Will a fused ankle prevent me from pusuing my dream??

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MEGA
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Will a fused ankle prevent me from pusuing my dream??

#1 Post by MEGA » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:35 am

I am eagerly looking for a career change to become a helicopter pilot. Have done lot's of research on school's and have selected a school that I would like to attend. About 5 months ago, I drove out to BC for a chance to talk with the instructors and was very happy with how honestly my questions seemed to be answered short of one they couldn't really answer for me.. I have a left ankle fusion in two places which has pretty well eliminated any thing resembling movement of that joint. My obvious question was "will this injury affect my ability or chances of becoming a helicopter pilot?" This conversation with the CFI ended with him inviting me up for a chance to see how it effects my abilities. Needless to say, I was thrilled at this opportunity! I quickly learned that the only way to control the foot pedals was to hold my whole leg up so I could push the left pedal with the heel of my foot... Less than ideal to say the least. Got a quick feel for the controls and didn't seem too bad at first, but after approx 10 mins of testing my rotation capabilities, my leg started to get quite heavy and leading towards shaky. Being the type that's determined to make another of my dreams come true, I won't give up at the first(probably larger) speed bump in my desire to enter this career path. Has any one heard of someone else with this issue or have any input at all on my dilemma? I have an idea of constructing a type of block to securely strap to the balls of my foot as an elevated rest for my leg that would slide back and forth in front of the left pedal as I were to operate it with my heel which would solve the shaky leg issue. Would something like this even be acceptable in the industry or on the far off chance already exist?? Thanks in advance for any input, suggestions or idea's.
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nbinont
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Re: Will a fused ankle prevent me from pusuing my dream??

#2 Post by nbinont » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:46 pm

You should really ask yourself if you feel that you would be able to fully control the aircraft for a few hours at a time. If the answer is no, then you have answered your question. If yes, then I'd advise getting in contact with your CAME ( http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/2/c ... =eng&l=124 ) and discussing the issue.
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Big Pistons Forever
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Re: Will a fused ankle prevent me from pusuing my dream??

#3 Post by Big Pistons Forever » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:00 pm

Even if you were fully mobile the chance of you getting a job after you spend 60,000 + dollars is very very low.

There are almost no jobs for 100 hr brand new helicopter CPL's. I strongly recommend you do some serious research on the state of the industry before thinking of dropping the huge dollars......
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Nark
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Re: Will a fused ankle prevent me from pusuing my dream??

#4 Post by Nark » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:51 pm

Your final conversation should be with a doctor. Will he sign off on a medical?

I can add only my perspective of being a low (helicopter)time military pilot.

Most American built helicopters main rotor blades, rotate counter clockwise, require varying degree of left pedal input to to counter the torque of the blade rotation. (Hence the name "anti-torque pedals")
While the winds are light and steady, your direction remains steady, and you remain at a fixed height, a somewhat fixed pedal input would suffice(there is a lot of small movement during hovering). However, seldom does Mother Nature cooperate, and turning to/from the wind requires anticipatory pedal input and reaction.
People pay to have helicopters go where airplanes can't, and that means hovering, which requires constant pedal inputs. So many hours of the day is spent hovering, not traveling to and from the LZ.

Additionally, if you get into bigger birds that have wheels, toe pressure (in addition to heel pressure) is required for braking.

None of what I said is absolute, but only perspective. Again, chat with a doc, see what they say. We're mostly a bunch of kooks here.

Best of luck, and let us know how things turn out.
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