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First Deaf Flight Instructor

Posted By:
Gregory Lawrence
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
31
Posts
12
#1 Posted: 11/12/2009 08:54:27

You know that feeling when you are in position, holding the breaks and starting to push the throttles forward?  ANTICIPATION!!!  You know that your are going to be airborne and "free of the surly bonds of earth" very soon.  That is where I'm at right now.  I have submitted Project Proposals to several LSA manufactures and distributors for The First Deaf Flight Instructor project.  We are going to visit Deaf Schools and Deaf clubs across the country demonstrating the possibility to fly.  Hearing people are going to see that possibility also.  Old people like me will also see the possibility to transition to LSA from type certificate aircraft.

I just responded to a personal message here about working as a line boy and fueling airlines in the '60s.  I found myself saying "It's the best job I've ever had" and knowing that it is true.  I've had a career in accounting and auditing but line boy was the best job I've ever had.  First Deaf Flight Instructor will be the new best job I've ever had.  At this point in the project we need almost everything.  Let me know if you want to help.



Files Attachment(s):
DeafInstructor(1).pdf (208050 bytes)
Deafhawk
David King
63
Posts
54
#2 Posted: 11/12/2009 11:49:44 Modified: 11/12/2009 11:55:13

Greg,

There is a Deaf pilots association. there have been Deaf pilots around for decades. There are no reasons you cannot fly without your hearing. You are just restricted to staying at uncontrolled airports, although there are ways around that too. Calling out positions while at an uncontrolled airport is a courtesy, but not required.

Since Deaf individuals are not distracted by all the other noises, and other unnecessary BS they make for good pilots. The insurance industry recognized this a long time ago with drivers, and insurance rates are lower for deaf individuals. Think about it, no stereo, no cell phones or other distractions. But now texting is starting to become a problem, but that is with everybody.

Here is there website.

http://www.deafpilots.com/

Also try their facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=226890725000&ref=search&sid=1010014885.21093898..1&v=wall

 



Thom Riddle
6
Posts
3
#3 Posted: 11/12/2009 19:38:42

Deafhawk,

Are you stating that you are or will be the first deaf flight instructor or first flight instructor for the Deaf or maybe some other meaning? Perhaps I've misunderstood you in this regard. In any case I received my CFI-SP Airplane certificate on Jul 19, 2008 and I'm 100% deaf in both ears. BUT I have cochlear implants in both ears which enables me to communicate well enough with hearing pilots. BTW, I do not sign and am not a part of the Deaf community. Good luck with your ambitious plan.

Thom Riddle

Buffalo, NY



Rose Dorcey
Homebuilder or Craftsman
19
Posts
5
#4 Posted: 11/12/2009 19:47:10

Great to hear of your project, Gregory. This is significant to me because one of the most inspiring pilots I've met is Jean Hauser, who is known as the first deaf pilot in Wisconsin. She learned to fly in the 1960s, purchased an aircraft, and flew from Wisconsin to places all over the country. Jean logged nearly 1400 hours in her flying career. Jean no longer flies, but she's active with the DPA, and continues to inspire both young and old today. She is an absolute joy to meet and talk with (though sadly, I don't know sign language and must communicate through hand-written notes and emails). I hope your paths will cross.

Jean was fortunate to meet instructor Ed Emanuel, who knew sign language, and Emanuel said that Jean was one of the "easist sutdents he had ever instructed." Certainly your accomplishments will inspire many to get into the air, especially the non-hearing who may not have thought it possible. My best wishes to you on this project.

Rose

You can learn more about Jean at these two links:

http://www.deafpilots.com/index.php/home/22-newsfall2009

 http://www.aviationhalloffamewisconsin.com/inductees/hauser.htm



Gregory Lawrence
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
31
Posts
12
#5 Posted: 11/12/2009 20:41:17

Hello again Thom,

Deaf with a capital "D" means culturally Deaf - participating in the community, using the language sharing beliefs and values.  It really has nothing to do with audio acuity.  When Deaf people communicate with each other, we naturally go to a deep version of ASL that people who are not Deaf just can't understand. I can only guess that hearing people sometimes communicate on that deep level also.  Up to now, that level of communication has not been available to Deaf in flight instruction.  An other thing is that when a person looses their hearing before they develop language (prelingual deaf) their brain develops differently - we think in pictures, spatially and use mostly the right hemisphere.  (It makes for excellent situational awareness and navigation.)  It is great to know that you achieved your CFI-SP.  Did you have to jump through any special hoops?

The Deaf Pilots Association says nothing about Sport Pilot.  One of the objectives of this program is to bring EAA, AOPA, Able Flight and DPA together along with NAD, the many Deaf Schools and local Deaf Clubs.  Hope you come to Rochester when we get to NTID.



Deafhawk
Joanne Heckmann
Homebuilder or Craftsman
4
Posts
1
#6 Posted: 11/13/2009 08:20:46

Greg,

There was a situation I experienced several years ago with a deaf student in the pattern at an uncontrolled field.  I was not aware that the pilot was a student, was deaf, or that an instructor was aboard until after the flight.

This student was making calls but did not respond to any calls.  He seemed to be speaking with a heavy accent.  It was very difficult to understand what he was saying, and what he was doing was not matching up to what would be expected based on what could be heard.  The instructor said nothing on frequency. 

In my opinion, it is misleading for any pilot to make calls when they cannot hear calls and do not intend to respond.  I did contact the DPA and was faced with a "we can do no wrong" attitude and seemingly no regard for the hearing pilots around them.

I would be interested in your comments.

Joanne

 

 



David King
63
Posts
54
#7 Posted: 11/13/2009 13:24:53

 It is the responsibility of all pilots to observe for traffic. It sounds like they were trying to be respectful, but maybe they should have just said nothing? Radios use is not required. 

Airports (and airspace) can be of two kinds: controlled or uncontrolled. Pilots operating at controlled airports or in controlled airspace are required to be in radio contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC). At uncontrolled airports, however, pilots are only encouraged, but not required, to use their radio to directly advise other pilots in the area of their positions and intentions. Thus, deaf pilots are able to fly into and out of uncontrolled airports without using the radio. (Uncontrolled airports are also called non-towered airports.)



David King
63
Posts
54
#8 Posted: 11/13/2009 13:39:43

Someone needs to work on these edit buttons, or why can we not delete our own posts? I wanted to add.

 Radio use is not required. There are many low traffic uncontrolled airfields around the country, and I frequently observe little radio use with no problems. Ever try to understand someone in an open cockpit ultralight talking? Sometimes people abuse their radios with overuse, talking to friends, or just to hear themselves talk.

 

 

 



Gregory Lawrence
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
31
Posts
12
#9 Posted: 11/13/2009 18:11:02

Joanne,

I cannot fly to Ft. Pierce Florida.  The ATC radio equipment there is so bad and the quality of the sound so bad that nobody can understand what the controllers say.  Everybody is saying "say again please" several times during their approach. I have been flying for 44 years and never had an incident where I didn't hear something important that a controller said.  However, I have a SODA and if I say "say again please" too many times there will be trouble.  So, I just have to stay away from Ft. Pierce Florida, it isn't hard to do.

There were two people in that aircraft, one hearing and one Deaf.  Did you contact the Insensitive Instructors Association about the incident?  If you hand a microphone to a Deaf person they will probably try to speak into it because every day all day insensitive people are expecting them to act like hearing people.  You wouldn't walk up to a paraplegic and assume that he was going to stand up and great you.  Yet people who know that I am Deaf repeatedly walk up to me and start flapping their lips expecting me to read lips.  I hope the Deaf person never found out about your issue.  Imagine how he/she would feel.

Thank you Joanne for pointing out the need for Deaf Instructors and for the need to raise awareness.  I apologize if it seems that I am being hard on you.  Please understand that I am the son of a Marine Drill Instructor and my threshold for "bawling out" is higher than some people's.  I'm trying to be kind and I haven't use the "f" word once - yet.  It is frightening to me to see how dependant new pilots are on radio communications at uncontrolled airports.  The system of traffic patterns and standard altitudes has worked well for over 80 years and was not designed to depend upon radio communication.  The fact that radio communication was an issue at an uncontrolled airport is a big problem. 

About 10 years ago my voltage regulator died over Alabama some place on my way to Ormand Beach Florida.  By the time I got to Ormand Beach, an uncontrolled airport with a couple big flight schools the battery was so low that I could not transmit only receive.  I ascertained the active runway, enter the pattern on a 45, sequenced myself in a swarm of 150s and landed.  It wasn't as stressful as flying into AirVenture or Sun-n-Fun.  A whole pack of people came running across the ramp to bawl me out for not using the radio.  I used the "f" word in sign language, told them how stupid they were in sign language and walked away to get my rental car.  I voiced very well at the rental car counter.  All those students that didn't know what to do in the pattern with someone not communicating on the radio is a big problem. The people instructing those studends to depend upon the radio instead of watch for traffic is a bigger problem.



Deafhawk
Kevin Willis
2
Posts
3
#10 Posted: 11/22/2009 04:35:41 Modified: 11/22/2009 04:53:32

I agree with Greg. My feeling is that the aviation community often has this whole "see and avoid" concept and the role radio communication plays in aiding the pilots in meeting that responsibility - backwards. If you will...it seems what they tend to do is more of "hear and avoid" rather than "see and avoid".

Using radios if you can help it is great. It's just that I have been frustrated with pilots seeming to neglect what is supposed to be their #1 traffic collision avoidance system - their eyes. As if "See and Avoid," "VISUAL Flight Rules," "Clearing turns" before a descent or manuever, and conducting a visual traffic pattern check before overtaking a runway did not offer any basic and fundamental clue as to why we must do these things.


Joanne, about what you said in reference to the DPA's seeming indifference to hearing pilots around us, let me tell you...I have lost count the number of times I had to go around because another pilot cut me off on base-to-final, and an aircraft overtook the runway while I was on final without doing a visual pattern check. Several of those cuts from base-to-final was without question, blatant and intentional.

What's worse, just early this year just after I landed doing take off and landings in the pattern, a pilot (that landed after me) rudely cut me off  on the taxiway back, did a 90 degree in front and stopped, just to block me from getting back on the runway because I wasn't using the radio. He angrily pointed his finger at me, then the headset, and gave me a huge thumbs down. All I could do was shrug and tell him "sorry, I can't hear."

So, after he and (later) I shut down, I met him at the airport restaraunt and it appears he didn't realize I was deaf, and seemed to be barely apologetic about it. Your complaint about the DPA's "we can do no wrong" attitude and seemingly no regard for other hearing pilots around us has me chuckling pretty good. It's the proverbial "mote" and "plank" in the eye.

It will not matter if we flew the pattern as published in the AF/D, at the TPA, with the strobe lights and landing lights on even in day and CAVU conditions (which is what a lot of us do). Even if there are NO aircraft within 25 miles of the airport, there will ALWAYS be that one angry pilot on the ground to grill you for not using the radios.

I think we give a great deal more consideration into thinking of the hearing pilots around us than you give us credit for. For example, you seem quick to forget the effort made by that deaf student pilot to communicate on the frequency that day - even though it appears his speech was difficult to understand. I don't use the radio at all. It's just incredible to wonder how differently you would have responded had you NOT known after your flight, that the pilot "was deaf."

 



David King
63
Posts
54
#11 Posted: 11/22/2009 23:19:42

I need to agree in a point with Kevin and some others. Flying into uncontrolled airports I have had pilots thinking they were some kind of  junior captain on a 737.

 Without following protocol or common sense they make calls, and just land without looking outside the window. Maybe student pilots, or just building time to move up, they  think they were above general aviation pilots. Flying GA should be fun, not having to worry about a bunch of wannabe commercial pilots thinking they are above us.



Joanne Heckmann
Homebuilder or Craftsman
4
Posts
1
#12 Posted: 2/5/2010 16:08:01 Modified: 2/5/2010 16:10:18

 Interesting replies.

It seems that my comments were misinterpreted.  I did not mean to imply that radio use is required at uncontrolled airports, or that we don't need to see-and-avoid at all times, or that transmissions should always be clear and perfect, or that I was somehow attacking a deaf student pilot's right to be in the air.

Just to be clear - I see this as an opportunity to communicate with the deaf pilot community.  I may be a bit brave here asking a politically incorrect question.  It is not mean spirited.

The issue here is not "dependence" on radio communications, or a lack of see-and-avoid.  Look back at my post.  I said:  "In my opinion, it is misleading for any pilot to make calls when they cannot hear calls and do not intend to respond."  This is the point I would like Greg, in his unique position as a deaf instructor candidate, to comment on.  

I think it would have been better if no calls had been made, as David suggested.