Blind and visually impaired students ride in and fly airplanes

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by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalists CHRIS GARCIA, J.P. HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on June 23, 2013 at 6:46 PM

CEDAR PARK, TX -- Behind the homes on Parmer Road in Cedar Park is the Breakaway Community Airport; a private runway used by people who live in the neighborhood.

Thursday, three pilots gassed up. Not for a leisure ride, but to give 11 blind and visually impaired teenagers the ride of a lifetime.

"This is the second year that we've flown for Challenge Air. And Challenge Air provides flights to people with disabilities," said volunteer pilot Gregg Squires.

Challenge Air teamed up with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin to organize the rides as an activity for the school's summer camp program.

"This is definitely one of the ones that they are a little bit boggled that they're going to be able to participate with," said Kristine Seljenes.

Boggled because the students who are visually impaired not only get to ride in the planes, they fly them.

"We're able to let them take control of the airplane with the pilot close on the controls and let them experience flight and they seem to love it," added Squires.

Even the teenagers who don't actually take control still get a unique experience. One they say they will never forget.

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