Who are we?
We are men and women, teachers and students, mechanics and farmers, bankers and programmers, priests and writers, working and retired. We come from all over the United States, many European countries, and Australia. We are diverse. Many of us are Deaf people who use American Sign Language. Others employ speech and lipreading. Some of us are hard of hearing. Some are late-deafened. We are united by a common love of flying.
We have been pilots since the earliest days of aviation. In fact, the first pilot to fly across the United States (Calbraith Perry Rodgers in “Vin Fiz,” 1911) had a severe hearing loss from scarlet fever during his childhood.
The Deaf Pilots Association was incorporated in the State of Delaware on December 31, 2001. We were recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in July 2003. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. DPA’s predecessor organization, the International Deaf Pilots Association, was founded in Knoxville, Tennessee in June 1994.
What do we do?
You’d be surprised at the number of activities in which DPA members are involved:
- We demonstrate not only to the aviation world, but also to the larger hearing world that deaf people can become pilots despite not being able to hear, that use of radio is not required in order to earn private pilot and commercial pilot certificates. In short, we show that we are accomplished human beings with valuable skills and talents.
- We make presentations about our organization at schools for the deaf and to aviation organizations such as the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapters.
- Alone and in groups, we fly our airplanes to local air shows, airport pancake breakfasts, and fly-ins to carry our message about us and to demonstrate our skills.
- Every year, we host a weeklong Deaf Pilots Association fly-in, to which DPA members and their families come from all over to enjoy the fellowship of flight as well as to discuss mutual concerns. We also enjoy sightseeing around the localities of the fly-ins, and making short hops to interesting nearby airports. See the Fly-ins page for where we have been, and where we are headed.
- We publish a newsletter (at least two times a year) that contains information important to deaf pilots as well as news and feature articles featuring members and their activities as pilots. A subscription to the newsletter is included in our yearly dues.
- We represent deaf pilots’ interests with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), and other aviation organizations.
- We maintain a library of materials for the use of pilots and student pilots, such as closed-captioned instructional videotapes.
- We maintain this DPA web site at www.deafpilots.org. Anyone can log on and view photographs of members, obtain information on joining DPA, and read our past newsletters online.
Roster of Officers
President: Kevin Willis
Vice President: Toks Desalu
Secretary: Mark Stern
Treasurer & Membership Secretary: Jon Leach
Director: Robert Rademacher
Director: Craig Van Winkle
Newsletter Editor: Toks Desalu
Other Deaf Aviation Organizations:
A printable version of our bylaws is available.
You may send an email message or write to:
Deaf Pilots Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 70166
Riverside, CA 92513
Make a Tax-Deductible Contribution
Your financial contribution will help us meet the mission and objectives of the Deaf Pilots Association. We are recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.