Eyesight

If my eyesight is only able to be corrected to 20/20 in one eye. Does this automatically disqualify me from even starting a career as a pilot?

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Samuel,
Have you been able to secure a first class medical? If so, you’ll be fine! I’d start there if you haven’t yet. Some AME’s use the old school eye chart while others use the machine you look in to.
If you don’t know a local AME near you, here’s a link to help:

https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/

-Hannah

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Maybe the first sentence here will help:

No I haven’t. I received an email about becoming a pilot. I looked into it and ended up on here. So I figured I would ask the important question before even thinking about anything any further. Thank you for your help.

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Thanks that does help.

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Samuel,

None of us are doctors here nor can we give medical advice. You need to consult an AME. Only they can say for certain.

Adam

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How would I go about doing that?

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Hannah posted the link. Here it is again:

https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/

Adam

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Samuel,

Search for an AME in your area using this AME search tool:
https://designee.faa.gov/#/designeeLocator

Tory

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Oh yeah thanks hahahah

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Thank you.

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Samuel,

This is an area that I know more about than I wish I did. I caveat this with the statement that I am not a doctor and that only a FAA doctor can properly answer your questions.

You need to apply for a medical, when you go in, you will most likely fail the vision test. Proceed with the rest of the medical though and explain to the doctor what your goals are. The FAA will take weeks or months, but they will eventually respond asking you to go to an eye doctor (they might specify which kind) and have them do a thorough eye evaluation and fill out FAA form 8500-7. You will then submit this to the FAA and wait. Most likely then, they will require you to do a flight test to where you demonstrate that you can operate an airplane without perfect vision in both eyes. This is not a test of your flying abilities, but a test of your vision abilities. If you pass that test, the FAA will grant you something called a “Statement of Demonstrated Ability” that will allow you to fly. Be very clear with the FAA doctor that you need a First Class Medical. This process will take significant time and cost a bit.

All of that being said, I highly recommend that you join AOPA and speak to their on staff medical people, they are really good on things like this and can give you back up and guidance through this process.

Out of curiosity, how bad is your vision in the one eye? What is the cause of this?

Chris

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This is very informative and helpful. I always assumed that with one bad eye I had no chance. My right eye I have had issues with since I was a kid. I have astigmatism and lazy eye. I’m not cross eyed or anything. My left eye is totally fine. I have had lasik on both eyes. My left is 20/20 and my right is 20/30. The problem is even with corrective lenses my right eye has trouble reading better than 20/30. This is due to my brain believing my vision in my right eye is a waste of time and has shut off my central cone of vision. I can still see with my right eye in the center of my vision, but more in a peripheral type of way. If I try to focus in the center of my vision it kind of confuses my brain and doesn’t work. So when I do an eye test, I have to look to the left or right of the letter I want to see in order to see it. Even then it is difficult to make out the letter clearly. Also I have not even made the necessary steps towards anything flight related. I received an email today about becoming a pilot. I read up on the PDF and decided it was maybe a possibility and ended up on here.

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Samuel,

I have actually seen pilots that are missing an entire eye, so it is possible. There will be significant hoops to jump through if you want to pursue this career. I would recommend speaking with a FAA doctor and doing an introductory flight to make sure if this is something that you really want to do.

Chris

Thank you so much for the help!

Anytime. I just went through this FAA vision process myself, it wasn’t fun and took four months, but I got approved. I had a small retinal tear, so different, but similar issues.

Man it took four months!? Ok well I haven’t even applied for schooling yet. I’m still trying to get all my ducks in a row. This was one of them. Now that I know my eyesight might be ok I can continue to move forward.

Hey
If you have something called amblyopia, which that sounds like, call AOPA and they will explain the process

But part of it is having an optometrist fill out the form, sending it to the local FAA office and doing a FAA medical flight test and if successful you get a SODA. It’s a waiver on the vision requirement as long as your eyesight doesn’t deteriorate and you can then get a class 1 and be all set

Ok thank you for that information!

So I went to the eye doctor yesterday. I found out with glasses my weak eye can see 20/25. Not much better than 20/30 but still closer to 20/20. Will I have as tough of a time as we had previously discussed getting a class 1 medical?