Pilot- Vision requirements

USAFA2021

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
110
To put it straightforward, If I have an astigmatism over 3.0 Diopters, are my dreams of becoming an Air Force pilot over with? I've always aspired to become a pilot, and nothing has ever been able to change my interests. Is this waiverable ? Can any surgery in the USAF help?

I appreciate any response.
 

EfusaurusRex

USAFA '21
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
43
Visual Acuity

Qualification for potential flying duties requires uncorrected distant visual acuity no worse than 20/50 (pilot) and 20/200 (combat systems officer), correctable to 20/20 in each eye. Uncorrected near visual acuity worse than 20/20 (pilot) and 20/40 (combat systems officer) must be correctable to 20/20 in each eye.

Refractive Error

The refractive error limits to qualify for potential flying duties are +2.00/-1.00 in any meridian and 0.75 astigmatism (pilot) and +3.00/-2.25 in any meridian and 2.00 astigmatism (combat systems officer).




That's copied and pasted from the 2013-2014 USAFA online catalog. Maybe that will help some. I'm no expert (heck I'm just a 2021 appointee), but I don't think it would be waiverable if it's outside of their vision standards for being a pilot. I could be wrong, but I don't think Uncle Sam would want someone flying multi-million dollar aircraft with vision poor enough that it had to be waived.
 

raimius

10-Year Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
2,626
There are waivers, but I would assume they are contingent on 20/20 corrected vision. I was at a 2.25 and 2.50 correction as a cadet.

As always, the needs of the Air Force apply.
 

AHS74

5-Year Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
111
My DD (2015) was out of the waiver range, but ended up getting an exception to policy. She will be going to ENJJPT when she finishes grad school. It can happen. She was always told, don't take no for an answer until no other options existed.
 

Wild_Sky

New Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
9
Visual Acuity

Qualification for potential flying duties requires uncorrected distant visual acuity no worse than 20/50 (pilot) and 20/200 (combat systems officer), correctable to 20/20 in each eye. Uncorrected near visual acuity worse than 20/20 (pilot) and 20/40 (combat systems officer) must be correctable to 20/20 in each eye.

Refractive Error

The refractive error limits to qualify for potential flying duties are +2.00/-1.00 in any meridian and 0.75 astigmatism (pilot) and +3.00/-2.25 in any meridian and 2.00 astigmatism (combat systems officer).




That's copied and pasted from the 2013-2014 USAFA online catalog. Maybe that will help some. I'm no expert (heck I'm just a 2021 appointee), but I don't think it would be waiverable if it's outside of their vision standards for being a pilot. I could be wrong, but I don't think Uncle Sam would want someone flying multi-million dollar aircraft with vision poor enough that it had to be waived.


I'm not entirely sure about the terms in your comment. I've received a CSO slot but know I have vision issues. If you can help me understand it would be much appreciated! Here are my vision stats:

- I am nearsighted due to astigmatism, with my right eye at 20/40 and my left at 20/50. I wear glasses/contact lenses to correct it back to 20/20. Should I be worried for when the time comes to get my flight physical?
 

5Day

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
1,729
This is for AFROTC, https://www.afrotc.com/program-requirements/medical
COMBAT SYSTEMS OFFICER
  • Normal color vision
  • Distant vision: uncorrected 20/400, but corrected to 20/20
    Near vision: uncorrected 20/40, but corrected to 20/20
    Note: Corrective eye surgery could be a disqualifier.
  • Meet refraction, accommodation and astigmatism requirements
  • Have no history of hay fever, asthma or allergies after age 12
  • Meet Air Force weight and physical conditioning requirements
  • Have standing height of 64 to 77 inches and sitting height of 33 to 40 inches
 

6KDogwhistle

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
86
I'm not an expert on the medical standards but as many have said before, just about everything is waiverable based on the needs of the service. Back in the day, everyone had to have 20/20 uncorrected to be "pilot qualed" and pass a physical from you know where. I would not worry too much about something that you can't control right now. Focus on getting through the academy/ROTC and have a second AFSC in mind. If becoming a pilot is an absolute must and you don't want to do anything else, the military can be a huge gamble. There are other avenues to flying military iron (ie. ANG, AFRes). That's a whole different topic. No guts no glory!
 
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