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Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Application Process for Medical Certification

General Information - Equipment Requirements

For the conduct of the medical examination, Examiners shall have adequate facilities for performing the required examinations and possess the following equipment prior to conducting any FAA examinations. History or current findings may indicate a need for special evaluations. Examiners shall certify at the time of designation, re-designation, or upon request that they possess (and maintain as necessary) the equipment specified.

  1. Standard Snellen Test. Types for visual acuity (both near and distant) and appropriate eye lane. FAA Form 8500-1, Near Vision Acuity Test Card may be used for near and intermediate vision testing. Metal, opaque plastic, or cardboard occluder.
  2. Eye Muscle Test-Light. May be a spot of light 0.5cm in diameter, a regular muscle-test light, or an ophthalmoscope.
  3. Maddox Rod. May be hand type.
  4. Horizontal Prism Bar. Risley or hand prism are acceptable alternatives.
  5. Other vision test equipment that is acceptable as a replacement for 1 through 4 above include any commercially available visual acuities and heterophoria testing devices.
  6. Color Vision Test Apparatus. Pseudoisochromatic plates, (American Optical Company (AOC), l965 edition; AOC-HRR, 2nd edition); Dvorine, 2nd edition; Ishihara, Concise 14 -, 24 -, or 38-plate editions; or Richmond (l983 edition, 15-plates). Acceptable substitutes are: Farnsworth Lantern; OPTEC 900 Color Vision Test; Keystone Orthoscope; Keystone Telebinocular; OPTEC 2500; Titmus Vision Tester; Titmus i400; OPTEC 2000 Vision Tester (Models 2000 PM, 2000 PAME, 2000 PI) - tester MUST contain the 2000-010 FAR color perception PIP plate to be approved.
  7. A Wall Target consisting of a 50-inch square surface with a matte finish (may be black felt or dull finish paper) and a 2-mm white test object (may be a pin) in a suitable handle of the same color as the background. Note: this is not necessary if an AME chooses the acceptable option of performing field of vision testing by direct confrontation.
  8. Standard physician diagnostic instruments and aids including those necessary to perform urine testing for albumin and glucose and those to measure height and weight.
  9. Electrocardiographic equipment. Senior Examiners must have access to digital electrocardiographic equipment with electronic transmission capability.
  10. Audiometric equipment. All Examiners must have access to audiometric equipment or a capability of referring applicants to other medical facilities for audiometric testing.

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