Functionally Monocular Pilots.

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The Kiwi II
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby The Kiwi II » Tue Apr 12 2011, 03:21

Rattlegun,

It is by all means possible.
I am completely monocular- I have a glass left eye and a "good" right eye. (I say "good" as i still wear either contacts or glasses...)

I also wanted to fly heli's. After jumping through some hoops, I managed to obtain a C1 Medical with the same conditions.
Having no interest in flying fixed wing, I queried CASA as to why they deemed I was unfit to fly RW. In short, they were concerned about my ability to judge distances and/or speed. Following further discussions, it was eventually decided that if I could demonstrate that I was the same as everyone alse they would review the decision.

After three Trial Intro Flights (one with one company in a R22 and two with another company in a 300c, 2.5 hours all up) I was able to fly straight and level aswell as hover and taxi (to an acceptable level). The school I felt most comfortable with were VERY helpful and accomodating. I explained my situation. They contacted their CASA ATO and an appointment was made where I was to go for a quick fly with the ATO. The flight lasted about 15 mins or so and we did a few activities such as-

- Autorotation- He was in control I had to estimate the rate of descent and altitude at various times
- Hovering close to objects- I had to estimate the distance from the object to either myself, the skid, the tail rotor or the main rotor.
- Landing on an uneven surface- As we landed on a slope I had to advise him of how far off the ground we were, where the skid was and how far from touch down we were.

After the flight, he agreed that I was the same as any other student with the same amount experience. This was put in a letter and sent off to CASA.
A few long months later I received a phone call advising they would lift the RW restriction :D (still no ag op's and only valid for Aust air space).

Although my personal situation changed and I didn't end up continuing the heli pilot career path, I have no doubt it would have been possible. Encouraging employers that you are not "different" may well be another story....
(I was offered a part time position as a hangar rat/heli cleaner and I hadn't even started my training so don't be too put off by it...).

All I can advise is be patient, be clear in what you want and be polite and courteous to all those you deal with.
Also be sure that you think about all the options and obtain as much info on what the long term prognosis is going to be with your sight.
As you know, you don't have a spare eye to correct for any loss that may come with age and/or a deteriorating medical condition- any small loss in sight may mean the removal of the C1 Medical.

Cheers,
TK II
(Although I still read the forums daily- I can't remember my original log in details- I am formerly known as The Kiwi)
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bellslapper
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby bellslapper » Thu Apr 14 2011, 10:18

Hi Rattlegun

To Answer your question when CASA lifted the restriction. the left eye was a bit Delta icky as in acurity as it was around 6/18 and 6/12( after looking at the results again ) the right eye was still perfect at 6/4.5 and always been like this the required standard was 6/9 monocular and bino 6/6.

It wasn't till after they(AVMED) reviewed my case and that i had been flying for a number of years with out incident they felt they could lift all restrictions.

I thought i had all put that behind me until last year after getting an infection in the right eye which was the good eye, that has thrown a spanner in the works for me now.

Hope it all works out for you Rattlegun, and it should as you said you have had this for 20 years , and it is amazing how the body adapts and 20 years is plenty of time , but as Kiwi II says any small loss of vision in the good eye will affect your C1 as it has with me, and also affects your depth perception.

BS
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CYHeli
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby CYHeli » Fri Apr 15 2011, 13:28

And I must say after taking Rattlegun for a TIF today he flies very well and I hope he gets the right answer from CA$A.
He deserves it.
What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
Rattlegun
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby Rattlegun » Sun Apr 17 2011, 07:32

What fantastic support - I'm totally overwhelmed!

After reading all of the posts and a few emails, I have renewed confidence that this obstacle can indeed be overcome and my dream of RW flight can be realised. Hopefully, in a few months I'll be looking back wondering what all the fuss was about.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and especially post in this forum, I am indeed humbled that you would all go to such trouble to help a complete stranger. I will continue to update this thread in the hope I'm able to help others of a similar plight.

Kind regards to the lot of you,

Rattlegun.
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Pegs
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby Pegs » Sun Apr 17 2011, 10:18

Rattlegun wrote:
I know a RW CPLH pilot who has no vision in one eye and has been flying (legally) on a class 1 medical doing Ag work for many years.


Pegs, if you get a chance to catch up with your mate, any info would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

Rattlegun.


sure thing mate, will see what useful info I can dig up.
cheers
Pegs
A good idea needs landing gear as well as wings to get off the ground.
Rattlegun
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby Rattlegun » Fri May 20 2011, 09:22

The wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, but finely.

Slapperions: We have progress!

This week I have received some great news. CASA are willing to consider a Functionally Monocular waiver valid for rotary wing flight, provided I'm able to pass an operational assessment. Of course, they're quick to point out that no guarantee is given and that substantial investment would be required, but I feel this is a big step along the long road. I'm very excited.

So now, having booked the remainder of my medicals, I can begin the process of planing a training program which can satisfy this extra requirement.

Once again, a massive thanks to those who took the time to read and contribute to this thread.

Rattlegun
ScoobaLimaLima
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby ScoobaLimaLima » Sat May 21 2011, 09:34

Hi Rattlegun,

I sympathise with your story mate. Flying choppers was a dream of mine from a very young age. I was was Diagnosed with Keratoconus in both eyes just before I finished my CPL(H) a year or so back at the age of 27 and grounded a few months later after obtaining it due to the disease progressing, unfortunantly for me I will never fly again unless there is any huge leap forward in the search for a cure. I do have all the hours I have flown and the amazing memories of my journey to CPL(H) which can never be taken away from me though.

I hope it all works out for you bud, sounds like you have a pretty good case, I'll keep my fingers (and eyes) crossed for you :lol:

SLL
Rattlegun
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby Rattlegun » Sun May 22 2011, 11:01

Thanks for sharing your story mate. It's a timely reminder of just how fickle this business can be. Good to see you've still got you're chin up - sounds like you'd do well with anything you turn you hand to.

Rattlegun.
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby Rattlegun » Sun Nov 20 2011, 07:17

Having read the investigation findings into the unfortunate incident at Lilli Pilly, NSW, I was interested to note that the pilot was fully monocular:
The pilot did not have sight in one eye. He had a current medical certificate, with a condition for the carriage of vision correction for close vision.


During the discussion on survival aspects of this particular incident, the report goes on to state:
Depth perception
The ability to perceive depth is fundamental to many aspects of flying.
Human depth perception is the result of both binocular and monocular depth cues. Binocular depth cues require visual input from both eyes, while monocular depth cues can be processed using information from only one eye. However, monocular cues are dominant even for depth judgments within a few meters, and are completely sufficient for all normal phases of flight (12).


With the reference (12) citing:
(12) Gibb R, Gray R, and Scharff L (2010). Aviation Visual Perception: Research, Misperception and Mishaps. Ashgate: Farnham, UK.


I understand there may be a few 'Slappers following this thread, so I hope this information is of use.

Fly safely,
Rattlegun
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CYHeli
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby CYHeli » Tue Jan 15 2013, 01:06

Congratulations Rattlegun on passing your CPL(H) and obtaining your Class One (albeit with restrictions).
What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
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Pegs
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby Pegs » Tue Jan 15 2013, 01:19

congratulations Rattlegun, good job mate.
A good idea needs landing gear as well as wings to get off the ground.
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truthinbeer
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby truthinbeer » Tue Jan 15 2013, 06:29

Congratulations Rattlegun on achieving your CPL(H) in what seems to me a relatively short period. Well done.
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Fling Wing
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby Fling Wing » Tue Jan 15 2013, 12:00

Well done mate. Time to live the dream:-)

I'm now back with the public service, but go for a jolly whenever I get the chance!
I still might go and get my eyes tested again but, it would only be for a class 2 med, which means private only which, as we all know costs big coin!

Once again, congrats and enjoy every second:-)

Ed
Rattlegun
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby Rattlegun » Fri Jan 18 2013, 08:58

Thanks Guys! I really feel privileged to be able to fly a helicopter and hope I can make a positive contribution to the industry.

I could not have done it without the support of my family (especially the cook), and a few instructors who often went above and beyond. You know who you are - thanks again.

I still have a few flaming hoops to jump through for the Class 1, but it all looks very positive. Once the CPL(H) and Class 1 have arrived, I will file a full update.

Meanwhile, if you know of anyone in North West QLD who's happy to show a new bloke the ropes - I'm eager to learn.

Happy 'Slapping and safe skies,
Rattlegun.
catwomen
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Re: Functionally Monocular Pilots.

Postby catwomen » Fri Oct 24 2014, 06:41

With the eye sight issues I do not think you will be able to fulfill your dreams. It is better to search for some good medical remedies to fix this eye sight issue, so that this will not stand as a barrier in front of your dreams.

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