Deaf Pilots

I never thought about becoming a pilot nor the challenges that come with it because of communications between pilot and air traffic control. In spite of the barrier, Stephen Hopson passed his oral and flight exams making him the first deaf person to get an instrument rating from the Federal Aviation Administration. He is allowed to flight in low visibility conditions. Here’s another article about him.
In researching this article, I discovered the Deaf Pilots Association, which says somewhere between 100 and 120 deaf people are pilots. It has fly-in every year and its FAQ explains how deaf pilots fly without being able to hear the radio. Gotta be impressed with these folks. I am.


    • Larry on March 12, 2006 at 9:41 pm
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    I got to hear Stephen speak in Oshkosh, Wisconson during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s week long Airventure 2005. His enthusiasm for everything, but especially for flying was great to experience. I too am a pilot, not deaf, but wear hearing aids, and can really appreciate the effort and persistence that Stephen had to put forth to get his instrument rating – no small feat even for someone with normal hearing. I look forward to a time when datalink technology will allow many more deaf pilots to pursue the same dream without the requirement for hearing.

    • Charles Paxson on March 29, 2008 at 8:59 am
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    I am searching for a Deaf Pilot Gregory Lawrence orig. from Ohio for my Grandaughter- HOPE. She is Deaf too & wants to see him again. She lives in Fl now with Grandparents. Not with Mother. Any info is welcome to help reunite these two. Thank You, Charlie

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