A special congratulations goes out to Chad Venadas who recently completed his private pilot certification and is currently studying for his instrument rating. Like most pilots, Chad has had a dream of learning to fly since his childhood. Unfortunately, one day while he was out playing with other children, he was struck in the face causing him to completely lose sight in his left eye. After extensive surgery, doctors were able to return only 20% of his vision.
Although this was a definite setback for Chad, he never lost hope of achieving his dream and now he proudly holds a Pilot Certificate and a First Class Medical with no limitations! How did he do it? In addition to the normal medical and flight test procedures, he was required to take a special Medical Flight Test with the FAA and satisfactorily complete a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA). Chad scheduled the test with the Teterboro FSDO, and took off to demonstrate that he was able to spot landmarks and traffic, and complete turns and maneuvers with intense focus on the left side of the aircraft (specific to his condition). Following completion of this examination, he was officially issued the SODA which gave him clearance to take the normal practical test with a FAA Designated Examiner. He did an excellent job proving his ability on both FAA flight tests!
Chad has set his goal on obtaining his commercial certification (with concentration on the glass cockpit) and he definitely plans to work for the airlines someday. Surprisingly Chad has learned from his own research that there are, in fact, many airline pilots who are completely blind in one eye. Chad has dual citizenship (born in Hawaii and raised in the Phillipines), so he has many airline choices in his future! We are very proud of Chad’s accomplishments, and we look forward to watching him achieve many successes in his aviation career!