The Disabled Aviation Association of South Africa has recently launched an initiative to extend the joy and pleasure of sailplane soaring to the broader community, especially people with physical disabilities.
People with disabilities are often excluded from activities such as gliding, not because they are incapable, but because no effort is made to change that mindset. DAASA has installed hand controls, and one adapted glider is now available to disabled pilots.
The aim of the glider initiative is to spread the joy of soaring to a wider audience; to train pilots from previously disadvantaged communities; introduce disabled people to soaring; train disabled pilots to fly solo and eventually become instructors of disabled pilots. DAASA also wants to help disabled pilots to buy, modify and operate their own gliders, and promote gliding as a sport accessible to all.
This initiative is being hosted by the Goldfields Gliding Club, within easy reach of Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Welkom. The club wants to attract disabled pilots from all over South Africa. Goldfields Gliding Club has 50 members and its training glider (ASK -21) has been fitted with factory-designed and certified hand controls.