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Any Monocular Pilots out there ?


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I know it can be done becasue I know of a guy up in Alaska who's a mono vison pilot. And he's got a second class... My guess is that you would have to get a SODA (Statement of Demonstrated Ability). Nothing more than a ride with an FAA rep.

 

I would start by calling these guys: www.leftseat.com

 

I called them when I had my LASIK and they were very helpful. Let us know what happens.

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I know it can be done becasue I know of a guy up in Alaska who's a mono vison pilot. And he's got a second class... My guess is that you would have to get a SODA (Statement of Demonstrated Ability). Nothing more than a ride with an FAA rep.

 

I would start by calling these guys: www.leftseat.com

 

I called them when I had my LASIK and they were very helpful. Let us know what happens.

 

Thanks for the informative reply.

 

Just to explain, I wasn't looking for advise on any medical issues, just looking to see if there are many monocular heli pilots out there ?

 

I am monucular and nearly finished my PPL(H) course.

 

I already hold both an IRISH and UK Hot Air Balloon Pilots license.

 

 

I'm located in Ireland.

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I know of two monocular helicopter pilots. Both had to demonstrate their depth perception and safe flying abilities to the FAA. Both neat stories actually...

 

Strangely enough, one lost his eye in a helicopter accident when he walked into a tail rotor before ever getting his license (Talk about taking your fears head on - pun or no pun intended). At the time of the accident, he was a contractor fueling and servicing helicopters at a local ANGB.

 

The other lost his eye when the breach of a powder rifle exploded. He quit flying for a period of time, then a friend invited him on a helicopter flight and let him take the controls. Unbeknown to him, his friend that invited him along had prearranged the flight down to the local FSDO office. The FAA examiner was waiting, got inside, rode him, and then at the conclusion of the flight, gave him his SODA paperwork. Nice surprise!!!

 

BTW - Just to mention... ...Both are professionals - one holds a commercial, the other an ATP.

 

Never give up! ;)

 

Regards...

Edited by nbit
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ok so I didn't know that someone could be a commercial helicopter pilot, or even flight instructor with only one eye, or only good vision in one eye. so one of my girlfriends is kindof interested in flying for fun and possibly for hire, she only has vision in one eye from a birth problem. he optic nerve was not lined up with the back of her eye at birth. anyhow. the only problem I see with many one eyed people is their depth perception is always compromised. You usually need to have the other eye working a little bit cause you have to have both eyes slightly working to have good depth perception. both eyes usually have to focus on the one object and talk to each other to estimate depth.

So she may be able to fly but she is well aware of her depth perception. that is her biggest complaint, she only sees good out of one eye but when it comes to night vision, her depth perception is even worse. so anyhow this is some good news to know and possibly she can practice on her depth and pass the faa test. anyone with one eyed vision have these problems with estimating or having depth perception????

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Very interesting replies...

 

I lost the sight in my RIGHT eye at the age if 5 via a Road Traffic Accident. Apparently the age of 5 was a magic number for the Irish Aviation Authoriry. The age of '5' according to the I.A.A is an age where your brain can make the necessary conpensations it needs to rectify the all important depth preception.

 

I understand if I was older than 5, I would not have ben allowed proceed with my PPL(H) here in Ireland.

 

The next stage was to take a Medical Flight Test with an IAA authorised examiner, I found this tough, nothing to do with depth preception but I only had 15 hrs up and the test morphed into a flying test..the examiner never flew with a monocular pu/t before... infact I am the only monocular pilot in Ireland !

 

A funny (well amusing actually) incident occured during the medical test was when he asked me to "hover taxi and set down beside those white lines on the runway", I had to ask him did he mean the large puddles of water that were reflecting the overcast sky !!!

 

I don't find depth perception an issue, I'm doing my solos in the heli now and don't have any issue with them.

 

Apparently the brain builds up enough visual clues to compensate for the monocularity, but I must stress, this happens over a LONG period (according to the IAA your brain needs to know from age 5). I found the latter info mentioned in a European J.A.A meeting attended by the medical heads of all the European Authorities, this must be where the IAA sourced their opinion.

 

The U.S system doeas appear to be more monocular frinedly, but I had to do it a different way. To be honest, if I didn't have a PPL(B), I don't think the Irish powers that be would have even entertained my PPL(H) initial query.

 

I'm on 33 hrs now and preparing for my X-Country excercises.... I like it !

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I just had a student pass his PP ASEL a few months ago. He got his waiver taken care of at the same time so he can fly with passengers. His skill landing the airplane was at least as good as any other student I have had.

 

It really put a smile on my face to see someone overcome an obstacle like that to get his license.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use to be a Helicopter pilot in the military. That was where I got my initial training. I never got my license while I was in or within the first year after I got out. In 1985 I lost my right eye in an accident. Just this last year I decided to get my license. I had to take a medical practical test with an FAA inspector but it wasn't any big deal. I have been flying as a student for the last year. The people I flew with when I first started didn't even know that I was blind in that eye. It shouldn't keep you from doing anything that you want to do. I have not run into a problem with it so far.

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  • 13 years later...

Hi guys, you all seem very knowledgeable so I think I came to the right place! :) I have good vision in both eyes, but failed my depth perception test when I entered the US Navy 8 years ago. They told me that disqualified me from any aviation jobs. Now that I am out, I would still love to pursue being a helicopter pilot. So, slightly different question. Does bad depth perception disqualify you, or you do just have to demonstrate your ability as with having only one eye?

 

Thanks for your help!

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Depth perception is pretty important when hovering, especially when close to an obstacle.

 

I have known one monocular pilot, but he was only allowed to hold a private licence. I also knew a cross-eyed pilot, again only private licence.

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We have a pilot where I work that only has sight in one eye. We are required to have a 1st class medical so apparently he has one. You may need what's called a "special issuance" medical but I don't know the steps required. Find an AME (aviation medical examiner) in your area to get things started. This FAA link can help you find one. 

 

https://designee.faa.gov/#/designeeLocator

 

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Thousands of pilots have overcome lack of binocular depth perception while learning to fly with night vision goggles, as well as monocle systems like in the Apache.  If you can get a medical you shouldn’t have any trouble learning to fly.

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