Keller proceeded to take care of life’s obstacles with astounding enthusiasm and also assurance. A fertile creator, lobbyist, researcher, and instructor, she acquired countless titles. It’s even said that on one outstanding day in June of 1946, she added a an extremely remarkable title to her rundown: pilot.

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While many take their very first flight practice in a solitary engine plane, similar to the beneficial Cessna 172 or repeatedly sympathetic Piper Warrior, the was not the instance for the overachieving Helen Keller.

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Did Helen Keller fly a plane

Sight and sound be accursed, she bounced straight right into the ideal seat the a four-motor Douglas C-54 Skymaster—a noteworthy plane for anybody come handle. As the pilot came down on the shores of the Mediterranean, he provided over the trip controls, and also for 20 radiant minutes, Keller took off throughout the ocean.


However, Keller had actually been known throughout the unified States when she to be 16 and universally once she to be 24, a section of the general public actually doubted that a visually impaired and also hard of hearing individual could effectively speak through hearing individuals or graduate indigenous school—the two of i beg your pardon Keller had actually as of currently accomplished.

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To fight this wariness, Deliverance’s devices needed, as they clarified, “to display her act that pack of points that individuals do,” including “scenes in i m sorry she dresses, just to present the public the she can, and in i beg your pardon she rests, to show to the inquisitive the she shuts her eyes.” and since the plane, still one more innovation approximately then was exceptionally popular, the equipments concluded they should display Keller flying as well.

However Keller knew the factor to consider of the step in a purportedly personal element was crazy (and she habitually fought with the development group as soon as she discovered their contents unreasonably), she was excited to have actually the chance to fly. A newsreel shown the occasion, potentially as advance for the film:


Helen Keller herself has never dreaded actual activity. As a youngster, she identified how come jump into the sea through a rope about her midriff, attached come a stake on the shore. She has actually appreciated sledding, dropping down steep new England slants. Furthermore, she knows together well, the on the off possibility that it will serve to awaken the public interest in the capacities of the visually impaired, practically anything she can do to stand out enough to be noticed v be supported.… Helen is noticeable all approximately for 30 minutes and says she feels much more actual possibility than any kind of time in current memory in her life.

As trip innovation improved, Keller discovered more freedoms come feel that actual opportunity. In 1931 she to be a traveler on a prolonged departure native Newark, brand-new Jersey, come Washington, D.C., a 200-mile (322-km) endeavor that finished in a gathering v the leader of the united States. The brand-new York Times spanned the flight, revealing the Keller contrasted the airplane to “an particularly agile bird cruising through the illimitable skies.”

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Also, that takes us back to 1946: the year Helen Keller directed a aircraft herself.

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Keller and also her girlfriend Polly Thomson, that made an interpretation of Keller’s discourse to various other people and addressed Keller by squeezing pictures into her hand, were heading out to Europe (and, later, India, Africa, and the middle East) because that the American structure for the abroad Blind. In ~ the suggest when the tiny plane overcome the Mediterranean, Keller assumed regulate over the pilot’s controls.