Those of us who have medical certificates emblazoned with “Must wear corrective lenses” can be conflicted when aviating. Constantly changing light conditions can mean the need to switch glasses frequently.
During preflight, we might be peering deep into a dark cowling while outside on a bright ramp. Within minutes, we might be climbing through a cloud deck that is dark on the bottom, but amazingly bright as we near the top with even brighter sunshine just above. Contact lenses can reduce the hassle, but as we age, finding just the right contact lens prescription that allows for crisp near and far vision becomes more difficult…for some I’m told... Apparently my arms are getting shorter.
The most convenient solution I’ve found so far are Scheyden Mustang RX glasses, which provide thin, headset-friendly frames and high-quality clear prescription lenses mated to a pair of flip-up sunglasses. The lenses include anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings as well as protection from UVA and UVB rays, an important consideration when flying at even relatively low altitudes. And, of course, optimized for aviation use, they are not polarized; polarization can interfere with one’s ability to see certain electronic displays in the cockpit.
Importantly, because, hey, we are pilots with a certain image to project, the sunglasses look sharp.
Now, back in the ‘70s someone declared cheap plastic, clip-on flip-up sunglasses to be geeky, and the notion stuck. Combine those with dark knee-high socks and shorts and well…you get the point.
However, the Scheyden Mustangs look far more professional, and with titanium frames and precision hinges they are light-years beyond what your father bought at the drug store during that family vacation to South of the Border. And, by the way, the Scheydens are not clip-ons.
The sunglasses are permanently attached to the frame, making for a much more durable solution. Use your thumb and index finger to flip the sunglasses up. Lower them by pressing down on the bridge with your index finger as they snap crisply back into place. When taking off before sunset, no more fishing in your flight bag for your “regular” glasses as the sun sets. Just flip the sunglasses out of the way.
The Mustang RX sunglasses are available in two colors, neutral gray and high contrast bronze, which I have found to work well on both bright and dark but still glary days. Prices start at about $450.
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