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Terroid
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:45 pm

Hello,
according to EASA the limits for vision are:

(i) hypermetropia not exceeding +5.0 dioptres;
(ii) myopia not exceeding –6.0 dioptres;
(iii) astigmatism not exceeding 2.0 dioptres;
(iv) anisometropia not exceeding 2.0 dioptres.


However later on I found:

Notwithstanding point (c)(1), applicants for a class 1 medical certificate with any of the
following medical conditions shall be referred to the medical assessor of the licensing
authority and may be assessed as fit subject to a satisfactory ophthalmological
evaluation:
Easy Access Rules for Medical
Requirements
ANNEX IV (Part-MED)
SUBPART B – REQUIREMENTS FOR PILOT
MEDICAL CERTIFICATES

(i) myopia exceeding –6.0 dioptres;
(ii) astigmatism exceeding 2.0 dioptres;
(iii) anisometropia exceeding 2.0 dioptres

(Used information above can be found here: https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/dfu/Easy_Access_Rules_for_Medical_Requirements.pdf)
My astigmatism is -3 (to high) on my right eye and my left eye is just under the limits for myopia (-5.75) although this will probably go up soon as my eyes are not completely stabilized yet. Would I have any chance at a medical class 1?
If so, I guess I will get some limitation on my medical like OML (what even is the point of OML, aren't almost all commercial jets like b737 or airbus a320 Multi-crew?) or something worse? And would (major) airlines have big problems with those limitations?

I wanted to make an appointment with an eye specialist but I thought I would ask around on the internet first if anyone else that was in a similar situation has any advice?
Thanks for any answers in advance :D
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20868
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:03 am

The first question is whether these can be corrected with glasses. If so, I'd definitely give it a try.

Pretty much all commercial aircraft are indeed multicrew. Those which are not are at the smaller end, e.g. PC-12 and Caravan. However many airlines don't want to delve into requirements minutiae. They have plenty of candidates that meet the stated requirements already.

I'd book an appointment with a medical examiner, but specifically NOT for an aviation medical exam. You don't want to fail that if something should/can be corrected beforehand. He or she can examine you and advise on next steps.
 
CanukinUSA
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:50 am

If you cannot meet the limits to get a EASA Class 1 medical there is usually a process where you can apply to get a waiver or flexibility applied to get a Class/Category 1 medical even if you do not meet the standards. I originally did not meet the standards for a Category 1 medical in Canada when I was starting my career and I had to get flexibility applied to get a medical so I could get a Canadian Commercial pilot license. To obtain flexibility for my medical I had to make a presentation to a Medical Advisory Panel in Canada and had to wait for the vision medical experts to meet (usually it was only once a year). To prepare for my panel application I checked with several Aircraft Accident investigation boards in several countries for aircraft accidents that were caused by vision issues and attached that to my application. I had quite a few restrictions on my medical including having a spare pair of glasses available and wearing straps so my glasses would not fall off when flying. I also had to go for an Ophthalmologists eye exam every time I renewed my medical.
The regulators in the two countries (Canada and USA) where I hold Class 1 and Category 1 medicals have since accepted Laser Eye Surgery to correct your vision at my vision limits and after having Laser Eye Surgery in 2001 and they have removed my flexibility and waiver so I now have unrestricted medicals. I am not certain what EASA accepts as I do not have a EASA license, but I suggest you check to see if they accept Laser Eye Surgery and check with a Laser Eye Surgeon/Ophthalmologist to see if it will work for you and check to see if EASA will accept it.
The issue you will run into is whether the airlines that you might want to work for will consider you as many do not accept Laser Eye Surgery or Eyeglasses and will reject your application although they seem to be recently relaxing their standards now. I was not able to ever work in the Airline world even though a I have Airline Transport Pilot licenses in both Canada and the United States, so I spent most of my life either in the Air Taxi business or working for Simulator and Aircraft manufacturers.
Some of the top Test Pilots (Tony Levier (Lockheed) and Bob Hoover (USAF/North Americal Aviation) (who the doctor passed even though he did not meet the standard)) and Aircraft Designers (Kelly Johnson (Lockheed)) were rejected by the military and/or airlines for vision issues when they started their careers and ended up being more knowledgeable pilots/engineers then most of the airline pilots these days who spend most of their life flying straight & level at Flight Levels.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 5497
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:22 am

Terroid wrote:
If so, I guess I will get some limitation on my medical like OML (what even is the point of OML, aren't almost all commercial jets like b737 or airbus a320 Multi-crew?) or something worse? And would (major) airlines have big problems with those limitations?


A problem I see is that you will have trouble with the flying school. Every flying school includes a large portion of solo-flying. A Cessna 172 is a single pilot aircraft, so I am not even sure it is allowed to count it as a 2-man crew. Can't have a co-pilot on a single-pilot aircraft.

OML, as I understand it, is more for already trained and experienced pilots whose eyesight begins deteriorating as the get up in the years.


Starlionblue wrote:
However many airlines don't want to delve into requirements minutiae. They have plenty of candidates that meet the stated requirements already.


:checkmark: Even at the best of times, there was a several mile long queue of newly trained pilots hoping to join an airline. The airlines can pick and choose. They aren't going to spend much time considering a pilot with a bothersome limitation.


Starlionblue wrote:
I'd book an appointment with a medical examiner, but specifically NOT for an aviation medical exam. You don't want to fail that if something should/can be corrected beforehand. He or she can examine you and advise on next steps.


Nothing wrong with contacting an aeromedical examiner. Just make sure to explain that you don't want the examination for the medical, just advice. Make sure to ask an initial examiner, they are used to dealing with questions like these.


CanukinUSA wrote:
If you cannot meet the limits to get a EASA Class 1 medical there is usually a process where you can apply to get a waiver or flexibility applied to get a Class/Category 1 medical even if you do not meet the standards.


It's not something I've ever heard of under EASA. There are the limitations like the OML, but that's it.
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2529
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:45 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Terroid wrote:


Starlionblue wrote:
I'd book an appointment with a medical examiner, but specifically NOT for an aviation medical exam. You don't want to fail that if something should/can be corrected beforehand. He or she can examine you and advise on next steps.


Nothing wrong with contacting an aeromedical examiner. Just make sure to explain that you don't want the examination for the medical, just advice. Make sure to ask an initial examiner, they are used to dealing with questions like these.


[quote="CanukinUSA"]

I think I'd agree with Starlionblue. Never got to your FAA guy asking about a problem first. Once you've told your FAA guy about a problem he has no choice but to pursue it. I was lucky for a few years to have a PCP who was also my FAA doctor. He made a point of saying "if you come to me, PCP, that's the hat I wear. You come to me for any airman issues and I wear that hat." I couldn't have been better.
 
CanukinUSA
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:11 pm

Another option may be to do an examination for a lower class of medical that you are sure you can meet the lower vision standards for like the EASA Class for Private Pilots. While you are doing that medical you may ask the examiner whether he/she believes it is possible to obtain a EASA Class 1 later and what you would have to do to get a Class 1 later if it is possible. After quickly reading the Easy Access Rules for Medical Requirements linked to above it sounds like you will eventually have to get your case referred to a EASA medical assessor if you would like to get a Class 1 medical in the future who will be a vision specialist from EASA who can access whether if you cannot meet the medical requirements for a Class 1 medical what waivers/flexibility/limitations you would have on your Class 1 medical. All that the regular medical examiners can do is determine whether you meet the medical standards as written at the time you do your medical examination and will have to refer anything that does not meet the EASA medical standards to a specialist in that field from EASA. They may however have an idea what has been approved for other applicants in the past that they have dealt with who did not meet the standards but be aware they may not have had any similar cases in the past.
When I did my medical for a Transport Canada Category 3 medical for my private pilot license, they informed me that I did not meet the standards for a Category 1 medical and did not help me at all many years ago. I had to start digging into the Canadian Personnel Licensing Handbook for Medical Standards at the time and if I had not done that, I would have never known about the Medical Advisory Panel which later I had to apply for and obtained flexibility from the standards to obtain a Transport Canada Category 1 medical which enabled me to get a Canadian Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot license. The Examiners are there to check whether you meet the standards as listed and quite often have no knowledge of what to do when you do not meet them other than refuse to give you a medical. Fortunately, most of the aviation examiners today will attempt to do anything they safely can to enable you to get and keep a medical to fly. I have never had any issues with the medical personnel at either Transport Canada or the FAA in obtaining medicals once I contacted them and understood their concerns and worked within their system. The only time I have ever had an issue with the FAA was when the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) was raising a concern about waivers being issued for medicals by the FAA which is ironic as many of their members are the ones who use the process to keep their medicals and jobs after a medical issue occurs which causes them to not meet the medical standards during their renewal examinations.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26933
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:57 pm

I know the FAA only cares if the vision is correctable to the required standard. This is more murky with EASA. Is laser an option for you?
 
Terroid
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:07 am

N1120A wrote:
I know the FAA only cares if the vision is correctable to the required standard. This is more murky with EASA. Is laser an option for you?

I have heard EASA even with laser only counts your vision BEFORE laser, which would be extremely ridiculous (so if you had -8D before, they would still count -8D). I have read this on several forums but it sounds so strange. If it's not true, it's deffinitely an option to check if my eyes get stabilized
 
Terroid
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:13 am

Starlionblue wrote:
However many airlines don't want to delve into requirements minutiae. They have plenty of candidates that meet the stated requirements already.


Last time I got a prescription I was told I can see 120% with my glasses, I actually have no Idea what it means but I guess it can be corrected to 20/20 then?

My country has only 1 flight school to be honest that I could afford to go to, they have some kind of fund guarantee where if they let you into their flight school, they have to give you a job within some years or they would have to pay your full training.

If I was to be rejected I would maybe just consider a carreer in the USA/Canada anyways, because Banks in my country really don't want to fund flight school apart from the information I told about above here.
 
Terroid
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:24 am

VSMUT wrote:

A problem I see is that you will have trouble with the flying school. Every flying school includes a large portion of solo-flying. A Cessna 172 is a single pilot aircraft, so I am not even sure it is allowed to count it as a 2-man crew. Can't have a co-pilot on a single-pilot aircraft.


Wouldn't I be able to fly solo with a class 2 (OML-Only class 1) If I get a class 1 after flight school?
I'm getting confused by all these rules man, I hope they just change the rules by next year and remove the limits, it's kind of ridiculous an American with -10 can fly in Europe because of FAA rules, but I might not be able to because of EASA. :cry:
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20868
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:03 am

Terroid wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

A problem I see is that you will have trouble with the flying school. Every flying school includes a large portion of solo-flying. A Cessna 172 is a single pilot aircraft, so I am not even sure it is allowed to count it as a 2-man crew. Can't have a co-pilot on a single-pilot aircraft.


Wouldn't I be able to fly solo with a class 2 (OML-Only class 1) If I get a class 1 after flight school?
I'm getting confused by all these rules man, I hope they just change the rules by next year and remove the limits, it's kind of ridiculous an American with -10 can fly in Europe because of FAA rules, but I might not be able to because of EASA. :cry:


You could fly on a Class 2, but if you are unable to get a Class 1 before flight school how can you know you can get one after?

Cross-border aviation licensing is at least as complicated as flying the aircraft, and a constantly moving target. And yes, often unfair and illogical. :)



Terroid wrote:
N1120A wrote:
I know the FAA only cares if the vision is correctable to the required standard. This is more murky with EASA. Is laser an option for you?

I have heard EASA even with laser only counts your vision BEFORE laser, which would be extremely ridiculous (so if you had -8D before, they would still count -8D). I have read this on several forums but it sounds so strange. If it's not true, it's deffinitely an option to check if my eyes get stabilized


Many forums, and many posts within forums, need to be taken with a large pinch of salt. An Aviation Medical Examiner can give you accurate information.


Terroid wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
However many airlines don't want to delve into requirements minutiae. They have plenty of candidates that meet the stated requirements already.


Last time I got a prescription I was told I can see 120% with my glasses, I actually have no Idea what it means but I guess it can be corrected to 20/20 then?

My country has only 1 flight school to be honest that I could afford to go to, they have some kind of fund guarantee where if they let you into their flight school, they have to give you a job within some years or they would have to pay your full training.

If I was to be rejected I would maybe just consider a carreer in the USA/Canada anyways, because Banks in my country really don't want to fund flight school apart from the information I told about above here.


Do you have the right to work in the US and/or Canada?
 
VSMUT
Posts: 5497
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:28 am

CosmicCruiser wrote:
I think I'd agree with Starlionblue. Never got to your FAA guy asking about a problem first. Once you've told your FAA guy about a problem he has no choice but to pursue it. I was lucky for a few years to have a PCP who was also my FAA doctor. He made a point of saying "if you come to me, PCP, that's the hat I wear. You come to me for any airman issues and I wear that hat." I couldn't have been better.


This is not the US though. Everyone here, including the aeromedical examiners, will tell you to ask them first and foremost. They are the only ones who can answer the questions with certainty. European medical records are fairly extensive, and it is mandatory to provide access to them in order to get a medical. He isn't going to be able to hide it.


Terroid wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

A problem I see is that you will have trouble with the flying school. Every flying school includes a large portion of solo-flying. A Cessna 172 is a single pilot aircraft, so I am not even sure it is allowed to count it as a 2-man crew. Can't have a co-pilot on a single-pilot aircraft.


Wouldn't I be able to fly solo with a class 2 (OML-Only class 1) If I get a class 1 after flight school?
I'm getting confused by all these rules man, I hope they just change the rules by next year and remove the limits, it's kind of ridiculous an American with -10 can fly in Europe because of FAA rules, but I might not be able to because of EASA. :cry:


Are you even within limits for a class 2? Sounds risky if you ask me, investing a minor fortune in flight training without knowing if you can even pass a class 1 with a limitation? What if they find something else the prevents you from getting a class 1?

You wouldn't be the first person to miss out on his dream because of this. If it is any consolation, there are no jobs to get anyway.

But don't give up yet. Get in contact with an aeromedical examiner in your country (or any other EASA country for that matter) and ask them. Maybe they will give you the go-ahead for a class 1 despite all you've read.


Terroid wrote:
My country has only 1 flight school to be honest that I could afford to go to, they have some kind of fund guarantee where if they let you into their flight school, they have to give you a job within some years or they would have to pay your full training.

If I was to be rejected I would maybe just consider a carreer in the USA/Canada anyways, because Banks in my country really don't want to fund flight school apart from the information I told about above here.


Sorry to be blunt, but if you are so economical constrained, you should really reconsider your plans. Maybe postpone the plans and save up some more money. Being an unemployed pilot is expensive AF. You need a type rating (easily 20.000 eur) which needs to be renewed annually (you are lucky if it can be done for 2500 eur). Your medical will have to be renewed annually, also at your own expense. Any job interview will require flight tickets and hotel stays. As the situation is today, the only jobs you can get are pay-to-fly jobs, which require an upfront payment of around 30.000 eur. Expect everything to be more expensive than what is initially promised to you.

I haven't heard of such a guarantee before, and I'd be wary about it. I have seen several schools of late making similar wild promises. Make sure you get someone to read through the contract carefully before you sign up, because I am sure there is a caveat in there somewhere. The flying school business in Europe is the wild west. There is very little regulation in the area to keep them in check.


Starlionblue wrote:
Cross-border aviation licensing is at least as complicated as flying the aircraft, and a constantly moving target. And yes, often unfair and illogical. :)


Indeed. A lot of pilots have gotten themselves stuck in the Brexit mess because EASA doesn't recognize the new UK license, and require a full resitting of the ATPL exams to convert back to EASA.
 
Terroid
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:40 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Are you even within limits for a class 2? Sounds risky if you ask me, investing a minor fortune in flight training without knowing if you can even pass a class 1 with a limitation? What if they find something else the prevents you from getting a class 1?

You wouldn't be the first person to miss out on his dream because of this. If it is any consolation, there are no jobs to get anyway.

But don't give up yet. Get in contact with an aeromedical examiner in your country (or any other EASA country for that matter) and ask them. Maybe they will give you the go-ahead for a class 1 despite all you've read.

True, but I'm definitely not giving up before I know that it's impossible.

VSMUT wrote:
Sorry to be blunt, but if you are so economical constrained, you should really reconsider your plans. Maybe postpone the plans and save up some more money. Being an unemployed pilot is expensive AF. You need a type rating (easily 20.000 eur) which needs to be renewed annually (you are lucky if it can be done for 2500 eur). Your medical will have to be renewed annually, also at your own expense. Any job interview will require flight tickets and hotel stays. As the situation is today, the only jobs you can get are pay-to-fly jobs, which require an upfront payment of around 30.000 eur. Expect everything to be more expensive than what is initially promised to you.

I haven't heard of such a guarantee before, and I'd be wary about it. I have seen several schools of late making similar wild promises. Make sure you get someone to read through the contract carefully before you sign up, because I am sure there is a caveat in there somewhere. The flying school business in Europe is the wild west. There is very little regulation in the area to keep them in check.


I get what you mean, it's not that my economical situation is bad at all. My dad would support me quite a bit and I myself have worked together quite a bad of cash in my youth years. Even my cryptocurrency got me quite a few together haha. But I think if anyone who would be in my situation would hesitate a bit because of the risks. I'm still gonna get an appointment and see what an eye specialist says.

The guarantee got put up 3 years ago because of the banks here getting stuck with pilots not being able to pay their loans back, so they started refusing any loan. I of course definitely will make sure myself and some others to read any contract carefully. I'm talking about KLM in the Netherlands by the way.

Also, do you think if the pandemic causes a pilot shortage on the long term (less people taking the risk of becoming the pilot right now because of expenses and job possibilities right now) that I would have a better chance?

I'm also thinking about getting a university degree even if I get accepted just in case my eyes get worse when I get older.
 
Terroid
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:46 pm

Starlionblue wrote:

You could fly on a Class 2, but if you are unable to get a Class 1 before flight school how can you know you can get one after?

That wouldn't be ideal at all indeed, thanks, I didn't think of that at all.

Starlionblue wrote:

Do you have the right to work in the US and/or Canada?

Not now, but I got an older friend and a cousin who both went to Canada, studied and later on got a PR and were able to find a job and work there without much trouble. Still need to to a bit of research on there, it's just a possible plan D or so, I of course rather hope to get things sorted out in Europe instead :D
 
VSMUT
Posts: 5497
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:19 pm

Terroid wrote:
The guarantee got put up 3 years ago because of the banks here getting stuck with pilots not being able to pay their loans back, so they started refusing any loan.


Maybe it is a good idea to listen to the banks in this case. The banks and you do have a mutual interest here.


Terroid wrote:
Also, do you think if the pandemic causes a pilot shortage on the long term (less people taking the risk of becoming the pilot right now because of expenses and job possibilities right now) that I would have a better chance?


That's a lot of if's.

Look at it this way: It took 8 years after the 2007 financial crash before airlines even started hiring again, another 4-5 before it really became good. We are way, way worse off this time. Even if it does become better for the reasons you listed, it could be 15-20 years before it happens. Even when they start hiring again, don't forget that Ryanair and Wizz Air have made social-dumping wages the new norm in European aviation. Don't bet on massive pilot shortages before they actually happen, and remember that when it begins happening, for the first couple of years it will either be for experienced pilots only or at airlines that don't want to pay you.
 
Terroid
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:56 pm

VSMUT wrote:
That's a lot of if's.

Look at it this way: It took 8 years after the 2007 financial crash before airlines even started hiring again, another 4-5 before it really became good. We are way, way worse off this time. Even if it does become better for the reasons you listed, it could be 15-20 years before it happens. Even when they start hiring again, don't forget that Ryanair and Wizz Air have made social-dumping wages the new norm in European aviation. Don't bet on massive pilot shortages before they actually happen, and remember that when it begins happening, for the first couple of years it will either be for experienced pilots only or at airlines that don't want to pay you.


Alright, I will jsut get an appointment with an eye specialist and see what the results are. Thanks for the extra valuable info everyone!
 
Terroid
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Tue May 04, 2021 4:49 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Are you even within limits for a class 2? Sounds risky if you ask me, investing a minor fortune in flight training without knowing if you can even pass a class 1 with a limitation? What if they find something else the prevents you from getting a class 1?

You wouldn't be the first person to miss out on his dream because of this. If it is any consolation, there are no jobs to get anyway.

But don't give up yet. Get in contact with an aeromedical examiner in your country (or any other EASA country for that matter) and ask them. Maybe they will give you the go-ahead for a class 1 despite all you've read.



Got in contact with flight school for their rules for a class 1 (as some do have other rules) and said me to contact an eye doctor too and that it was perfectly possible to get my medical class 1, even >3D of astigmatism is possible in a lot of cases. as long as some further tests are done (same goes for >-6D nearsightedness).

They said a SIC could be on my medical. I can' t really find out what this means, anyone who knows this and could tell me?
 
VSMUT
Posts: 5497
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Any chances of getting a EASA medical class 1 when exceeding vision limits?

Tue May 04, 2021 5:46 pm

Terroid wrote:
Got in contact with flight school for their rules for a class 1 (as some do have other rules) and said me to contact an eye doctor too and that it was perfectly possible to get my medical class 1, even >3D of astigmatism is possible in a lot of cases. as long as some further tests are done (same goes for >-6D nearsightedness).

They said a SIC could be on my medical. I can' t really find out what this means, anyone who knows this and could tell me?


Although I agree with seeing a specialist, just be aware that the flying school has an interest in selling you something, regardless of whether or not you can use it afterwards.

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