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Asian Countries’ Medical parameters

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Asian Countries’ Medical parameters

Old 14th Aug 2012, 04:26
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Asian Countries’ Medical parameters

This thread will be dedicated to any aspect of the pilot Medical process throughout Asia.

I would like to start with the subject of [email protected] eye surgery. Is there someone out there who has actually interviewed/worked for an Asian carrier that can assist us with a vision improvement type [email protected] eye surgery question? I want to apply to several carriers but I am getting very conflicting info.

In a nutshell, for the countries listed below
1 can a pilot successfully obtain a Gov’t airline pilot’s type medical if they are healthy in all areas but have previously had successful [email protected] eye surgery (to improve their vision)?

2 I know radial keratotomy probably won’t pass, but if they do permit the more modern [email protected] versions does the country’s Gov’t distinguish with a thumbs up/down between PRK and Lasik? In other words which one is acceptable and which is not in each country?

3 If the Gov’t permits it, does it end up being a de facto item of not getting hired cause no actual Airline in their country will offer employment to a pilot who has had this?

mainland China

Footnote: I have spoken with an ex pat pilot working in Hong Kong and he tells me that [email protected] eye surgery is permitted (he has had it himself and has lived there for over 3 yrs).

I am willing to fill out the various applications but I would like to avoid spending the time unnecessarily and then the money on airline tickets to possible interviews when I could be barking up the wrong tree if this is a No Go item. I imagine any feedback will help out a good number of other pilots on this website.

Sorry this next part is lengthy but it will help us establish a foundation of knowledge. Research so far:

I had successful PRK type [email protected] eye surgery over 6 yrs ago. This procedure and Lasik have been permitted starting more than 8-10 yrs ago in Canada, US and many European countries. Know that I have already read all that I can locate on this website. (additionally I have seen archived posts on Airline Pilot Central that leaned towards saying that this procedure is not permitted in Japan) I then took the step of writing two of the broker agencies that have been around for a long time. An established person at Wasinc and Crew Resources Worldwide said this procedure is prohibited by the Japanese Gov’t. But to confuse the issue further a senior Asia region staff member at Rishworth wrote me that an applicant can succeed when applying to a Japanese carrier but reminded me of the necessary steps. [that one must disclose this on the front end, bring one’s existing home country aviation Medical Certificate and bring the before and after eye measurements from the Dr who performed the surgery] So, from the employment offices that should know, I have received contradictory answers. Grrhh…

Also, I have received different answers from brokers when I inquire about mainland China carriers. To try to break through this fog I connected with someone who speaks and writes Mandarin. She did an internet search on Chinese websites. She found the CAAC officially posted and rather sparse Regulations, but there is >not< any mention of [email protected] eye surgery. So one begins to think this is acceptable…..yet when she moved onto other websites for Chinese civilian aviation schools she found that for a young aspiring student who wants to start down the piloting path, the schools will not permit them to enroll if they have previously had any corneal refractive surgery. Grrhh….?

Since I have not yet come upon definitive answers, I decided to expand my search to more pilot broker agencies so that a critical mass of responses which could hint as to where the compass points on this topic. In addition to those above I have written and/or phoned the following: Parc, DPI, VOR Holdings, Flightcrew Resources Worldwide, Sigma Aviation, IASCO, Zenon, Storm McGinley, Smile Aviation, Confair, Paramount, and GPS Crew. The responses so far have been: no response of any sort, response saying they don’t know, responses saying things like ‘in general’ or ‘depends’, just go to the interview and don’t mention anything about it, yes PRK but no Lasik, our agency doesn’t work with that country, one broker said that within the last month (July 2012) the Japanese Gov’t now says it is approved but ANA won’t take it and we are waiting to hear what Skymark’s policy will be, and finally from a Chinese only broker = we don’t know in advance but when you get to China the CAAC doctor will then decide.

A lot of flying experience is out there. Please pitch in with any facts, rumors, stories, website links and excerpted Regulations you may have. Thank you for the CRM.

Last edited by tcw3; 14th Aug 2012 at 04:27.
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Old 14th Aug 2012, 16:12
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One answer received

I have heard from 2 other helpful pilots in regards to Singapore. Turns out that prior Refractive Surgery is permitted in that country. The Reg reads that once a pilot has completed the post operative phase such that there isn't any visual 'sequelae' then they are able to get a medical.
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Old 15th Aug 2012, 23:23
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info on Korea

I have recently heard back from an industrious pilot Broker that deals with airlines in Korea. This person was kind enough to run this question by his contact for that country.

He tells me that having previously had PRK or Lasik 'might' be accepted, however it would need to be approved by the DLR Aerospace Medical Association. The pilot planning to apply would need to locate an eye doctors office near them and undertake a vision Glare test and a Contrast Sensitivity test and then provide a referral from their ophthalmologist in which these test results are covered.

Are there any pilots reading this website that fly in Korea and could add to this info?
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 23:28
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Hi tcw3,

as I had the PRK surgery 8 years ago, and currently have been flying on an airliner for 6 years, I was wondering the same questions you wrote up there.

I received an email from an agency stating that in Japan and China you are not considered fit if you had the eye surgery, but...

...I found this on Airman Medical Examination(?class of medical certificate) - Pilot Jobs in China--Enjoy your flight with Smile Aviation :

Chinese Airlines Pilot Medical Check Standard
Those who bear the following deficiencies shall not be accepted:
a) Respiratory system: Asthma, spontaneous pneumothorax, Large chest after surgery;
b) Osteoarthropathy: lubar intervertebral disc protrusion, Cervical spondylosis (phase II and above);
c) Immune System: Rheuma, rheumatoid;
d) Digestive System: Severe fatty liver, gastric ulcer, gall-stone;
e) Infectious Disease: all kinds of hepatitis, hepatitis b surface antigen positive, TB, HIV, venereal disease and other types of infectious disease;
f) Circulative System: Myocarditis, hypertension stage I above, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease;
g) Gurinary system: Kidney stones, bladder calculus, ureteral calculi
h) Skin: noticeable scar and affect function and image
i) Eye: Color blind, cataract
j) Ear, nose and throat disease: vestibular function obstacle, hearing obstacle, height of hearing impairment.

That's for China, and as you can see, eye surgery is not mentioned as unacceptable. However, I guess it will be carefully evaluated by the doctors there.
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Old 13th Apr 2013, 19:52
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China allows PRK for myopia provided it has been one year since surgery and your pre-operative condition was no worse than -5.00.
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Old 14th Apr 2013, 20:43
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"China allows"...my gawd, you just don't know much about China. Eye Surgery is disqualifying in China. Mind you, most surgeries are. Rule one in China, if the doctor can't see the scar, don't tell him about it! You are welcome to discuss this with Air China's infamous Dr.Fan.

Last edited by PappyJ; 14th Apr 2013 at 20:43.
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Old 15th Apr 2013, 01:08
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CAAC Medical

I have held for the last 32 years, a Class One FAA Aeromedical certificate. When I failed my CAAC medical in PVG due to eye surgery, I was very upset.

Interesting fact is that I have never-ever, (repeat....never-ever) had any form of surgery to my eyes. NEVER........

The VOR agent told me it is not uncommon for the examining specialist to be wrong, but you as the applicant have no recourse.
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Old 8th May 2013, 16:55
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I would like to share my experience with LASIK and the CAAC.

I had LASIK about three years ago. It was not PRK, but the one where they cut a flap with a [email protected] before treatment. I went to china for an interview a few weeks ago, and they did a very lengthy check on me. They found the LASIK almost immediately at the CAAC center in Beijing. There were probably 4 or 5 doctors in the room discussing what to do in chinese with me. I got the feeling some of them were students. Every one looked at my eyes multiple times during this conversation. I was asked for documentation about the surgery. MAKE SURE YOU BRING THIS!! I would have surely failed without it. They decided that I needed to do three additional tests. One was conducted at the CAAC center by the doctors who found the LASIK, the other two tests were done at a separate location in Beijing, an eye center of some sort.

The tests were hard!! Well two of the three were hard, the last one was just look into a device that took a picture (i think) of my eyes. It was done in the wrong format the first time, so I had to do it again, no sweat on this one. You can't control it.

The first test that was done at CAAC was a series of 9 circles, with lines in them that slant either right or left, or up/down. I could never get all of them right. I could usually get 8 of them per slide, but sometimes not. I thought I was doing poorly, and gave myself a headache trying so hard. But when the test was finally done, the printed out a sheet and said very good. So don't freak out too much if you feel like your doing poorly.

The other test, which was done across town, was even harder! Don't expect a good test environment. Expect people all around you talking loudly and turning lights on and off(true for all the testing really)
You stared at three green dots with one eye covered, while you click a hand clicker every time you see a yellow/orange dot flash in your peripheral vision. The back lighting continues to get dimmer and dimmer during the test. I failed this the first time I took it, well the administrating doctor said I passed, but the CAAC doctors said not good enough. I was allowed to retake it, and I went back and passed the second time. The key to passing this test is to make sure your eyes are as open as wide as possible(even the covered eye, it's not completely covered and you should use it!) and learn the pattern/rhythm of the flashing orange dot and try to use it to your advantage. If your on the third or forth click and don't see the dot, there is a good chance it's there! Just click in beat. It follows a perfect beat I noticed.

So I have official notice from the CAAC I passed. So it is possible to get a medical in china with LASIK, just be ready for an intense examination of the eyes. They did tell me if my LASIK had been done in china, I would not be passed. I think they just mean the USA does a cleaner job of it.
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Old 9th May 2013, 11:24
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Do all that asian countries required treadmill as well?
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Old 11th May 2013, 12:04
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Presently holding a 1st cls med certificate with a major carrier with a known diabetes 2 condition. It is allowed by our AME so long as it is controlled. Renewed my cert for the past 5 yrs. is this condition allowed in Asian carriers?
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Old 13th May 2013, 04:21
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I know a guy who just passed his 1st class in china with diabetes. Dont know the details, u can pm me with your contact info and ill put you in touch with him.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 10:55
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"China allows"...my gawd, you just don't know much about China. Eye Surgery is disqualifying in China. Mind you, most surgeries are. Rule one in China, if the doctor can't see the scar, don't tell him about it! You are welcome to discuss this with Air China's infamous Dr.Fan.
This is according to the two CAAC doctors who examined my eyes in December. The company doctors for Tianjin, Sichuan and Shenzen have all confirmed this. The company doctor for Shenzen has also stated that eyes worse that -5.00 prior to PRK may be accepted with a waiver.

PS- Why the attitude? Are you one of those who feel because this is an 'anonymous' site it gives you free license to be rude to people just because you can? Please act professional in your responses, not like a teenage drama queen (for example do away with the 'my gawd' comments).

Last edited by NEDude; 10th Jun 2013 at 11:00.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 05:13
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I would like to update this thread with some more information concerning LASIK. I was able to pass the HKCAD medical with little problems having LASIK done a few years ago. They just had my LASIK doctor fill out a form and do a few tests. Very easy.

It sound like the JCAB will start taking LASIK on a "case by case" basis according to an email I received from Air Japan.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 09:33
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Understand there are a few expats flying in Vietnam (VNA and VJ) who have had [email protected] eye surgery. From what I gather, depends on where done (US/Canada/France) the degree of correction, and the paperwork (very important) you bring along.

In China, beware! What might pass muster in Beijing, might not pass in Shanghai or Guangzhou, the CAAC has different administrative regions and this can nuance their interpretation of the lightly worded regs, but that is not something uniquely Chinese, happens everywhere. But... Lots of paperwork certainly helps and if you can get it translated, well that's extra points.
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