- Jan 31, 2009
Any update on your situation?
My vision is 20/40 in my left eye, and 20/20 in my right eye.How bad is your vision that it cannot be corrected to 20/20? Sorry for your predicament man, this is a prime example of why America is going downhill is because no one takes accountability for their actions.
I can say we are all pulling for you here on SM. If the FS has cleared you using a SODA than that’s good enough for me. Standard tests do a good job for most people but not for everyone. I failed my tone audiology test but got 100% on two complex speech tests so I got cleared. Good luck and I pray for your success..
Both the Regional Air Surgeon and myself feel that because I have graduated a CTI program with a respectable GPA, the fact that I am a Commercial Pilot and Fight Instructor with well over 1000 hours, and that the Federal Air Surgeon himself has already authorized me to obtain a class I medical clearance by issueing a SODA, should be sufficient to allow special consideration on my medical clearance.
I will certainly keep everyone updated here on the situation.
I actually already hold a SODA that allows me to get a class I medical. The problem is, to be controller for the FAA, you must meet the standards of 3930.3A, not FAR97.Ahhh I see that blows man...maybe you could request that someone from the FSDO could give you a SODA, I mean if you could do it in class and you're also a CFI kind of says alot
I'm still working on the process. Unfortunately these things take so much time. Currently waiting on some documentation from an eye specialist.would like an update to the situation. I have the same condition but in my right eye. my left eye (dominant) has 20/20 and with both eyes open 20/20 just my right eye is 20/70. I will need a waiver but sounds like its not working for this guy. lets hope everything works out.
Who did you speak to at the national level (you can PM me if you'd like)?That is mostly correct, but I would like to clarify a few things with more-correct information.
First off, a SODA and a waiver are the same thing as far as the FAA is concerned. However, special authorization is something different.
The problem here lies in the double-standard that has been setup. While most CTI schools and FSDOs cite that you require a class II medical to be an atcs, this is only partially true, and mostly incorrect. ATCSs working in an FAA contract tower are required to meet the qualifications of the class 2 medical found in far67. However, for atcs working at an faa-staffed tower, one is required to meet the requirements set forth in 3930.3a, which I only just found out about in the last month or so. The requirements in 3930.3a are actually just slightly more strict than that of a class 1 medical (specifically vision).
Basically what this means is that a waiver/soda, which is spelled out in far67, is only applicable to pilots and air traffic control specialists working at an FAA contract tower.
Second, while most medical disqualifications are indeed handled by a region air surgeon, those that require special authorization for static, uncorrectable conditions (such as amblyopia) must be appealed to the federal air surgeon. The regional air surgeon does not have authority to issue special authorizations, only the federal air surgeon can do that.
All of this is directly out of FAA order 3930.3A and from a direct conversation (and a quite lengthy one) with my regional air surgeon. Through this whole process I am beginning to become somewhat of an expert on FAA medical clearances and procedures. I find it amazing how so many rules are redundant or contradictory to each other. I honestly cannot wait until this process is over and I have answer, and preferably the answer I want.
Why don't you ask to be transferred to en-route instead of going through all this BS?I'm still working on the process. Unfortunately these things take so much time. Currently waiting on some documentation from an eye specialist.
However, I would just like to also remind people that special medical clearances are given out on a case-by-case basis. It is based on a combination of what the disqualifying condition is, how bad it is, and how much experience the applicant has. All that is put together to determine if it is at all a safety factor.
I personally am 20/40 in my bad eye, which is not far off from the 20/20 requirement. Additionally, I already have authorization from the Federal Air Surgeon to receive a class I medical (and currently hold one) and I am a commercial pilot with well over 1000 hours. All that plays greatly in my favor, or at least I hope it does.
That's not to say it cannot be done for someone with 20/70 though. First I guess see if I can get through, and if I can, I would say give it shot.
I know there are a lot of interested people in the result of this, I have received lots of PMs about it. The regional air surgeon does not know of anyone who has attempted clearance this with my condition, and I was not able to find anyone either. So, I may be the first person with this condition to ever attempt getting special authorization.
I will definately update everyone when I have more information, should be 1-2 weeks from now. I will definately keep everyone posted on the status though.
I spoke directly with my Regional Flight Surgeon, and she told me the following:Who did you speak to at the national level (you can PM me if you'd like)?
Because I spoke with a doctor who said that special issuances (not waivers, special issuances, which is what you're seeking, myself as well) are only issued at the regional level.
Unfortunately, en route has the same vision requirements. Moreover, given my existing experience, qualifications, and certifications, this literally means that the FAA believes that my vision is adequate enough to fly a plane with hundreds of people on-board through any kind of weather and land them safely, but I am somehow incapable of looking at a stationary two-dimensional radar screen directly in front of me.RomeoNovember said:Why don't you ask to be transferred to en-route instead of going through all this BS?