Can You Be a Pilot with Glasses?

Flight Training

A military pilot wearing glasses, defying the myth that a pilot can't wear prescribed glasses.

If you’ve ever dreamed of soaring through the skies as a pilot, you may have wondered if your vision is up to par. Many aspiring pilots wear glasses or contact lenses, leading to common misconceptions about whether it’s possible to pursue a career in aviation with less-than-perfect vision. In this article, we will debunk the myths and provide clarity on the topic of being a pilot with glasses. So, fasten your seatbelts and let’s bust some myths!

Myth 1: Having glasses disqualifies you from becoming a pilot.

Reality: This is a common misconception, but the truth is that wearing glasses does not automatically disqualify you from becoming a pilot. In fact, many pilots around the world wear corrective lenses while flying. The key consideration here is not whether you wear glasses, but rather the quality of your vision. As long as your vision is correctable to the required standard, you can pursue your dream of becoming a pilot.

This is a holdover from military pilot recruiting. In fact the airforce will accept pilots with glasses to fly transport category aircraft.

Myth 2: You need perfect vision to become a commercial pilot.

Reality: While having perfect vision without any correction is an advantage, it is not a strict requirement for becoming a commercial pilot. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, for example, allows pilots to have correctable vision up to a certain limit. In most cases, pilots are required to have vision correctable to 20/20 or better in each eye with or without glasses or contact lenses. As long as your vision can be corrected to meet these standards, you are eligible to become a commercial pilot.

Myth 3: It takes a long time to become a pilot.

Reality: The time it takes to become a pilot varies depending on the type of pilot’s license you aim to obtain and the training path you choose. To become a commercial pilot, you will need to earn a private pilot license (PPL), instrument rating (IR), commercial pilot license (CPL), and multi-engine rating (ME). The duration of training can range from several months to a year or more, depending on the intensity of your training and the flight school you attend. A full-time flight academy student can earn their commercial certificate within 1 year.

Myth 4: Flight school is the only way to become a pilot.

Reality: While attending a flight school is a common and recommended path for aspiring pilots, it is not the only route available. Some individuals choose to join the military and receive flight training through military programs. Others may opt for collegiate aviation programs or even learn to fly through local flying clubs or independent flight instructors. The important aspect is to receive proper training and accumulate the required flight hours to meet the licensing requirements.

Now that we have debunked these myths, let’s shift our focus to how you can become a pilot. Here are the general steps involved in becoming a commercial pilot:

  1. Research and choose a flight training program: Look for reputable flight schools or training programs that fit your budget, location, and schedule. Consider factors such as accreditation, instructor qualifications, and fleet availability.
  2. Obtain a medical certificate: Schedule a medical examination with an aviation medical examiner to obtain a Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate, depending on the level of pilot license you intend to pursue. This certificate ensures that you meet the medical requirements for flying. Airline pilots require a class 1 medical. If that is your goal, make sure you qualify before making the training investment.
  3. Start flight training: Begin your flight training by enrolling in ground school classes to learn the theoretical aspects of aviation. Simultaneously, start your flight lessons with a certified flight instructor, where you will gain practical flying experience.
  4. Earn your pilot licenses and ratings: Work your way through the various pilot licenses and ratings required for commercial flying, including PPL, IR, CPL, and ME. Each license has specific requirements in terms of flight hours, written exams, and practical tests.
  5. Build flight experience: After obtaining your licenses, accumulate the required flight hours to meet the experience requirements for commercial pilot positions. This can involve various activities such as banner towing, charter flying, or becoming a flight instructor yourself.

In conclusion, wearing glasses does not disqualify you from becoming a pilot, as long as your vision is correctable to the required standards. Becoming a commercial pilot requires proper training, dedication, and meeting the flight hour requirements. So, if you’ve always dreamed of taking to the skies, don’t let glasses hold you back—start pursuing your aviation dreams today!