Pilots with useful vision in only one eye may obtain medical certification upon demonstrating the ability to compensate for the loss of binocular vision and to perform airman duties without compromising aviation safety. The Aviation Medical Examiner should not issue a medical certificate of any class to a monocular applicant unless he/she presents written evidence of prior clearance by the FAA. The Examiner may assist the applicant in the initial steps toward obtaining the clearance by submitting a Report of Eye Evaluation, FAA Form 8500-7, along with the application, and any other available information from the applicant's treating ophthalmologist. An airman is considered to have monocular vision if the best-corrected central visual acuity in an eye is 20/200 or worse.
Following the loss of vision, a recovery period of at least 6 months is needed to assure stability and to permit adequate adjustment and compensation for monocular vision.
Depending upon the visual acuity of the remaining eye (20/20 or better, each eye separately, with or without correction for First and Second-class; 20/40 for Third class), the applicant who is otherwise qualified may be issued a medical certificate by the FAA with a limitation "Valid for Student Pilot Privileges Only." When the applicant meets the flight experience requirements for the pilot certificate being sought, the FAA will authorize a medical flight test. This test may be taken in conjunction with the practical flight test. When the student is within about two months of completing flight training, a written request for an authorization for a medical flight test should be requested from the Aeromedical Certification Division. Specify which Flight Standards District Office is to be used for the test. Otherwise, the FAA will use the FSDO nearest your mailing address. Upon successful completion of the combined flight test, a Statement of Demonstrated Ability ("waiver") and a corrected, unrestricted medical certificate will be issued.
The monocular vision pilot is not limited to private pilots. With flight experience, the airman may qualify for additional certificates and ratings. Appropriate medical flight tests may be required for advanced certificates.
See also: Eye Evaluation Form 8500-7 and Medical Flight Test
Helps you find the contact information for submitting your medical records.
Updated June 2012
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