Discouraged :(

Zhaj

New Member
Recently I've just hit a few bumps in the road that have made obtaining a career in ATC perhaps less likely. I'm interested to hear other thoughts that might validate or nullify my concerns.

The first of which is eye sight. I did not realize that I was color difficient (weak red-green) until I randomly came across some information in these forums and took the color dot test. I believe it was the psuedoisochromatic plate test to be more precise. I have a PEPC date within the month with travel arrangements made and for the life of me I can't see those numbers in the dots >< This is the most of my worries.

The second is depression. I know they don't allow medication currently being taken but how would they view it three years in the past and only for a short duration? It was a small episode which may or may not have been legit considering that three medications were ineffective.

The last of my frustrations which just occompanies my rant is that I hear a lot of people doing the "traditional style interview" and getting through it decently fast. My facility told me to wait four months for the next available PEPC and I'm nervous I'm going to head down there and $700 later learn my eyes aren't good enough to see red, green, or white lights in a distance from a control tower when I'll be in an en-route center.

I apologize for the whining, just needed to blow some steam and maybe get some constructive opinions in the process.

Thanks for the help!
 

JasonC

New Member
Do not worry about the red/green color vision online tests. Sometimes computer monitors display colors differently, so it is not a valid instrument to detect if you have red/green color deficiency.

If it has not been diagnosed by a real optometrist, then you have no need to worry. However, if you are still concerned you could make an appointment with an optometrist to check your color vision before you go to PEPC.

As for the antidepressants, refer to this topic: http://forums.jetcareers.com/ask-flight-surgeon/59416-antidepressants.html

It appears that since it was three years ago and only for a short period of time it will not be a problem.
 

ABP52380

Well-Known Member
Well, that's a legitmate concern in regards to the color vision. It's a bitch, and you're not the only one dealing with it. I would recommend the following:

Do an online search for all the AME's in your area. Call each one and ask what color vision test they have. If you find one that has the Dvorine, drive there and take it. The last I heard the dvorine, and a modified farnsworth lantern, are the approved ATC color vision tests. The ironic part is that while the Dvorine is the official test (and apparently easier than the Ishihara) the medical exam will probably have the Ishihara. Why? Because it's cheaper and more common. So if you find the Dvorine and pass it, have the AME type a letter, that may suffice (or at least build a case) for the Doc to sign you off when you're going through the whole process of that day.

Anyway, good luck. Keep us posted, there are several of us in this same situation. What a pain in the ___
 

Cojsum

New Member
I found out that I had get glasses at my PEPC. I couldn't see the smallest line of letters on the eye exam. It really wasn't a big deal (I was freaking out at the PEPC). All I had to do was go to an optometrist and get glasses that corrected the problem.
 

Zhaj

New Member
I appreciate the advice, with further research I found that the FALANT Lantern Test is no longer viable but an Aviation Signal Light Test is and it's supposed to be fairly easy. Apparently about 50% of the people who fail the number test pass this one. The only issue with the test is that it has to be signed off by the gov. and therefore if you miss one question on the test you fail and it's reported to the FAA. After this point you would be considered color blind or deficient for life as far as the FAA is concerned >.>

I'm going to look into the (DV) number test and see if I can pass that or some other alternative that the FAA may accept. If I truly can't see the colors I need to in order to be an effective controller I'd rather not be one, but man between this and some of the other hoops combined with a wishywashy FAA I'd almost think they don't want you to get the job lol!

Anyone else have trouble getting definitive answers from the FAA for.. well.. anything?! heh..
 

scongdon

Well-Known Member
Zahj, I think we've all had at least one "big" concern walking into the PEPC's, but this process is one obstacle after another, and well worth it. :)

Here's the deal - they're not looking for a reason to DQ you, and I'd strongly recommend attending the PEPC. In most cases (at least the few I've heard of), the conditions we read here as "disqualifying" end up in a trip to an outside specialist, who fills out some paperwork that you fax back.

The PEPC was an awesome process, and everyone there was extremely helpful. Just my .02, but I wouldn't cancel travel arrangements :)


*Edit and P.S.*
- I wouldn't recommend getting "discouraged" in this process. Walk in like you own the place, and do everything with confidence. Now it's .04, but whatever! :D
 

ABP52380

Well-Known Member
I appreciate the advice, with further research I found that the FALANT Lantern Test is no longer viable but an Aviation Signal Light Test is and it's supposed to be fairly easy. Apparently about 50% of the people who fail the number test pass this one. The only issue with the test is that it has to be signed off by the gov. and therefore if you miss one question on the test you fail and it's reported to the FAA. After this point you would be considered color blind or deficient for life as far as the FAA is concerned >.>

I'm going to look into the (DV) number test and see if I can pass that or some other alternative that the FAA may accept. If I truly can't see the colors I need to in order to be an effective controller I'd rather not be one, but man between this and some of the other hoops combined with a wishywashy FAA I'd almost think they don't want you to get the job lol!

Anyone else have trouble getting definitive answers from the FAA for.. well.. anything?! heh..

I think you have some falty info there. They will not accept light gun test as an ample substitute for the ATC medical. Pilot, yes. ATC, no. Their going to either give you a modified farnsworth or a pseudo plat test.
 

Zhaj

New Member
I think you have some falty info there. They will not accept light gun test as an ample substitute for the ATC medical. Pilot, yes. ATC, no. Their going to either give you a modified farnsworth or a pseudo plat test.
That's no bueno :confused: I thought I saw the info in here but I could be wrong.
https://aviationmedicine.com/articles/index.cfm?fuseaction=displayArticle&articleID=31
Don't have time to read it again atm but I'll check it out later. I'm going to see my local AME today if I can get in, hopefully we can work this stuff out. I "hear" so many different things regarding policies and ATC future in general it's scary :panic:
 

Juliet Lima

New Member
Do not worry about the red/green color vision online tests. Sometimes computer monitors display colors differently, so it is not a valid instrument to detect if you have red/green color deficiency.

If it has not been diagnosed by a real optometrist, then you have no need to worry. However, if you are still concerned you could make an appointment with an optometrist to check your color vision before you go to PEPC.
First off, don't "blindly" believe what it says here. (no pun intended) u NEED to pass a color test. you will look at pictures on a piece of paper and hopefully see the correct number that is displayed. the color of the number is surrounded by a different color. so, you cannot be color blind.

It appears that since it was three years ago and only for a short period of time it will not be a problem.
do not believe this for a second. it could be true. but, to believe blindly that it's not a problem is being naive. especially if u took medication to treat/control your "problem". there is just too many "off the side of the street/OTS" people to mess with the baggage your bringing.

ultimately though i would continue the process and hope for the best. i've seen people with more baggage than you. but they also brought certifications that made things easier to overlook.
 

Zhaj

New Member
I called my local AME office, they had no idea as to any other tests but the pseudoisochromatic tests. Seems I have to see an outside optometrist for alternative testing. I've been poking around but still am a tad hazy. Who can I call to get the exact alternative test options and be sure that the optometrist is considered legitimate by the FAA?

Thanks a bunch :banghead:
 

nathanw

New Member
I called my local AME office, they had no idea as to any other tests but the pseudoisochromatic tests. Seems I have to see an outside optometrist for alternative testing. I've been poking around but still am a tad hazy. Who can I call to get the exact alternative test options and be sure that the optometrist is considered legitimate by the FAA?

Thanks a bunch :banghead:
Call the regional AME office. They will have the info you need. There's a thread on here somewhere with the link to phone numbers.
 
Top