This Marks the Seventh Year of Collaboration Between Purdue And the Able Flight Program
Purdue Polytechnic and the Able Flight program enrolled eight new students with physical disabilities as student pilots this year. These students arrived on campus May 18th to begin their flight training with the goal of earning their light sport pilot license. And, thanks to donations, Able Flight was just recently able to add a third Sky Arrow light sport aircraft to their roster, among other new and planned improvements to the program.
These eight new students and the almost thirty students who have participated in the program prior to this all have physical disabilities that would normally prevent them from entering the cockpit. But, thanks to the Able Flight program, they are able to pursue their dream of flying . This year’s students include one, Bernard Dime, who was injured during training in hopes of qualifying for a place on the US Army Golden Knight parachute team.
Associate Professor of Aviation Technology Bernie Wulle had this to say, “The students are really motivated to learn. They’re here for a purpose.” He added, “We’ve had some who have no experience and one year we had a pilot who had solo experience before being disabled in an accident. We’ve had all types.”
Wes Major, a former graduate from the program who returned to volunteer his time to help new students each year had this to say, “I came to push myself, push the limits of what I felt was possible shortly after my injury. You’re down and out and don’t know what is possible for you.”
This is the seventh straight year that Able Flight and Purdue have worked together on this program and the eight Able Flight scholarships are a record for the organization. Graduates from the class of 2016 will be honored guests at EAA’s upcoming AirVenture in late July, where they will receive their Able Flight wings on stage.