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Home > Eyesight > Color blindness issues from the Forums...
Color blindness issues from the Forums...
Pilot Career - Eyesight
Monday, 26 November 2007 09:16


I have slight colour blindness. Can I still be a pilot with SIA? I heard that I have to get myself certified by a doctor before I go for the 1st interview?

Dreamer 17

Hi Dreamer17,

The test that I know is called Ishihara Pattern. The other is known as the Snell Test. 

Anyway, it will be tough on your route to be a pilot as vision plays an important role in this job. In the flight deck alone you need to manage a wide array of controls at a time and especially in night flying, your visibility will be greatly reduced and many of the controls are defined with RED or GREEN (what I see from the flight simulator dun flame me.).

No offence, but do you own a driving license? From what I know, people with color blindness cannot drive as well. I think this will apply to flying too.

Sorry to dampen your aspiration but, if you're really interested, I will suggest that you still go ahead and submit your application. At least you have tried, better than when you get older and regrets over why you never did. 

Best of luck to you.



Anyway, Dreamer17, from what I've heard, it can be pretty tough getting your Class 1 Medical if you're colour blind and with SIA's test being as stringent as they are, it would be probably tougher...

However, I also read somewhere that if you can distinguish between red and green it may help...hmm

Sir Strumalot


Thanks for your advice. I know my chances are very slim. I do own a driving licence and power pleasure craft licence. When I was tested for my driving licence they only tested me on solid colours but I understand that some of my friends went through the Ishihara Pattern test. Maybe I count myself lucky because I am crazy about automobiles. I got my licence within 6 months and pass through my basic and advance theory and TP all in the 1st try. Later I went to take my power pleasure craft licence and saw a doctor to certify for my eyesight. His testing was also easy - he did not use the Ishihara Pattern test. So I manage to pass also...

But for SIA, I know its very tough when you go for the 1st interview. You got to be certified to have good eyesight before you can go for interview. If you pass, you further got to be certified by a CAAS doctor. If the CAAS doctor fails you - you will be rejected by SIA even if the external specialist deems you fit...

This is all I know...

Hi Dreamer17,

I have the same problem as you have too. I have Red & Green color deficiency and have submitted an online application for SIA Cadet Pilot on 2 July 07. After doing the online assessment for cadet pilot, my application status was changed to "REJECTED"

The thing is, I was in the RSAF as a pilot trainee before I got suspended from my course. I have cleared the medical with ST Aeromedical Services after doing the Lantern Test for my eye-sight. I was cleared to fly based on the RSAF standards. I wonder if it's the system that automatically filter applications based on the answers submitted.

Hence, I don't think I even have the chance to go to the 1st Interview since my application status is 'REJECTED'. I wonder who I can approach for help with regards to my application. I also have a driving license and have no problems distinguishing Green and Red. It's just that I can't distinguish the numbers from the Ishihara Pattern well.

Does anyone know who I can speak to regarding this matter? I really hope I can have the chance to go for the Interview.


Dear zchuan82,

During your medicals for the RSAF selection, did you sound out that you have slight colour blindness so that the medical officer would arrange for a more in-depth test on you? Or you did just manage to smoke your way through?

My opinion is, you should sound it out, if not, you'll probably be putting your instructor's life or even your own life at risk. And from the SIA standpoint, it could be disastrous. The whole flight of passengers could be at your mercy. And we are talking about hundreds of lives. Safety is the main reason why so many are filtered out for cadet pilot selection.

But of course, if you went through another set of special tests with the Aviation Doctor at Aeromed, maybe you could request a set of those or a memo by the Doctor to certify that you are FIT for flying even with the slight colour blindness. I don't know if its possible but this is what I would do if I were in your shoes.

Chances are slim, but at least, ACTION.

Good luck. 


Hi lim_tommy,

I did not smoke my way through because I doubt anyone will be able to do that. I failed the Red/Green number test on the booklet. I was arranged to do the Lantern Test at Aeromed. It is an equipment that illuminates a tiny spot with different intensity and different color and you are to tell the color that you see. I have passed that test, which is why I am able to clear the medical for RSAF and proceed with my course.

The thing is that my online application for SIA Cadet Pilot is rejected and I am wondering if is it possible for me to have an interview with SIA at least. Right now, I can't even do anything else with my application for the Cadet Pilot.

I am aware of the safety factor that SIA has to consider. I will be giving ST Medical a call and see what I can do to prove that my colorblindness is not a life threatening issue in aviation.

Thanks for your post!!



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Colour Vision Test
Dear all, anyone has done the Edridge Lantern Test at RSAF Aeromedical Centre before?
Jun Hao , 10 Oct, 2010
Colour Corrective Lenses
Hi capt lim.last year i was rejected to get class 1 medical cert because of my colour deficiency(more errors on ishihara plate)but.recently,an optometrist called me and he said that there is a solution for colourblindness (colour corrective lenses) that can guarantee that i can pass ishihara.Is it acceptable in MALAYSIA?please...reply it ASAP..
AspirePilot , 26 Jun, 2011

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