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Gutted - Failed class 1 Ocular Muscle Balance

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Gutted - Failed class 1 Ocular Muscle Balance

Old 15th May 2008, 18:19
  #41 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Uk - Berkshire
Age: 48
Posts: 26
Hi All - I would recommend doing just that, downloading the requirements and taking them along to your optician. I did that a few years ago (a bit soon as I was not in the position to go ahead with it at the time), he did refer me to a specialist and he tested everything including ocular muscle balance, his letter stated "...showed orthophoria for distance and 6 prism dioptres of esophoria at near. The esophoria at near was fully compensated and as such is most unlikely to give rise to any visual difficulties or symptoms", now that was a few years ago, do these things get worse, I shall ask tomorrow. The CAA said that I was probably born with it and it would not deteriorate.
One other thing the CAA guy did mention (have I said this already...?) was for me to do everything here apart from the CPL, then go to another state and complete there (making sure beforehand that I do pass the medical there). Can this be done? Sit all the JAA exams here, the JAA IR, ME, night etc, then go to say Canada and do the CPL? As I said, this was his suggestion.
peppl is offline  
Old 16th May 2008, 13:58
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: uk
Posts: 32
I wouldn't trust your optitican, the only way ull find out if u can pass is by going down there and getting examined. Mr Chorley is the man who does it I believe.
Went to my optician back in 2000 to see if I met the requirements, he told me I didnt and that I was wasting my time. Was only in 2005 that I read a thread on here which made me think I was in with a chance, went down to gatters and low and behold, they gave me my medical!

So basically my aviation career is 5 years behind schedule as a result of listening to an optician!

Could have been an A380 captain by now!
Treeshaver is offline  
Old 17th May 2008, 15:41
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 628
Just to clarify my earlier comment re my class 1. My eyesight was right on the limit when I went for my initial at age 29. One eye under, the other slightly over - nothing unusual, just simple short-sightedness. I saw the top optician at Gatwick (in fact I think he was a eye surgeon) and yes age did come into it.

If I'd had that prescription in my late teens, then he would have known that it would have got worse in middle age. But at 29 he knew my eyesight had settled down and was happy to pass me. In fact the limits are more generous now and I wouldn't have any trouble passing an intial on eyesight.

The point I was making is, don't give up if there's half a chance. Some things are cut and dried like colour blindness, but others not so.
Parson is offline  
Old 17th May 2008, 19:15
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: N/E England
Age: 43
Posts: 239
Parsons - Hmmm....

I know, you say that, nevertheless several years ago, 3 to be precise. I was completing the PPL with a Girl who suffered with a rather serious case of Colour Blindness. By all accounts a definite no no in aviation. For this reason, you can imagine my surprise to recently find out that she had passed her Class 1 medical and is now in the process of completing Modular two of the fATPL examinations....Every opticians she had previously attended diagnosed her as suffering with a sever inability to recognise the colour Red.

I believe this scenario is a clear demonstration that most things are achievable if one puts everything into the effort and endeavour pot Never give, as there is always a way; Classic example is Douglas Bader..!

Not sure, but could it have been a result opposite gender....Only joking!!!
Rugbyears is offline  
Old 18th May 2008, 16:59
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 628
Rugbyears - I'm no optician, was just picking on something that I thought was clear cut to illustrate a point, and it does it better than I intended!
Parson is offline  
Old 20th May 2008, 13:50
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: UAE
Age: 31
Posts: 61
By the sounds of it the eye test in LGW is pretty strenous, I did my class one in Dublin and passed, I found the eye test to be nothing as hard as what is being described here, i did pass and i supposedly have perfect vision buttruth be told my left eye could see a lot lot less than my right. Im just saying this because maybe it might be worth a trip to dublin to do your class one?

Duffer2007 is offline  
Old 20th May 2008, 21:39
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 59
Peppl, any news ?

How was your appointment on Friday ? Hope it opened you the doors of professional flying again !
Let us know.
zapoi67 is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 05:19
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 1
Angel Go to a different doctor... a specialist...

and explain what happened.See if you can get a different opinion...I would contest their diagnosis.......
falcon32 is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 14:49
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: bedford
Age: 61
Posts: 40
Talking of advice.... wld suggest you go to the top. I lost my class 1 after some years due to a developing problem with one of my eyes which at the time seemed like the end of the world. To save the sight in that eye I decided to go to the top honcho who is a Proffesor Domato besed at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Not only did he save the eye but I could now get my class 1 back though I have decided to follow a different path. It might be worth your while approaching him by way of an initial consultation to discuss your options. If he decides to fight your corner the CAA will respect his opinion as a recognised leader in his field. Which ever course you follow I wish you all the best.
olliew is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 15:19
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bedford, UK
Age: 40
Posts: 313
peppl, I know exactly how you feel.

I had the exact same experience, with the same problem.

I now have my class 1 CAA medical and lots of lovely expensive licences. Depending on the severity of the problem, it can be improved/resolved in a number of ways.

If you are only just outside the limit then it's possible that exercises prescribed by your optometrist might bring you within limits. This was not an option for me as I was something like 12 times outside the limits, even though as you say I'd never had any problems with double vision or anything like that.

I got a referral from my doctor to an opthalmic surgeon. I had to pay for the first appointment with him as a private patient, but he said that the problem was fixable with surgery, and that because of possible future problems if it was left untreated he could carry out the surgery on the NHS.

Where are you based peppl? If you want pm me and I can give you contact details for the surgeon who fixed my eye. He was extremely helpful and interested in the aero-medical stuff, he might be able to help out, or might know someone local to you that can carry out the procedure if necessary.

I know having surgery seems like a bit of an extreme option, but it's day surgery, the risks for a healthy young person are minimal and if it allows you to follow your dream then I think it's worth it!
matt_hooks is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 15:51
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Age: 42
Posts: 253
I did my initial class 3 (PPL) in the UK, the eye exam seem to last for ages with loads of various tests. I then did my initial class 3 and later an initial class 1 in Canada the eye exam seemed quite simple, involving just:
- Reading the numbers off the chart
- Peripheral vision test, where the docs moves his pen around your head and you have to say when you can see it
- Colour blindness, reading the numbers from the book - I got one of them wrong and he prompted me for it again "Are you sure that's a seven?"
- Shine that light thingy in my eyes to have a look.

You could do a class 1 in Canada and then convert to a class 1 in JAA-land. The conversion is much simpler or so I've been told.

Whilst I'm not generally a fan of going to great lengths to skirt the rules, aviation seems to be full of narrow-minded regulations.
v6g is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 21:31
  #52 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Uk - Berkshire
Age: 48
Posts: 26
Last Friday and .....

Firstly, I know I keep saying this but the support from everyone has been great, thanks to you all.
Right, last Friday. Well she said that there was definitely something there. She said that she would contact a specialist to see what they thought. I must say that she conducted a very thorough exam. Again, the problem was only when I keep my head facing forward and look up right and I mean as up and as right as possible.
I had a call from her today and she said that there was nothing the specialist could do and suggested the best course would be to appeal and see the CAA specialist. I did ask if there was any supporting documentation she or the specialist could give me, there was but her thoughts were that the CAA would trust the judgement of their own specialists. So I am going to send off my appeal this week.
In the meantime I have been looking at alternatives. As I said before I ruled out FAA due to me needing a green card. I may be persuded otherwise, someone PM'd me who had taken that route, I am waiting to hear back. The same goes for the Australian route.
I have called AME's in the UK who specialise in South African, Australian and Canadian medicals. The jury is still out about Canada, I took the optician the Canadian Visual requirements and she said they were tighter (on some parts) than the CAA. v6g, I have read your post so I will follow this up again. I am waiting to hear back on the SA requirements and the best part was that the Australian AME said I should have no problem at all

I have emailed and called a few flight schools to see what they say but have yet to hear from them, in the meantime, this does bring new questions. What about visa's? What license would I have, ICAO I guess? Where could I work etc.

My plan (before the class 1 fiasco) was to go modular and keep working to bring in the cash. In my ideal world, should I fail my appeal, I was wondering if I could do the same. It was mentioned to me that I may be able to do everything here apart from the medical and the CPL which I would do in my chosen country. So there you go.

Any thoughts on the above especially the overseas options are most welcome. I'll let you know how the appeal goes.

peppl is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 22:51
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Age: 42
Posts: 253
Originally Posted by peppl
I have emailed and called a few flight schools to see what they say but have yet to hear from them, in the meantime, this does bring new questions. What about visa's? What license would I have, ICAO I guess? Where could I work etc.
- if you were to, for example, go the Canadian route then you'd have 2 options:
1) Come to Canada for a minimum of 1 day to get your Canadian Class 1 medical certificate (no visa required - just make it a few days holiday), then return to Europe to convert your Canadian class 1 medical certificate to a JAA class 1 (what I was suggesting was that it is allegedly easier to convert a non-JAA class 1 to a JAA class 1 than to obtain an initial JAA class 1). Then proceed with your training in Europe for a JAA license and proceed with your career in JAA land as originally planned.
2) Come to Canada to get your Class 1 medical, then train in Canada but you'd then have to convert it back to a JAA license if you wanted to work in Europe (assume minimum of 6-8 months extra study time and at least GBP12K extra training costs). You would also be taking quite a gamble on this Canadian class 1 to JAA class 1 idea - as you'd only find out if this plan works once you've spent all your money on a canadian license - it's not a certainty.

Option 2 will probably give you financial savings and is the route that a number of folks take but option 1 is what I meant in my previous post as it focuses on the specifics of your eyesight issue.
v6g is offline  
Old 23rd May 2008, 06:34
  #54 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Uk - Berkshire
Age: 48
Posts: 26
Would I be able to get a Canadian medical then come back to the uk and do all the flight training, study the Canadian ground subjects and go to Canada to sit the CPL test?
peppl is offline  
Old 23rd May 2008, 08:23
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dununda
Posts: 82
peppl - Firstly, let me say that I applaud your courage in coninuing to try and find an answer and other possible routes.

A mate of mine got knocked back on his class one a few years ago, and obviously he was gutted. We talked about it, and he made the decision that he would stay in aviation, and he has. He still flies privately with his class 2 and is happy as larry.

Im not saying that it didnt hurt him to give up his dream - it did - but it also gave him another great opportunity to go ahead with something else within the aviation field.

Just thought Id give you a view on what someone else in your position decided to do.
atminimums is offline  

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