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Home > Eyesight > Will my partial defective vision affect my chances in Qantas or Virgin Blue?
Will my partial defective vision affect my chances in Qantas or Virgin Blue?
Pilot Career - Eyesight
Monday, 26 December 2005 16:05

Dear Captain Lim,

I have previously emailed you regarding medical standards of flying in Australia. I live in Melbourne and have passed the Class 1 and 2 Medical certificates. Unfortunately, due to *defective left vision due to significant field loss*, the top 45% of my left eye is blind.

I have lived with it for 16 years and never noticed the problem. I passed the clinical eye test with 20/20 vision in both eyes; it was only picked up during the ophthalmologist test.

Due to this, I have 3 restrictions:

1. Not valid for rotary wing operations.
2. Valid in Australian Airspace only: "This means that you will not be able to engage in International air navigation except with the permission of the appropriate authority of the country or countries concerned, as you fail to meet the vision standard specified by ICAO."
3. Not valid for mustering or agricultural flying.

Restrictions 1 and 3 have no effect on me. As for number 2, I think that I should be able to get an exemption. From what I have heard, they are one of the toughest aviation authorities in the world.

My question is, will this affect my chances of getting a job with an airline such as Qantas or a domestic carrier like Virgin Blue?

I realize that my chances are not good. I would probably have to make a lot of friends at the airline over the next 5-10 years as I very much doubt a major airline would pick someone in my condition over someone with a normal Class 1 medical certificate.

Do you think if I do get sufficient connections over the years, I may still have some hope? Or, will this guarantee a *no* for airline flying?

I am really shattered as it has been my dream. I have worked so hard to save money for flying. I would very much appreciate your honest opinion on the issue.

Thank you for you time.

Andrew

Hi Andrew,

Aircrew medicals are generally very stringent worldwide except in the USA where they tend to include rather than exclude on a case-to-case basis. I cannot give you an accurate opinion as to your case.

I believe, only those ophthalmologist who are specially trained and approved by the civil aviation authority, would be able to review your case if you appeal to them for reconsideration if it were a marginal case. (I am not clear what would constitute a marginal case, but there is usually an allowance for it since your clinical eye test is a normal 20/20)

Assuming the restrictions *that you will not be able to engage in International air navigation except with the permission of the appropriate authority of the country or countries concerned* stands, then your chances of getting into Qantas are pretty slim as they fly internationally. As for Virgin Blue, you may have some hope if only you are restricted to domestic flights (due to the *valid in Australian Airspace only* clause)

I suggest that you get an opinion from CASA on how you can overcome this problem. Ultimately, they are the one who would issue you the license, not Qantas or Virgin Blue.

*Sufficient connection* will not help you to alleviate a medical problem, but I believe, it can lead you to meet one in authority to review you case in the future.

I wish you all the best.

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