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When I got the Class 2 certificate(one week ago), AME told me that I am red/green color blind and the certificate is valid by day only. Is it possible for me to pursue an aviation career and pass the Class 1 certificate?

I failed almost all red/green Ishihara plates. I heard something about a test called CAD, and if I pass this test I can continue but im not sure.

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  • $\begingroup$ There may not be a reason that the FAA cannot issue you a first class medical certificate, unless the AME told you on the spot that they could not because of color blindness. It’s possible that An AME still can but with a similar restriction. This is really more of a question for an AME. $\endgroup$ Apr 25 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? In what ways is color blindness an issue in modern jet airliners? $\endgroup$
    – Abdullah
    Apr 25 at 17:07
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For an applicant failing the Ishihara test, the next step is a medical assessor. If they're deemed "colour safe" (defined below), they can get Class 1 medical.

In your case, presumably, you were not deemed colour safe since you're daytime-only Class 2, if that's indeed the case, then unfortunately Class 1 will not be possible according to the EASA regulations below:

MED.B.075 Colour vision

(a) Applicants shall be assessed as unfit, where they cannot demonstrate their ability to readily perceive the colours that are necessary for the safe exercise of the privileges of the licence.

(b) Examination and assessment

  1. Applicants shall be subjected to the Ishihara test for the initial issue of a medical certificate. Applicants who pass that test may be assessed as fit.

  2. For a class 1 medical certificate:

    1. Applicants who do not pass the Ishihara test shall be referred to the medical assessor of the licensing authority and shall undergo further colour perception testing to establish whether they are colour safe.

    2. Applicants shall be normal trichromats or shall be colour safe.

    3. Applicants who fail further colour perception testing shall be assessed as unfit.

  3. For a class 2 medical certificate:

    1. Applicants who do not pass the Ishihara test shall undergo further colour perception testing to establish whether they are colour safe.

    2. Applicants who do not have satisfactory perception of colours shall be limited to exercising the privileges of the applicable licence in daytime only.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011

"Colour safe" from the same source means:

... the ability of an applicant to readily distinguish the colours used in air navigation and to correctly identify aviation coloured lights.

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  • $\begingroup$ I only did the Ishihara test that I failed, AME didn't say something else about other tests to see if I am color safe. $\endgroup$
    – Grey
    Apr 26 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Grey: This is good news then! Best of luck. $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Apr 26 at 10:21
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Note: I don't have any links or documentation for this. This is just what an instructor at my flight school said, so take it with a grain of salt.

The only reason a pilot would need color vision is because towers use a red/green/white light gun to communicate with planes that have lost their radio. So, you need to have just enough color vision to be able to tell the difference between the red and green signals. The instructor has to take their color-blind student out to the apron of a towered airport and have the tower shine red and green signals at them, and if they can tell the difference, they're good to go.

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  • $\begingroup$ I can see red and green properly, the only thing is that I can't pass Ishihara plates test and this is why I have night restriction. $\endgroup$
    – Grey
    Apr 25 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ You also need red white color acuity at night in order to accurately judge the orientation of another aircraft in flight. $\endgroup$ Apr 25 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ @CarloFelicione Differentiating between white and colored light is a lot easier than differentiating between two different colors, so I presume the assumption is that, if you can tell red from green, you can tell red from white. But, like I said, I'm just repeating what I've heard, it's possible I'm completely off-base here. $\endgroup$ Apr 25 at 21:08
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To start with the same disclaimer, I don't have any documentation on this, but as far as I recall, there are glasses available that enhance the ability to tell the difference between red and green by means of filters and those are valid for driving a car in night traffic. Again, a test will have to prove your ability to work with them, but if you pass that test, you're in. 20/20 Vision is not even a demand for military pilots.

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  • $\begingroup$ Color blindness is not a restriction on driving any type of road vehicle in the UK. In fact "green" lights in the UK are actually a blue-green color, as an aid for color-blind drivers. $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Apr 25 at 18:52
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There are several different tests for color blindness. Ishihara plates are the cheapest but notorious for poor accuracy: if you don’t pass (and many people don’t), that isn’t really a failure; it just means you need a more accurate test.

What other tests are acceptable likely varies by country, but if you can tell red and green traffic lights apart (by color, not by position), then you should be able to pass one of the better tests and get the restriction removed from your medical certificate.

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