Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots

Old 31st May 2014, 12:16
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 110
New CASA CVD policies released

It appears that Avmed have decided to disregard Senator Fawcett's valid questions in Estimates last week. In a sign of contempt, they have since released their new colour vision policies in the past few days:

Medical Certification - Frequently Asked Questions

How does CASA deal with pilots with colour vision deficiency?

CASA has reviewed the application of Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 67 – which covers the medical certification of pilots - as it relates to pilots with colour vision deficiency (CVD).

CASA is not changing the regulations relating to CVD but is putting in place new procedures to better align with the existing regulations.

There will be no impact on existing pilots as the new procedures will relate to new applicants only.

Australia is more flexible in its approach than other countries in allowing applicants to sit multiple sequential tests for CVD where a fail is recorded and a medical certificate can be issued if at any stage any of the three-level tests are passed. Most overseas regulators do not allow this level of flexibility.

The new procedures are:

Initial issue of class 1 medicals
Pilot must undergo all three stages of tests until a pass, as per Part 67. If all tests are failed, the class 1 certificate is refused.

Initial issue of class 2 medicals
If the Ishihara test is failed, a certificate will be offered restricted to day VFR only. If the applicant wants this restriction removed, they must pass one of the tests as per Part 67.

Class 1 medical renewals
No immediate change. CASA will write to affected class 1 medical holders and the major airlines advising them to consider the impact their CVD may have on their flying, and such other obligations as they may have to inform their employer of a condition which may affect their ability to safely perform their duties. CVD Class 1 pilots may need to undergo a CAD test in the future.

Class 2 medical renewals
No immediate change. CASA will write to affected pilots asking them to consider the safety-implications of their condition and govern their own flying activities accordingly.

ATPL applications
A certificate will not be issued until a test has been passed as per the existing regulatory requirements.
One has to ask, if there is no immediate change for existing pilots, what is the safety case for refusing certification for new pilots?
brissypilot is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2014, 02:30
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: dans un cercle dont le centre est eveywhere et circumfernce n'est nulle part
Posts: 2,606
No immediate change for existing pilots means there is no safety case to alter the status quo. It's an admission they got it wrong.

Pooshan: Only this morning, I saw a pilot with two heads and two bodies!
Skull: Two pilots standing next to each other?
Pooshan: Yes, I suppose it could have been.
Skull: In case there is an epidemic of double vision we must alter things to make sure. Sort it out will you old man!
Frank Arouet is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2014, 03:17
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 41
Posts: 12
So, basically overnight, without consultation or notification, CAsA have changed the standards for Australia whereby a CVD pilot that has not passed one of the three tests cannot have a career as a pilot in any form.

They can't even fly freight, fly a crop duster, instruct, fly day vfr scenic flights, nothing

My 15 year career so far flying IFR/night piston/turboprop charter, most of which as a Chief Pilot (and actually enjoying GA) has solely relied on the results of the Denison case and the work of Arthur Pape. Let's hope I can pass the CAD test or it's game over

I will never forget the day when I was 15 and my dreams were shattered with the school careers adviser discovering I was slightly CVD and telling me I couldn't fly for a living (oblivious to the relaxing of the regs due to the Denison case).It looks like many more dreams/careers will be denied or destroyed. CAsA has no consideration or care for the personal impacts this has, when there is NO safety case for it.

Wasn't Australia once the place for a 'fair go'?? CAsA, rather than leading the world are being total cowards
CoftC is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2014, 06:30
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 3,052
Simple: You are 'dangerous'!
Creampuff is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2014, 07:35
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ˙ǝqɐq ǝɯ ʇ,uıɐ ʇɐɥʇ 'sɔıʇɐqoɹǝɐ ɹoɟ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu ɹıǝɥʇ ʇnd ǝɯos
Posts: 272
Colour normal pilots can safely name colours.

You may want to tell your employer you sometimes name colours incorrectly - specially those washed out colours. So you would be 'dangerous' at 'calling' a fashion parade.

You could assure them you know when a light is on or off irrespective of what colour it appears to be and remind them that in an aviation situation where colour is used to convey a message that there are sufficient other cues to be sure of the meaning.

Oh and 25 years of CVD pilots flying at every level without issue cant be ignored.
outofwhack is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2014, 00:46
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
Angel chin up

Good day all as a fellow CVD pilot it is quite disturbing the latest CASA BS... thats coming out. I stand to lose my career as with many of you out there irrespective of the fact having flown 37 types acft including being fixed wing and helicopter instructor rated and 737-8 Captain and 5 diff jets !!!! It took me 10 years to get my medical initially and now ....!!

The point where I am going with this is that we all have our story and BIG BIG concerns and we need to keep ALL the news going, however I feel we also need to get some positives (however small or insignificant) in order for us to sustain the fight. Dr Pape, in my view has done more than anybody in the history of medical aviation , especially considering his career doesn't even depend on it. John is not only fighting for HIS career but for all of us. I cant sleep at night with all this going on.......How the hell does he and DR Pape sleep !!!!!!!!!

To end I have read all the postings but yet one to read GO BOYS, DONT GIVE UP, WERE BEHIND YOU etc etc.... I would like to thank all those out there fighting for us and I am sure there is plenty we don't even hear about !!! Lets give them as much positive encouragement as possible and get a we gonna win behind these boys.......

As churchill said.."NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP"
BJ737 is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2014, 07:30
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Iraq
Age: 31
Posts: 150
FOr someone who isnt colour blind, explain something please.
Do the colours a person who is red/green difficient see remain constant?
No Hoper is offline  
Old 4th Jun 2014, 01:41
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brisbane
Age: 47
Posts: 29
As a dangerous colour-vision impaired pilot, I am clearly a risk to myself and others, and have been for the last 25 years. Quite how I have survived this long is nothing short of a miracle, clearly.

'No immediate change' for existing medical holders does not reassure me in the slightest. CASA cannot realistically continue to enforce 2 standards for the same 'condition' with different goalposts for new and existing pilots. How would a legal challenge against CASA to the issue of a 'day VFR only' medical for a new pilot stack up when I am allowed to operate under the waiver previously issued?

It is only a matter of time. Us CV-impaired liabilities are ultimately screwed I fear. I looked into the possibility of doing the CAD test, really just to see how I would go - one needs to travel to Sydney and part with $440 for the privilege.
Brainy is offline  
Old 4th Jun 2014, 02:40
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ˙ǝqɐq ǝɯ ʇ,uıɐ ʇɐɥʇ 'sɔıʇɐqoɹǝɐ ɹoɟ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu ɹıǝɥʇ ʇnd ǝɯos
Posts: 272
'No immediate change'

Don't be mislead into thinking that this means 'no change'.
A change has happened for sure.
But you won't lose your career for 2 years.

CASR 1998 Part 67.150 para 7
......... 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.

It lets the change in standards go unchallenged for 2 years and then removes each pilots privileges at their medical renewal date thus not causing a synchronized uproar.

outofwhack is offline  
Old 4th Jun 2014, 03:26
  #110 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 41
Posts: 12
CASA won't have their way because they have no case.

It's easy just to resign to this, but we need to stand up and fight, collectively.

Upon hearing what is going on, my friends both within and outside aviation have been very supportive, and can see that what is happening is absurd. It still needs to hit the mainstream media and gain public support.

The best way to fight this is through the CVDPA and their guidance. Support them generously with donations because they have a very strong case. How much is your career worth??

We have the opportunity in the coming months to hold onto the privileges that Arthur Pape has tirelessly dedicated his life to allowing us in this country, and we can help turn this around and gain momentum for change in other countries.

We need to fight not only for our own careers, but for those who have experienced the same blows with CVD: those not given the chance in other countries, those seeking a career in aviation and for CVD people prejudiced as a whole.

Collectively we can do this!!
CoftC is offline  
Old 4th Jun 2014, 03:35
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
CocC you are spot on, as per my post we have to believe we gonna win, I know PPRuNe is used as a big bitching post sometimes and rightly justified... However now we need to be positive and BELIEVE we gonna give CASA A BLOODY NOSE !!!! Go boys go !!!!
BJ737 is offline  
Old 4th Jun 2014, 10:09
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
hey outofwhack

not hundred percent you are right, what you say is correct, however CASA have stated "we are not changing the law but merely appying it in another way" therefore technically we might not get the 2 year leniancy as the law has not changed.........but then again who am I to question the sky gods !!!!!!
BJ737 is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 00:36
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 769
CoftC Hear Hear bloody well said, fight Mr Poobar with logic and collective wisdom gained of significant time, we have a better DEMONSTRATED safety case than Mr Poobar.
T28D is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 01:22
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 41
Posts: 12
The stats..

In 2011, an aircraft crashed into a ferris wheel.

Therefore, there have been more accidents caused by collision with ferris wheels than by Colour Vision Defective pilots, worldwide.
CoftC is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 07:27
  #115 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 110
CASA writes to all AOC holders

Avmed has today written to all AOC holders encouraging them to consider whether it is safe to continue to allowing CVD pilots to operate:

Colour Vision Deficiency Letter to AOC Holders

Talk about blatantly lying to the public over the past few months about denying any changes to wind back the clock. Visit the CVDPA website for the full story:

The Empire Strikes Back: An Important Update on Aviation Colour Vision Standards

Careers are now under very real threat - get on board and support these guys urgently!

Lets hope the likes of AFAP / VIPA / AIPA are onto this.

Mods - any chance of getting this thread sticked again??
brissypilot is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 08:01
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: sydney
Posts: 1,442
Well if that letter doesn't flag just what a bunch of Scumbags inhabit Fort fumble I don't know what does?
thorn bird is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 08:32
  #117 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Age: 75
Posts: 45
I am heartened by the many wonderful and thoughtful contributions to this thread since its inception. I thought I would explain, in as few words as possible, what I see as the fundamental issues at the core of this topic.
The Aviation Colour Perception Standard (ACPS), as specified by ICAO and replicated by practically all signatory states, requires that: “The applicant shall be required to demonstrate the ability to perceive readily those colours the perception of which is necessary for the safe performance of duties.”

At its philosophical/scientific core, this so-called “standard” represents a conclusion (or argument) based on three implicit assumptions, as follows:

  • There is extensive use of colour-coded information in the aviation environment.
  • The “safe performance of duties” in the aviation environment is dependent on “the ability to perceive readily those colours necessary etc etc……..”.
  • Without ‘the ability to perceive readily those colours, the perception of which is necessary for the safe performance of duties”, these duties will be performed unsafely.

    The validity or “truth” of the ACPS relies entirely on the validity or “truth” of each of the three assumptions. In turn, the validity or “truth” of each of the assumptions relies on evidence, as opposed to opinion and/or established prejudice.

    Let’s consider the first assumption. At the dawn of aviation, over a hundred years ago, colour coding was used solely in the form of signalling by means of coloured flags or lights, as the means of communication between people on the ground and in the air. It was suggested that people who could not readily perceive the colours of those signals might perform their duties “unsafely”, and that suggestion, under the circumstances of the day, would have had some merit. Out of this there arose the ACPS, whose wording has changed little from those heady days of cloth covered aeroplanes and simple instructions to pilots using simple coloured objects in a simple “code”.
    Since then there has been an exponential increase in the use of colour throughout the aviation environment, both in the aviation physical environment and in and on aeroplanes. The list of uses of colour is enormous, and the validity of the first assumption is self-evident to anyone with even a minimal knowledge of the aviation environment.
    Result: Assumption 1 is “True”.

    Assumption 2 is, however, problematic. For this assumption to be valid, it needs to be demonstrated that the perception of the colour(s) is sufficient and necessary to see the information that is required for the “safe performance of duties”. In other words, “see the colour” equals “see the information”, which results in “safe performance of duties”. This assumption could be tested empirically, but this type of work has never been done in respect to the aviation environment.
    Result: Assumption 2 remains an unproven assumption

    Assumption 3 is also problematic. To paraphrase assumption 3, would go like this: “see no (or different) colour” equals “see no (or wrong) information” which results in “unsafe performance”. To digress briefly, let me state that the existence of individuals with colour vision deficiencies (CVD) is a proven reality. That 8 to 9 percent of the male population and just less than 1 percent of the female population have one or other of the various types of CVD is beyond any doubt. Further, there are numerous reliable and proven tests available to detect and classify the severity of any particular CVD condition. Let me add also that the CAD test is an excellent test to diagnose and quantify CVD conditions.
    So, in short, the ACPS, via the implicit Assumption 3 would predict that people with CVD should perform the duties (involved in flying an aeroplane) unsafely. This proposition could be tested empirically (i.e., by measurement, observation and analysis). No formal empirical testing of assumption 3 has ever been conducted.

    It is a fact that pilots with CVD have been around for a very long time and in considerable numbers. For almost a century, the FAA has applied a wide variety of colour vision tests and practical tests, whereby tens of thousands of CVD pilots either passed the ACPS or were granted waivers against the standard. Since 1989, a few thousand Australian CVD pilots have enjoyed the freedom to fly at night and many hundreds have achieved successful careers in airline operations. If Assumption 3 were “true” one would expect there to be evidence of “unsafe performance of duties” by these pilots. This should be particularly evident in the incident and accident records kept by the aviation authorities of the USA and Australia. A landmark study in the mid 1970s by two researchers (Dille and Booze) working for the FAA examined the accident records of the large group of CVD pilots with a “waiver” and found not even one accident where the existence of a colour vision defect could have contributed to the cause. Furthermore, the accident rate for this group was no different than that of the general pilot population (accidents per 100,000 hrs of recent experience). Until 2002, the FAA had no record of any accident attributed to CVD, and since 2002 there have been none. The significance of 2002 is that in that year a Fedex B727 crashed while on a PAPI-guided night visual approach, and the CVD status of the flying FO was attributed a causal role in the crash. However, two other crew had normal colour vision and did not see what the PAPI should have been showing them. The relationship between this crash and the significance of CVD is highly contentious. The ATSB and CASA have admitted they have no record of any accident attributed to CVD.

    The Australian experience since the Denison case in 1989 has provided excellent positive evidence against the “truth” of Assumption 3. There are estimated to have been several thousand CVD pilots operating with either no restriction or minimal restriction in the period in question, and a significant number at the highest level of airline operations. I can say with confidence that we have examples of even the most severe kinds of CVD working as captains and FOs on the full range of airline type aircraft. These pilots are surveilled, trained, tested and examined in exactly the same way that pilots with normal colour vision are handled. They pass and keep on meeting all requirements “necessary” for the “safe performance of their duties”, and these assessments are made by duly qualified examiners of airmen, as opposed to aviation medical doctors or optometrists. This is taken by many informed commentators as evidence that Assumption 3 is “false”, and raises the question as to whether the ACPS serves any useful role in modern aviation.

    It is abundantly evident that the appeal by John O’Brien and the unprecedented interrogation of CASA on this topic in the Australian Senate has triggered a tsunami of hysterical and irrational activity within CASA. It is my view that CASA’s actions and the responses by the Director and the Principal Medical Officer to the Senate Estimates Hearings reflect an absurd and indefensible position. Claims of “medical evidence” by both in support of their stance cannot be substantiated because such evidence does not exist.

    There is no “rocket science” in any aspect of this saga.
Arthur Pape is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 10:55
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Australia
Age: 57
Posts: 67
Bugger, this does mean as a an employer if I don't shift any color blind pilots to day and really VFR only ops, that if we have any incident or accident that in anyway could be turned around blamed on the poor color deficient pilot, we will be held accountable and will loose our AOC.

Is this the last flex of muscle from a department that could loose its teeth if DAME's get to pass medicals as recommended in the review. I wonder if they want this in law before they are closed down so no DAME can sign CVD pilots off as fit to fly.

What a load of bull manure.

Mick Stuped is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 17:42
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ˙ǝqɐq ǝɯ ʇ,uıɐ ʇɐɥʇ 'sɔıʇɐqoɹǝɐ ɹoɟ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu ɹıǝɥʇ ʇnd ǝɯos
Posts: 272
I have little doubt John Obrien WILL win the case against CASA - providing funds don't run out.

That's the ONLY weakness in what is predicted to be landmark win!

outofwhack is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 18:44
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: YLIL
Posts: 244
Originally Posted by brissypilot View Post
Avmed has today written to all AOC holders encouraging them to consider whether it is safe to continue to allowing CVD pilots to operate ....
What an act of cowardice and bastardry! In one fell swoop, CAsA has rendered irrelevant the outcome of the O'Brien matter. Even if O'Brien prevails, AOC holders will remain on notice.

Oh, and by the way, no need to wait for an accident for this to cause grief. You can bet your bottom dollar that the next time CAsA reviews your AOC they will require you to show how you responded to this letter - chapter and verse on how you evaluated each of your CVD pilots, all documented and neatly defensible, perhaps an SOP, lots of medical reports? It will simply become too hard for AOC holders to employ CVD pilots, and that is clearly CAsA's intention in using this back door (maybe back passage is a better term!) approach.

I'm also sure the Senate will be carefully reading all of their transcripts, given that the sworn evidence given to the Committee seems at odds with these actions.

Another point - assuming there is no new evidence (and none has been forthcoming from FF and its doctors, and Dr Pape strongly asserts that there is none), is CAsA in contempt of the AAT in respect of the original AAT ruling?

Sad days for Australian aviation ......
triton140 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.