So you want to learn to fly? But how do you go about it?
E-mail us and we will try to put you in contact with another deaf pilot near by you.
deafpilots.co.uk is not a flying club, and we do not provide flight training, but we can put you in touch with people that do.
Visit a Flying Club
You should arrange to visit a flying club and have a trial flight to see if flying is for you. We suggest that you visit another club where there is already another deaf pilot, who can give you some advice. See Where we fly.
Decide what you want to fly
If its a glider that you want to fly then this is quite straightforward. One of the founders of this website is a gliding instructor. It is possible to fly aeroplanes but it might be a little more difficult to find a suitable flying club and an instructor with the experience of teaching deaf people.
Gliding and Powered flying (aeroplanes) have many similarities but are also culturally very different. In the UK the majority of deaf pilots are actually glider pilots. The reasons being:
- Gliding clubs are predominantly non-radio
- Gliding is usually cheaper than powered flying
- It used to be very difficult for deaf people to get a CAA medical certificate to fly powered aeroplanes
Authorities and organisations are now much more tolerant to disabled people flying aircraft.
After the NPPL (National Private Pilot Licence) was introduced in 2003, which uses a DVLA (professional driving) medical certificate, powered flying became a realistic prospect for deaf & disabled people.
Have a look at the some the achievements from members at Aerobility.
Can you afford it?
Flying is an expensive hobby. You need to look at the costs of getting a licence and keeping the licence current. Hiring an aeroplane can cost £150 and more per hour. Gliders can be hired for as little as £25 an hour. There are also study materials and club memberships to pay for.
There are some flying bursaries available for disabled people and you might be able to apply for them.
Enjoy your flying
Learning to fly is not easy, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It is even harder for deaf people because of the communication barrier. As frustrating as it can be, remember it is frustrating for the instructors too, whom are often volunteers. Learning to fly takes commitment, dedication and persistance. Keep at it and you will get your wings.