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The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots

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The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots

Old 8th Sep 2015, 06:24
  #641 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 190
Hello all,

I am 18 years old and would love to become a Pilot but since around 5 i have been told that it won't happen as i am CVD, it's in my family and i fail all the ishihara plates. I have completed one TIF Flight recently and loved it.
What i want to know if what are the steps to attempt to gain a class one medical? I would like to do it before i start any training and also have the option to apply to cadet programs.

Is my best bet to go to a DAME, fail the ishihara plates then be referred to somewhere like Australian College of Optometry that has the lantern tests etc? If i fail them what are my options/how do i get a Aviation Signal Light Test?

Thanks for all your help - especially those who have supported CVD pilots in the past.
logansi is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2015, 06:32
  #642 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,942
In the first instance talk to Dr. Arthur Pape, in Geelong. He is the best person to talk to. You will find him in the phone book.
Please, in your own interests, talk to him before you talk to anybody else.
Tootle pip!!
LeadSled is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2015, 06:42
  #643 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Posts: 190
ok - he is the guy behind CVDPA right, does he have an email too?
logansi is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2015, 06:45
  #644 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Just give him a call, and reads through this whole thread, so you have some idea of the background of the situation, in which you find yourself.
Tootle pip!!
LeadSled is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2015, 08:41
  #645 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Abeam Alice Springs
Posts: 978
Question posed at the Mildura forum held on 30 July

From CASA document:
Q. Why did I have to redo a medical report which my GP could have done, saving the expense and time of traveling to a DAME in a regional centre?

A. CASA cannot comment on individual cases. However, there is a misunderstanding within the industry of the purpose of specialist opinions. Most specialists prescribe a treatment because it improves the patient’s outlook and their reports often reflect this, but CASA requires a risk assessment which involves different questions and investigations. Risk assessment is different to clinical care.
DAME opinions are always valued, but few DAMEs have formal qualifications in aviation medicine. CASA doctors have an advantage in that they have the relevant postgraduate and occupational medicine qualifications, and as the regulator, must make the final decision.
The cost of tests is outside CASA’s control. Applicants frequently supply results of inappropriate tests and you are encouraged to liaise with Avmed beforehand to avoid this problem.
In terms of delays, the median response time is 7–9 days where all the information is complete, but 37 days where it is not. The electronic application process will further reduce delays and ensure complete information is provided before an application can be submitted.
Following recent dialogue with the sport aviation organisations, CASA is actively sourcing material to improve their understanding of medical and regulatory issues.
triadic is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2015, 20:52
  #646 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Australia/India
Posts: 3,228
Summary: CASA's opinion is that CASA knows better.

Reality: It doesn't.

The recent track record of challenges to CASA's medical-related decisions in the AAT shows CASA does not know better. CASA's decision is more often than not varied in favour of the applicant, or CASA backs down before it gets to a hearing.

A blast from the not-so-distant past:
24. Dr Navathe’s witness statement concluded in this way:

90. Having reviewed all three specialist reports, I remain convinced that I have made the safest decision in refusing Mr Bolton a Class 1 and 2 medical certificate at this time. I have formed the view that is supported by all three specialists, that Mr Bolton does not have a severe head injury, and ceteris paribus [all other things being equal] will be able to obtain medical certification after a period of 18 – 24 months has elapsed from the time of the injury.

91. I acknowledge that I have an overriding duty to provide impartial assistance to the Tribunal. No matters of significance have been withheld from the Tribunal

Despite the fact that the statement does contain the declaration of duty required by the Guidelines it could not be plainer that Dr Navathe is an advocate for his own decision. I do not propose to have any regard to his opinions. For the future I would trust that CASA’s Legal Branch would exercise independent judgement in deciding what witnesses ought be relied upon and the content of their statements. They ought, obviously enough, be confined to matters that are relevant and witnesses ought be those who can truly provide an independent opinion.
If triadic's post above is an accurate summary of AVMED's current position, it shows that CASA still does't get it.

It appears that AVMED still has an inbuilt bias that can be summarised in the vernacular: FIGJAM.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 13:40
  #647 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Age: 48
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I struggle with this bit..........

but few DAMEs have formal qualifications in aviation medicine.
I would have thought that being designated a DAME, meant that you in fact DID have a formal qualification.

My own GP, is also a DAME. He did the courses because he wanted to fly. The courses turned him to golf instead. Words from his own mouth.
jas24zzk is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2015, 06:23
  #648 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 110
Dr Arthur Pape's ASAM 2015 Presentation

Earlier last month, CVDPA Director Dr Arthur Pape spoke at the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine annual conference held in Adelaide. A reproduced copy of his presentation is below:

From the conference website, the abstract of the presentation was:

The Colour Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) Test: An Ishihara by another name?

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is responsible for aviation safety, carrying out its responsibility using various methods. These include:

(i) Mandating regular medical tests (minimising risks of, say, cardio-vascular events that could render aircrew incapable of safe piloting); and
(ii) Mandating regular flight-simulator tests (ensuring pilots can cope safely with unexpected events while flying).

CASA also implements the Aviation Colour Perception Standard (ACPS) which since June 2014 has included the CAD Test. In February 2015 the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) granted a colour-vision-defective pilot who had failed the CAD Test all privileges of the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), concluding, in essence, that CAD Test performance was irrelevant in determining whether the pilot could fly aircraft safely.

I elaborate on this AAT decision. I do this by showing a video of the CAD Test in action, and using this to highlight crucial aspects of the Test that provide compelling evidence for the proposition that while the CAD may be an excellent test of defective colour vision, it is not a test of potentially defective and unsafe control of aircraft. That is, the CAD Test is not an operational test, a point acknowledged by Professor J. Barbur, a co-developer of the Test, in his AAT evidence.

I conclude by asking why CASA has not considered using a version of an operational test already in its armoury (see Point (ii) above) in its implementation of the ACPS.
brissypilot is offline  
Old 5th Oct 2015, 02:59
  #649 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Posts: 14
King Pape.

Once again Dr Pape offers another slam dunk to the regulator. Did anything come of this at all being three weeks down the track now?
papakurapilot is offline  
Old 5th Oct 2015, 09:31
  #650 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
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CASA is an evidence-based and risk-based regulator.

Accordingly, until there is evidence of substantial political risk arising from the rejuvinated prejudice against pilots with CVD, CASA will continue to treat them with indifferent contempt.

Simple really.
Lead Balloon is offline  
Old 5th Oct 2015, 20:21
  #651 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Australia
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The trouble here is the lack of evidence either way.
Not so, the Denison case was technically/scientifically exhaustive, and there have been no "new developments" since, just CASA wanting to take a giant leap backwards under McCormick/Albanese.

Unfortunately, nobody in CASA is going to take responsibility for reversing the current "policy", so we need a new "test" case, so it is a tribunal or court taking the responsibility.

Tootle pip!!
LeadSled is offline  
Old 5th Oct 2015, 22:34
  #652 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Australia/India
Posts: 3,228

There is substantial and overwhelming evidence that pilots with CVD represent no greater risk to air safety than pilots without CVD. It's in the Pape and Dennison matters in the AAT, the subsequent safety record of pilots with CVD, the performance of pilots using NVG gear and the active policy of aircraft manufacturers and, in particular, avionics manufacturers in relation to systems design.

It's also between the lines of the O'Brien matter in the AAT, in the manifest intellectual dishonesty of the regulator's arguments.

The prejudice has its source in 19th century maritime navigation techniques, to which the accurate and reliable ability to perceive colours was and remains essential, at least during hours of darkness. Unfortunately, air navigation came after maritime navigation, and the former simply adopted the rules of the latter.

Today's rules of the air are essentially the 19th century rules of the sea. If you search the term "COLREGS" you will find the internationally-agreed codification of the rules of the sea and, if you're a pilot, they will look very familiar. Who gives way to whom, and what coloured lights have to be fitted where, and their meaning, are almost identical on the water as they are in the air.

But all of that stuff was left behind, literally, in aviation, when flying vessels started reaching speeds in the triple digit knots. That also left the CVD industry to cast about for evidence to substantiate its foregone conclusions, rather than revisit their validity in a different context. Citing the FedEx Tallahassee accident is an example.

These paragraphs from the NTSB report (here: http://asndata.aviation-safety.net/r...722_N497FE.pdf ) were quoted earlier in this thread:
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the captain’s and first officer’s failure to establish and maintain a proper glidepath during the night visual approach to landing. Contributing to the accident was a combination of the captain’s and first officer’s fatigue, the captain’s and first officer’s failure to adhere to company flight procedures, the captain’s and flight engineer’s failure to monitor the approach, and the first officer’s color vision deficiency.
During postaccident interviews, all three pilots reported observing red and white lights on the PAPI display, consistent with normal PAPI operation. [Added note: the Flight Engineer was a qualified pilot on type. Hence the reference to “all three pilots”.] Although the flight engineer and captain reported seeing a pink PAPI signal on one of the four PAPI lights at some time during the approach, they also reported seeing red and/or white lights (which would have provided appropriate glidepath guidance) at the same time.

In postaccident statements, the flight crew and ground observers indicated that there were no obstructions to visibility along the approach path. However, the comments made by the first officer (“gonna lose the end of the runway”) and captain (“disappear a little”) suggest that they may have encountered a temporary obstruction to visibility (for example, clouds or mist) as they approached runway 9. If such an obstruction existed, it may also have obscured the PAPI lights. Although a temporary obstruction might help explain the flight crew’s failure to recognize the PAPI guidance while that obstruction was present, it does not explain why the three pilots failed to recognize the presence of four red PAPI lights throughout the rest of the approach. Further, according to FedEx procedures (and FAA regulations), if the approach end of the runway became obscured at any time during the visual approach, the pilots should have performed a go-around.
This is worth repeating: "[T]hree pilots failed to recognize the presence of four red PAPI lights throughout the rest of the approach."

I cannot fathom how any intellectually honest analysis of the circumstances described in that report and the findings of the report could be construed as substantial evidence of pilots with CVD being a greater risk to air safety than pilots without CVD.
Lead Balloon is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2015, 12:54
  #653 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ALandDownUnder
Posts: 115
Hello all,
Was chatting with a couple of guys in the aviation industry, including one who gain a class one with the tower light signal test, and we were wondering if the tower light signal/gun test still offered or is it just this stupid cad test?
log0008 is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2015, 10:36
  #654 (permalink)  
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Pages 92-93 here: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/...lication%2Fpdf
Senator FAWCETT: I am very pleased to hear that. You have said also in point 2 in your regulatory philosophy that where reasonable alternative approaches to the fulfilment of a regulatory requirement can satisfy legal requirements and do not unacceptably compromise safety that you will consider it and look at that. I draw you back to a conversation we have had previously about pilots who have a colour vision deficiency and the fact that previously CASA allowed an alternative approach which was an individual assessment of competence and capacity to operate a particular aircraft type by night and as a result of that we have had 25 years of safe operations, single pilot, multicrew, RPT and so on. Currently CASA has closed the door to that. Would you consider reopening that door in light of your stated regulatory philosophy?

Mr Skidmore: I have stated to those people involved that I am more than happy to look at the empirical test that is actually defining the variables and actually understand the implications in regards to the tested results themselves and if they prove otherwise then we will look at those.
Why is the onus on "those people" to "prove" anything?
Senator FAWCETT: So, that could include a practical test in the aircraft type that they were seeking approval to operate?

Mr Skidmore: Currently in regards to regulations, as far as I am aware, we specify the Ishihara test is the first level, the Farnsworth test is the second level and then a third test. Currently we recommend the CAD test.
No Mr Skidmore, "we" don't "recommend" sh*t. The word "recommend" infers a choice. There is no choice as to the means of demonstrating compliance with the colour perception standard.

The supporters of that nice-little-earner the CVD prejudice industry in CASA have determined the CAD test for the purposes of CASR 67.150(6)(c).

Unless of course no test at all has been determined, or other tests have been determined, and no one in industry has been told.

Nothing AVMED does would surprise.
Senator FAWCETT: What I am saying to you is that we have demonstrated that there are pilots who have safely operated for more than a decade in a range of very challenging roles who have failed your third test, the CAD test. I am asking would you consider allowing them to do what CASA has previously done, which is to do a practical flight test, or now possibly in a simulator, to demonstrate what they are individually capable of in a real scenario?

Mr Skidmore: I have to consider all the situations involved and understand the implications in regards to that. If we consider it is an acceptable means of compliance then I should look at it.
Meaningless waffle. Translation: Meh.
Lead Balloon is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2015, 21:44
  #655 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Victoria
Posts: 82
Thumbs up Red Green Protanope

Hi Arthur,
Long time no see,
the old ugly issue rears its head again.
You will remember me I came to visit way back in 80s holding a fresh CLASS 3 DAYLIGHT Rating with 50Hours IF and NO NIGHT as I failed to meet ICAO requirements.
My old green licence on PAGE XIII stated:-
The holder of the licence is not permitted to pilot aircraft'
1/. At Night
2/. within CTA unless fitted with VHF radio
as he fails to meet the medical colour perception standards specified by ICAO.
I remember how you intervened on my behalf back in March 1990 when I was given permission and more importantly my instructor was given permission to train me "to the minimum amount necessary" to land at night.
So on 18th March 1990 I did Night Circuits for an hour then next night consolidated them and got STAMP in LG stating FIRST SOLO IN TYPE
this occurred at 3120 hours total time and 3000 PIC and 320 IF logged.
I put 15 hours of NIGHT in at that time.
Section CAO 47.3
A few weeks later I did two cross countries of 100 miles to remote areas and qualified for but never obtained the NVFR rating.
So I flew under the provisions of the CIR SE/A NGT IFR
And did the mandatory three landings and 1 hour or so each six months, and then TVASIS approaches and PAPI and now new LED lighting.
Never missed the runway and never came close to another aircraft at night.
Never had a lantern flashed at me from a tower at night or by day.
I have landed at BKSY, YPAD and YMMB at night and countless long distance cross countries and outback ever since..

Well here we are 2016
My old green licence on PAGE XIII has stamps all over the page stating "RESTRICTIONS LIFTED"
And on next page.
"SUPERSEDED" which refers to flight at night.
I now have 30 command IR renewals all restrictions lifted and 5000+hours PIC, Canadian and FAA licences 2 years in ARCTIC ALASKA (where there is no such thing as NGT VFR) and about 800 night IFR hours no NVMC rating and still alive.
My current new licence states amongst other things Holder of licence does not fully meet ICAO Convention Chapter 6 requirements.
My FAA licence makes no mention.
My Canadian requires the Aussie lic to be carried and all limitations from that licence apply.

My PIR FPAs deemed down from my CIRSEA back in 2004
granted me NGT and VISCIRCLING
amongst the other 10 or so approvals for SE SIDS and IDS.

So what went wrong with the system and why now?
Maybe I should present myself to Canberra DAMEs again?
A do the demonstration flights in CTA zone again picking out all the planes in the night sky and landing on the runway not the road?
Even managed to use the runway at Merrill Field AK at night some 300m adjacent and to left of Spenard Street which runs right through centre of Anchorage AK.

And thanks by the way..

Last edited by ZAZ; 24th Nov 2015 at 22:05.
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Old 24th Nov 2015, 22:06
  #656 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Australia/India
Posts: 3,228
I think you should ground yourself immediately.

You don't comprehend the risk you pose to the safety of air navigation. The new regime in Avmed do comprehend the risk, because of all the "evidence" they've collected from those experts who make money out of the CAD test.
Lead Balloon is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2015, 12:02
  #657 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Perth
Posts: 73
if you can see what color the nav lights are you-should be submitting a near miss report!
Supermouse3 is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2015, 13:50
  #658 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: AU
Age: 37
Posts: 2
farnsworth lantern test

hello all

I moved to Australia some time ago. never had a chance to fly previously because where i was from medical was extremely strict. having colour deficiency meant i had zero chance of being able to fly.

Presently I'm starting my PPL after finally saving enough money. I'm getting a class 1 medical to see how far i can go in Australia in regards to having a career in Aviation. Obviously i failed the Ishihara test and have been referred to a DAME for a farnsworth lantern test. Any tips and any idea where will i go from here if i fail the farnsworth lantern test?

northernlights1 is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2015, 18:28
  #659 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Australia
Age: 50
Posts: 547
See thread above. Lots of info there.


Last edited by halfmanhalfbiscuit; 6th Dec 2015 at 18:29. Reason: Fhghgg
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 05:38
  #660 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: AU
Age: 37
Posts: 2
Initial Class 1 Medical for CVD pilot

I thought i should document my Class 1 Medical process here

Class 1 Medical Exam $400
all okay. But due to failed Ishihara Plate test, referred to Eye clinic 1

Eye Clinic 1, $180
Did this online
Color Management System, Services & Software from X-Rite
failed. referred to Eye clinic 2

Eye Clinic 2, $200
Ishihara test,
Optec Lantern, failed

Now test results with Casa. pending referral for a CAD test.
northernlights1 is offline  

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