Learning to fly is something I have always dreamt of doing. Having lost my hearing five years ago due to a rare condition (Neurofibromatosis type 2) that caused tumours to grow on my hearing nerves, it finally came a reality when I went solo 2 weeks ago.
I have been learning to fly at Bath, Wiltshire & North Dorset gliding club for nearly exactly a year. The club and my instructors have been incredibly supportive throughout. We came up with a system to communicate which we adapted and developed as we all got more experience in the air with what works and what doesn’t.
Through using a mirror in the cockpit and agreed hand gestures, thorough briefing and debriefing, I was able to follow commands and instructions while in the air.
I owe a massive thanks to the club and its members for so supportive & open minded over the last year. What really helped me was have a core group of instructors and especially having one, John Hull as a mentor. He flew with me regularly but not all the time so I also experienced other types of training. He was able to help other instructors understand how to fly with me and he really pushed my training along.
It was an incredible moment when the instructor said he wasn’t getting into the glider and I was now ready to go solo. Something I will never forget.