Is there any hope for me? (U.S. Army pilot questions)




 
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October 20th, 2004  
d_vannielen
 

Topic: Is there any hope for me? (U.S. Army pilot questions)


First of all, I would like to say hi to everyone here. This is my first post, so please don't be too hard on me . Now, to the point. I am currently a 20year old junior in college, and have about another year and a half left until I get my degree. My ultimate goal in life is to become a helicopter pilot, and everything I have read about the subject seems to suggest that the best possible flight training is through the military (in particular...the Army). Plus, getting a commercial rotorcraft license through civilian flight training is unbelievably expensive.

I have looked over some of the requirements of being accepted into the warrant officer program, and most of them don't seem like they would be a huge problem (I am a semi pro road cyclist, so I'm in pretty good physical shape and am holding a 4.0GPA at the moment-I'm not sure if that counts for anything though). However, I don't have 20/20 uncorrected vision, and have to wear contacts. Everything I have read says that this is an automatic disqualifier, but there HAS to be some way around it! I've done some research and it seems like surgery, orthokeratology, etc. are not allowed. My eyes are not really bad, so I have even considered trying those "eye exercises" you see advertised to see if it makes a difference (although it sounds kind of like a scam to me). Do any of you know about this or anything else I could do to correct my vision without breaking the rules (like lasik). I have also heard about waivers available to some in order to get PRK surgery. Any information about it would be GREATLY appreciated. I did a search on the subject, but could not find anthing very revelant to the topic.

Also, any other information or advice about becoming an U.S. Army helicopter pilot would be really appreciated. I'm also looking for suggestions to help my chances of being accepted into the warrant officer program. Should I consider getting my private heli license before I apply? I'm like a sponge here!

Thanks a million,
Dom
October 21st, 2004  
Peper
 
 
My fiance was actually looking into this same thing. He has vision problems just as you do. Apparently, there is a study that is going on that would allow you to get lasik and get into the Warrent Officer Program. You have to be accepted into the study and you have to meet certain qualifications. I used to have information on it, but I don't know where it is at. I'll try and do some research for you and see if I can find it.
October 21st, 2004  
Peper
 
 
Here you go, I found the information. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access it.

http://www.usaarl.army.mil/PRKLASIK/...ct%20Sheet.pdf

Here is an article from a guy who went through it:

http://www.dcmilitary.com/army/stand...h/22650-1.html
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October 21st, 2004  
d_vannielen
 

Topic: Thanks!


Thank you so much Peper! I knew that there was still hope for me!

Dom
October 21st, 2004  
Peper
 
 
Yea, definately don't give up hope. My fiance thought it was a pipe dream that he could possibly be a pilot, but then we found out about this study. Good luck getting into it and good luck with the surgery. Just so you know, I think there is a wait time between when you get the surgery and when the Army will let you get into the program. I want to say it is around a year, but I could be wrong. However, they do allow you to work on your packet and stuff during this time.
October 23rd, 2004  
egoz
 
I'm taking a similar path that you are, with the Army Aviation. I believe the only branches that requires you have perfect vision to fly is the AF and Navy. And even then it only pertains to fighter aircraft. That's because they are still testing the laser corrective surgery to see if it's an effective method to treat vision. But good luck, maybe we'll see each other in WOFT