Several months ago, we were delighted to receive an invitation from the BGA to give a presentation on Deaf Pilots UK at the BGA Conference 2016.
So on Sat 27th Feb, Deaf Pilots UK went to the Nottingham Belfry, where the BGA Conference 2016 was being held.
During the day, the Deaf Pilots group had a look at the stalls present at the conference, and Joan took a moment to write her thoughts….
It was my first time at the conference. It seemed very crowded. It was hard to see all the exhibition stands.
It was nice to have a free conference T-shirt! Great to meet up with the other deaf pilots once more and to meet Byron. I thought that having an interpreter raised deaf awareness at the conference.
Amazed that one and a half gliders fitted into the exhibition space. I was quite taken by the self sustaining jet engine on the JS 1 Revelation. It was real!! I met Claudia Hill from Women Glide and she later sent me an email saying she was going to learn BSL!
Later in the day, John gave his presentation about Deaf Pilots UK to a very receptive crowd, followed by a lively question and answer session afterwards. In the near future, we hope to make the presentation available here so watch this space!
We are indebted to the following for making this possible:
John, Andrew and Yoav at London Gliding Club, Dunstable
An historic moment was photographed on Sunday Nov 30th 2013 at London Gliding Club – Dunstable. This is the first time to our knowledge that there has been three deaf members at the same gliding club anywhere in the world. (L to R: John, Andrew and Yoav)
We would love to get emails from other deaf pilots at flying and gliding clubs elsewhere in the world and make ties with other organisations – please do get in touch with us.
Making your Trial flights accessible to deaf people
While we are keen to help clubs where we can, we recognise our resources are limited in how much we can do. However, at the same time, it is incredibly easy for clubs to make their trial flights extremely accessible for any deaf people who may wish to buy a trial flight voucher, and the aim of this article is to show you how you can do this.
What do I need to know?
The good news is that this can be done for the princely sum of £5. What you will need is a suction-mount mirror which can be purchased from large automobile stores or online. You can try searching for the Summit RV-30 mirror.
One caveat to bear in mind is that the suction mount can and does fail. As a result, you should have a cord attaching the mirror securely to a part of the glider as illustrated in the image. Be mindful of where you attach it in case of emergencies where the canopy may need to be jettisoned.
Be mindful of the location of the sun – the deaf person will find it easier to understand you if the sun is facing you or from the side. Never speak to the deaf person with the sun behind you.
Face the deaf person while discussing the trial flight with them
Don’t speak with your face looking away from the deaf person
When you run through the pre-flight patter, be mindful of the fact that the deaf person cannot look in multiple directions at the same time! So when you illustrate glider operations, be sure to explain to the person face to face prior to demonstrating the controls. Keep in mind that it may help the student if you illustrate certain concepts visually with movement of your hands.
Also, it may be best to explain the ground run in advance, instead of as you go along.
Agree on a suitable signal for evacuating the plane – but realistically speaking, if the person in front, who can see you in the mirror, sees you jumping out, they are likely to follow you out as well!
When the canopy is closed, check that the mirror is adjusted properly and that the person in front can see you in the reflection.
Bearing the above section about communication in mind, face the front and look in the direction of the mirror when speaking. If the student is comfortable and you are comfortable in letting them have control, keep in mind that you can get their attention by shaking the stick gently. If you wish to tell them to perform certain manoeuvres or to look in a certain directions, you can again use pre-agreed hand movements (be mindful of the restricted view the student will have of you in the mirror) to show the student what to do.
Back on ground
Give yourself a mental pat in the back and let know if this document was of use!