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Gadget Lets Disabled Pilots Fly Planes

August 13 2009 | by

Cars can be modified so the disabled can drive, but there are few options for people who can’t use their legs but still wish to fly. But now that’s changing, according to an article in Wired.

A flight instructor in Minnesota, Scott Johnson, is teaching people who cannot use their legs to fly. He asked engineers at Flight Design in Germany, a plane manufacturer, about the possibility of modifying the airplane used by his flight school to only need hand controls, much like a car with the brake and throttle controls on the steering wheel.

Flight Design modified a conventional control stick by giving it two handles — allowing a pilot to control the traditional foot pedals that direct the rudder with his or her hands instead.

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