I got my PPL last year (EASA, UK) and I've always been interested in the commercial route. However, due to my red-green colour blindness I've failed the Ishihara, Farnsworth D15 and CAD vision tests which are accepted by the UK CAA to obtain an unrestricted medical. By now I've accepted that going all the way to ATPL might not happen for me, but I'm still interested in any other style of commercial flying that could remain an option.

My question is - can I theoretically get a CPL which would allow me to fly only during the day? Is there any such thing as a Class 1 medical which is restricted to daytime only, like my current Class 2? Can I get an IR with colour deficiency, or just not get one at all?

Of course getting a job is another matter, but I just want to know if I could theoretically fly for a living (or even just a side job) while accepting my colour deficiency as opposed to continually trying to fight it. I'm originally from the UK, but I'm interested in opportunities all around the world - in fact, I'm planning on spending the next few years in Australia, New Zealand and possibly Canada using the temporary visas they offer to UK citizens.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about fixed-wing aircraft only? There are no night requirements for commercial glider or balloon in the US, for example. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife May 10 '18 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ I'm focussing on fixed-wing at the moment, but would be interested in other areas too! $\endgroup$ – user3621637 May 10 '18 at 9:11

In Australia you can get a class 1 medical whilst being colour-blind, limited to day VFR. Night flying over here is a separate rating and not incorporated into the PPL/CPL so it is optional - it might limit your job prospects but you can absolutely fly on a CPL here in daytime only.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the info - that's interesting to know! Hopefully heading over there in a couple of months, so will try to ask around and see what people say! Either way, definitely going to do some flying when I'm there :) $\endgroup$ – user3621637 May 17 '18 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ @user3621637 you won’t regret it! 90% of the country has perfect weather year-round and some amazing scenery to fly over :) $\endgroup$ – Ben May 17 '18 at 22:15

Without your Class 1 you will not be able to get your CPL.

You could however finish CPL theory and get an Instructor Rating with your PPL and Class 2 Medical (plus the required 150 hours PIC and 200 hours total).

IR can be done with Class 2 Medical and an Class 1 Audiogram (hearing) test.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply - yes, I actually looked at the details on the UK CAA website (and a few other countries' sites) for CPL requirements, and they all seem to stipulate a certain amount of night flying. For example, the UK CAA says 5 hours, comprising 3 hours of dual instruction and 1 hour of cross-country navigation and 5 solo take-offs and full stop landings at night. Perhaps I will spend the next few years building hours in different countries, then when I hit the 200 mark I'll look at getting my instructor rating. $\endgroup$ – user3621637 May 10 '18 at 9:13

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