Blind Advanced Ground School Instructor and Instrument

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by N9GMR, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    I have been interested in flying since I was 10. I went to Alaska to visit a friend, and she married a pilot. My friend was my nursery school teacher, and we've been friends eversince. After I met my friend, who's name is Barbara, my dad was transferred to Maryland, because he was in the army. Between that time and the the visit to Alaska, Barbara married a pilot, who's name is Phil. My first meeting with Phil was a flight in his Cessna 170. He allowed me to listen to ATC communication and explain what was happening. Aviation was in my blood!
    The first thing I learned was pay attention to eaverything when flying. He asked me what the ATIS information was, and i didn't know the answer. I was also shown a transister aircraft radio, which I decided I wanted.
    The next year, I visited Alaska again, and when I left that radio was in my hand. Every time Phil and I went flying I prepared for the flight the best I could. I'd check the ATIS, and listen to the tower so I knew how busy the airport was at that particular time. I also asked questions about what I heard on the radio.
    I was glued to that radio, and every waking moment I listened to ATC. I lost interest because I was not able to go frlyin where I was living at that time. When I visited Phil and Barbara, I would once again constantly be listening to ATC at their house. It was difficult for me to stay interested because rides in airplanes were difficult to get where I lived in Maryland.
    Later I moved to Florida. Again, staying interested in aviation is difficult because finding people who will let me fly with them is difficult. I've been told most private pilots don't want to fly into where i live, Daytona Beach, because it is Class C. This area is very busy, because we have a lot of flight schools.
    I'm a member of the International Cessna 170 Association, and serve on the board of directors.
    Recently I was encouraged to get the Advanced Ground School Instructor, and Instrument certificates. I wondered if i could do it because I can't see. After asking questions, and doing research, I determined all I have to do is study and pass the tests. Also, if someone can teach ground school without any flying experience, why couldn't I with the knowledge I have? NO medical certificate is required so my lack of vision should not be an issue.
    There's a lot about aviation I don't know, and that's why I'm on this forum. I figure as I am studying and have questions I can ask here.
    IF flying opportunities come, thaht's great, but I don't expect that, nor will I recruit this.
     
  2. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    Welcome! Best of luck! I hope you don't lose interest again, your story is incredible!
     
  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I wish you well. Some of the best (ground) instructors are the worst pilots I know.
     
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  4. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    I have a lot more things keeping me involved in aviation than just ATC. That's a big part of it!
    I have several Youtube channels I follow. I also participate in the Breaking the Chain Zoom calls.
    As time goes on, I'll find other things to help me keep the interest alive.
    Communicating with pilots will help a lot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
  5. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

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    Welcome from Texas!
     
  6. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Interesting. Any pointers for those who make youtube videos?
     
  7. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    I'm a little bit confused. I assume you are 'legally' blind but that you must have some level of vision, as your typing ability is pretty good, plus you purport to watch Youtube videos. And you are replying to posts.
     
  8. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    No music at all while the content of the video is being presented. Give as much verbal description as possible.
    I hope to go flying with someone, and record it. My goal is to post it on my Youtube channel. I'm going to have the pilot go over all the checklists, and give the folks who are blind as much information as possible. Otherwise, I'd have to get it audio described. I can post a sample of a Youtube video which has description if folks are interested.
     
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  9. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    I’d be interested.

    also might be able to take you for a flight some day. I’m over in the Tampa area.
     
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  10. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    I have no vision at all. Blind people use the words "look, see, watch" just like everyone else. It would sound strange if I Sid "I listen to Youtube videos."
    I'm using a computer that has a program called a screen reader. This takes text that appears on the screen and reads it to me through synthesized speech. The sound card is used for this purpose.
    I'm currently using a Mac, which has a screen reader called VoiceOver. There are similar programs for the PC.
    The AppleTV and iPad also have the same capability as the smart phones.
    Smart phones have the same capability. On the iPhone it is called VoiceOver, and on Android it is called TalkBack.
     
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  11. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    I bet you could do it if you set your mind to it. I also am a 170 club member. If you are ever near Bryan, Texas I would be happy to take you for a flight in the best model aircraft ever made.
     
  12. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Can you explain the allure of flight as a blind person? I don’t think I’m alone in not understanding. I think for most of us the attraction is mostly a visual one. Other than visual, it’s loud, cramped, often hot or cold, expensive, and often smelly.
     
  13. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    Mark,

    IT's interesting you mention Texas. I'm there at least once a year. Not this year because of the virus.
    I try to attend the 170 events whenever I can in Texas.
    My home base when I'm there is Dallas.
    I believe there will be a 170 event in the spring. If I can work out the details, I'll attend. IF this happens, I'll contact you.
    The issue for me is flying commercial from Daytona to Bryan is very expensive. To get around this, I have to fly into a large city. My choices are Dallas or Houston.
     
  14. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    This is. a difficult question to answer. It's an experience I enjoyed, and like it each time I fly. I feel the aircraft go up and down, when ascending or descending. You can feel when the aircraft is turning. I have manipulated the controls, and have gone through these things. I know when an airplane takes off, it ascends at an angle. This is the same when landing.
    To some people, aviation might be what you describe, but for me it is something I've enjoyed and is in my blood!
    I like listening to ATC. My rule is when the radio talks, you don't. That's one of the first things I learned in addition to paying attention to the ATIS.
    The pilots who let me fly with them include me in the process. Most of them go through the checklists with me verbally so I know what's involved in flying. I"ve gone through the startup and shutdown procedures in a Cessna 170. I'd like to experience it in other aircraft.
    One friend has me talk on the radio when I fly with him. HE has to set the frequency for me, but after that, I can handle the communications.
    I flew with one pilot who I was going to let handle the radio stuff. The reason was when I transmitted there was an awful sound in my headset. AT one point, the controller called with a traffic advisory. I heard and responded. The pilot said, "You've got the radio." Somehow the sound disappeared from my headset.
    All my experience is in airplanes. I hope one day to get a ride in a helicopter. The problem there is I don't want to pay for this. I'd rather find a pilot who can fly as a private pilot. This way, I can have that person go through the checklists, and answer all my questions. This would allow me to feel the controls, and follow along if the pilot is comfortable with that.
     
  15. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Thanks for trying, I know it was a difficult question to answer.

    Are you aware that many of the sensory clues that you are getting while flying are false? For example, if a turn is properly coordinated, you won't feel any sense of turning at all. You may feel the sunlight through the window moving, but your body and inner ear won't feel a thing. You're still experiencing 1 G straight down, just as if you were sitting still on the ground. There are many other false clues, such as the feeling of pitching up when you accelerate. Most likely you felt this illusion when taking off, rather than actually feeling the pitch up motion. There's a pretty good description of many of these false indicators at this site, if you want to really drive yourself nuts. https://www.flightsafetyaustralia.com/2014/03/dont-believe-your-ears/

    I hope this doesn't reduce your enthusiasm about flying, hopefully it gives you more to think about. The topic is important especially if you are going to do ground school.
     
  16. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Here's an interesting thought. I bet a blind person could fly a plane better with instruments than a sighted person. If you could design instruments to give the needed information. Spatial disorientation would be probably easier for a blind person to deal with. I'm not imaginative enough to come up with a way to provide the pilot with the info, but somebody smarter than me should do it. :)
     
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  17. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I would think the biggest hurdle to overcome is presenting the large amount of visual data normally used in ground schools. There may be ways to do it, but you’re going to have to either build the ground school from scratch to fit the method or completely revamp what a school is already using.

    On the other hand, a niche position like teaching ATC phraseology to foreign students might be right up your alley.

    Welcome to POA, good luck, and keep us informed of your progress!
     
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  18. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Your contribution to students simply learning and getting good at ATC communication alone would be a huge benefit. How to listen, internalize, how to properly respond, how to keep up, etc.
     
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  19. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    One of my colleagues is an aviation safety analyst. He completely lost his vision following an aircraft accident 22 years ago. His story is inspiring. While he can no longer exercise his pilot privileges, he does hold a ground instructor certificate (advanced and instrument) that he obtained after the accident. He's also got his PhD from Embry Riddle along the way. What you propose to do is certainly possible.

    https://www.gleimaviation.com/2018/01/12/barry-hyde-pursuit-against-pilot-negligence/
     
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  20. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Somewhere in the back issues of Aopa Pilot is Barry Schiff trying to teach blind comedian Tom Sullivan to fly. Sullivan had already mastered driving (to a certain extent) and golf.
     
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  21. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    I don't think I'll need to change anything. As long as I know the material, I can teach. If there are visual elements, I'll enlist the help of my students, or I can use a service called Aira for this.
    The way I'm studying now is I downloaded the Aviation Instructor's Handbook from the FAA website, and converted it to text. I read the text using Text Edit on the Mac. For the pictures, I have Aira describe them to me, and I record the descriptions. This is for the Fundamentals of Instruction test.
    For the AGI, I have the Dauntless Test Preparation Software. Accessing some parts of it is a challenge, but I'm able to use it. The software has an audio element, where the questions and correct answer is read. I can read the explanations, and understand why the answer is correct.
    I'll probably have to download other books and repeat the same process with them.
     
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  22. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    I think I know this individual! The name is familiar. He probably won't remember me, but we got our guide dogs from the same school. I think I may have seen him at local guide dog events in Daytona when he was here.
     
  23. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Sounds like an attempt at the perfect flight crew...a pilot to feed the dog, and the dog to bite the pilot if he tries to touch anything in the cockpit! :D
     
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  24. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Come to the DFW area and I can take you up for a flight out of McKinney TX. Just let me know. It won't be the great 170 but a much less smelly Piper Cherokee
     
  25. N9GMR

    N9GMR Filing Flight Plan

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    That's if I can get there. As far as I know, that's out of public transit range. When I am in the DFW area, my transportation options are DART, TRE, or DCTA.
    I could use Uber or Lyft on occasion, as long as it's not a long distance.
    When I am in Dallas, I stay out by Love Field. The reason is the DART bus stop is right across the street. I can go to the local light rail station, and take the train anywhere I want.
    I have not looked at all the airports in the DFW area, to figure out where it would be best to meet people, but I know Executive is an option.
    People have told me the best way to network with pilots is to hang out at an airport. IN the DFW area, which airports would allow me to do this?
     
  26. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm fairly new to GA myself, but I'd say good GA going at McKinney (KTKI), Denton (KDTO), Addison (KADS), Mesquite (KHQZ), Hicks (T67) and Northwest Rgnl (52F), among others. Uber/Lyft will be the best approach. Most airports are within 20-45 miles approximately from Love Field.