Getting certification if deaf

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Fred Doolie, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Fred Doolie

    Fred Doolie Filing Flight Plan

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    I have come across some seemingly conflicting statements as I search around the web:


    1) Deaf people can obtain a Private Pilot rating or even higher.
    2) IFR certification is required for Private Pilot and higher.
    3) Deaf people are not allowed to fly IFR.

    If #2 and 3 are both true, how can can they be reconciled?
    What does reading instruemnts have to do with being able to hear?
    ty
     
  2. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Pre-Flight

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    Generally speaking, going to the source is always better than getting random input from internet experts. This is the FAA's opinion on the matter:

    https://www.faa.gov/pilots/become/deaf_pilot/certification/

    "
    Deaf Pilot Frequently Asked Questions
    Certification

    [​IMG]
    • [​IMG]

    Are there limitations placed on a deaf pilot's certificate?
    Yes. A deaf pilot's certificate will include the limitation, "Not Valid for Flights Requiring the Use of Radio" (14 CFR section 61.13).

    If I am deaf, can I obtain a pilot certificate?
    Yes, an individual who is deaf can obtain a pilot certificate in one of the five categories of aircraft: airplane, rotorcraft, glider, powered-lift, or lighter-than-air.

    What are the differences in the certificates?
    A student pilot certificate is designed for the initial instructional period of flying. The student pilot is limited to flying with the flight instructor or solo after appropriate instructor endorsements (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) sections 61.87 and 61.89). A recreational pilot certificate limits the holder to specific categories and classes of aircraft, the number of passengers which may be carried, the distance that may be flown from the departure point, flight into controlled airports, and other limitations (14 CFR section 61.101). A private pilot certificate permits the pilot to carry passengers and provides for limited business use of an airplane (14 CFR section 61.113). A commercial pilot certificate permits the pilot to conduct certain types of operations for compensation and hire (14 CFR section 61.133).

    What are the grades of pilot certificates?
    There are five grades of pilot certificates that are available: student pilot, recreational pilot, private pilot, commercial pilot, and airline transport pilot.

    What types of certificates can a deaf pilot obtain?
    A deaf pilot can obtain a student pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, private pilot certificate, and, on a limited basis, a commercial pilot certificate; for example, agricultural aircraft operations, banner towing operations, or any operation which does not require radio communication. With new interface technology for incockpit receipt of weather information and digital communication, additional pilot certificates may be available to deaf pilots in the future.

    Page last modified: March 20, 2013 7:46:15 AM EDT"

    ------

    Take all of what follows as the above mentioned random internet input but it might help give you an idea what you could do with a pilot license with a no radio communication limitation.

    Assuming you are not a pilot, the statement "Not Valid for Flights Requiring the Use of Radio" might need some discussion and clarification.

    Two way radio communication is required in class A, B, C and D airspace. It is not required in Class E or Class G airspace.

    Out west, Class G airspace is fairly common from the surface to 14,500' mean sea level (MSL) except where there is other airspace above it. In the eastern US, there's very little Class G airspace above 1200 ft above the ground level (AGL), as above that is almost always some form of other airspace. However, you can still have a lot of fun in a light sport aircraft, or in a champ or cub type aircraft and never get above 1200' AGL. There is no requirement to have radio communication with anyone in Class G airspace.

    I recommend you get a sectional chart for the area where you live/intend to fly and see what airspace you have in your area. On a sectional chart you'll see airspace marked with fuzzy blue and fuzzy magenta lines, as well as dashed and solid blue and magenta lines, and you'll see floor and ceiling altitudes in altitude MSL.

    Class G airspace goes from the surface to the floor of any overlying controlled airspace, or if there is no other overlying airspace, to14,500' MSL.

    The airspace from 14,500' MSL to 18,000' MSL ft is Class E airspace in the 48 contiguous states. Class E airspace is also found at lower levels where there is controlled airspace other than Class A, B, C or D airspace. Lower lying Class E airspace with a floor of 1200 ft above ground level (AGL) is shown on a sectional chart with a fuzzy blue line with the fuzzy side being the side with the floor (and Class G airspace on the other side). If it has a floor of other than 1200 ft AGL, it will be marked in feet MSL.

    You'll also see fuzzy magenta lines on a sectional chart that indicate the floor of Class E airspace is 700 ft AGL, usually around airports to allow IFR traffic to descend to the airport in controlled airspace.

    As you get closer the airport, you'll see on the chart a dashed magenta line which indicates the Class E airspace goes all the way to the surface. That allows for ATC separation services all the way to the ground for IFR flights. However, that service is only available when ATC communication and weather reporting services are available.

    In any event, there are no radio communication requirements for flights in visual flight rules (VFR) conditions in Class E airspace.

    ------

    Weather minimums for class G and E airspace vary but are generally pretty permissive and if the weather is below minimums you don't want to be flying VFR anyway. Even 1 mile and clear of clouds can be a bad idea as weather can go down below that very quickly and can make it very hard not to hit a tower or a terrain feature.

    In Class E airspace at all altitudes less than 10,000 ft MSL, the requirements are:
    500' below clouds
    1000' above clouds
    2000' horizontal from clouds
    Visibility must be at least 3 miles day or night.

    In Class E airspace at altitudes at or above 10,000 ft MSL, the requirements are:
    1000' below clouds
    1000' above clouds
    1 mile horizontal from clouds
    Visibility must be at least 5 miles during the day or night.

    This is because you encounter faster aircraft above 10,000 ft MSL so greater visibility is needed for safe separation.

    In Class G airspace more than 1200 ft AGL and at or above 10,000 ft MSL the requirements are:
    1000' below clouds
    1000' above clouds
    1 mile horizontal from clouds
    Visibility must be at least 5 miles during the day or night, again because you may encounter faster aircraft.

    In Class G airspace from 1200 ft AGL to 10,000 ft MSL, the requirements are:
    500' below clouds
    1000' above clouds
    2000' horizontal from clouds
    Visibility must be at least 1 mile during the day and 3 miles at night.

    In Class G airspace below 1200 ft AGL, the requirements are:
    clear of clouds with visibility of at least 1 mile during the day.

    At night the requirements increase to:
    500' below clouds
    1000' above clouds
    2000' horizontal from clouds
    Visibility must be 3 miles
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  3. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Just pointing out that you gave pretty good "random internet input". You are right, it is generally better. But not always as straight forward. There is a ton of misinformation o the internet that is confusing to many. A little guidance from someone such as yourself can be a big help. Now let the hordes chime in to tell us how wrong you are!
     
  4. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I’m not exactly sure what #2 is supposed to mean...it’s not true at face value, but there’s no way to communicate with ATC without radio, and ATC communication is required for IFR. That’s what makes #3 true.
     
  5. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Pre-Flight

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    At best, there may be a slight misprint in number 2. Generally speaking you need an instrument rating to get a Commercial license for powered aircraft. However, you can also get a Commercial licence with some restrictions without having an instrument rating, which covers some of the same operations mentioned above for commercial operations that might not require 2 way radio communication - "agricultural aircraft operations, banner towing operations, or any operation which does not require radio communication".

    In that context, the statement is semi-accurate if stated:
    "IFR certification is (usually) required for a license higher than a private license."
     
  6. kath

    kath Cleared for Takeoff

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    All very long-winded ways of saying "#2 is not correct."

    There are airports with control towers, and the skies that surround them, where you need to have and use a radio. But for the rest of the sky, you don't; there are planes that aren't even equipped with an electrical system, flown happily by non-instrument-rated private pilots who don't like talking. :)
     
  7. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Ain't no problem to get a commercial ticket without instrument, and I know several who have done exactly that.
     
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  8. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Although when I had mine, it took two certificates to list all of my limitations.
     
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  9. Arnold

    Arnold Line Up and Wait

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    Sometimes by ATPs who don't like talking to ATC unless they must.
     
  10. Fred Doolie

    Fred Doolie Filing Flight Plan

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    One deaf pilot's post I read said that if the tower is a nice mood they will use light signals instead of radio so deaf people can pass their IFR.

    Another deaf pilot said you write out proper procedure and the examiner checks it. Then he can relay between you and the tower as you fly and you can get your IFR.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  11. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    I believe Fred here has no idea what an instrument rating is.

    His whole item #2 is incorrect, and I think his understanding of the process is, therefore incorrect.
     
  12. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Even out West, G above 1200 is almost all gone. Been that way for a year or so. There’s a piece down around the Big Bend area in Texas.
     
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  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    1 True
    2 False. You do get some training on flying by instruments (keeping the shiny side up), but you are not required to get an instrument rating.
    3 True - Actual IFR requires contact with ATC on the radio.
     
  14. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Fred, there is far more to flying IFR than talking to the tower and filing a flight plan. You simply cannot do it well enough without a radio to get the certification, and it's not permitted to file IFR without having radio communications available. I hedge only a little there because you can fly IFR without a radio in an emergency (after all, it was an emergency not planned), and you can take off without having direct communications at the point of take off (under certain conditions), but you cannot take off without that radio working (and you being able to use it).
     
  15. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good information , I'm hearing impaired . But with hearing aids I just appear stupid . ;)
     
  16. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Google "deaf pilot." You will get lots of hits, including a link to the deaf pilots association.

    Bob Gardner
     
  17. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    There is a problem meeting all the requirements of 61.129 without using a radio though. The old Solo Night, 10 takeoff/landings with a tower open come to mind. Although you might be able to convince some sleepy airport to light gun you, although good luck finding the right open tower that will do that.
     
  18. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, that would take some coordination ahead of time. Calling tower a day or two in advance and setting up a good time that works for all involved might be do-able.
     
  19. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    In the past, our local tower would do that (I had a friend get a color-blindness SODA), and it's plenty dark at 6 PM in the winter. The tower closes at 11 PM.
     
  20. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Daylight saving time starts again March 8.
     
  21. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Isn’t there still a fair amount of class G in Alaska, where you can fly IFR without talking to ATC ?
     
  22. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Probably doable around here too. But less so in other parts of the country where you may have to travel just to find Delta airspace... So it all depends.
     
  23. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Pattern Altitude

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    #2 is ridiclous and should discredit your source instantly.

    I understood #3 to be possible with an onboard interpreter. I think it's how there are deaf CFIs possible -- but not sure, I'm not as close to that org as I once was.

    deaf pilots association should be your only resource for these answers. They're the ones actually doing these things, and will know how to achieve them.
     
  24. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Correct. You can have a commercial without an instrument rating. You are limited in what you can do with a commercial without an instrument rating.

    The only certificate that REQUIRES an instrument rating is the CFI. (Of course, you won't get an ATP without demonstrating instrument capability as well).
     
  25. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I thought the ATP Certificate also required it as a pre-requisite, not just demonstration on the ride. I’m not an expert on this stuff however.
    Also we are only talking airplane category here.