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Queensland pilot wins right to captain airliner despite poor colour vision

Under Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations, pilots with colour vision deficiency have not been permitted to hold an open air transport pilot's licence, necessary to captain large jets. Depending on the range of their visual deficiency, pilots like John O'Brien usually reach the peak of their career as a first officer. But in 2012, Mr O'Brien launched an appeal against that decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Brisbane. ( More...

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WtfWtf 1
The colour vision defective pilots association has made this possible... This battle has been won, but the war is international, and there is still much work to be done. Please visit for more info, and please pass this along to anyone you know struggling with this issue. It's simply not fair for to kill someones career aspirations based on a silly, non-safety critical topic. This is living proof that anything is possible with enough backing.
matt jensen 2
That's we fly with one extra person - my copilot is colour blind.
WtfWtf 0
Much of the point is the fact that CVD pilots can adapt. Not only that, it's all redundant in reality. If you mention PAPI lights, Red and White lights aren't a problem for ANY type of CVD. (Except for chromatopsia, but in that case, they wouldn't pass a normal acuity test because it's impossible to correct to 20/20 and they don't have depth perception.. but those are the only types that see almost true "black and white", but they are EXTREMELY rare.) This has also been proven in many studies, performed by the FAA and otherwise.

The most common types of CVD are mild to moderate green weakness, mild to mod red weakness, in that order. Green weak is by far the most common in general, and this doesn't affect people a whole lot in the real world, except for the transition colors which are purposely avoided in many signal lights used in aviation (because even normal's make errors on those at times). Anyway, the point of the CVDPA is to prove that even if you can't see color that well, you can adapt and perform just as good as, if not better than, a pilot with normal color vision. (Protanopes did better on a PAPI simulation than normals in a late study!) But again, PAPI's are sometimes out of service, and they don't close the runway because of it. Why? Because it's far from being the only indication of glide path. The long and short of it is this: color vision does not really matter when it comes to flying civilian airplanes, contrary to years of myths and rumors, and baseless drivel perpetuated by zealots protecting their PHDs.
linbb 1
Seems that with the advent of glass cockpits and all of the various colors used and shades there of it is a problem that could occure and at the wrong time VASA lights are not as big a deal as misreading colors on the CRT.
WtfWtf 1
They addressed that.. Still a non-issue.. In fact, it's even easier for CVD's in many cases to use a glass display.


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