Copying old post about flying AF any updates????

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by flying8764, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. flying8764

    flying8764 Member

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    My DS is struggling in his decision to accept his appointment to the USAFA or NROTC to Purdue. He has his 1st class medical and private pilots and want to fly for a life long career in the military and secure his AE degree. He stumbled upon this old post in his research and speaking to several pilots at both branches and a professor and flight instructor at the USAFA. He is even speaking to the USAFA Navy cross commissioning representative for input. I tried to locate a medical university to see if he could take this test and have had no success. We were told it is only found at air force bases. Here is the post, would appreciate any updates or feed back from those who fly or have any insight good or bad.....

    Mods, I recommend making this a sticky.

    Any candidate who desires to be in a rated position (pilot, nav, etc.), this is a must read.

    The DoDMERB color vision standards use the PIP test (color plates) to determine color vision.

    1) If you fail these and your goal is pilot, do NOT go to USAFA or try to commission in the AF. Any color vision deficiency DQs for pilot with NO WAIVERS ALLOWED. PERIOD. The Navy and Army have vastly lower standards and mild color deficients should not struggle with getting a pilot slot due to color vision.

    2) If you are close on the color test (barely passing) or can afford it, seek out a vision clinic with an anomaloscope. The air force standard test is the cone contrast test (CCT), but you will probably not be able to find any non-AF clinic with this test. The anomaloscope is the only test that is as sensitive (if not more) than the CCT. The test should be inexpensive (~$100) and usually can be found at university medical campuses. The old PIP standard will allow up to 20% of mild color deficients/anomalies to pass (false-negative) but the CCT is near 100% accurate in identifying anomalies, no matter how small. The anomaloscope is 100%. If you are diagnosed with a mild color deficiency on the anomaloscope (called a mild deuteranomalous tricromat), DO NOT try to become a pilot through the AF. You will be identified and denied without exception. Period. Again, Army/Navy use the PIP and PIP failures are allowed to take the OPTEC-900 FALANT. About 50-60% of color anomalies can pass the Army/Navy standard.

    Bottom line - if you want to be a pilot, get the most accurate information about your color vision. About 8-10% of men have a color anomaly, it is not rare. The AF will DQ for anyone that is not 100% color normal. Navy and Army will allow color SAFE individuals. For further reading, see AFI 36-123 for medical standards and AFD-130118-045 for the medical waiver guide.

    This could change in the future, but probably not for a long time.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Well does your son have any indication that he has any color deficiency? If none have been identified and has passed everything with no issues or questions, then I don't see this being a factor. If he has had some questions raised during his exams have some color deficiency then obviously it would be a factor.
     
  3. flying8764

    flying8764 Member

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    No he has no color blind issues, has 20/20, and a 1st class medical for his PP. I found a university who will give him the test as a precaution. Thanks!
     
  4. USN1991AZ

    USN1991AZ Member

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    I actually have a close friend whose son is in this situation. He is currently at the USAFA. He has passed the test accepted by the US Navy, but not the USAF one, and will be unable to fly. So I would say, if there is any concern at all, you should likely get it checked out.
     
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    The one thing I caution anyone to remember that DoDMERB is not the decision physical for commissioning or flight. Its great you are researching this and important for anyone who has any type of color deficiency. Flight physicals happen during your time at the SA, at USNA it happens early 2/C year. You will get checked again at flight school. So plenty of hurdles to pass if someone is "questionable" on a health issue for flying.
     
  6. time2

    time2 Member

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    ^^ I agree. The Op mentions this was clipped from some older post, so it is difficult to know the context where this was originally posted (I am NOT an expert in the SA vision requirements, so can't comment there). However, for someone new to SA's and/or this forum, good to remember that you may NOT get your first choice of service selection (regardless of how good your vision is) and there are many steps along the way where you are competing with others for similar positions.

    Simply having good vision is no guarantee of getting into flying once you commission from a SA. The original post on this thread only talks about vision, so want to make sure others realize this is only one piece of a much larger picture.
     
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  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I can't remember the OP who first posted this but it was a USAFA grad who had gotten fairly far in flight school before being booted for color vision. He had appealed and that is why he commented on the differences between service color vision requirements. Obviously if a candidate has any color deficiency and desires to fly, tracking down a follow on test just for knowledge could be helpful in a decision on a commissioning path. Just want those new to this to realize passing something for DODMERB is not the check in the box for a flight physical or commissioning physical down the road.
     
  8. flying8764

    flying8764 Member

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    We realize this is not a tell all and that there are many many more hurdles for flying, testing and check ups that are invasive. It is to try to make sure nothing is there now just with the eyes for this test that may be qualified in the Navy but not acceptable by AF.
     
  9. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    IF you have no history of color vision deficiencies and your recent tests seemed relatively easy, I wouldn't worry too much.
    If you struggle with the color vision test, you may want to research more.

    Hornetguy ran into this problem. Your quote is likely from one of his posts. The AF is much more demanding in color-vision than the other services (don't ask me why).
     
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Hornetguy! Couldn't remember his name. Thanks Raimus. Figured flying is doing this to validate before DS makes a decision between services. Was just pointing things out for other folks who are newer to this all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  11. time2

    time2 Member

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    Someone who is NEW to this forum probably does not know all of the background, that is why I mentioned this could be taken out of context.
     

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