Bader Braves Young Aviators Days give youngsters with disabilities the experience of flight in a light aircraft.
A big part of Bader Braves is the Young Aviators Days programme, which offers youngsters from 6-18 with limb deficiency and other disabilities the opportunity of experiencing flight in a light aircraft. This incredibly popular and successful initiative has been created to make the children feel special; give them a sense of achievement; increase their self-confidence and hopefully inspire and empower them to go on to other experiences and achievements.
It is often unusual for the child with a disability to feel ‘important’…
As one mother pointed out; it is often unusual for the child with a disability to feel “important”, particularly to their able-bodied siblings. Just to see the expressions on the Braves’ faces as they alight from the ‘planes is evidence of the enjoyment and satisfaction they get from this new experience and their pleasure also guarantees a happy day for the whole family.
There can be terrific psychological significance in the very act of flying. For a child who spends most of his or her life in a wheelchair particularly, it is exhilarating to be higher than other people; to be able to look down on the world from the intimate vantage point of a light aircraft is often an incredibly liberating experience for them.
One young flyer asked his pilot if he could learn to fly so that he could teach other people like him. A great accolade!
We continue to enlist the support of new airfields in different parts of the country so that we can offer this unique opportunity to more youngsters. Participating airfields currently include:
As always, the Douglas Bader Foundation is extremely grateful to all involved with the Bader Braves Young Aviators Days. Without the generosity and enthusiasm of the airfields, flying clubs, pilots and helpers who all give so willingly of their time and energy, these wonderful and literally uplifting events simply wouldn’t be possible.