Friday, March 25th, 2011 - Wheelchair Pilots Association of Australia
Over 20 disabled flyers gathered in Deniliquin NSW for the first such gathering in Australia last weekend. (18th to 20th March)

Wheelchair bound paraplegic David McPherson, a pilot who is a member of the Deniliquin Aero Club, organised the event. The get together was also supported by charity Wheelies With Wings.

8 aircraft flew in which were all modified in some way to their pilots needs . Often this means a hand control for the aircraft rudder and brakes which are normally operated by the pilot’s feet.

One particular two seater aircraft the Australian made “Jabiru” had a modification fitted were the owner, a wheelchair bound quadriplegic pilot, could fine tune engine power changes by blowing or sucking on a tube.

Some of the more experienced pilots were an inspiration to those new to flying. For example a pilot from Newcastle arrived in a high performance Beechcraft Bonanza, another was a wheelchair farmer who flew himself in from near Broken Hill. These guys had thousands of hours and their stories were a highlight for the group.

The Principal Medical Officer from CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) took the time to travel down to meet the group and make a presentation about his department and how they process applications for the Aviation Medical Certificate.

Those that had been out of the air for a while had a chance to go flying again with current pilots over the weekend and on the Sunday a local air navigation comp was organised to finish of the activities.

Rob Rickards Chairman of Wheelies with Wings said “it was great to see these friendships developing. Some of them had got their first taste of flying through our motivational Scholarships. They have less than 20 hours flying and for them to meet wheelchair pilots with thousands of hour’s experience was very inspirational.”

David McPherson said that the group decided to form an informal Disabled Pilots Association of Australia to further disabled flying in Australia." There are probably another 20 disabled Pilots out there we hear about and we are keen to hear from them."
For more information contact David McPherson 0408629644 or Wheelies with Wings Chairman Rob Rickards 0403157391

Contact Profile

Wheelchair Pilots Association of Australia


An informal Group of disabled Pilots.
Supported an assisted by Wheelies with Wings
Rob Rickards
P: 0403157391
W: www.wheelieswithwings.com.au/index.htm

Keywords

Wheelchair pilots Disabled Pilots Hand controls for aircraft

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