I’ve been a member of this forum for a little while now, and I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself and share my aviation journey with you all. I have a feeling that this path is going to be filled with its share of challenges, so let’s get ready for the ride!
Here’s an overview of my recent experiences and my upcoming plans:
- A few weeks ago, I had the fantastic opportunity to take an Eagles Flight with a local EAA chapter. It was an absolute blast, but I must admit that I experienced some motion sickness, which came as a surprise to me since I’ve never had issues with motion sickness or flying before. Reflecting on it, I believe I might have contributed to it by not getting enough sleep the night before, not staying adequately hydrated, having drinks at dinner the night before, and not eating anything before the flight. Lesson learned!
- I have an admissions flight with ATP scheduled for this coming weekend, and I’ve been working diligently to get everything in order, including obtaining my medical certificate. However, this is where I’ve encountered some bumps (or maybe we can call it turbulence).
- Overall, I’m in good health, but I do have a slight vision issue. My right eye has always been fine, with 20/20 vision, but my left eye has been a bit of a challenge. After getting an eye exam yesterday, it turns out that I have amblyopia in my left eye, leaving me with corrected vision at 20/25, at best. Not ideal.
- But I’m not one to give up easily. So, throughout my workday today, I’ve been researching to find out what options might be available to me. Based on my findings (and please correct me if I’m mistaken), it seems that I can go to an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) for a medical examination, knowing that I’ll likely be deferred due to my vision issue. I can then request an appeal, have my eye doctor complete a form (I believe it’s the 8500-7), and get in touch with a regional flight surgeon to request a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA).
- From what I understand, this SODA will enable me to take a safety flight and demonstrate that I can fly safely, despite my vision limitations. However, there’s one hurdle: regardless of whether my vision is great or not, I don’t have the experience yet.
So, here’s where I stand at the moment. ATP requires students to have their medical certificate before starting classes, which poses a challenge to my plan of starting with ATP right away. My current thinking is to begin my Private Pilot License (PPL) training with a local flight school. I hope to gain enough experience and instruction before my solo flight, allowing me to take the safety flight and secure my 1st class medical. Once I’ve completed my PPL, I plan to finish my education with ATP.
I’m not sure if anyone else has faced a similar situation, but I’ll keep you all updated on my progress, whether it’s good or bad. Additionally, if anyone has any tips, tricks, or advice, I’m all ears!
Thank you for your support and insights.
Best regards, Justin