This past weekend, under the initiative of the New Mexico Pilot’s Association, and in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a special Pilots’ Vision Seminar was conducted in order to familiarize the attending pilots with the almost inevitable consequences of age-related eyesight issues, problems than can make a significant change in an aviator’s ability, or lack of it, to continue as an active Pilot.
The presenter at the conference was a highly experienced Ophthalmologist, Marc Ellman, MD, who’s primary practice, the Southwest Eye Institute, is located in nearby El Paso, TX. Dr. Ellman, is, himself, a pilot, therefor someone who can easily relate to the concerns experienced by today’s active civilian-based aviators.
Dr. Ellman used a colorful and even humor-filled Power Point Presentation to skillfully explain many technical aspects of the subject to his primarily lay-oriented audience, with the exception of several MD’s, also pilots, who chose to also attend this special Vision Session, which was held in the convenient Conference Room of the Deming Municipal Airport, in Deming, NM, a facility whose Assistant Airport Office and transient Aircraft Director, Tony Maynes, is a long-time member of the the FASF.
Prior generations of pilots lived in justifiable fear of experiencing age-related vision issues, since there was then no practical remedy that might realistically help active aviators continue to pursue their love of flying, should their vision begin to deteriorate. Many substantial corrective improvements have been made in the entire field of aviation-related vision deterioration and/or eyesight handicaps.
For instance: Some forty years ago, exceptional vision was so critical a pilot standard, that many hopeful military aviators simply could not pass the then rigid vision requirements established for their intended profession.
The same was also largely the case with civilian pilots, although to a lesser extent. Today’s military aviators are now, for example, allowed to fly fighter jets even when they must wear eye-glasses in order to meet the occupation’s stringent vision requirements.
And, possibly more importantly, civilian pilots who suffer from age-related issues such as cataracts, can now have a surgical corrective procedures taken, which completely removes their much feared cataract impairment. There is even eye-surgery, as the audience learned, which is capable of completely eliminating the need of a pilot’s former dependency on eye-glasses, in order to legitimately fly.
Here, in the following photographs, is a brief summary of some of the major points made by Dr. Ellman during his presentation, one which elicited a large number of audience questions.
If you are interested in seeing any photograph in a more detailed and hi-resolution format, simply click on the photo to see it quickly amplified in a separate browser tab, which will, in most cases, enable you to clearly read the text displayed.