Freedom in the Air (FITA), in partnership with Phab, is proud to announce a Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) scholarship to be awarded in 2014. Generous Funding for this joint programme has been provided by The Florian Charitable Trust. The aim is to support a young disabled person to realise their full potential through the pleasure and thrill of flying.
The funding will be used to pay for 45 hours of dual flight instruction; 100 hours ground school, written exams, and accommodation. The scholarship will take place at FITA’s newly purpose built accessible aeroplane production facility at Birchwood in Yorkshire which also boasts residential accommodation. FITA has partnered with Modifly to create Birchwood.
Kathy Hancock, who experienced her first flying lesson during a Freedom Wings day, said: “You leave the wheelchair on the ground and you just carry on…no restrictions, wow, its freedom!”
The unique aspect to Birchwood is that it has been designed and built applying concepts of Universal design so both able bodied and disabled people can work alongside each other and benefit from the set up. From making adapted aeroplanes to flying them.
Rebecca Hargreaves, National Projects Manager, Phab commented: “This is a very exciting opportunity for our Phab members. I have seen at first-hand what a difference flying can make to a person’s confidence and this scholarship will not only enable someone to gain an amazing practical skill but also challenge limitations and give them a fantastic sense of achievement.”
FITA founder Gautam Lewis, who uses crutches after contracting polio as a child in India, wants to show people disability is not a barrier to achievement.
He said: “Flying aeroplanes is unique because not everyone gets the chance to. The multi faceted disciplines that are learnt through pilot training requires a lot of mental strength. You are free, you are liberated from disability.
“It’s trying to show what we can do regardless of disability.”
FITA is committed to opening horizons for people with disabilities so that they can fly higher socially, physically and professionally.
For more information visit www.freedomintheair.org. You can also search for freedomintheair on Facebook or follow @lettalentfly on Twitter