Free Airplane Rides for Disabled Children
International Wheelchair Aviators
International Wheelchair Aviators (IWA), founded in 1972, is a worldwide group of disabled and able-bodied pilots interested in aviation and flying. Members have many different disabilities including, but not limited to, paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputee, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida and polio. Through its hard work and persistence, and with the help of the FAA medical system, hundreds of people have been given the opportunity to resume flying careers or fly for the first time in their lives. Over the past 25 years, several hundred IWA members have flown thousands of hours all over the world, highlighted by the first round-the-world solo flight by paraplegic “Rode” Rodewald in 1984. IWA provides disabled children across America the opportunity to experience the joy of soaring. Challenge Air flies all over the country, taking hundreds of disabled kids for free rides. On the West Coast, many of the able-bodied and para-members have flown with the annual Eagle flight, giving thousands of disabled kids rides over Disneyland. IWA also helps disabled persons in their quest to fly by providing valuable information about FAA medical requirements, hand-control availability and flight schools that work with the disabled. The organization also provides a current listing of more than 200 pilots and their disability or injury, type of plane flown, and type of hand control used.