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Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:20 pm
by AnderPsych
Evening all

I was hoping to get some advice on types of aircraft for students. I have what’s called winging scapula, which means I am unable to raise my arms up to face-height without throwing them up there (and then can’t keep them up there). I passed my medical but on the proviso that I could physically control the aircraft.

All was well with feet and arm controls in the Cessna 172, until I had to control the aircraft direction and reach for the radio controls at the same time (I usually have to use one arm to lift the other, but couldn’t take my other hand off the controls).

So my question was on what the best type of aircraft I might be able to learn in that didn’t have cockpit controls too high up? Is there such a thing? I’m guessing a helicopter is out if the question as I think I’ve seen controls above the head.

It gets further complicated that I’m 6’5” tall and have issues with walking and leg weakness, so smaller aircraft or anything that involves climbing will be a no go.

Thanks in advance for any advice. I live in Wiltshire and am willing to travel up to about 50-60 miles. Just hoping to get up in the air in something with 2+ seats!

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:25 pm
by Dave W
Have you spoken with Mike Miller-Smith's team at Aerobility, based at Blackbushe?

If there's a way, I bet they can find it.

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:56 pm
by riverrock
Unfortunately I can't think of a training aircraft which doesn't have a radio on the panel in front of you. However the height within the panel will vary between aircraft. It might be a case of sitting in and trying a number to see if any particular work for you once the lockdown is over.
Note that in more basic PA28s the trim handle is in the ceiling, which sounds like wont work for you.

Aerobility would be a great group to chat things through with

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:56 am
by Paul_Sengupta
riverrock wrote:Note that in more basic PA28s the trim handle is in the ceiling,


Not exactly more basic ones, but the older ones, sort of pre-1974-ish when the Warrior 1 came out, though I think they carried on making the Cherokee 140 until 1977 which seems a little strange to me.

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:52 am
by lobstaboy
Have a word with Fiona Luckhurst at the Shadow Flight Centre. Local to you. She'll know how to get you sorted.
http://www.shadowflightcentre.co.uk/news.php
https://www.fsdp.co.uk/people/fiona-luckhurst/

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:41 am
by Flyin'Dutch'
Aerobility.

Interesting that you got a medical without a medical flight test by the look of things.

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:33 pm
by AnderPsych
Apologies for my brevity; the medical cleared my “other ailments” but the full medical clearance was on the proviso that I passed a physical trial flight (which showed my issue with reaching up to the controls).

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:35 pm
by AnderPsych
Many thanks for all the fast responses; I did look at Aerobility but I think they were a little too far for me. I can speak with them for advice though, thanks.

I’ll also look into the other options mentioned.

Thanks again, all. Really appreciated!

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:00 pm
by Flyin'Dutch'
Dont short change yourself -do speak to them; a 'normal' school will have no experience with people who have any additional physical needs.

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:59 am
by ChrisGazzard
Aerobility do some stuff out of Tattenhill also. Please do get in touch with them, they will do their best to find something that works for you.

Edit: I see you’re Wiltshire so that’s probably even further from you. But it’s worth speaking to them. You might not want to do the journey to the Bushe all the time, but they may be able to make something work from somewhere closer.

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:48 pm
by AnderPsych
Thanks again.

Doing the journey once a week definitely wouldn’t hurt if they could help with an appropriate aircraft config. I’ll get in touch when all this calms down!

Thanks folks!

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:16 am
by Cessna571
I don’t mean to pry, but I presume you are getting help/advice on your ailments.

I had a winging scapula due to an injury to my back, luckily I’m married to a physio and it all works as it should now.

I only ask as I work with a chap who has an ailment which means he cannot lift his arm above head height, yet insists it’s pointless going to see a Physio, as all they’ll do is give you exercises!

I know from my wife’s degree and understanding of anatomy, it’s a bit more than “exercises”!

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:34 pm
by Spooky
Have a word with Airbourne Aviation at Popham. I seem to remember seeing a student there who was training in an adapted C42 (he had one arm).

Re: Flying lessons with limited arm movement (disabled)

PostPosted:Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:54 pm
by PeteSpencer
I'm sure either of those organisations will find a way:

Talk to them first.

Without wishing to sound trite in anyway there is a lady in USA who is a licensed pilot with no arms
Google Jessica Cox.

Good luck and please post your progress.

Peter :thumright: