Do Pilots Have Perfect Vision?

March 5, 2023

I’ve had many people share with me that they had to give up on their childhood dream to become a pilot due to the fact they wear glasses or contacts to attain normal vision. This is one of the biggest myths in Flight Medicine.

Both military & civilian pilots are allowed to wear glasses or contacts!

There are a few differences between the FAA civilian and DoD military visual acuity medical standards, but both allow a wannabe pilot to use corrective lenses to achieve that standard.

The biggest differences between the two are that the FAA only requires 20/40 vision for near vision and 20/40 for both near and distant vision to hold a Class 3 Medical Certificate.

The USAF, on the other hand, requires 20/20 for both near and far vision for all flying classes.

The FAA also requires intermediate visual acuity (32 inches) for anyone older than 50 years.

FAA Visual Acuity Standards

FAA Distant Vision Standards
FAA Near Vision Standards

Reference FAA's AME Guide: Synopsis of Medical Standards

USAF Visual Acuity Standards

USAF Visual Acuity Standards

If you have further questions about your vision or the visual medical standards for military or civilian pilots, contact an expert at Go Flight Medicine today!

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