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The Eyes have it - All things Vision-related

stealthspy1

Registered User
#1
I'm wondering if anyone knows how I can get official and accurate info on vision requirements for Navy pilots. I am in the process of applying for an officer/pilot slot through BDCP and was recently told (at an aviation physical exam) that my vision is 20/40R and 20/50L. (correctable to 20/20) I've heard that to even get a chance at flying you have to have min 20/40 uncorrected and be correctable to 20/20. I'm wondering if this is true and exactly when those standards apply? Do I have to meet these vision requirements to be accepted into BDCP? to be commissioned? or before getting my wings? or all three?

I'm planning on getting another opinion on my eyes since just this past summer an eye dr. told me I had about 20/30 in both eyes.....I guess I'm just wondering if my vision continues to deteriorate, even after acceptance to BDCP, will I still be able to fly?

Any info anyone has on an official answer to these questions would be greatly appreciated, or if anyone has contact info of someone who could answer my questions please send it my way!!

Thanks for your help!
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#2
vision requirement for SNA confirmed

This issue was delt with in some detail in another forum but I feel it needs widest dissemination.

There was a question about whether there was a new far more relaxed vision requirement obtained via waiver for pilot. A NAMI web site suggested a change to the 20/40 standard. Without going into the details of the new wavier let me make clear that there has been no change to the vision requirements for pilot. There are no new waiver provisions.

The change detailed in the NAMI website is for commssioned officers looking to redesignate to 131X, and to a lesser extent current 131Xs with failing vision. No civilian, or Midshipman, will get orders to pilot training with less than 20/40 vision. This is straight from the NAMI opthamologist. Best gouge available.
 

lance

Registered User
#5
How about for BDCP-pilot guys. What if for some reason our eyes started going on us. What would we be held to for standards?
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#6
Can't imagine your eyes going bad over a couple years at such a young age. The short answer is that when you report to OCS you go through another flight physical and you must meet all the requirements of your designator at that time. It has happened that a guy will pass the eye test at MEPS because he was given a break or was having a very lucky/good day. In any case, when that guy reports to OCS and flunks the eye exam at NAMI he is sent home. I have no reason to believe a BDCP guy would be treated differently.

You must remember the logic here. Everyone's (well, very nearly everyone) eyes get worse with age. If you start the program with much less then 20/20 you will only degenerate quicker to a point that it becomes a problem, especially for a TACAIR guy at the boat. Start at 20/20 and in 15 years maybe you are 20/50. Start at 20/200 and in 15 years you may be 20/400. Chornologic vision degenration is a fact that NAMI counts on.
 

jg5343

FLY NAVY...Divers need the work
pilot
#8
Funny thing -- Everyone always sweats this NOMI eye exam, right? I tested 20/35 at MEPS and came out celebrating a 20/20 at NOMI. I think they are actually easier on you since they have an actual chart at an actual 20', instead of that machine or using mirrors to get to 20'.
 

Goober

Professional Javelin Catcher
None
#9
I was completely the opposite case - 20/20 at MEPS, 20/30 later at NAMI (barely after 3 retests).
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#10
I seem to remember using a machine at NAMI. Then agin, that was over 20 years ago. I also remember several guys flunking the eye exam. That could only happen if they did better at MEPs before shipping out and subsequently doing worse on the NAMI exam.
 

skidkid

CAS Czar
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
#11
There are many things that affect the eye exam. If you are dehydrated the properties of your eyes change for the worse, how muhc sleep did you get, the list goes on this can explain differences in the tests.
Basically before NAMI drink lots of water, get lost sof sleep, dont spend a lot of time in the sun and then let things go how they go
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#12
skidkid said:
There are many things that affect the eye exam. If you are dehydrated the properties of your eyes change for the worse, how muhc sleep did you get, the list goes on this can explain differences in the tests.
Basically before NAMI drink lots of water, get lost sof sleep, dont spend a lot of time in the sun and then let things go how they go
In my day, at AOCS, it was impossible to get plenty of water, lots of sleep, or stay out of the sun, before the NAMI physical or otherwise. While I may yern for the good ol days on occasion, it would be better if a guy were given the best shot possible at the most demanding and important physical exam of his life.
 

E6286

OCC 191 Select
#13
If my vision is around 20/30-20/40 should I wear my glasses more or less this week before my eye exam? I am going to be cutting it close. Hopefully all goes well.

P.S. I realize nobody here is an eye doc. but of course I ask anyway............
 

ea6bflyr

Working Class Bum
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#14
Make sure you are hydrated for the eye exam. They have you FAST (12 hours) prior to your flight physical and most people won't drink water. Being dehydrated will effect your vision...so make sure you hydrate. I don't know about wearing your glasses prior to the exam. I have about 20/50 eyesight and I can see better after resting and not using my glasses. Good luck!
ea6bflyr
 

E6286

OCC 191 Select
#15
I wasn't sure whether I should wear them or not but I guess I will figure it out by friday morning. I will definately still drink water prior to the exam. Also, do I still need to fast even though I did my blood work and urinalysis and chest x-ray last week? My OSO didn't say to again.

I just wasn't sure if not wearing my glasses on the way down there will cause eye strain and maybe make my eyes sore.

Anyway to memorize the eye chart? Ha ha, just kidding. My eye exam about 3 weeks ago said I am -.75 in each eye which equates to around 20/40 so hopefully all goes well. I would be happy to be NFO but I have to admit, being just off for the vision requirement would be a real bummer.
 
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