N6681W Piper Cherokee with Hand Controls

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N6681W 1965 Piper Cherokee PA24-140
Standard Cruise 125 mph @8.5 gph ~ Economy Cruise 105 mph @6.5 gph

You can learn to fly in this accessible airplane!  Pilgrim Aviation is proud to offer the experience of flight to people with disabilities with our N6681W Piper Cherokee.

If you or someone you know  uses a wheelchair and are interested in flying, here is a unique opportunity to learn to fly in this extremely rare, accessible airplane equipped with a hand control system that is both approved and certified by the FAA.  It can be flown 100% by hand requiring no foot interaction whatsoever.

Earn your Pilot’s Certificate or just fly for fun!  Because we know first-hand what a blessing flying can be (especially when you have a disability), Pilgrim Aviation seeks to provide the opportunity for people with a disability to partake in flying.  The aircraft is available for introductory flights as well as a complete flight training program wherein a disabled person can earn their pilot’s certificate.

N6681W Piper Cherokee with Hand Controls Pilgrim AviationHow it works… The hand control lever is attached to the copilots left rudder pedal and allows the pilot to control the rudder with his or her right hand. Alternatively, the plane can be flown by the instructor in a conventional manor (using their feet) as the rudder pedals are still intact and fully functional. For example, for disabled student pilots, the student can sit in the pilot’s seat and use the hand control while our instructor has full control of the aircraft from the copilot’s position. The regular rudder controls are still in place and work in conjunction with the hand control lever. Actuating the rudder and steering the nose wheel are both done with the hand control lever. To turn right, the pilot raises the lever and to turn left, the lever is pushed downward.  Braking is done using the factory designed hand brake.

What can flying can mean to a person with a disability?  For those of us who are already pilots, we understand the benefits of flying. In fact, we are most likely addicted to feeling that it gives us. The affinity to flight stems from it being both challenging and liberating at the same time. When we fly, we are free to go in any direction we want. We are free from the confinement of walkways, highways, or even gravity for that matter. We are able to explore the world from a whole new perspective.  Truly it is a feeling of liberation like no other.


Flying is an amazing experience for all of us but imagine how much more of a blessing flying can be to someone who is disabled and other wise confined to a wheelchair. Frustrated with all of the limitations that keep them from feeling free, flying provides relief and a level of mental health. The ability to race down a run way and shoot off into the sky provides a feeling of liberation like no other. This could be a life changing activity incorporated into a person’s life for many years.

A challenge, in a good way!  Flying is challenging and in a good way. It takes a level of focus and coordination to command the aircraft and meeting that challenge brings a sound sense of accomplishment. The truth is that when people become disabled, their want and desire to live an active lifestyle and partake in fun activities doesn’t diminish. Their desire remains even if their bodies can no longer meet their demands. Flying provides a sport to the person with a disability and best of all, it is a sport that they can share with friends and loved ones.

Call Pilgrim Aviation at 508-747-7776 to learn more!