When I was a teenager, I earned great grades in school, played an instrument in the school band, and played a sport. I was never afraid to learn new things and was always eager to tackle all of the challenges that came with the learning experience. However, that all changed when I was finally the legal driving age in my state. I was terrified of driving and convinced that I would fail miserably at it! The feeling took me by surprise, but after some soul-searching and supportive advice from family, I finally got up the nerve to get behind the wheel. The "rest is history," as they say, and I soon actually became a great driver. I now have children and always tell them they can learn anything they put their minds too. I decided to start a blog to share my educational tips and help inspire others to learn!
If you have limited mobility due to a disability or physical challenge, it may still be possible for you to learn to fly. Just as vehicles can be modified for the unique needs of disabled drivers, similar changes can be made to the controls of a plane that can allow many disabled persons to safely pilot a plane. However, those modifications aren't at every aviation school, nor is each change equal appropriate for the needs of each student. Therefore, if you're ready to live your dreams and don't want your physical challenges to prevent you from doing so, you should be aware of the information shared below.
Qualifying For Aviation Training
It is often surprising to discover that the qualifications for participating in a flying education class are minimal and include requirements such as:
A valid and unhindered driver's license
Being 17 years of age or older
Passing an easy medical exam
Providing documentation from a physician of your fitness to fly
In addition, the medical documentation required to start your classes, you can also expect to be screened at some point during your training in order to verify that your disability does not impair your ability to navigate and control the plane. The requirements vary based on the type of license you ultimately earn. In addition, if your mobility issues are accompanied by a heart condition or diabetes, you could be required to fly with a safety pilot, even after gaining your pilot's license. That person is there simply to step in if you were suddenly unable to complete a flight.
Changes To The Use And Presence Of The Rudder And Brake For Pilots With Special Needs
If you have ever had the opportunity to examine the area where the pilot sits in order to control the movement of the plane, you might have noticed that there are tools that need to be accessed by both the feet and hands of the person flying. Therefore, it is important to modify those controls when someone with physical challenges is in the pilot's seat and ideally, it is equally important to be able to quickly remove the adapted controls when someone without physical challenges takes over.
Fortunately, the rudder and brake that are usually on the floor can be improved by moving them to an area that can be manipulated by hand. In addition, a few aviation students have successfully earned their pilot's license by using an older plane that featured the rudder attaching to the yoke, thus preventing the need for rudder pedals that might prevent disabled students from flying.
In conclusion, just a few years ago, disabled persons who were missing a limb or had reduced muscle strength and ability in one or more limbs could not learn to fly a plane due to those challenges. However, in recent years there have been improvements and modifications to the various controls and now flying is possible for many students with mobility issues and similar disabilities. As a result, when you're ready to take to the skies, it's a good idea to be familiar with the facts discussed above.
To learn more, speak with a school such as Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.