JAR Class 1 (Professional Pilot) Initial Examination Visual Standards

These are the JAR Class 1 visual standards as applied by the UK CAA.

Distance Vision

Your visual acuity (measured by your ability to see, in this case, lines of letters on a chart at 6 metres) must be at least 6/9 in each eye separately and 6/6 using both eyes together, with or without glasses or contact lenses (correction). If you need correction the refractive error (the amount of correction) must not exceed +5.00 dioptres of long sight or -6.00 dioptres of short sight. This is in the most ametropic meridian (taking into account any astigmatism). Astigmatism must not exceed 2.00 dioptres. The difference in correction between each eye (anisometropia) must not be more than 2.00 dioptres. Your optometrist will be able to explain these terms.

Near Vision

On the standard near vision eye chart you must be able to read the N5 print between 30 and 50 cm and the N14 print at 100 cm, with or without correction.

Contact Lenses

You may wear contact lenses as a professional pilot (but not to correct near vision). If you do wear contact lenses, you should bring a report from an optometrist to your initial Class 1 examination, which includes the following:

your contact lens specification and corrected visual acuity;

confirmation that you have worn your contact lenses constantly and successfully for over eight hours a day over a period of at least one month.

All gas permeable and hard contact lenses must be removed at least 48 hours before the initial Class 1 medical examination. Any contact lenses should be brought to the examination. Multifocal contact correction are not acceptable for lenses or monovision lass 1 certification.

Refractive Surgery

The CAA does not recommend refractive surgery to gain a medical certificate to fly. The decision to have this type of treatment must be between you and your eye specialist. In fact the certification limits of eye correction with glasses and the limits of refraction before surgery are the same, so it is not possible to gain a medical certificate by having refractive surgery, that you would not have obtained by wearing glasses. However, if you have had refractive surgery, Class 1 certification will be considered three months after a LASIK procedure, (provided an assessment including refraction has been carried out at two months post-operatively). Certification can be considered six months after LASEK/PRK for myopia (provided an assessment is carried out at three months post-operatively at Gatwick).Certification  is usually possible one year after other types of operation. Please note that:  

    The pre-operative refraction should not have been more than + 5.00 to -6 dioptres (applicants just outside this range should contact the CAA Medical Department for advice.)

    an assessment by an eye specialist at Gatwick will be required

Colour Vision

You will be tested for normal colour vision with Ishihara Test Plates (a series of numbers outlined by different coloured dots, easily seen by someone with normal colour vision). If you fail these you will need to pass an approved lantern test (a series of coloured lights that you must identify correctly) in order to gain a JAR Class 1 certificate.

Eye Function

  • You must have normal fields of vision.

  • You must not suffer from double vision.

  • Any degree of heterophoria (eye muscle imbalance) in excess of:

  • 8Δ exo, 10Δ eso or 2Δ hyperphoria - measured at 6 m

  • or

  • 12Δ exo, 8Δ eso or 1Δ hyperphoria - measured at 33 cm

  • will require further evaluation by an eye specialist at Gatwick.

  • There must be no acute or chronic disease in either eye or surrounding structures.