Young Israelis who have dreamed of becoming an Air Force pilot but whose eyes were not quite up to the task without a pair of glasses no longer need worry that flaw will automatically disqualify them.
The Israel Air Force recently decided to make changes to the program and is now about to allow young applicants with a higher glasses measurement to try out for a chance to be accepted into the prestigious track.
Up to this point, only those with glasses of up to 1.75 were called in to try out for tests. But pretty soon, even teenagers who meet the criteria but wear glasses up to 2.5 can still dream of “wearing the wings.”
The change was made as a result of the understanding that the IAF’s innovative aircraft require other capabilities, which allow for greater visual limitations than in the past. The move is expected to increase by hundreds the number of applicants who apply for a course each year, averaging about 8,000 annually.
The news comes just after last week’s graduates of the pilots’ course, 178 and received the wings at the “Order of Wings” ceremony marking 50 years of the War of Attrition.
This will be the first course in which the trainees who graduate as combat pilots will reach the mighty squadron and begin flying on the 5th generation platforms, starting with the end of the training.