SALINE COUNTY, Ark. – An Arkansas man is overcoming his disability to take his dream to new heights. A blind man flew a plane for the first time with the help of a Certified Flight Instructor.
Locked in and ready for take-off, Chad King has always dreamed of sitting in the pilot’s seat.
“I’ve wanted to fly since I was a kid,” King said.
From the moment the wheels left the ground, King was able to feel his dream take flight. He’s not using the view from the cockpit to control this plane.
“I’ve never been able to see,” King said.
Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase flying blind, King is trusting the eyes in the passenger seat. He piloted this aircraft with just the sound of the flight instructor, John K. Jones, commands and the feel the controls.
“I feel everything going on in the airplane, all the turns, and the banks,” King said.
Even with four out of five senses, King cruised to a new altitude as a first-time flyer.
“He did better than a sighted student. Most students their first time can’t hold a heading within 20 degrees he was within 10, can’t hold an altitude within two or 300 feet, he was holding altitude probably within 50 feet,” Jones said.
Now with his feet back on the ground, it’s just a matter of time before he’s back soaring above the clouds.
“Y’all know where my heads going to be. It’s going to be way up there,” King said.
King has also learned how to drive a car, he’s gone skydiving and he says his disability won’t stop him from experience life.