When a door rigged with explosives in Iraq cost Sgt. Adam Kisielewski his left arm at the shoulder and his right leg below the knee, becoming a pilot wasn’t even a dream.
Becoming a pilot is a metaphor for life: Getting your pilot certificate is a challenge, and conquering that challenge can give you the confidence to tackle other life obstacles.
Charles Stites, executive director of Able Flight, a not-for-profit organization that makes flight and aviation career training possible for disabled people, knows this only too well. On opening day of SUN ’n FUN, he noted that it would never happen without the support of businesses such as Tempest Plus Marketing Group out of Gibsonville, N.C. [Read more…]
This year’s class includes two pilots who are quadriplegics, one who is a paraplegic, one who has a spinal condition and two who have lost one or more limbs. Two of the new pilots are wounded veterans and another is a veteran who was disabled while in service.
It’s a record setting year for Able Flight with nine new scholarships awarded to date. Six of the recipients will soon begin their training at Purdue University’s Department of Aviation Technology, one has completed a career training course, and two others are upgrading their pilot certificates.
Women with physical disabilities are encouraged to apply for full-ride flight training scholarships from Able Flight.
According to organizers, it’ll be a night of great music, great food and all for a great cause when friends, aviation celebrities and sponsors celebrate the successes of Able Flight pilots on May 30 at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
Able Flight has received a $45,000 grant from the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The grant will expand Able Flight’s ability to provide flight training and aviation career training scholarships to injured service members.