Report: More eligible for pilot training thanks to laser eye surgery
February 28, 2011, 12:31 pm
Vision eligibility requirements have long proved an insurmountable barrier for those hoping to serve their country by flying for the armed forces. However, the Air Force Times reports that laser eye surgery has helped many overcome that handicap.
Recent advances in the technology used to perform the corrective surgery - which involves using lasers to change the shape of the eye's lens and can eliminate defects like near-sightedness - have broadened the talent pool available to the military, according to the Times. The Air Force has also recently lifted restrictions on the type of aircraft which can be flown by those who have received the treatment.
Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Charles Reilly told the publication that recent advances had been a boon to both pilot hopefuls and the service.
"You can imagine when you're an 18-year-old kid going to the academy, and you want to be a pilot, but you find out you can't. Now you can get laser vision correction while you're there and go to pilot training," he said.
For private pilots, as well, better vision means a wider safety margin. Avoiding more crashes through sharper eyesight could result in better rates on life insurance for pilots, according to experts.
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