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stuckindayton

Change to Air Force Color Vision Policy

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Hey folks,

Big news today.  The AF has officially adopted a new (more lenient) color vision policy that is more in line with the Army and Navy.  Waivers are now available for ALL flying classes, including pilot applicants, as long as your CCT score is at least 55 with each eye on all cone types (i.e. red, green and blue letters).  If you have recently been disqualified for color vision and you think you meet the waiver criteria, PM me and we'll see if we can get a waiver put in on your behalf.  This will certainly be no problem for anyone recently DQ'd at Wright-Patt.  If it was at a different location, there may be a little more legwork, but it should be do-able.  If you are not sure whether you meet the waiver criteria, I'm happy to look into your physical and let you know.

 

 

 

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On ‎4‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 5:15 PM, stuckindayton said:

Hey folks,

Big news today.  The AF has officially adopted a new (more lenient) color vision policy that is more in line with the Army and Navy.  Waivers are now available for ALL flying classes, including pilot applicants, as long as your CCT score is at least 55 with each eye on all cone types (i.e. red, green and blue letters).  If you have recently been disqualified for color vision and you think you meet the waiver criteria, PM me and we'll see if we can get a waiver put in on your behalf.  This will certainly be no problem for anyone recently DQ'd at Wright-Patt.  If it was at a different location, there may be a little more legwork, but it should be do-able.  If you are not sure whether you meet the waiver criteria, I'm happy to look into your physical and let you know.

Do you have anything in writing that shows this new change?

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That is terrific news for the AF after many years of disqualifying too many.  Expect a wave of highly qualified candidates for the active duty board.  At least those who aren't too old.

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@stuckindayton, I tried sending you a PM but it looks like your box is full. I have a slew of questions for you if you would be willing to let me pick your brain for a bit and message you. Thanks!

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6 hours ago, jonlbs said:

Was told by a friend at his FC1 that more than just the color vision standards changed, including prk/lasik not needing a waiver anymore and depth perception changes. Any truth to this or documentation on it?

All true.  PRK/LASIK no longer requires a waiver as long as no complications.  There is still a mandatory 6 month period between surgery and when you can get an IFC I.  This was basically just a formality.  Everyone got indefinite waivers (for the most part).  Depth perception standard now 40 arc secs instead of 25.  It really has little impact on who gets in, it just means fewer people need waivers because the waiver criteria didn't change.  There were other changes related to eyes/vision, but they weren't as significant.

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On 5/29/2018 at 11:20 AM, Jacobryan10 said:

@stuckindayton, I tried sending you a PM but it looks like your box is full. I have a slew of questions for you if you would be willing to let me pick your brain for a bit and message you. Thanks!

Sorry, I missed this.  I cleared out some of my box so send away.

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1 hour ago, stuckindayton said:

All true.  PRK/LASIK no longer requires a waiver as long as no complications.  There is still a mandatory 6 month period between surgery and when you can get an IFC I.  This was basically just a formality.  Everyone got indefinite waivers (for the most part).  Depth perception standard now 40 arc secs instead of 25.  It really has little impact on who gets in, it just means fewer people need waivers because the waiver criteria didn't change.  There were other changes related to eyes/vision, but they weren't as significant.

So now all those poor bastards only have to get through line B on the OVT?

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Hello everyone, I'm new here. I've done quite a bit of reading and have found this site to be great resource of information. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. 

I'm very interested in joining the ANG unit as a pilot but will be turning 30 in a few months. I understand the implications of that, and since that's not what the question is about, I'll get on with it... 

Early in life, when I was about 14 years old I ran into the Ishihara Plates at physical exam for a city job that I was going to do during the summer, and ever since then knowing that I can't pass it sort of killed the dream. I'm able to see green and red and the whole rainbow in my day to day life, but it is what it is. 

Fast forward to now, I was going through the forums and came across this link that shows an image of the Cone Contrast Test that the Air Force now uses: http://iovs.arvojournals.org/data/Journals/IOVS/932965/z7g9991111660001.jpeg and to my surprise I'm able to see everything down to the bottom, all the way to the 100th level. It's not easy, but I can see the letters which is more than I can say for the Ishihara, which I completely bomb. 

Is this an indication that I might be able to pass the actual eye color exam or is it that by using my own computer in a non controlled environment I'm only fooling myself? (I've now used two computers, apple and windows, plus my iPhone, same results.)

Also, as a side note. I use contacts. +3.00 on the left eye and +2.50 on the right eye. I can see fine without them, but after a while my eyes do start to get a bit tired, but it's not like I take them off and everything is blurry, to the contrary I'm able to drive and read without them just fine, it's just the stuff that's very up close that tires them out. I just wanted to mention that, although from what I've read on here I understand that I won't really know if I'm within limits unless an eye doc actually does the exam. I just felt that since I'm asking about eye stuff, it was pertinent to mention it. 

Regardless, I appreciate any input, and due to my age and eye problems I understand that this is a very loooong shot, but I figure the worst that can happen is I get a "no". Thanks! 

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9 hours ago, gatsby said:

Hello everyone, I'm new here. I've done quite a bit of reading and have found this site to be great resource of information. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. 

I'm very interested in joining the ANG unit as a pilot but will be turning 30 in a few months. I understand the implications of that, and since that's not what the question is about, I'll get on with it... 

Early in life, when I was about 14 years old I ran into the Ishihara Plates at physical exam for a city job that I was going to do during the summer, and ever since then knowing that I can't pass it sort of killed the dream. I'm able to see green and red and the whole rainbow in my day to day life, but it is what it is. 

Fast forward to now, I was going through the forums and came across this link that shows an image of the Cone Contrast Test that the Air Force now uses: http://iovs.arvojournals.org/data/Journals/IOVS/932965/z7g9991111660001.jpeg and to my surprise I'm able to see everything down to the bottom, all the way to the 100th level. It's not easy, but I can see the letters which is more than I can say for the Ishihara, which I completely bomb. 

Is this an indication that I might be able to pass the actual eye color exam or is it that by using my own computer in a non controlled environment I'm only fooling myself? (I've now used two computers, apple and windows, plus my iPhone, same results.)

Also, as a side note. I use contacts. +3.00 on the left eye and +2.50 on the right eye. I can see fine without them, but after a while my eyes do start to get a bit tired, but it's not like I take them off and everything is blurry, to the contrary I'm able to drive and read without them just fine, it's just the stuff that's very up close that tires them out. I just wanted to mention that, although from what I've read on here I understand that I won't really know if I'm within limits unless an eye doc actually does the exam. I just felt that since I'm asking about eye stuff, it was pertinent to mention it. 

Regardless, I appreciate any input, and due to my age and eye problems I understand that this is a very loooong shot, but I figure the worst that can happen is I get a "no". Thanks! 

Gatsby,

I could be wrong, but I highly suspect that the contrast and chromaticity (i.e. color co-ordinates) of the letters seen in that print are not the same as what would be presented on the actual test.  Thus, they don't fully isolate the cones so your "weak" cone is not actually being tested.  In my experience people don't fail Ishihara and pass CCT.  Also, if you are wearing a +3.00 and +2.50 contact lens, then I would expect that your refractive error is more hyperopic than what you are wearing.  The measurement for refractive error is taken under cycloplegic (dilated) conditions, which paralyzes the accommodative muscles and typically yields more hyperopia than what a person will wear comfortably under non-dilated conditions.  If I had to guess, I would think your left eye may be pushing the hard limit of +4.00.  That's easy enough to determine.  Have a doc dilate your eyes with two drops of 1% Cyclopentolate and see how much power you need to see 20/20.  If it's over +4.00, it's a DQ without waiver potential.

I don't mean to be giving you a bunch of bad news, but that's my best guess.  

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1 hour ago, stuckindayton said:

Gatsby,

I could be wrong, but I highly suspect that the contrast and chromaticity (i.e. color co-ordinates) of the letters seen in that print are not the same as what would be presented on the actual test.  Thus, they don't fully isolate the cones so your "weak" cone is not actually being tested.  In my experience people don't fail Ishihara and pass CCT.  Also, if you are wearing a +3.00 and +2.50 contact lens, then I would expect that your refractive error is more hyperopic than what you are wearing.  The measurement for refractive error is taken under cycloplegic (dilated) conditions, which paralyzes the accommodative muscles and typically yields more hyperopia than what a person will wear comfortably under non-dilated conditions.  If I had to guess, I would think your left eye may be pushing the hard limit of +4.00.  That's easy enough to determine.  Have a doc dilate your eyes with two drops of 1% Cyclopentolate and see how much power you need to see 20/20.  If it's over +4.00, it's a DQ without waiver potential.

I don't mean to be giving you a bunch of bad news, but that's my best guess.  

Thanks Dayton, I appreciate your detailed response. I figured that was the case since I had read on here about people who normally do pass the Ishihara having trouble with the CCT so why would it be the opposite for me. I guess it's just that snippet of hope that creeps up sometimes, regardless, I understand. I'm also due for an eye check up soon and will ask my eye doc about my refractive error just to be better informed. It's always hard to come to terms with my vision being such a limiting factor, but such is life. Thanks again for your reply. 

 

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45 minutes ago, gatsby said:

Thanks Dayton, I appreciate your detailed response. I figured that was the case since I had read on here about people who normally do pass the Ishihara having trouble with the CCT so why would it be the opposite for me. I guess it's just that snippet of hope that creeps up sometimes, regardless, I understand. I'm also due for an eye check up soon and will ask my eye doc about my refractive error just to be better informed. It's always hard to come to terms with my vision being such a limiting factor, but such is life. Thanks again for your reply. 

 

I should have mentioned this previously.  The AF changed the CCT standard to 55 for each cone.  So you don't need perfect color vision.  There's really not a good correlation between CCT and Ishihara.  If you meet the refractive standards, there may be some hope in getting a CCT score that's within standard (55 or above on each cone type).

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9 hours ago, stuckindayton said:

I should have mentioned this previously.  The AF changed the CCT standard to 55 for each cone.  So you don't need perfect color vision.  There's really not a good correlation between CCT and Ishihara.  If you meet the refractive standards, there may be some hope in getting a CCT score that's within standard (55 or above on each cone type).

Thanks Dayton, I'll take it one step at a time and will go ahead and find my refractive error to better gauge where I stand when it comes to that aspect of my vision. Once again, I really appreciate your quick feedback. Thanks! 

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Just make sure they use Cyclopentolate and not Tropicamide/Phenylephrine (which is what is typically used).  They will likely yield different results.

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1 hour ago, stuckindayton said:

Just make sure they use Cyclopentolate and not Tropicamide/Phenylephrine (which is what is typically used).  They will likely yield different results.

Thanks! Will definitely request the Cyclopentolate and while I’m at it I’ll see if I can request a stereopsis measurement as well since I’ve read on the forums that’s another thing that sneaks up on many applicants. I’ll report back with the results, hopefully they are positive. Thanks again, you have been extremely helpful. 

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I hope they are positive too.  I must come across as a huge naysayer on this forum, but I'm only trying to make sure people don't get their hopes up too high only to get turned away late in the process.  Best of luck!

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On 6/6/2018 at 2:24 PM, stuckindayton said:

All true.  PRK/LASIK no longer requires a waiver as long as no complications.  There is still a mandatory 6 month period between surgery and when you can get an IFC I.  This was basically just a formality.  Everyone got indefinite waivers (for the most part).  Depth perception standard now 40 arc secs instead of 25.  It really has little impact on who gets in, it just means fewer people need waivers because the waiver criteria didn't change.  There were other changes related to eyes/vision, but they weren't as significant.

Do you have a link to the relevant policy updates / memorandums?

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On 7/5/2018 at 4:45 PM, thestratotanker said:

Do you have a link to the relevant policy updates / memorandums?

It's in the Medical Standards Directory.  Anyone with access to the Knowledge Exchange (KX) can access it, but I haven't found a non CAC site where it lives.  The date was May 24th, 2018 so if you find anything older it's not relevant.  I'd post it, except that if it hasn't been posted previously perhaps the AF doesn't want it online (and I don't want to lose my job).  I'll post just the references to refractive surgery and depth perception when I get back on a CAC computer.

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