In honor of “Good Deeds Day,” the pilot’s seat of EL AL’s Boeing 737 flight simulator was replaced on Tuesday with a wheelchair to give Israelis with disabilities the experience of piloting a plane.
A joint initiative between EL AL’s “Fly Card” credit-card and Frequent Flyer Club, and ADI—Israel’s most comprehensive provider of residential and rehabilitative care for individuals with severe disabilities—the opportunity allowed four ADI residents to imagine flying an aircraft as per advanced simulator.
Guided by EL AL Capt. Eran Lichter, the residents included one young woman and three young men from ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran and ADI Jerusalem, who enjoyed 60-minute flight-instruction simulations.
After touching back down, the trainees received their wings and a certificate of course completion from EL AL Fly Card and Frequent Flyer Club CEO Lior Tanner in the presence of Maj. Gen. (Res.) Doron Almog, founder and chairman of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran, and Shlomit Grayevsky, director of ADI Jerusalem.
“ADI works to promote inclusion, integrate people with disabilities in all areas of life and break down walls of prejudice and stereotypes, so this is a very significant step forward for our residents, their families and the entire ADI family,” said Almog. “When it comes to integrating people with disabilities into society, the sky is definitely not the limit.”
In addition to completely removing the co-pilot’s seat from the Boeing 737 flight simulator, a ramp was built to provide the trainees with direct access to the cockpit. Tanner explained that save for these minor adjustments, the simulator wasn’t altered in any way with the ADI residents getting the same experience as others.