it just wasn't meant for me.
In my 7th form year i was faced with the task of trying to choose what course to take at university the next year.. i of course had no idea! It was very discouraging not knowing what you were going to do with your life, which i probably why i took to wagging school a lot. But for me this was probably what did it. While being illegaly absent from school i was sitting by the water front just staring at the sky, when i saw a 737 fly across the harbour and land. I sat there for hours that day and watched numerous aircraft fly past, and it was then that i realised that i still wanted to be a pilot more than anything in the world.
The next day, with little or no intent on actually attending school, i caught a bus out to the airport where i spent all day in the terminal watching the planes come and go, but also looking at their lights flash. That night while out with my girlfriend i saw a few jets fly overhead, each time stopping to attempt to make out the different coloured lights. To my amazement i was able to see them! .. for me this was something huge, it gave me a glimpse of hope at actually making it as a pilot.
Once home that night i stayed up for hours researching all i could about colour blindness, and the rules and regulations (that is how i stumbled across this site!).
This is how i learnt that the ishihara test is not the only test that can be done to prove me colour-safe.
Within a week i was at the CAA approvd optomitrist, taking the full eye test. Naturally i failed the ishihara plates, but was told that dispite this my actualy vision was better than average, and if it wasn't for my colour vision, i'd have no problems at all.
I quickly called the CAA to see where i stood, and they told me that there were only two lantern testing facilities in the country.. thankfully one in the city i lived with the Holmes Wright - B test, and the 2nd at the other end of the country, a Holmes Wright - A. The nice ladies at the CAA told me that the HW-B test was the harder of the two, with smaller colour dots.

Sorry this is getting long here - almost done!

Did the HW-B .. failed it.. office lights on and off, but passed the D-15 desaturation tests. The (not so) helpful optomitrist at this fine facility again told me i had no hopes of ever passing, and should save myself the money and give up.
Not following the dr's orders, a week later i found myself at the other end of the country (and at great expense) doing the holmes wright A lantern test, failing it in office lights, but passing it in the dark - i dont think that the grin i had after leaving that place has faded, i still wear it today.
Passing all my other class 1 tests, i soon recieved my shiney little piece of plastic only to find an endorsement on the back for colour vision, but still announcing that i am colour safe, and no restrictions.
Not completely happy with this i took it up with CAA and had the endorsement removed (after many months of calling and talking that was)..

But here i am.. dispite all this shinanigans, doing my flight training!

Sorry for the length of this.. i guess if you didn't wanna read it ya shoulda skipped it!

Old 7th May 2001, 15:29   #5 (permalink)
Posts: n/a

Speed - nice one !

Can you be a bit more specific about the two types of HW lantern - ie what are the specific differences between the A and B models ?

Anengineer - I sent you an email. Did you get it ?
Old 7th May 2001, 16:10   #6 (permalink)
Speed Racer
Posts: n/a

The Holmes Wright test is basically being able to tell the difference between the two red, green, or white dots that the lantern produces.

Both HW tests that i did were done via a mirror to give the correct distance that it is ment to be done from (aaaaaand i dont know that distance, sorry!). Two dots will appear, one above the other, in combinations between of the three possibilities, (ie red-green, white-red, green-green.. etc) .. and you just call em as you see them. Here in NZ you can have two mistake before you fail the test.

The first test i did, the HW-B was horrible.. it was anyones guess what the lights were up there coz they were so damn small!.. and im not kidding, i could tell the red fine, but it was harder for the white and green. I dont know the exact size of the light, or distance, but you could compare it to looking at something smaller than a LED from 5-6m away... it looked like a pin hole.

That is the main difference between the two tests, and is why the Holmes Wright A is said to be easier, is that he lights that you view are larger with the HW-A than with the B. It was much easier to distinguish between the whites and greens, altough still hard, it was a breeze compared to just guessing those of the B.

Hope this helps!

If you've got anymore questions just give us an email..
Old 8th May 2001, 14:42   #7 (permalink)
Posts: n/a

GiJoe, I got your email - thanks. Sorry I haven't had a chance to reply properly yet.
I would like to find out whether the UK CAA are still using the Holmes-Wright lantern or this 'Nagel's Anomaloscope' that's referred to in the JAA regs. I have no information at all about the 'Anomaloscope' and would appreciate any info from anyone.

I was *very* encouraged by your comments Speedracer - there could still be hope for me yet. - though my first reaction when I saw you were in NZ was one of 'well, the NZ CAA cannot possibly be as restrictive as the UK one', plus, I suspect you are also a lot younger than me. However, I should stop looking for the negatives all the time.

I am intrigued by your references to the HW 'A' and 'B' tests - I think these could be the same test but using different apertures - but why you would have to travel to the other end of the country to save the AME from moving a lever I don't know !

I have a bit more info on the HW tests buried in my 'Wannabeapilot' file (along with all the rejection letters!) which I will dig out today and post any useful stuff I find.

Incidentally, I have noticed in various other posts on this subject in the archives (and if you haven't read through the archives, it's well worth it - just use the search facility on PPRuNe) that various people state that they were told they could only take the HW test once... I have it in writing from the CAA that you can take it as often as you like (though, of course with a comment that there was little point !). Whilst I'm ranting, it's interesting that when I failed at the CAA, I wrote to them asking what version of Ishihara plates they used, as I intended to buy a set, genuinely out of curiosity and to help me understand my 'disability' better. The AME that replied was downright rude and actually suggested I was trying to find a way to cheat the test ! Bloody Cheek ! - If I was genuinely unsafe to fly, *I* would be the LAST person to get in a plane with me !

I have a copy of my HW results and wondered how they compared with anyone elses....
(I'm using '.' to signify a correct answer, and e.g. 'G' to signify that I saw that colour as Green) - does anyone know what the numbers mean, e.g. 'Red 2' ???

Lit Room: Dark Room:
1 2 3 4

Red2 . . . .
White G G G G

Green2 . . . .
Red1 . . . .

White . . . R
White G . G .

Green2 . . . .
Red2 . . . .

Red1 W W . .
Red2 . . . .

Red1 . . . .
Green1 . . . .

White . . . .
Green2 . . . .

Green1 . . . .
Red2 . . . .

Green1 . . W W
Green2 . . . W

As you can see, I misidentified just 15% of the lights in a lit room and oddly, did slightly worse in the dark ! (though the AME stopped testing me after the first set in the dark, so you can't compare the stats really).

I really need some more information on Class 1 meds - e.g....

1) How long does your initial Class 1 last ?

2) Do they re-test colour vision and, if so, how often ?

3) What would be the implications of going to NZ to take the test that SpeedRacer took ?
...or indeed, taking a Class 1 anywhere in the world. Would that be valid in the UK, or would I then be in the realms of Foreign Licence Conversions etc ?

If only I could get through this damn colour test, then I would only have the small hurdle of raising more money than I've ever seen in order to get trained ! (I'm Taurean, and would stop at *nothing* :-) )

Thanks for your replies so far people.... I have never felt so optimistic about my chances of getting in the right seat of anything.

Old 8th May 2001, 14:48   #8 (permalink)
Posts: n/a

Ah. - just spotted that the formatting of my little table gets all screwed when posted here :-( - but you can get the jist of it I hope ! Tests 1,2 & 3 were in the light, test 4 in the dark. and e.g. on the first pair of lights 'Red2 and White' I identified the Red correctly and the White as Green in all 4 tests. Kev.
Old 8th May 2001, 16:49   #9 (permalink)
Posts: n/a

An - when precisely did the CAA tell you that you could do the HW as many times as you wanted ?

This could be a very lucrative earner for them - imagine it, 400 for a nice JAA Class 1 during which you get no further than the CP test. Would they then issue a Class 1 (Restricted)assuming everything else was ok ?

Are the CAA amiable to allowing you to visit the Beehive as many times as you want in order to take only the cp tests ?

Anyone got any answers/experiences ????
Old 8th May 2001, 16:54   #10 (permalink)
Posts: n/a

Further to my last, I am off to the Canaries for a bit of windsurfing but have just written a letter to CAA requesting some advice/an offer to test again etc on the strength of an independent opticians advice.

I'll let you know what the reply is when I get back.

[This message has been edited by gijoe (edited 08 May 2001).]
Old 8th May 2001, 17:07   #11 (permalink)
Speed Racer
Posts: n/a

>> WARNING - another long post <<

Class ones are quick and easy.. well kinda, here in NZ the whole system is decentralised, which means unlike the UK, you cant just mosie on down to Gatwick or wherever to get one done, you have to visit a different place for different tests (eg, hospital for hearing, radiology clinic for xrays, optician for eyes..)
My tests were spread out the course of a month, but givin some planning they could all be done in a week.. or if you're real keen a couple of days.
To give you and idea here are the things i had to have done, and times taken.
Eye exam - 45mins - very thorough
(Colour test done at other place was another 30mins long)
Hearing - 10mins
Xrays - 10mins
ECG - 20mins
Examination - 1hr

Here in NZ you can either choose to have the tests done by a DME or the AME. I had mine done with the DME, who sent it on to the AME who has the power to issue the medical. Of course if i had done the examination with the AME i would of had the medical straight away!.. but it took a week before i had the shiney piece of plastic in the mail box.

Here in NZ colour testing is a one off thing, never to be repeated in the course of your class 1 renewal. I of course have to inform the doc when i get it renewed that i have the deficiency, but all the same i have been told by the CAA that im sweet for life.

From the looks of your test it seems that your form of colour deficiency could be very similar to mine. I got all the reds every time, as did you, and for the both of us it was mostly the whites and greens we mucked up. One thing i noticed, while doing the tests, and in the end this helped me i believe, was that the dr always told me that the white light was an incandecent light.. meaning it appears with a tinge of yellow, and not florecent white like one might expect. With this knowledge i was easily able to pick out the whites and the greens, because the greens had no trace of yellow at all, and the whites were the ones with the slight yellow tinge.

Learning the ishihara was another thing i contemplated.. it was so easy to do, and no one would pick you up on it. I found a copy on the net which i used.. as more or less study, and realised that on a computer monitor i could see all the correct numbers, it was just under exam room conditions (prolly poor light, or my monitor's on the brink of exploding) that i failed (mind you it was only by 1). The advice of bluffing my way through it was givin to me by the lovely lady who took me flying for the first time on a 40min trial flight. She informed me of her friend who passed that way, and he's now flying the big shiney ones.

The problems with getting a NZ class 1, is that it might not be any good in the UK, as i have heard that JAA medicals are a lot stricter. I think that all NZ medicals and licences are good for use in NZ and in Australia because we are such good neighbouring buddies :P

It may be worthwhile contacting JAA and NZ CAA to ask them about this, coz really im not an expert

From my looking around and asking questions i gained a fairly good idea of what tests are the best, easiest, and fairest.
Ishihara is by far the hardest, and most unfair..
Holmes Wright lantern tests are next on the difficulty scale, although fair in that they test your ability to see navigation lights.
Farnsworth Lantern tests are next (and also acceptable by NZ CAA standards, although the nearest machine is in Melbourne, Australia)
The FAA in america issues a test where by you are taken to an airfield and asked to tell the colours of signal lights. A very fair and fitting test, and from what i hear next to no one fails this one!
The anomaloscope is a precision form of determining the degree of colour deficiency. Although i have never done the test, i hear that it consists of seeing the light spectrum through a device.. what you have to do to pass is beyond me!

No doubt you have visited the previous posts on colour deficiency http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/For...ML/000048.html and will have visited




I also have another australian site which tells of how one group managed to take the issue of colour deficiency to some form of disputes tribunal.. and won!
So if you want i can dig that address out for you and email it, as well as the online ishihara tests.
Australia and to a lesser extent NZ i think are commonly seen as being more relaxed on colour vision requirements.. unlike the UK which instead of becomming less stringent, is instead becoming more strict.
An interesting statement was sent to me by the CAA which stated (after requesting the removal of my endorsement):
"colour vision standards are likely to become less stringent with time (ICAO are developing testing procedures that should be universally adopted in the future)"..

There is hope for colour deficients yet!

Although young in age (age got nothing to do with it.. kev you are 37? .. retirement age is 63 or something now, you still have a good 25yrs to make it!), i too have the money problem. I myself nor my parents would be capable of supplying the necessary funds to get me a CPL so i could start a job, but luckily here in NZ the government has a studen loan scheme. I am not sure if this exists in the UK, but here anyone, at any age (must be a resident of NZ of course.. but that aint hard to do! .. they accept anyone!), can attend a NZ Qualifications Authority approved learning institute, and have the course fee's and a living allowance paid for by the government in the form of a loan, to be repaid when it is possible.
I am currently doing Massey University's Bachelor of Aviation, which will see me with CPL, Frozen ATPL, 220hrs, and all the bobs and whistles that go with it (IR, Gas Turbine Rating.. etc). All of this for NZ$60k over 3yrs (living costs exluded).
The Student loan scheme gives us 0% interest while we are students, and once we finish also until we earn over a certain amount a year, then we must start paying it back. The current huge loophole in the system is that people can choose to leave the country, and obtain residence somewhere else, not having to pay the loan back. But the govt. is currently working on ways to prevent this, or getting the money paid from overseas loanees.

Sorry this post is so long and kinda just everywhere.. its hard to keep track of what your typing sometimes. All i can say is keep goin! .. i know exactly what it's like to have your hopes and dreams dashed, but im glad that i didn't give up, and its good to see that neither are you.

Best of luck to Kev! If i can get past all the medical shinanigans anyone can .. just dont give up!
If you want gimme an email, i can try and get some info from CAA here if you want.


Old 9th May 2001, 01:53   #12 (permalink)
Posts: n/a

Been down this road myself in the UK. Failed Ishihara, and Holmes Wright, in both office lights, and in the dark. (Confuse white and green). Failed at CAA first time, then went to the colour vision clinic at City University and failed again.

While at City I did the Nagel Anomoloscope too. JAA stipulates you must be able to pass as a "normal trichromate".

The Nagel Anomoloscope consists of looking into an instrument at a coloured disk, split in two halves. The idea is to match the colours on each half exactly, by adjusting two knobs: one for red-green colour, and one for brightness.

Using the Anomoloscope, I was diagnosed as a protanomolous trichromate - ie red deficient.

Thus, I confuse white with green on the Holmes Wright, as the white light is apparently: "quite greenish, to help those who are green defective (deutanomolous trichromates) to see it as white".

8% of men are green deficient, 2% red deficient, and <1% blue deficient.

The great advantage of the City tests (including the anomoloscope) is that they can quantify any defect you might have.

Apparently, I'd be okay if I was similarly defective in green, but as I'm not, I'd best get on with my 2nd choice career.

Old 9th May 2001, 03:16   #13 (permalink)
Posts: n/a

GiJoe - the letter I have here is dated October 1995 (yes, I've been at this for YEARS :-( ) ...and it states 'Although there is technically no restriction on the number of times somebody can attempt the test, colour vision is a static condition, and if somebody fails it once they will fail it again.' - 'nuff said ?

Incidentally, for those interested in the Holmes-Wright test, the letter also states 'The standard lantern test for a class 1 certificate for professional flying is the Holmes Wright. The test for private flying is the Giles Archer. We require pilots to correctly identify signal red, signal green and white using the large and medium apertures at a distance of six metres.'

Speed Racer, could you post / email the site with the online Ishihara tests please ? I have checked out all the other links you mentioned, and found them very interesting, despite almost losing all of my eyesight in reading the entire Denison case ! :-)
(which, incidentally, *might* answer my question on the numbers on the HW lantern test - it mentions a 'Type 2 red is a deep red')

Re: the NZ Student Loan Scheme, we have a similar thing here, called the 'Career Development Loan', however, in typical British short-sightedness, it is limited to an absolute maximum of 8,000 UK Pounds ($27,000 NZ). Tight b*stards !

As far as the software testing thing goes, I have a demo version of something called 'TwoDocs Colortest' which is very interesting for playing about with, though it does say 'The Demo version does not diagnose' - so presumeably, the proper version does. Seeing as I can find no reference to the company anymore, I can only presume they have ceased trading, so if anyone wants a copy, just let me know. Meantime, I will see if I can track down a pukka version somewhere.

My immediate plan of action is to build myself / acquire a Holmes-Wright lantern to play with. I expect they will cost a zillion bucks to buy, so I'll probably build an el-cheapo version. I *need* to beat the damn thing, nothing to do with flying mind you... I just need to beat it ! ;-)

...and I will.

Old 9th May 2001, 03:29   #14 (permalink)
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Grob, where did you get that quote of "quite greenish, to help those who are green defective (deutanomolous trichromates) to see it as white" ???

I am getting a horrible feeling here that this damn lantern is biased in favour of those deutanomolous trichromates...

(nothing like starting a colour-defective faction eh !)

BTW - did you abandon all hope as soon as you had the results, or have you secretly hankered after a flying job ever since ?

I have been dreaming of flying since I was 8, and at 37 have come to the conclusion that I simply cannot get it out of my system and will always feel frustrated and unfulfilled unless I can fly. I only have one life and I really don't want to live the rest of it feeling like I have for the past two decades plus. If I don't do something about it now, it will be too late. I *know* that I have to pull out all the stops, and then some, but I've never wanted anything this badly - and the feelings of frustration will never go away..... so if I have to spend the rest of my life fighting to get there - I will - whatever it takes.

Cheers Mate,

Old 10th May 2001, 02:25   #15 (permalink)
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Quote is from the person who runs the colour vision clinic at City Uni - can't remember her name I'm afraid. She said that the white "can be quite greenish". I drew the conclusion that's to help deutans myself.

I also got the impression that the H-W lantern displays differing versions of red, green, and white, all of which are inside the tolerances for aviation red, green and white. If that's the case (and logically there must be some tolerances), then perhaps some of the "white" lights are "greenish"? Not an expert, and as I can't see the bloody colours anyway.

Secretly hanker after flying job, in the same way I secretly hanker after a lottery win. No point crying over spilt milk. I suspect I could get an FAA SODA, or a medical in some other country, but I've got family, and a fiancee in the UK. Having lived in several countries, I realise the UK is the one I like the most. I'm not willing to give up lots of stuff just to do a job I'd like a lot more.

I made this decision on the basis that I should only make decisions that maximise my happiness. Certainly flying would be better than my current job, but the sacrifices I'd have to make to do it aren't worth it. Those sacrifices are financial, geographical, and personal.

I can still fly, and have a ball flying gliders. Thanks to its amateur status, I enjoy a level (medical) playing field with other glider pilots, even to the extent of being allowed to fly in cloud.

Obviously you've decided that you'd be happier flying, regardless of the sacrifices. That's an equally valid decision, and I hope you achieve your aims.

Good luck,

Old 10th May 2001, 04:54   #16 (permalink)
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I can see your point of view... and one I've wrangled with myself - I have a lot to lose in even attempting it. I know however, that this will be my last shot at it, as I've made moves to resurrect my dreams several times in the past, and repeated disillusionment takes its toll. Besides, my realistic chance of success & subsequent employment decreases each year, and as obsessive as I may sound, I also realise I still have a partner and a life to lead, whether I fly or not. I know that realistically, my chances of success are slim, but after several substandard attempts in the past, I feel I owe it one last shot.
...and anyway, I might just have to win the lottery to finance it

Gotta have dreams ! (and a chance to get in my favourite quote from my favourite film, The Shawshank Redemption - "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'"

.......on the other hand, "Hope is a dangerous thing, Hope can drive a man insane"
(same film) might be more appropriate !

Gliding sounds very tempting mind !
...though not in a 747

Old 10th May 2001, 13:17   #17 (permalink)
Speed Racer
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anengineer - im sending that email now, hopefully if ma ISP dont go nuts again (its a bit iffy tonight) it should be there!


Old 11th May 2001, 16:49   #18 (permalink)
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Could someone tell me how long your first Class 1 medical is valid for ? - and perhaps more importantly, do the UK CAA re-test colour vision in subsequent medicals ?


Old 12th May 2001, 04:45   #19 (permalink)
Speed Racer
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class 1's have to be renewed every year, except you dont have to go through the whole process again. The initial class 1 is the hardest, and very thorough. To renew it yearly costs less, and doesn't go into as much detail.
From what i know your eyes are checked again, not colour vision, just vision, hearing is also tested, along with ECG's and stuff like that.
Old 14th May 2001, 20:24   #20 (permalink)
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What about the JAA thing I read about somewhere else on PPRuNe - something about 5 yearly eyesight tests, to include colour testing ?? - Anyone got any info on this ?

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