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I am a UK resident, and I am interested in learning to fly. Unfortunately my eyesight is not great, and I don't believe I meet the requirements for a PPL.

From my research, it seems the medical requirements of the LPPL and LAPL are a lot lower, and I may qualify for these, but I'm a little unsure of the requirements in terms of eye sight requirements.

I currently wear contact lenses, with corrective strength of -9.5 and -10.

Does anyone know what the requirements are under LPPL/LAPL in order to qualify?

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know what the requirements are, and certainly not in the UK, which is why I'm not posting this as an answer, but a medical examination by an aviation medical examiner (or equivalent in the UK) isn't that expensive. You could consider just giving it a try and seeing (I know, I know...) how it goes. A UK AME might even be able to answer this over the phone. Either way, it's a good bet that you'll need to have your prescription handy. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ In the US we have to meet with an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) for a very basic medical to get a student pilot license. Does the UK have the same? Ask around at the airport where you're thinking of taking flying lessons. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 13:51

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The CAA has a publication called Light aircraft pilot’s licence (LAPL) Medical certificate - A quick guide for Pilots. It says:

Your GP

  1. Cannot perform the initial assessment if you have one or more of the pre-existing diagnoses that require additional assessment. See below:

    • Decreased visual acuity in either eye below 6/9 despite any correction

In other words, if your corrected eyesight is worse than 6/9 (whatever that means) you need to go to an AME for the medical, otherwise the GP can issue it.

Unfortunately the guide is unclear (as far as I can see) on what exactly the AME will do:

If your GP decides he/she cannot issue a LAPL medical certificate you will need to see an AME for assessment.

I don't know if that means the AME can issue an LAPL medical with limitations, or require you to get a class 2, or something else. Unless someone else can find more information, it may be easiest to call an AME and ask them.

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  • $\begingroup$ To add to this, numerous pilots hold a medical that has limitations. I can't remember the exact wording on the medical but it's something like "Must wear corrective lenses and must carry a spare pair of corrective lenses" - I usually wear contact lenses and keep a pair of spectacles in my bag. $\endgroup$
    – BDLPPL
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 8:38
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Afaik, except of Class 1 (not required for PPL nor LAPL) there is no sharp limit for corrective strength. The only requirement is gaining 100% sharpness at both eyes combined, 70% at single eye. Anyway, I agree with Michael Kjörling that you should contact an UK AME and discuss your exact prescription first, strength is not the only parameter.

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  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't seem to answer the question about LAPL specifically $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 15:36

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