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Elective Eye Surgery After Getting Flight Physical Approval?


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#1 Cubicle2Cockpit

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 13:56

Hey everyone, this is my first time posting here. This is a question im not sure has been asked before. If it has, please direct me to the post and I'll remove this one. Here's my scenario:
I have finished my packet and am about to submit it to battalion for the September board. My eyes are 20/50 so I passed the flight physical with no problems and got my stamp from Fort Rucker not too long ago. I want to get eye surgery because I'd rather not wear glasses at Wocs and for the all of flight training and wait until I can get my eye surgery approved by the army (who knows when that would be). I am going in as a civilian and I believe that my packet is competitive. I also understand that it usually takes 6 months after being selected to go to basic training. This is a great window to get the eye surgery done on my own wallet (I'm okay with that) so that I don't have to worry about near sightedness again. Any thoughts?

#2 MuffinMan

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 19:15

Hey everyone, this is my first time posting here. This is a question im not sure has been asked before. If it has, please direct me to the post and I'll remove this one. Here's my scenario:
I have finished my packet and am about to submit it to battalion for the September board. My eyes are 20/50 so I passed the flight physical with no problems and got my stamp from Fort Rucker not too long ago. I want to get eye surgery because I'd rather not wear glasses at Wocs and for the all of flight training and wait until I can get my eye surgery approved by the army (who knows when that would be). I am going in as a civilian and I believe that my packet is competitive. I also understand that it usually takes 6 months after being selected to go to basic training. This is a great window to get the eye surgery done on my own wallet (I'm okay with that) so that I don't have to worry about near sightedness again. Any thoughts?

 

It sounds like a good way to have to redo a flight physical....but I could be completely wrong on this one. 



#3 rbussma

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 19:57

MuffinMan is correct. You will have to get an approved waiver after your surgery.

 

I got LASIK approximately 4 months before reporting to Rucker. I was out a standard in my left eye ever so slightly after getting my Class 1A re-validated prior to attending flight school. The process is relatively simple, but if your vision is currently within standards, I'd probably hold off, but that's just me. Once you get your surgery, there is a mandatory 3 month wait for LASIK and a 6 month wait for PRK (for healing) before you can apply for the waiver (keep in mind these time blocks are just until you can submit the waiver, it will likely take longer to be approved). The flight surgeon will send down your before and after results, and assuming there are no abnormalities, it should be approved without issue. There was a policy letter posted on Aeromed's website about the process. I will see if I can find it.

 

I'm in the Guard and on the commissioned side, so your experience will likely differ slightly from the way I got the waiver, but it should be along the same lines.



#4 Cubicle2Cockpit

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 10:00

I got a quick response from Ft Rucker medical - I'd have to get a flight physical all over again and go before boards ALL over again...yikes I think I'll just suck it up and wear glasses when I need to lol

#5 CharyouTree

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 10:40

Here's the thing:  Your vision is fine right now.  As a procedure, it's relatively safe, but... there's a chance something could go wrong.

 

I got PRK 12 years ago because I was completely out.  20/400 and 20/200.  There was no way it would happen without it, and I had nothing to lose.  Now, I'm about at the point where I'll need corrective lenses again, and after considering it, I'm pretty sure I'll just go back to glasses/contacts when I'm flying (Military or civilian).  I just can't justify the risk vs reward of potentially never flying again all because I didn't want to wear lenses.  Aside from the fact that in the plane, I wear sunglasses anyway. Who cares if they happen to have a prescription in them?



#6 Luofynerd

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 12:51

If you got the physical stamped I would just roll with it. They will issue you some nice aviators ;). It's too easy to get through training where the eyesight required drops to like 20/200 correctable to 20/20 and then drop the packet in your first unit to get prk. That's what I would do. If you've worn glasses /contacts for most of your life what's two more years? Just my two cents.

#7 Cubicle2Cockpit

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 08:49

Luofynerd, so are you saying that the initial flight physical is the hardest one to pass in comparison with the rest of your flight physicals once you're in?

#8 StockTrader

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:54

Luofynerd, so are you saying that the initial flight physical is the hardest one to pass in comparison with the rest of your flight physicals once you're in?


As it was put so eloquently to me at Rucker. Before you pin wings they will find whatever they can to DQ you. After you pin wings they will find whatever they can to keep you.
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#9 Luofynerd

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:26

As it was put so eloquently to me at Rucker. Before you pin wings they will find whatever they can to DQ you. After you pin wings they will find whatever they can to keep you.

That. Coming from the enlisted aviation side of the house I can attest to that being true.




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