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The ATC Hiring Interview

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This one is for those fellow controllers who have done the PEPC process and/or who have already been hired:

I've been selected for a position at Cleveland Tower (CLE) and I have my PEPC on 2/27.  I had to get my Second Class Medical renewed this past Friday and I have some problems passing the color vision test.  I ended up doing the one in the book and passed that way, but barely.  I took a little more time than I know the FAA will allow (which is typically 3 seconds for each plate).  The AME was concerned and stated that it could be an issue.  While I passed my Second Class Medical (albeit, barely with the color vision), I was wondering what type of testing they do at the PEPC.  Do they just do your normal Medical exam like getting a Medical or are there alternatives?  I know that there are "acceptable substitutions" that an AME can use (found a list on the FAA website) but I was wondering if they would also apply to controllers and if the FAA would go as far as to use one of these alternatives?  I can see the red, green and blue that you would see at an airport; it's seeing certain colors of red near certain colors of green that I cannot quite decipher. 

If anyone could give me some insight on the color vision side of things that the FAA evaluates for controllers, that would be great. Thanks!!

There are items that are color coded in yellow to draw your attention to. For example, if an plane is not RVSM qualified and is climbing to a RVSM altitude then part of it's data block will turn yellow. Also where I work, the NEXRAD weather feed displays 3 levels of intensity, it's the middle level that is coded in yellow.

I don't know what the FAA will use to determine your qualification for getting hired so don't get discouraged, but these are some real world examples of where you need to be able to distinguish more then just red, green and blue.

Ah yeah that is true -- I don't have a problem seeing yellow though, I've been able to see radar returns from both aircraft and weather radar just fine.  It's mainly the red portion of things.  I'm not getting discouraged yet, as there is a chance still that I could make it, but it is of concern for me.

Hey Mark this is Malcolm (I think I had you in class, could be wrong)

As far as the vision test goes it was the standard test through the glasses. I wouldn't worry too much until you go through it, just try your best.

Cleveland is a busy place, good luck and say hi to Dan for me.

Hi Malcolm, yeah you were my Approach II lab assistant!  How's Burlington, VT treating ya?

I'm just concerned about the color vision portion of the test; the rest of the vision test is fine for me. 

Thanks for the info!


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