Who will hire me with a SODA?

asolo

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I have a 1st class medical with a SODA because of my vision. My uncorrected vision is roughly 20/40. Not too bad, but I'm not correctable to 20/20. Which airlines do you know of that don't accept SODA's and do you know of anyone who is working for an Airline with a SODA. I know that Continental Express doesn't accept medical waivers. Thanks:)
 

bobbysamd

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SODA

You might ask about getting that SODA off your record. I had a SODA for vision (20/400 left, 20/100 right, correctable to 20/20) and got my First Class last December after not having a medical for eight years. He told me that vision SODAs are no long appended to First Class medicals. In fact, he said he'd ask the FAA to pull the SODA off my medical. I do still have the vision restriction. So, ask about it, especially considering that your uncorrected vision is better than mine.

I understand that most commuters, and majors, too, have relaxed their vision requirements in recent years. Even Delta, which once required 20/20 or better uncorrected on the date of hire. So, all you need is your First.

Hope that helps a little.
 

FlyinBrian

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I've never heard of a SODA being issued for vision... I'm pretty sure you can get it removed somehow and replaced with a corrective lenses restriction.
 

bobbysamd

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So, I am wondering, then. Why is your vision uncorrectable to 20/20?
 

asolo

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I have glasses that correct me to 20/25 or so and I do have to have them on to exercise my 1st class privilages. The reason I can't correct them to 20/20 is b/c my left eye is smaller than my right. It's called amblmypopia (sp). They can grind me some stronger glasses, but then it comes to a point where I feel like I have beer goggles on b/c the magnification is so out of whack between each eye.
 

bobbysamd

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Hmmm ....

Interesting.

I know that many of the old strictures have been relaxed and all you need now is just a First, which you have.

Maybe you still can have the SODA lifted. I certainly would check into it.

Best of luck.
 

English

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There are many pilots at Eagle with SODAs..but there are not hiring and will not be for a long time.

CoEx does not accept them.

I was in the audience at a recent conference where a pilot asked a panel of HR people of various regional airlines if they accepted SODAs. Not one person on the panel knew what a SODA was! When pressed, every single one stated they would not interview someone with a SODA. This was Northwest Airlink/ExpressI (I guess Pinnacle now), CoEx, and a few others I can't remember at the moment. I think it's in violation of the American Disabilities Act, not sure. Wish I had better news. My best friend has a SODA and you'd never tell this person had a problem, but this pilot was turned down for an interview with CoEx after they found out about the SODA. Eagle offered an interview, but that was pre 9/11.
 

eaglefly

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Unsure of your real eye problem. Amblyopia has nothing to do with the size of the eye but is a condition of muscle weakness in one eye. Most vision deficiencies (nearsightedness/farsightedness) are a result of a refractory error (mishapement of the lens of the eye) and can be more easily corrected by modifying the lens or thru glasses. Eye muscle problems can only be helped with glasses to a point (not at all be lens modification). Eye excersises can improve your refractory error (in some cases to 20/20).

Amblyopia (lazy eye) usually results from infancy when both eyes were not "teamed" up together (one slightly crooked) forcing the brain to either accept double vision or select one eye as more dominant. Unless identified and corrected at an early age, it is very difficult to cure because even though you can bring the weak eye up to 20/20, it is very difficult (possible though) to reteam the eyes to work together. Amblyopia also not surprisingly results in a loss of some depth perception as well, but the brain has learned to compensate for that (somewhat) over time.

You may want to see an eye specialist. They have eye excercise eqipment that can help bring you to 20/20. It takes a lot of effort though.
 

Andy Neill

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English said:

I was in the audience at a recent conference where a pilot asked a panel of HR people of various regional airlines if they accepted SODAs. Not one person on the panel knew what a SODA was! When pressed, every single one stated they would not interview someone with a SODA. This was Northwest Airlink/ExpressI (I guess Pinnacle now), CoEx, and a few others I can't remember at the moment. I think it's in violation of the American Disabilities Act, not sure.
There was a US Supreme Court case that involved pilot hiring and the ADA. The issue was that a pilot applicant at United has 20/400 correctable to 20/20 who was denied employment beacuse of that. The pilot sued and the case made it to the Supreme Court. Their ruling was that the pilot was not sufficiently disabled to seek protection under the ADA. Of course, if the pilot was completely blind, United could not hire since United could not make reasonable accomodation for the disability. It was a real catch 22. That pilot went on to get employment with another airline and the pilot's sibling, who had the identical eyesight, was later hired by United once they relaxed their rules.
 

Andy Neill

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Sec. 67.401(b) provides for a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) instead of an Authorization. A SODA will be issued without expiration date to applicants whose disqualifying conditions are static or nonprogressive and who have been found capable of performing airman duties without endangering public safety. A SODA authorizes an aviation medical examiner to issue a medical certificate if the condition is unchanged and the applicant is otherwise eligible.
 

asolo

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Hey all, Thanks for all the responses. Eaglefly is correct about my condition. Amblyopia (what I've read and heard) is correctable if you catch it early enough, but I'll try the exercises. I hope working for a regional is close in my future!

Blue Skies
Asolo
 

Snakum

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Just as an aside .... I read somewhere a couple years ago that American hired an FO a few years back with only one eye. Don't know if it's true, but the article listed his name and the circumstances (which I don't remember).

Minh
(Has both eyes ... but doesn't hear well.)
 

Andy Neill

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The following is a website that give a list of cases where monocular vision was the issue.

http://reason.com/9807/col.olson.shtml

In most cases, the single-eyed plaintiff won. An exception (at least a temporary one) was the case of the airline pilot:


"Last October--you might want to remain seated for this one---the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit gave the go-ahead to a lawsuit under Hawaii state disabled-rights law against Aloha Islandair, a passenger airline, for declining to hire a pilot with vision in only one eye. The decision was based on relatively narrow legal grounds, overturning a lower court opinion which had found that federal aviation laws preempted the right to file such suits under state law.

"Significantly, however, the appellate court dropped some broad hints that it expected the complainant to win when he got back to state court, the reason being that the Federal Aviation Administration has not banned persons with monocular vision from flying planes--and so long as it hasn't, the court suggested, airlines shouldn't imagine that they can institute such hiring criteria on their own."
 
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