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Home > Eyesight > Queries of an aspiring pilot with slight color deficiency in the eyes.
Queries of an aspiring pilot with slight color deficiency in the eyes.
Pilot Career - Eyesight
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 20:18

Dear Capt Lim,

My name is Kit and I live in Malaysia. I have come across your Site during some research and I must say you have done a great job with your Website. I am 24 years old and have worked for 2 years. I am now planning on pursuing a flying career. Your site has given me encouragement and though there are few niggling problems to iron out, I hope you could give me a few pointers about it.

Firstly, how wise is paying approximately RM$100,000.00 to study for a CPL/ATPL in Australia if I can't get through the Cadet Pilot schemes of Singapore Airlines or Malaysia Airlines?

Secondly, what are the options for me to pursue in order to obtain the necessary Licenses to join the Airlines?

Thirdly, are the future job prospects and pay/remuneration as a pilot good? I need to convince my parents that I am not wasting their money.

Thanks for taking the time to read this mail. I appreciate your comments and help.

Kit

Hi Kit,

If you have the basic qualifications and have an ambition to be a pilot, by all means, go ahead and make flying a career. Australia is a good place to acquire a CPL/ATPL, but for a similar amount, you can also get the same qualification locally. RM$100,000.00 will only get you less than two years of overseas education for an University basic degree. So if you are dead serious, it would be worth the while to spend the money on flying. But I would like to remind you that the demand for pilots fluctuates with the economy. In bad times, you may have to wait for a while before you can be employed if you are not sponsored by an airline.

The second option is to be involved in general aviation by joining a Flying Club and work your way up. It would be a very long process. Read a similar FAQ of mine which touch on this topic above. Alternatively, join the Air Force and get free pilot training. When your contract expires, you can apply to join the Airlines when there is a shortage of pilots. You must have your flying licenses and you can do them on your own. Your flying hours in the Air Force are generally recognized by the Civil Aviation Authorities.

The remuneration of a pilot is good and job prospect is uncertain at the moment in the short term. But there will always be a need for the pilot profession. You would certainly recover all the money spent on the training in the end! Pursue your dreams!

Dear Capt Lim,

Thanks for the in-depth overview of being a pilot. Regarding the spending of RM$100,000.00 to study it in Australia, I have checked that taking an ATPL locally would cost about RM150,000.00. Would spending the similar amount of money in Australia provide for better quality of flying training? (Since they are renowned for aviation safety).

So even if I don't get into a major Airline, would working as a pilot in any other Aviation Companies be as lucrative? How much is the pay of an instructor or a corporate pilot?

My final problem is that I have a slight color deficiency and I have gone to see a specialist. I have just taken a Farnsworth100 Hue Test yesterday and I am still waiting for the results.
The doctor told me that he would advise against pursuing a career as a pilot, based on
the fact that an Airline could hire someone without a deficiency, so why hire me? What I would like to know is, being color deficient hinder the job of a pilot?

Has there been any accidents caused by a color deficient pilot? Some pilots today are color
deficient without even knowing that they have and still fly pretty well. Am I right?

Please advise me on this. Thank you Capt Lim. 

Kit

Hi Kit,

Doing your flying training in Australia is also a good choice.

Pay for instructor or a corporate pilot can vary so much that I can't quote you any figures.

If you are color blind, then you may not pass the medical test for pilot training. As you know, the medical examination for Airline entry is quite stringent as compared to other profession and recognition of colors is important in the air.
I am not sure as to whether any accidents have been caused by a color deficient pilot because he would have been screened out in an aircrew medical examination anyway.

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Commercial Pilot
Mr Lim Khoy Hing is just reinforcing the common layman's mistaken belief that colour recognition is crucial in aviation. It is not as colour coding in aviation is completely redundant as proven in a very long court process in Australia which was certainly the most thorough examination of the use of colour in aviation that the world has ever seen. Its conclusion was that all Deutans (green deficient) pose no threat to aviation safety and should not be restricted in any area of aviation, even captains of airliners. It did not come to exactly the same conclusion about Protans (red deficient) and the boat is still adrift on that one unfortunately. Mr Lim Khoy Hing appears quite uninformed on this issue and makes the mistake of lending his weight in favour of the unjustly discriminatory behaviour of most aviation authorities on the colour vision [non-]issue. Only Australia has been brought to task on this unjust discrimination because it is lucky enough to have a review body called the AAT which is independent of the aviation authority and able to make its own mind up. Most other countries leave review of aviation medical decisions up to the aviation authority who made the decision in the first place - so they can play judge, jury and executioner without fear of recourse. Now Australia has hundreds of colour deficient pilots including international airline pilots flying into cities near you, without incident and for the last 25 years proving they perform just as safely as the colour normal pilots. Please stop this unjust discrimination. Stop telling us we cant fly safely when it is so obvious we fly just as safely as anyone else. Show us the evidence - show the mistakes we have made - you cant because its just an old wife's tale and yet it continues to destroy the dreams and potential careers of 8% of the male population.
Andy , 10 Jan, 2014
CVD Pilots
Hi Andy,

With reference to your comments here and in the Travel 3Sixty magazine, my article there was written without malice but merely on some general information about colours and the aviator. It naturally highlights the official view of the aviation authorities, especially CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) on cases of colour blindness.

I fully support CVDPA (colour Vision Deficiency Pilot Association) objectives of promoting the legitimate and just aspirations of CVD pilots.

As a former pilot, I empathized with all my fellow aviators and hope Australia will lead the way to eventually overcome these obstacles and prove to the world that CVD pilots are just as safe as normal pilots.

I wish you all the best in your endeavour against the aviation authorities in Australia.

Captain Lim , 23 Jan, 2014

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