Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hand control system helps disabled pilots learn to fly

General Aviation News has a wonderful story about how Flight Design, a German LSA maker, is helping disabled pilots learn to fly. Specifically, Flight Design and its Colorado dealer Peak Aviation supplied a CTLS equipped with a Flight Design hand control system to Able Flight, an organization dedicated to helping disabled people learn how to fly, and Purdue University’s Department of Aviation Technology’s special program to teach disabled students how to fly and earn a sport pilot certificate.
Modifying the aircraft in order for it to be used by someone who is disabled was not that difficult as the article pointed out: 
The CTLS brake is normally positioned in the center console where its operation requires the same hand as used on the special rudder control. Peak Aviation’s mechanic installed the hand controls in the CTLS. The task involved installing a hand-control rudder lever and a shortened throttle lever as well as moving a new hand brake control to the joystick. 
It was also noted that the hand control system, which is basically a set of parts along with instructions for retrofitting an aircraft, have finished testing and are already in production. The complete hand control system retails for around $4,000.
To learn more about the Able Flight / Purdue program, check out Able Flight’s website where you will also have the opportunity to donate to a very worth aviation cause. 

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