The initial test for color vision is similar to the previous standards and utilizes the color plates. If you cannot read the required plates the limitation would be placed on your medial certificate: NOT VALID FOR NIGHT FLYING OR BY COLOR SIGNAL CONTROL. What has changed is the process for permanently removing this color vision limitation.
Class Three Medical Certificates
An applicant for a class three certificate who has defective color vision and requests a medical certificate without the color vision limitation must demonstrate the ability to pass an Operational Color Vision Test (OCVT) during the day. This test consists of the following:
The test should be taken during the day, and if you pass there would be no color vision limitation and you would receive a Letter of Evidence (LOE) applicable to Class 3 privileges. If you fail you can take the test at night and if you pass this the certificate limitation would be: NOT VALID FOR FLIGHT DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS BY COLOR SIGNAL CONTROL
One and Two Medical Certificates
An applicant for a first or second class medical certificate who has defective color vision and requests a certificate without the color vision limitation must first pass a daylight OCVT and then pass a color vision Medical Flight Test (MFT). This MFT is performed in an aircraft, and includes in-flight testing. It consists of the following:
Applicants who take and pass both the daytime OCVT and the color vision MFT would have no color vision limitation and you would receive a LOE applicable for all classes. Applicants who can only pass the daytime OCVT will be given an LOE valid only for third-class medical certificate
The FAA stipulates tests can only be taken once and if you
fail a test you cannot have a color vision limitation removed at a future date
by passing one of the approved color plate tests.
The Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners has a full discussion of the color vision standards in Part 52
This page was last updated on 11/14/23