Esmail shares his experience of his first flight in a glider at Derby and Lancs Gliding Club below.
Before the event I was expecting to be nervous but that didn’t seem to happen, all I felt was excitement.
When I arrived everywhere seemed to be deserted, which the made me think maybe the day had been cancelled due to bad weather. Then eventually a man answered the door and I knew things were going ahead.
To start with, myself and the instructor were trying to find various ways to communicate. In a glider the instructor is sat behind the student, but because I am profoundly Deaf we were trying to create methods of communication that would be suitable for both of us. We needed to be sure that we were both safe and the communication methods were effective.
As we did the simulation flight together we worked out that if I wasn’t using the control stick very well and things were to go drastically wrong, we agreed that the instructor would erratically move the control stick and I would know to ‘back off’ and let him take control. He used a long stick to tap me on the shoulder if I was doing ok, and then I would know to carry on.The instructor said that it was the first time he had taught a Deaf person before. Both of us felt like the day went really well and was a great success.This experience completely blew me away I am really keen to continue flying to grow in knowledge of flying, but also to experience more amazing flights.
Must have been a good flight then!
Editors’ note: Although Esmail and the instructor did not have any problems communicating, it is worth noting we have information on how trial lessons can be done and communicating and instructing can be carried out.