This is a picture of Caroline, the girl who picked Woofie up, kept him over night and handed him off to the pilot who flew the first leg with him.
So the story had a happy ending for Woofie – but it does not end here.
|We asked Greg how it was for a culturally Deaf person to obtain a permit to fly.
“Myself, and most Deaf, think spatially, meaning we see pictures in our mind. I’ve been told that most hearing people don’t have a need, so they don’t develop this part of their brain, but that every Deaf person does. Back in the days of teletype sequence reports (1960s), I could look at papers on a desk and see in my mind the graphic weather such as we have today on the internet. I could also run my finger along the pencil course line on the Sectional chart on my lap as I flew – and have a moving map display 30 years before Garmin. More importantly, I could look at the instruments on the panel and see in my mind the attitude of the aircraft.
So, Deaf have the potential to be excellent pilots, except that we can’t hear on the radio. I now have a Cochlear implant. The air traffic system is based upon the principle of “see and avoid”, and Deaf have no problem seeing. The problem is that modern aviation has developed into a system of not looking to “see” until somebody tells you on the radio where to look and what for. Hearing isn’t really the issue, not looking is the issue. Glider pilots learn from the beginning to look out the window, not at the instrument panel. (That is why we have a “yaw string”.) Glider pilots still look for traffic, many gliders still don’t have radios or electricity to run them. Deaf are much safer and more comfortable flying gliders. So, I am demonstrating that Deaf have the skill and ability to “see and avoid” plus use hearing aids, Cochlear implant, or another pilot, on the radio.
I have helped several people who are Deaf get their pilot certificate, and I tell them: Don’t worry, it isn’t English that you don’t understand, it is Aviation. And everybody, even hearing people, has to learn it to pass the test.”
Greg is still waiting for his aircraft, but he and his Tee are already a pack, doing everything in their power to rescue as many dogs as possible. Every day they get several notices from Pilots N Paws about dogs that need to be rescued, so Greg is establishing contacts like Kimberly all over the country. The dogs are getting rescued, but often with a lot of complications and at high expenses, requiring many financial donations.
“All this is greatly appreciated,” says Greg, “But it’s not necessary! We could have rescued Woofie in a few hours, using less than half as much gas – auto gas, not aviation fuel – if we could fly a Pipistrel!”
And indeed one of Greg’s customers, Mr. John Stewart, researched every aircraft imaginable for the purpose of rescuing dogs – and finally ordered a Virus SW.
“The Pipistrel Virus, Virus SW, and Sinus are unique for dog rescue given their exceptional economy and range,” says Mr. Stewart, “Especially with the Virus SW easily pulling pups through the sky with the Rotax 912 iS Sport engine, which adds enough range even for non-stops from the Southeastern United States, where there are countless dogs waiting dismally, to New England, where there is considerable demand for rescue dogs and especially puppies. While other aircraft are suitable for carrying larger numbers of dogs, the Pipistrel can fit a niche for rescuing puppies, small dogs, or possibly a larger one – if utilizing some of the space with the left seat removed and the dog secure. Lastly, the favorable glide ratios of Pipistrel aircraft provide a safety advantage for locating an alternative airport if the dogs are flown at a lower altitude (to lessen ear discomfort for dogs). So here is yet another use of a Pipistrel motor-glider!”