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a question for real life pilots

Nero89 Guest

As the end of my schooling fast approaches, its got me thinking about what i would like to do after i leave school. I have come to the conclusion that I would really like to become a commercial pilot. One problem...

I have a disability which affects my walking capabilities and puts me in a wheelchair for any walking distance longer than around home. For example, when i go on planes i push my chair to the door of the plane then walk to my seat while my chair is taken down to be loaded on.

If i were a pilot, seated in the cockpit of the plane i would be like any other pilot even with regard to the use of rudder pedals (i drive a car with my feet). All other functions of the body necessary for flying: sight, hearing, arm movement etc are all unaffected by the disability.

Would an airline not give me a job on the grounds that these conditions may create inconvenience or lack of ability ; would they just discriminate and not give me the job just because im disabled?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

I think your best bet is to email or write to either the FAA (if you're in America) or the CAA if you're in the UK. They'll be able to advise you on what impact your disability might have.

Good luck! Wink

Pro Member Chief Captain
Karlw Chief Captain

Im not a pilot nor have i had any training but i think you may be able to become a commercial pilot

Good luck Cheers!

Jamie4590 Guest

As said your best bet is to contact the FAA/CAA. If you can drive a car in theory you can be a pilot so I don't see any issues and corporations cannot dismiss an applicant for a job because they have a disability provided the ability doesn't prevent you from doing the job well. There are laws designed to protect disabled job candidates and companies respect these laws not only because of the modern age we live in but because they have to and are heavily fined and recieve bad publicity when they don't. If your disability doesn't affect your ability to be a good pilot and you work hard at it you'll realise your dream. Good luck!

Pro Member Chief Captain
hinch Chief Captain

i'm sure you could make a pilot in most circumstances, but in perhaps a hydro failure would you be able to repeatedly use now very heavy pedals? it might be the one thing they quiz you on Sad

or..fly an airbus Very Happy

Nero89 Guest

good question hinch, im not sure about that one. Umm... Umm...

and by the way im Australian. thanks for the help.

dvorak Guest

I am a real world pilot, I fly the 737-700 for a passenger airline. I'm not 100% sure about whether or not you would be allowed to pilot a commercial aircraft, like the above posters said, the FAA would be good people to contact

If you can walk around the house and drive the car, then I dont see any problem with using the rudder pedals and side braking, but you may be rejected on the grounds of safety, as in evacuating the aircraft instructions etc, but still not 100% sure

It might differ from airline to airline, I know the airline I fly for is quite strict with pilot health and safety, but some others mightnt be so

Let us know how you get on!!

spuddi Guest

Although the disability laws protect you from being discrimanted against, a company can still chose not select you if they feel that the disability will stop you from performing all actions that the job entails, if they cannot be resonably overcome. Especially where saftey of others is concerned.

It sound like from your sypmtoms you would have no problems performing the actual job of flying the plane from A to B. However there are many other aspects of the job apart from the sitting in the seat flying, and you might find that it is these actions that will cause you the most problems for an airline postion.

To be truthful you the chances of you being recruited by an airline are very close to NIL.

However there is still hope for a career as a pilot in other fields.
Check out the website http://www.wheelchairaviators.org.
who are based in the US. Theres is an organization more specific to people who are permenantly wheelchairbound, which i know isn't the case for you but they may be able to advise.

there is always the PPL as well, so there is no reason why you cannot be up in the air

Good luck, and if you prove me wrong about the airline job then I will be very happy for you.

Nero89 Guest

thanks again and ill post later on down the road of life when it becomes clearer whether or not i get the job.

Jamie4590 Guest

You're lucky to have age on your side. Wish I still did! Very Happy

CtlrAltDlt Guest

Even if you can't get into the airlines, by all means go for the pilot's license. I'm not a pilot yet, but i have started a KingSchools course and I aim to be a pilot. I was originally wanting to become an airline pilot, but certain factors probably exclude me from that kind of a job. I think I'll be a missionary bush pilot instead. But you should be able to do small aircraft just fine. You'll probably have some sort of a limitation on your license, not sure what, but I think it definately is possible to get your wings. I say Go for it!

Pro Member First Officer
CaptDennison First Officer

Nero89 wrote:

As the end of my schooling fast approaches, its got me thinking about what i would like to do after i leave school. I have come to the conclusion that I would really like to become a commercial pilot. One problem...

I have a disability which affects my walking capabilities and puts me in a wheelchair for any walking distance longer than around home. For example, when i go on planes i push my chair to the door of the plane then walk to my seat while my chair is taken down to be loaded on.

If i were a pilot, seated in the cockpit of the plane i would be like any other pilot even with regard to the use of rudder pedals (i drive a car with my feet). All other functions of the body necessary for flying: sight, hearing, arm movement etc are all unaffected by the disability.

Would an airline not give me a job on the grounds that these conditions may create inconvenience or lack of ability ; would they just discriminate and not give me the job just because im disabled?

You can definatly get a liscence to fly, You can get any rating/class you have money for, but No Airline will hire you-EVER!

If you LIE about the wheelchair, you could probably get in with a small freight company flying light twins, but noeer ever show up with a wheel chair.

You must be able to prove you are physically capable of enty/exit/passenger safety, and being able to properly handle any emegancy situations in the same manner as ANY OTHER pilot.

Remeber, you will need to do a lot of leg work in and around the airport, and EVEN if hired by a small cargo company-you as PIC will need to be able to manouver the load by hand if needed for weight and balance.

Capt. Dennison

dvorak Guest

Yea, capt. dennison is right, safety is a major concern, alot relies on a pilot when flying an aircraft, you may have 150 passengers or more on board

When you train to be a pilot, for a commercial airline, like I did a few years ago, you not just learn how to fly a plane, thats the easy bit, there are so much more things you have to learn, and also you have to know how to evacuate you and all the passengers out of the aircraft, you must assist in emergencies, which may be a problem, depending on the scope of your disability

Though you should be able to still get a private piltos license and join a flying club, which will allow you to fly small aircraft, such as a Cessna 172, 177 etc

Anyway, just because you cant fly for an airline doesnt rule out aviation from your future.

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