After reviewing this exchange: Can you obtain a pilot license with impaired vision / being blind in one eye? I can see that having monocular vision is allowed by faa rules, but I would like to clarify a specific situation if possible.

For 30 years I have had correctable vision in one eye after having the lens removed due to an accident. I do not like or want the correction, but I had a driver's license examiner try to tell me that if my vision could be corrected, then it had to be corrected

So would the FAA medical examiner say that one can't fly without correcting their vision as much as possible, or just allow them to pass off as monocular? What if someone with perfect vision just liked wearing an eyepatch while flying?

Details: L eye 20/15, R eye 20/2000, correctable to about 20/40.

  • $\begingroup$ What kind of flying are you thinking of? Private or commercial? Not sure if it makes any difference though. $\endgroup$
    – vasin1987
    Nov 29, 2021 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ Were the glasses too uncomfortable also? $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Nov 29, 2021 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ @vasin1987 both eventually. $\endgroup$
    – JuuB406
    Nov 30, 2021 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ @jpe61 glasses would have an inch thick lens in one eye, and nothing in the other. $\endgroup$
    – JuuB406
    Nov 30, 2021 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ Oh man, now I get it! $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Dec 1, 2021 at 5:11

1 Answer 1



An individual with one eye, or effective visual acuity equivalent to monocular, may be considered for medical certification, any class, through the special issuance section of part 67. (14 CFR 67.401)

Although it has been repeatedly demonstrated that binocular vision is not a prerequisite for flying, some aspects of depth perception, either by stereopsis or by monocular cues, are necessary. It takes time for the monocular airman to develop the techniques to interpret the monocular cues that substitute for stereopsis; such as, the interposition of objects, convergence, geometrical perspective, distribution of light and shade, size of known objects, aerial perspective, and motion parallax.

(14 CFR 67.401)

At the discretion of the Federal Air Surgeon, a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) may be granted, instead of an Authorization, to a person whose disqualifying condition is static or nonprogressive and who has been found capable of performing airman duties without endangering public safety.

The point of a SODA is to legally codify that ability through examination. At that point the holder of the Statement has satisfied the requirement and does not need to satisfy it in some other redundant way, as with corrective lenses.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "It takes time for the monocular airman to develop the techniques to interpret the monocular cues that substitute for stereopsis" I would think that the OP could argue that, having lived with this for 30 years, he's had the time to develop the techniques. I doubt he walks into doors very often because he just couldn't tell how far away they are. (Pointing this out for the benefit/use of the OP, not attempting to correct anything in the post.) $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Dec 9, 2021 at 16:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I suppose that will have to be good enough, each individual examiner would potentially have an opinion on it, but nothing in the rules addresses this. Thus, even if there were a judgement that I get correction, it could still be appealed, potentially. $\endgroup$
    – JuuB406
    Dec 10, 2021 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @JuuB406 Examiner opinion has nothing to do with this. Obtaining a SODA means you legally satisfy the requirement. Do you expect the rules to say that you don't have to satisfy every requirement twice? $\endgroup$
    – Pilothead
    Dec 16, 2021 at 19:46

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