Quadriplegic Becomes Licensed Pilot

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Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via AbleFlight
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

AbleFlight is an organization created by pilots that provide scholarships to people with disabilities who have the desire to learn how to fly an airplane. The mission of AbleFlight is to “offer people with disabilities a unique way to challenge themselves through flight and aviation career training, and by doing so, to gain greater self-confidence and self-reliance.”

John Robinson, a quadriplegic, was a recipient of a scholarship with AbleFlight. He became a licensed pilot in 2015. He shares his story and experiences as he first learned how to fly a plane.

John is a Navy veteran. He became a C7 quadriplegic when he was involved in an automobile accident. John says that one of the hardest parts of his accident was having to live in his mother’s dining room after coming home from rehab because he could not physically care for himself at the time. While in rehab, John was motivated by people’s dedication to help others. John became a special education teacher to give back to others in his own way.

“You got to be serious about (flying), but it’s worth it. Every doubt that goes through your mind you just gotta push through it and it will work out!”

“As far as AbleFlight, I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t know how tough it was going to be,” says John. He continues to say that anyone can potentially fly a plane, but to be a good pilot is a whole other level. John went on his first solo flight later in the day when the atmosphere was “nice, calm and clear.” The traffic pattern was empty because of the time of day. John refers to it as “his time” and says it was great! Although, he does admit that his first solo flight was a little shaky due to his nerves, but states he got better and better the more time he spent in the air by himself.

Do you have an adrenaline-inducing hobby like flying airplanes? Share your story with us at AbleThrive.com!

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