July 28, 2009
By Dave Hirschman
Mal Zachary was making a bank deposit when he was shot and suffered a severe spinal injury. Despite paralysis in both legs, he earned a sport pilot certificate two weeks ago. Zachary’s flight training held some perils, too. On a mock checkride with his instructor, the single-engine SkyArrow aircraft they were flying lost power and made a forced landing on a highway near Atlanta, Ga.
“Being in aviation is an extraordinary gift,” airshow performer Mike Goulian said in presenting Zachary’s wings. “I hope you have an amazing career.”
Jeremy Maddox, also of Georgia, soloed after just 11 hours of flight training and earned a sport pilot certificate in 37 hours. “Jeremy uses a wheelchair,” former TV newsman Miles O’Brien said in presenting the Able Flight Wings. “But he’s a pilot.”
Jessica Cox, an Arizona woman born without arms, learned to fly an Ercoupe using only her feet to manipulate the controls. She’s the first pilot with such a physical limitation ever granted an FAA certificate.
Airshow performer and aerobatic champion Patti Wagstaff pinned on Cox’s Able Flight wings. “Aviation is a metaphor for achievement,” Wagstaff said, and commended Cox for achieving a goal that no one had ever reached before.
AOPA's first regional fly-in of 2014 kicks off April 26 in San Marcos, Texas. Here are 10 tips to look forward to the day of the fly-in.
Able Flight, the nonprofit organization that works to provide free flight training to individuals with physical disabilities, announced the awards of a record-setting nine scholarships in 2014.
Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill adding aviation to an existing recreational-use statute.
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