January 2001 Issue

LASIK for Pilots

Is refractive surgery a good bet for pilots? An AME and eye surgeon explains the risks and benefits.

[IMGCAP(1)] If any single factor has ruined the prospects of budding professional pilots, itís poor eyesight. Yet that infirmity is correctable through refractive surgery, a procedure thatís widely available and, increasingly, being considered by pilots of all ilks. We recently spent a day with reader Dr. Steven Siepser, an eye surgeon and AME in the Philadelphia area to clarify what can be confusing facts about LASIK an other procedures. In addition to being an AME, Siepser is also an instrument-rated fixed-wing and helicopter pilot.

Cutting right to the chase, letís talk about the FAA view on refractive surgery. Thereís a notion that the agencyís approval of these p...

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