Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Careers In Aviation For Someone Colourblind?  
User currently offlineZksik From New Zealand, joined Jul 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 10290 times:

Hi,
Im a 17 year old student, from New Zealand in my final year at College.
Recently I went solo at the "Walsh memorial flying school" in New Zealand during janruary.
I loved every moment of it and eventually i flew solo (an experience ill always remmember.) At the end of the school i recieved a scholarship for a few hours extra flying and now im roughly half way towards my PPL.
However before the school i went for a class 2 medical (as required to go solo)
All went really good; untill right at the end the doctor pulled out the ishihara colour test booklet, as the world closed in on me.
I failed the book and recieved the blunt words from the doctor telling me that basically I cannot be a commercial pilot.
I was absolutely guttered to hear that everything i had aimed at and worked towards at school and out of school ever since i was a kid is unatainable.

Now im looking towards alternative career options. Is it still possible to become a commercial pilot (with the night flying restrictions taken off me? I hear the US medical isn't as tight as NZ)
Could anyone suggest alternative careers in aviation that dont have colourblindness restrictions
Appreciate your comments


one life... fly it
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePilothighflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10215 times:

"Im a 17 year old student, from New Zealand in my final year at College."

Your 17 and in your final year of college?? Damn, smart cookie.

But about the color blindness...
The 14 CFR Part 67 regulations, revised on September 16, 1996, state that a pilot must have "the ability to perceive those colors necessary for the safe performance of airman duties" for all medical certification classes.

Other Careers options could be anything the doesn't require a medical, such as airport management.

Robert




User currently offline7574EVER From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 478 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10189 times:

Ok just take a deep breath and relax. I don't want to get your hopes up too high yet, but your flying career may NOT be over. Now granted things may be different than here in the states but you may have a few options. Again, this is how things are done in the US but it may be similar for you.

First off, if you'll indulge me, let me bash the ishihara test. THAT MOTHER F***ING TEST IS HORRIBLE. There are alot of people who can't pass that thing. The good news is that there may be a number of alternate tests available for you to take.

Here in the states, the FAA has a generous list of alternatives. If you're able to pass ONE of these tests, you'll be set for the rest of your career. Whoever issues the test (it does not have to be a flight surgion. Any old eye doctor can do it) will fill out a form that will be mailed into the FAA. The FAA will then send you a letter stating that you've passed an alternate test. Whenever you go to get your medical renewed, just show the doctor the letter and you'll be exempt from taking the color test. Another nice thing about these "alternate" tests is that you can take them as many times as you need to. If you fail the first time, just retake it until you pass or move onto the next test.

In the event you can't pass any of the alternatives, you can take what's known as a signal light test. Basically they flash the signal light at you from the tower and you have to tell an examiner what color it is (red, white, or green). A friend of a friend had to do this and he said it wasn't too bad. They flashed 40 lights from 2000 feet away. Then he stood 4000 feet away and he got another 40 lights flashed at him. He had to identify every color correctly in order to pass.

The kicker with that test is that (I think) it's a one time shot. If you fail your finished. However, I believe I remember reading somewhere that in certain instances you can take it a second time at a different time of the day. I think I also read that the best time of the day to do the test is around dusk. If you pass this you get a SODA (statement of demonstrated ability). This is a waiver that you carry around with your medical certificate.

Anyway, like I said, I'm now sure how things are in New Zealand but it's worth looking into. Don't just take one persons opinion, keep asking around. You never know what loophole you might discover.

Good Luck!!!



Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
User currently offlineWGW2707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1197 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 10116 times:

Your 17 and in your final year of college?? Damn, smart cookie.

By College, he's referring to what we call High School. For some reason, in many countries 16-17 year olds go to a seperate school called College, and then they move on to the universities of higher education... Weird eh?  Nuts Although of course to them, our system must seem even more bewildering...

-WGW2707


User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10041 times:

7574EVER,

I agree with you... This isn't my best area of expertise but as far if I remember right from my recent "human performance and limitations" classes, the system is quite similar here in Europe under JAR regulations as well.

According to my book, Ishiara test is failed if you have even one mistake. However if you'll have two mistakes or less, you can take part to the signal test where you can't have any mistakes.

If my memory serves me correctly, you will have remark in your license if Ishiara test isn't passed but signal test is OK. There is limitation that two pilot can't work in the same cockpit if they both have same limitation.

Zksik,
Don't be unhappy, you still might have a chance to be an airline pilot. I think system in New Zealand is quite similar as here in Europe or U.S. Don't worry if you'll not be an pilot, aviation industry is full of interesting and challenging jobs! I couldn't EVER work in any other industry... Aviation is like a bad disease.

Smooth landings,
FinnWings


User currently offlineZksik From New Zealand, joined Jul 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10015 times:

Thanks heeps guys, yes i agree the ishihara colour test is pure evil.
i will definately look closely into this. ive already booked an apointment with an aviation optomitrist next week and see if NZ does the alternative colour testings. I definately believe that this "colour blindness" wouldnt at all hinder my flying as i can tell the runway lights apart very easily.
Does anyone here possibly have a link to a page or something as use for a bit of evidence to show the optomitrist what you guys do?
Fingers crossed



one life... fly it
User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 10013 times:

ive already booked an apointment with an aviation optomitrist next week and see if NZ does the alternative colour testings. I definately believe that this "colour blindness" wouldnt at all hinder my flying as i can tell the runway lights apart very easily.

Good luck for you, Zksik! As far as I have understod, the main reason of signal test is to see how well pilot will reconize different runway lights and especially the PAPI lights. I have heard that one part of the test is that they are blinding red and white lights (like PAPI) and you have to know how many red and white lights there were each time.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you too...

FinnWings


User currently offlineRiffedAAMech From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9961 times:

I am also color blind. I am an aircraft mechanic and when I worked for Boeing and American Airlines I had to take those tests. I never passed them but I was able to work for these company's anyway because I could differentiate between colors. I've always felt these tests are discriminate. I cant believe in this day and age that nobody has come up with some glasses or repair to fix this condition.

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 8, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 9956 times:

Congratulations on the solo!

As has been noted, the US FAA does leave some avenues open on color blindness and other issues. As much as pilots love to bash the FAA, they are really pretty reasonable on this stuff.

Two good friends of mine are color blind. Both became at least Commercial pilots. One was military and then National Guard and eventually retired. The other had a problem somewhere along the line and could not pass the color test on a physical. The FAA accompanied him out onto the ramp at a large airport and tested him on the red-green Aldis lamp light signals from the tower. He failed them all and never flew again.

Red-green is, apparently the most common flavor of color blindness, and it seems to be a very important pair of colors. We use, mostly green, yellow and red to indicate normal, caution and do-not exceed ranges on instruments. If you can discern these differences you should have no trouble flying. (Now that the tri-color VASI is gone)

The problem is this: If you somehow manage to get a medical certificate and a license, on future aircraft with glass cockpit, information is depicted just like it is on your computer screen, with color (or colour if you prefer) imparting important information. It is your professional and ethical responsibility to ensure that you have no difficulties in interpreting this information and that you present no threat to the safety of your passengers. And you have this personal obligation for the remainder of your career in light of new developments in aircraft instrumentation.

For one example, I have no idea how red-green color blindness might affect your ability to follow a HUD.

Nevertheless, good luck to you. I hope you find a satisfactory solution to this. I would also add aircraft dispatcher to possible careers if this prevents your becoming a pilot.






Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineN6376m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9933 times:

Aircraft interior designer.

User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks ago) and read 9922 times:

I failed the Ishihara test as well when applying for my job at VS for the position of Engineer. I failed miserably getting about 6 wrong.

I was devastated (Was reduced to tears at one stage). However I went to the CAA Medical centre and took the signal test and didnt get a single color wrong. Took the cover letter back to the VS medical team and passed!!!!.

@ RiffedAAMech
Color "blindness" is a mental problem. Its the brains inability to distinguish colors. Not the eye. So there is no cure for it. The correct term is Color Deficiency. As you are not completly color blind. just deficient at defining cirtain colors.



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offline7574EVER From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 478 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9912 times:

I cant believe in this day and age that nobody has come up with some glasses or repair to fix this condition. - RiffedAAMech

Actually they do!! In the form of both glasses and contacts. Unfortunately, they aren't approved by the FAA because it messes with a persons depth perception.

I believe the glasses have a tinted lenses. The contacts actually have colored dots in the middle. These colored dots are actually color filters and will replace the color that your eye can't perceive. Typically, a different color filter is worn in each eye.

Zksik,

Good luck to you buddy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Just remember to keep a positive attitude. Be sure to let us know how things turn out.



Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
User currently offlineMr AirNZ From New Zealand, joined Feb 2002, 879 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9901 times:

If you are unable to obtain a CAA Class 1 Medical, try looking at an Australian one. We were discussing this at the aero club the other day and apparently you can have a New Zealand license but an Australian medical. Australian standards are slightly different (or so I was told) and a number of older NZ pilots who can't get a NZ medical go to Aussie to get one. Just thought I would throw this out there.

User currently offlineZksik From New Zealand, joined Jul 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9873 times:

wicked! heeps of options you guys have given to me there. ill have a good look into these. now its a matter of thinking for different avenues to avoid getting my hopes up, im thinking possibly Navigator in the airforce.. cant think of many civilian jobs so far.
Thanks again guys



one life... fly it
User currently offlineBMAbound From Sweden, joined Nov 2003, 660 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 9858 times:

Sorry to hear that Zksik,

if I'm not terribly wrong, I believe it's possible to fly gliders under JAA regs while being color blind.

Have you looked into that? Maybe you can become a glider CFI?  Smile

good luck,

johan



Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 9810 times:

Don't know if this was mentioned already, but you can consider an Air Traffic Control career, but remember, don't give up on flying unless you've exhausted all your options (as stated above).

I really admire and respect that you love aviation like that, to the extent that you'd want to stay in the field even if you couldn't fly.


Good Luck to you.


User currently offlineZksik From New Zealand, joined Jul 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9808 times:

Thanks FSPilot747. Yes i am very interested in air traffic control as you suggested. However i was told that such a high risk job requires controllers to have perfect colour perception. I also know that they require a class 3 medical: the details in that im not too sure.

Right now i've got a class 2 medical with restrictions on night flying and flying in a controlled aerodrome (unless of course accompanied by an instructor). Most aerodromes in NZ are uncontrolled aerodromes, so at least i can still get a PPL and enjoy flight Big grin



one life... fly it
User currently offlineMeister808 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 973 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9801 times:

You know, I guess I understand the restriction on flying in controlled airspace that you talk about, what with the previously mentioned light signals and such, but it seems to me like that is kind of a bad rule. It seems like you would be safer flying in controlled airspace, especially with radar coverage, because then you have someone on the ground helping you watch for traffic. I don't know how colorblindness works, because I'm certainly not colorblind, but it seems like there could be a compromise when it comes to 'see-and-avoid' if you can't differentiate between colors.

Oh well...

Good luck.

-Meister



Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
User currently offlineZksik From New Zealand, joined Jul 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 9715 times:

An update on things.

Went to the aviation optometrist today. His name was Dr F Snell - a really good guy, keen on aviation and i would thourghly recomend him to everyone.
My colour deficiency is what is known as Deuteranomal; this is a red, green, violet deficiency.

I cant remmember every exact detail of the test, as it was pretty full on and i was pretty nervious.

After a vision test (which is did really well at) I did a series of colour tests, two of which i had to match simular colours next to one another.

The last test i did was the lantern test. By this time i was really nervious and even had a patch of sweat running under my armpits !
For those who dont know: The Lantern test is where two colours are positioned ontop of one another and would shine from the lantern into the mirror where you would be in a position to tell the doctor which colours you see projected.

As per normal, the doctor first read through each colour combination slide (there were 3 different colours; red, green and white (the white is a more off yellow colour- not the typical bluey car lights).
Then it was my turn to go through the colours, i got all the red and green colours right, however there were a few mistakes on the white.
To clarify things up I did the test again and got the same results.
Finally i sat the test in the dark, to see if this made any changes. Unfortunately for the first time out of all of the lantern test i read 'red' been a green- this is an automatic fail.

In his word's had i not 'cocked' that up (the red green interpretation at the end) i would have been wiped clean off my colour restriction in flying!

Was this a case of the nerves getting to me? Human Error?
I believe this could have been the case as i truely believe i can tell the difference between a red and gree. One wrong answer which (from my understanding)t cost me big. This is why i am seeking further testing at Auckland University where i will also resit the lantern test.
If all else fails i have one final test- the farnsworth test, which is unavailable in NZ and would mean i would have to travel overseas to Melbourne, Australia to sit the test. A test which the doctor said many pilots have tried with varied results.

Another kick in the guts for me, as i was told that because of this i am unable to apply myself in any of the aircrew in the airforce (My first choice in career .. no student loan etc..)

So if any of you pilots out there are in the colour deficient club I NEED YOU! especially those deuteranomal! or know of someone colour 'deficient' i'd like to hear from you! What test did you pass on? what colour deficiency are you? etc..

Cheers



one life... fly it
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7110 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9687 times:

Zksik-Navigator in the RNZAF requires physics, english and maths at 6th form (I think), I can't remember.
What about aircraft engineering or Flight attendent. FA would be good if you want to travel etc... but I heard it is pretty hard to get into in NZ (as a second language would be a huge advcantage particularly in European, Pacific Island and Asian Languages).
ATC would be good as well as managment (Aviation managment at Massey is something like 3rd in the world).

"Another kick in the guts for me, as i was told that because of this i am unable to apply myself in any of the aircrew in the airforce (My first choice in career .. no student loan etc..)"
Same here, I would love to get into the airlines through the airforce, but my physics marks in 6th form were not good enough (002% away from passing, average 58%), so I'll have to go through the Massey Aviation Degree (if accepted, if not then Ardmore).
Did you/Are you doing physics, matrhs and english? It would be a good help.

"Im a 17 year old student, from New Zealand in my final year at College"
College is high school, I finished when I just turned 18(last year) 17-18 year olds are normal for that year group.

Zksik- Best of luck to you for whatever field you choose to go into, who knows, maybe I might get the chance to work with you in the flight deck of an NZ aircraft a few years down the track. Keep your fingers crossed, good luck.



User currently offlineZksik From New Zealand, joined Jul 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9672 times:

cheers ZKSUJ, yes i can forsee the day u and me will be flying the new AirNZ 7E7, what a dream that would be.
ive got the minimum requirements for the RNZAF. Passed all 6th form math and Physics and im doing them this year in 7th form.
The only downside to my grades is that im doing 6th form english again this year, however my teacher told me that 7th form is unessicary at most places unless your doing an arts degree and that 6th form is all you need -ive got bad england!
im going to talk to airforce recruitment today in 6.5 hrs time! just got back from the bar- im only human!.....

Time for some sleep.



one life... fly it
User currently offlineBizFlyer From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9671 times:

Hello Zksik.

I am 45 years old and still remember how devastated I was, when the doctor told me that I am not fit for flying, due to color-blindness.
I was 16 years old at that time, going for glider PL.

However, life goes on, even without being a pilot and the irony of my life wanted, that professionally I deal now with ships and just fly the planes as passenger... And I am still a happy and content person!!!

However, color blindness: I personally am red-green blind.
This does not mean, that I cannot distinguish any colors at all and that I would see the world in black-white.

But before I elaborate further I want to make a technical distinction between additive color-mixing and subtractive color-mixing.
This, at least for persons who have inherited their color-blindness as a genetic defect from the father of their mother (same heredity as haemophiliacs), makes a great difference:

At least according to my own experience it is no problem to distinguish between ANY color, when it is emitted from a white source of light and is then filtered, for example, by a green filter. This is the part of the additive color mixing.

However, when you have a green piece of paper, onto which white (sun-) light is shining, then, depending on the intensity of the light and the kind of green I begin to have severe trouble. - An example of subtractive color mixing.

On top of that comes, that for red-green color blindness there can be dominance of green over red:
The example that the flight-doctor gave to me at the time was, that I might have to land outside of the glider-range on some green meadow, which I had chosen from the air. Only when in the final approach to the meadow, just a few feet above the ground, I would crash into a red-tiled barn that was right in my path.
A very extreme example, I know, but in easier words, a red dot within a green field is overlooked by me, because the green color is dominant over the red color in my reception.

Now, even though I am also very unhappy that I am banned from the cockpit as an active pilot as well as glider-pilot, parachuting etc., I accept this ban because I believe that someone with this kind of color blindness poses a threat to himself and everybody around him. The problem for such a person might perhaps not be so much the environment of the cockpit, but rather when this person has to ground-navigate in visual conditions. Something that is not only exclusive for PPL in VFR, but could also happen to any other pilot who is forced by some untoward circumstances to fly visually.
When you think about it, the earth, as seen from above (pilot´s view) is a great variety of greens and browns and reds, the brown tones being mixtures of green and red. This will of course make life very difficult for a pilot who has at least "my" kind of color blindness.

Zksik, take it easy, in the long run you will not loose. Be sure about it. Just as a small beacon of hope: For me things lightened up a few years ago, when two things happened:
I became a very engaged simulation-pilot, flying an MD-83 (but not Microsoft!) and a short while later I encountered a former school-mate who is now PPL and sometimes takes me along in his Piper Arrow and except for taking off and landing lets me do the flying (under his supervision, of course!). Believe me, this really gave me the kicks!

Wishing you the best,

Kind regards,



Stay belted as long as you can!
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7110 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 9648 times:

"just got back from the bar"
But your 17!!!  Wow! Oh well, it happens. Apparently Physics is also not necessary for being a pilot, navigator etc... "it is recomended, but not needed" was what I was told.

"i can forsee the day u and me will be flying the new AirNZ 7E7" I can tell you that It won't be new by then, the average time from Ab-intio to pilot (for ANZ anyway) in New Zealand is 8-10 years (so I've heard). Hope they invest in the 744advanced, it's my dream to fly a 744 before I die.


User currently offlineKilroy From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9645 times:

I heard of a Fed-ex pilot who was also color blind. About a year ago he crashed a 727 jet a 1000 feet short of a runway in Florida because he couldn,t tell what colr the vasi light were and descended below the glide path. All the captain and f/e were not even paying attention to this toal deviation from glide path

User currently offlineEspion007 From Denmark, joined Dec 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 9565 times:

I heard of a Fed-ex pilot who was also color blind. About a year ago he crashed a 727 jet a 1000 feet short of a runway in Florida because he couldn,t tell what colr the vasi light were and descended below the glide path. All the captain and f/e were not even paying attention to this toal deviation from glide path


http://www.airdisaster.com/cgi_bin/view_details.cgi?date=07262002®=N497FE&airline=Federal+Express



Snakes on a Plane!
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Careers In Aviation For Someone Colourblind?
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Careers In Aviation posted Tue May 13 2003 18:08:05 by Bigphilnyc
Looking For Career Advise In Aviation Maintinance posted Tue Oct 1 2002 07:21:34 by Frankiec
Subjects Needed To Work In Aviation posted Mon Oct 9 2006 10:41:10 by PureKiwi
Differences In Aviation Law/ops Between US And GB posted Fri Feb 10 2006 21:12:39 by AC21365
Biofuels In Aviation - A Possible Alternative? posted Mon Jan 9 2006 17:30:01 by Cyclonic
Mixing Ethanol In Aviation Fuel? posted Thu Sep 15 2005 20:17:46 by PPVRA
Next Big Move Forward In Aviation? posted Wed Sep 22 2004 21:39:25 by A380900
Careers In Airline - BBA/BComm? posted Wed Jun 16 2004 04:01:54 by Eddieho
How To Get A Job In Aviation Maintenance? posted Thu May 20 2004 20:49:23 by Jmets18
Automation In Aviation posted Sat Aug 9 2003 07:52:49 by Rendezvous

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format