A Deaf Instrument Rated Pilot

Sometimes those of us who fly think everything needs to be perfect for us to be good, even great, pilots. Superior intelligence, physical prowess, 20/20 vision, exceptional hearing and a certain “look” only other pilots recognize.

Well, perhaps we need to think about those things a little differently.

I remember that when I became a flight instructor I was a bit older than my contemporaries. I had completed 6 years in the USAF as a Russian language specialist, and was attending Michigan State University when I got my flight instructors ratings.


It seems that as I was a bit more mature the flight school gave me what the other instructors called “problem students”. In my book they just had challenges to overcome the other instructors didn’t want to deal with; after all, they would take more time (unpaid time) to get them up to speed.

Well, this gentleman was not my student, but here is his story:

Stephen Hopson was born deaf is a Private Pilot with an Instrument Rating. Yes, that is correct – with an Instrument Rating! There are folks who feel that attaining an instrument rating is a difficult thing to accomplish, and a lot of Private Pilots avoid advancing themselves to get an instrument rating.

But not Stephen Hopson. He accomplished his life long dream to become a pilot, and not just a Private Pilot but an Instrument Rated Private Pilot. And he accomplished that goal, along with many others in his life. He is currently a motivational speaker and has a great story to tell. Take a few minutes and watch this video and learn how he could hear airplanes taking off and landing when he was 4 years old:


So the next time you think something is too hard to accomplish, think about Stephen Hopson and you will realize nothing can stand in the way of your dreams!

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!

JetAviator7

Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.

— William Shakespeare


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