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Can you fly with requiring a wheelchair?


New member
Short background: I have been struck by lightning twice (I just want to be closer to Zeus now). I need a wheelchair because I get tired walking due to this but I can do things such as drive a car, etc.

Long discussion: Can you fly requiring a wheelchair? If so, are you limited by what you could fly?


Active member
The owner of the Piper Archer I fly is wheelchair bound. He has something mounted on the rudder pedals and he can attach a handle to it when he flies, and that allows him to control the rudder that way.

Otherwise, the Ercoupe has no rudder pedals, so you could fly that the same as anyone else. The big issue is crosswind landings, since it has no rudder pedals (the rudders are activated by the yoke to keep it coordinated in turns, but since you can't apply just rudder the Ercoupe can't really deal with any real crosswind component).


Couple of years back one of the guys racing at reno was missing a foot and spent at least part of his time in a wheelchair. Don't know if he raced again this year or not but yes you most certainly can it just might take a bit of ingenuity.


New member
Thanks! I was in the Air Force (Communications that kept them up and flying) and have always wanted to fly but life threw a few curves my way. I appreciate the feedback! Our local AIr Force Base has an aero club, I may give them a call now that I may not look so stupid.

Sky Pig

New member
Hi BMcDFan. You have a lot of options. Consider becoming a Sport Pilot, which doesn't require a medical certificate. Gliders are another option (which I highly recommend). Find a good instructor who can assess your capabilities and determine what, if any, modifications will be needed to allow you full control of the aircraft. It might not take much. If you want to fly airplanes that require a medical certificate, you'll need visit an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) to get a medical. You'll then be required to take a test with an FAA inspector to obtain a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA). I know a pilot who's a quadriplegic, which required some expensive modifications and FAA approvals, but he did it. There are tons of organizations out there specializing in this. Here's a good article about it: https://www.aopa.org/advocacy/advocacy-briefs/frequently-asked-questions-about-sport-pilot