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Deaf and Aviation


By Dak Davis

Deaf and Aviation

Aviation has the power to bring in so many people from different walks of life.

Aviation is a hobby that is like no other. That ability to break the bonds of Earth and experience something that not that many other people can is truly amazing.  With this amazing feat comes great responsibility.   It has been said that only the strong can become pilots.  Now with the help of technology, how it increases the pilot population, and flight instructors, flying has become more accessible to everyone including the Deaf community.

There are more than 20 thousand small uncontrolled airports around the United States. All of which don't require radio contact with a ground facility. This means that for a pilot radio communications are not required. "Airports can potentially be used by deaf and partially deaf pilots the same way they can be used by aircraft without radios." (Moore) Plus with new technologies it has been easier to see aircraft in the air. This has been accomplished by something called ADS-B. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association said; "ADS-B Out transmits information about altitude, airspeed, and location derived through GPS from an equipped aircraft to ground stations and to other equipped aircraft in the vicinity." (Air traffic) This means that a deaf pilot would now be able to get alerts on the GPS of other aircraft in the vicinity.

As being a member of the pilot population, we are constantly trying to increase the population in the aviation community. One of the programs that are set forth by some of the aviation unions is the Young Eagles program. " Founded in 1992, the Young Eagles program has dedicated nearly 25 years to giving youth ages 8--17 their first free ride in an airplane. " (AOPA) Alone with programs like this one there are also ones that are set out for the deaf community. Such as the Deaf Pilots Association, their mission is to increase the number of Deaf pilots in the United States.

One of the best ways to become a pilot is to find the right flight instructor. Finding the right teacher is key and in important in understanding how to fly an aircraft. Without a good foundation to learn from the student is left in a dangerous situation. If someone is Deaf, but would like to learn to fly, it is imperative to find the right teacher. The DPA says that; "Your instructor could write notes on a small clipboard and pass them to you as you fly. You could teach your instructor a few signs, or agree on some gestures for common flight tasks." (DPA) Deaf people learning to fly isn't an issue, as long as you find the right instructor that has the right patients.

Flying in general is an amazing thing. Everyone in the community tries to get the outside population to explore this amazing feat that mankind has overcome. If it wasn't for the technology that we have now a days, it would be harder for Deaf pilots to fly. If Deaf pilot's didn't have the ability to fly then aviation wouldn't be as diverse as it is today. With new and improved technology, increasing the pilot population, and the use of good flight instructors, flying has become more accessible to everyone including the the Deaf community.

Work Cited:

"Air Traffic Services Brief -- Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)." Air Traffic Services Brief . AOPA, 15 Aug. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Moore, Jim. "Deaf Pilot Spreads the Word: You Can Fly." Deaf Pilot Spreads the Word: You Can Fly - AOPA . AOPA, 25 Jan. 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

"EAA Young Eagles Program | EAA." EAA Young Eagles Program | EAA . AOPA, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

"Questions --." Questions -- . DPA, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.



Notes:  Submitted: 3-30-2017


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