Color Vision Letter of Evidence - Status

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
Here is the status of the color vision issue.

If you fail the pseudoisochromatic color plate test at the time of your FAA physical exam, the aviation medical examiner (AME) may issue your medical certificate with the limitation “Not valid for night flying or color signal control.” To have the restriction removed, you may choose to take one of the FAA-approved alternate color vision tests (Keystone, Dvorine, Titmus, FALANT, etc.). If you successfully complete the alternate test, you will be considered as having acceptable color vision for the FAA. You will need to take a color vision test each time you reapply for a medical certificate. I suggest you try to take the same test that you previously passed each time you reapply.

If you cannot pass one of the alternate tests, you have another option that requires taking an operational color vision test (OCVT) at the flight standards district office (FSDO).

For third class medicals: If you cannot successfully complete an alternative color plate test, you will be required to pass an operational color vision test (OCVT). This test has two components:
(a) A signal light test administered at an airport air traffic control tower; and
(b) A practical test in which you must read and correctly identify colors on aeronautical charts.
Upon successful completion of both elements of the OCVT, the aviation safety inspector will issue a letter of evidence and a medical certificate with the limitation “3rd Class Letter of Evidence.”
If you fail the signal light test portion of the OCVT during daylight hours, you will be able to retake the test at night. If you pass the nighttime test, your medical restriction will read, “Not valid for flights requiring color signal control during daylight hours.” If you cannot pass the OCVT during day or night hours, the restriction will read, “Not valid for night flying or by color signal control.”

Important note: If you fail the daytime signal light test, you will not be eligible for either first or second class medical certification, may not be issued a letter of evidence, and may not have the limitation modified or removed.

For first or second class medicals:
(a) Successful completion of an operational color vision test (OCVT) described above; and
(b) A color vision medical flight test (MFT). This is an actual flight test and requires the following:
(1) You must read and correctly interpret in a timely manner aviation instruments or displays, particularly those with colored limitation marks, and colored instrument panel lights, especially marker beacon lights, warning or caution lights, weather displays, etc.
(2) You must recognize terrain and obstructions in a timely manner; select several emergency landing fields, preferably under marginal conditions, and describe the surface (for example, sod, stubble, plowed field, presence of terrain roll or pitch, if any), and also describe how the conclusions were determined, and identify obstructions such as ditches, fences, terraces, low spots, rocks, stumps, and, in particular, any gray, tan, or brown objects in green fields.
(3) You must visually identify in a timely manner the location, color, and significance of aeronautical lights. To minimize the effect of memorizing the color of a light associated with a particular light system, the aviation safety inspector should make every effort to not use the light system name during the flight, but rather to ask you to identify a light color and the significance of as many of the following lights as possible:
(a). Colored lights of other aircraft in the vicinity;
(b). Runway approach lights, including both the approach light system (ALS) and visual glideslope indicators;
(c). Runway edge light system;
(d). Runway end identifier lights;
(e). In-runway lighting (runway centerline [CL] lights, touchdown zone [TDZ] lights, taxiway lead-off lights, and land and hold short lights);
(f). Airport boundary lights;
(g).Taxiway lights (edge lights, CL lights, clearance bar lights, runway guard lights, and stop bar lights;
(h).Red warning lights on television towers, high buildings, stacks, etc.;
(i). Airport beacon lights.


If you pass the operational color vision test (OCVT) and the color vision medical flight test, the inspector will issue a letter of evidence that’s valid for all classes and a medical certificate with no limitation or comment regarding color vision.


If you fail the signal light test portion of the OCVT during daylight hours, you will be able to retake the test at night. If you pass the nighttime test, your medical restriction will read, “Not valid for flights requiring color signal control during daylight hours.” If you cannot pass the OCVT during day or night hours, the restriction will read, “Not valid for night flying or by color signal control.”

The incident that started this change was when a FedEx Boeing 727 crashed in 2002. The NTSB investigation determined that the first officer’s color vision deficiency was one of several causal factors. A result of that investigation was a change in the FAA procedures for removing the operational restrictions for color vision deficiency.



You can still use the FALANT to get a medical without a restriction but you must do it each time you renew the medical. (The FAA requires a color vision test at each medical unless there is a Letter of Evidence). If you are marginal on color vision, the OCVT is going to be a problem.


I don't look for them to pull the letters of evidence already issued ( this would take a great amount of work on their part.) The above rules went into effect July 24, 2008.



 

millerjd

New Member
So what you are saying is if you previously have a SODA from an FSDO then you still do not need to take another test? I got my SODA some 6 years ago and have been told to present it to the Designated Medical Examiner each time and it exempts me from the test.

Just fyi, I've taken the signal test (FSDO and received a SODA), D-15 (non-flying) and the FALANT (your office actually, much better machine than MEPS has) and have passed all.
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
I would be surprised if they rescinded any prior SODA's or Letters of Evidence. The workload would be too great IMO.:)
 

Holocene

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I have a letter of evidence that was obtained via passing alternate color-vision tests as part of a complete eye evaluation. The doctor then completed the appropriate FAA form, and the FAA issued me the letter, basically exempting me from any future color-vision tests administered by AME's at the time of my physical. It says right on the letter "valid for any class".

I really hope they don't invalidate existing letters!!!
 

dpgtime

Well-Known Member
So do i have to submit a 8500-7 form every time I retake the medical??? Basically fail the test again and submit the alternate results each time I do the medical? I took the Titmus with an optometrist...do I take the optometrists alternate results to the AME for acceptance next time???
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
So do i have to submit a 8500-7 form every time I retake the medical??? Basically fail the test again and submit the alternate results each time I do the medical? I took the Titmus with an optometrist...do I take the optometrists alternate results to the AME for acceptance next time???
Find an AME with a Titmus. Many have them. We use a Keystone in our office and have the Ishihara plates as well as a Farnsworth lantern for those who cannot pass the other tests. You could optionally take a 8500-7 documenting the Titmus results from the optometrist to the AME for every physical. It would be less expensive to find an AME with the Titmus or Farnsworth lantern.
 

Zero1Niner

Well-Known Member
Wow. That could really screw with the futures of many of us if they decide to pull previously issued LOE's.

Doc, I know you mentioned that you doubt this will happen. Is that just your gut feeling or have you heard something that leads you to believe that?

Thanks for updating us on this issue Doc.
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
Wow. That could really screw with the futures of many of us if they decide to pull previously issued LOE's.

Doc, I know you mentioned that you doubt this will happen. Is that just your gut feeling or have you heard something that leads you to believe that?

Thanks for updating us on this issue Doc.
Just my opinion.
 

ABP52380

Well-Known Member
In response to the above comment about us all coming out of the wood work:

I think the actual number of color 'deficient' individuals is definately higher than the, quote, 8 to 10 percent of white males (apparently African Americans have a much smaller chance).

None the less, this whole process is frustrating. At least the FAA allows other tests. God knows the Ishihara is simply a joke. There is NO WAY that test mimics conditions we might encounter in the flying community. The simple fact that we have other, more accurate and realistic options, definately serves us well. But it's still a pain in the ass.
 

CaptainTeezy

Well-Known Member
Hey Doc,

How do you find out what color vision tests each AME uses...do you simply just call and ask them? And What is the TITMUS? I googled it and couldn't find any info on it. Also what is a Keystone test? Thanks Doc.
 

motoboy

Well-Known Member
In response to the above comment about us all coming out of the wood work:

I think the actual number of color 'deficient' individuals is definately higher than the, quote, 8 to 10 percent of white males (apparently African Americans have a much smaller chance).

None the less, this whole process is frustrating. At least the FAA allows other tests. God knows the Ishihara is simply a joke. There is NO WAY that test mimics conditions we might encounter in the flying community. The simple fact that we have other, more accurate and realistic options, definately serves us well. But it's still a pain in the ass.
Couldnt agree more.
 

Zero1Niner

Well-Known Member
So am I understanding this correctly that even those of us that have an LOE from the FAA will still have to take the color vision exam at each medical?
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
Hey Doc,

How do you find out what color vision tests each AME uses...do you simply just call and ask them? And What is the TITMUS? I googled it and couldn't find any info on it. Also what is a Keystone test? Thanks Doc.
Call and ask.

The Titmus and Keystoen are both vision test machines with color vision plates in them.
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
So am I understanding this correctly that even those of us that have an LOE from the FAA will still have to take the color vision exam at each medical?
NO!! If you have a Letter of Evidence, it is still good (at least for now). All others need to take a color vision test every physical.
 

400A

New Member
Just spoke with the Medical Standards office in OKC and if you have a SODA for a first class medical they will NOT be revoked/rescinded.
 

Zero1Niner

Well-Known Member
I also just called the FAA Medical Certification [405-954-4821 opt 1], and asked if existing LOE's would remain valid. She put me on hold, and came back saying that the new ruling is for new applicants only, and that existing LOE's WILL be honored.

Pheww....at least for now anyway.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
i have a somewhat auxilliary question about the ishihara plates...

now, i am 100% sure i am not colorblind or deficient, as I have been doing computer graphic design and print work for YEARS and im sure someone would have said "hey uh, that looks like CRAP dude!" if there was an issue...

BUT

when i initially went for my Class I, i recall there being one scene where for the life of me i simply couldnt pick out a number!

maybe i was just totally looking at it the wrong way, the lighting in the room was crappy/colored flourescent/etc...but i sure didnt see anything in one plate!

the doc simply said lets try another one, i found it immediately, and that was that.

im curious is there an allowance for missing X number of plates before you fail? did i get a gift? do some plates simply not have anything in them?

just one of those things id like to know more about so im not stressing about getting 100% if its not really required or if maybe i was just having a bad morning that day...
 
Top