AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 98

NEWS & NOTES
ON THE

WEB

MEMBER SERVICES

AOPA Pilot Protection Services guards both your pilot and medical
certificates to protect your freedom to fly (www.aopa.org/pps).

Wiley Post and medical
certification
Explaining monocular vision
THE FAMOUS AVIATOR, WILEY POST, was from Oklahoma and was
the first pilot to fly around the world. Post developed one of the
first pressure suits and discovered the existence of the jet stream.
On August 15, 1935, Post and American humorist Will Rogers were
killed when Post's aircraft crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near
Point Barrow in Alaska. Post had previously lost vision in one of
his eyes, so that brings me to the reason for my article.
All pilots are required to have periodic eye examinations, usually at the time of the FAA physical exam. The name of the chart
that has the numbers in rows is called a Snellen chart. What does it
mean when your physician informs you that your vision is 20/20?

BY WARREN
SILBERMAN, D.O. 

AOPA Pilot
Protection Services

"stereopsis." This is the ability to tell that an airplane is parked
next to another airplane and is not only next to but one row in
front of the other airplane. This is important when you are taxiing or having to make an emergency landing in a field of trees.
A person can become monocular in a short period of time, such
as developing a tumor in the eye that requires surgical removal of
the globe, or in a much slower process such as hemorrhage into
the retina. The FAA requires a six-month period of adjustment to
allow time for the brain to adjust to what the physicians call the
"monocular clues." A person who either suddenly goes from normal visual acuity in the one eye to something worse than 20/200

As of December 31, 2011, there were 278 first class airmen, 374 second class
airmen, and 1,328 third class airmen with a monocular vision waiver. There were
approximately 600,000 airmen with medical certificates in 2011.
It means that you can see at 20 feet what a normal person sees at
20 feet. 20/20 Snellen visual acuity is considered normal, although
many people can see better than that. The FAA requires a person
to be able to correct to the vision standard appropriate for the
class of medical applied for, meaning there are no uncorrected
vision acuity standards. Being able to correct to a vision standard
simply means that your eyes are being assisted by contact lenses
or eyeglasses.
An aviator who can only see at 20 feet in one eye what a normal
person sees at 200 feet is considered by the FAA to be "monocular"-even if the pilot was wearing glasses or contacts.
The brain uses the eyes to be able to discern the spatial difference between objects. The experts say that this is only adequate
up to about a 50-foot distance. The medical term for this is

must wait six months before applying for a waiver so the brain
can adjust to seeing objects out of the single eye. If the visual acuity is lost over a gradual period of time, greater than six months,
the waiver application process can begin as soon as the monocular vision diagnosis is established. The type of waiver is called a
SODA or Statement of Demonstrated Ability, and is issued following the successful completion of a medical flight test, conducted
through the local Flight Standards District Office.

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98  |  AOPA PILOT  December 2013

means AOPA can more effectively face down the growing
threats to general aviation,
enabling us to preserve our
freedom to fly for generations
to come, and strengthening
our voice in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Warren Silberman is the former manager of FAA Aerospace
Medical Certification and a doctor of osteopathic medicine. A
pilot since 1986, he is recognized nationally as an expert in aerospace/preventative medicine, and is a regular writer for AOPA's
Pilot Protection Services.

a suite of online flight planning tools and resources,
help and advice from our
aviation experts through the
AOPA Pilot Information
Center, and more (www.aopa.
org/Membership).


http://www.aopa.org/pps http://www.aopa.org/pps http://www.aopa.org/pps http://www.aopa.org/Membership http://www.aopa.org/Membership

AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013

AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013
Contents
President’s Position
Visual Approach
Letters
Waypoints
Proficient Pilot
Foundation Focus
License to Learn
Pilot Counsel
Fly Well
What Happens in Vegas...
AOPA Sweepstakes
Aviation Jobs
Gift Guide
Pilot Products
Pilot Products
News
People
Yacht of the Air
Around the World in 25 Days
Aviation Legends Walter Extra
Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Unpredicted, Unadvised, Unaware
Summit 2013: Meeting Mr. Baker
Technique
Proficiency
Wx Watch
Technology
Ownership
Frugal Flier
Never Again
State and Local Action
Member Products
AOPA Foundation
Member Services
Government Affairs
AOPA Insurance Agency
Fly by Wire
Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - President’s Position
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Visual Approach
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Letters
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Waypoints
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Proficient Pilot
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Foundation Focus
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - License to Learn
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Pilot Counsel
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Fly Well
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - What Happens in Vegas...
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - AOPA Sweepstakes
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Aviation Jobs
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Gift Guide
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Pilot Products
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Pilot Products
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - News
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - People
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Yacht of the Air
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Around the World in 25 Days
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Aviation Legends Walter Extra
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Unpredicted, Unadvised, Unaware
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Summit 2013: Meeting Mr. Baker
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Technique
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Proficiency
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Wx Watch
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Technology
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 82
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Ownership
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Frugal Flier
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Never Again
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 89
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - State and Local Action
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 93
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Member Products
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - AOPA Foundation
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 97
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Member Services
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Government Affairs
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 101
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - AOPA Insurance Agency
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 104
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Fly by Wire
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 108
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Cover4
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