The Myths of the CAD

I apologize from the start for this long posting. I have been watching the traffic on the new CAD test, both on this thread and on the CAA UK website where the origininal documents are readily available. Here is the problem with CAD: it is yet another colour vision test, nothing more and nothing less. It has no resemblance or relevance to any of the complex psycho-motor tasks that pilots perform in the “safe performance of their duties”. IT IS A RED HERRING. We have pilots in Australia, the USA and in the rest of the world who would not pass the CAD (because they are dichromats- the most severe of colour defectives) and yet they are in command of Airbuses, Boeings, Embraers, Pilatus, Metros, DASH 8’s and so forth. They undergo exactly the same demanding and thorough ongoing assessments in check flights and simulator sessions as their colour normal peers, and they perform no differently, let alone, less safely. The entire colour perception standard issue has been a massive con since its inception ninety years ago. While I am pleased for those who have already passed the CAD, and therefore have no further barriers to their aviation career aspirations, it is still a total irrelevance to the fundamental debate about the ICAO colour perception standard. On another issue, I am amazed at how few people appear to be subscribed to this thread. If we start from the sure knowledge that between 8-10% of males are colour defective, there have to be nearly a million in Australia alone, let alone several million in the UK, and again in the USA and many more millions in Europe. That’s not taking into account the other continents. If only a tiny one percent of the CVD population wish to engage in an aviation career, there have to be many many hundreds of thousands who are being denied any participation in professional aviation on the basis of colour perception defects. Where are they all? Why isn’t this group of human beings who are being discriminated against so shabbily up in arms and beating down the doors of their parliaments and the courts for justice. I don’t get it! Perhaps it is because they don’t “look” colour defective, so the discrimination can be effected silently, popping off one at a time, with not a whimper. We are not “organized” except in the most rudimentary of ways, such as this PPRuNe thread. We have no organization that we can belong to, and through it, exert real influence. And therein lies our fundamental weakness. On the other hand, the Aviaiton Authorities from all over the world regularly get together to pat each other on the back, and to concoct ever more restrictive policies. Take for example the JAA efforts in recent years. How did it ever happen that perfect colour vision came to be written into their regulations? Where were we, and what did anyone do to stop it? I just don’t get it. We will never ever succeed in the removal of the colour perception standard while we continue to be such a disorganized bunch. That’s not to be critical of anyone, its just that we have never organized ourselves into an effective group. The reason we had significant success in Australia 20 years ago was because we had a dedicated and generous group of CVD pilots who stood up for themselves, and took the matter to the courts for independent adjudication. We WON because we acted on our beliefs that we are as safe as pilots as those with normal colour vision. We won, because the fundamental logic that underpins the ICAO standard is flawed, and any thinking person can see that when it is demonstrated properly. This process can be replicated in other countries, but it takes dedication and a lot of work (and money). So, what I am asking is this: where are the activists who can organize a huge group, get the lawyers to start work on serious legal action, talk to the politicians and start to be heard. If we wait for the CAA’s and the FAA’s to sort it out for us, we will wait into eternity: it’s never going to happen. I’ve seen some early effort to create a cvdpilot website, a very worthwhile project. “Ponte” deserves support in his effort and I encourage everyone to get behind this and to make it work. There must be thousands out there who can contibute to the IT technology to make this a reality. There must be thousands too who have access to knowledge about their legal systems in their own countries so that avenues of appeal can be opened. Don’t forget, the lawyers, the politicians, the doctors, the judges are also CVD at the rate of 8-10%. Finally, let me suggest that a worldwide and well run Association of CVD Pilots could do great work towards the removal of the discrimination that IS the ICAO colour perception standard. Let me respectfully suggest we stop talking about how we are going to be “executed” (eg by CAD), and start planning how to win the battle. I appreciate the need of many to remain anonymous, but in the end it serves no good purpose. If we want to be effective, we need to “meet” properly, either face to face, but letter or in cyberspace. We need to know each other, to commence the enormous task that lie ahead if we are going to win. We need to affiliate (which means to become brothers). It’s impossible to do that behind pseudonyms. I welcome emails to my private email address. Have a lovely day!! Cheers, Arthur Pape

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