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Reach for the Sky

Para athlete Luke Sinnott has reached new heights as the first UK bilateral amputee to fly an unadapted aircraft since Sir Douglas Bader.

Luke started flying just six months after the injuries he sustained whilst serving in Afghanistan led to him losing both of his legs above the knee.

There was no manual on how to fly a plane as a bilateral amputee, so he needed to find his own method in order to pass the Civil Aviation Authority medical.

Not one to be put off by a challenge, Luke partnered up with Wings for Warriors, a charity that offers life-changing support for wounded, injured and sick former servicemen and women within the world of commercial aviation.

With their support, and prosthetic specialists at Dorset Orthopaedics, Luke was able to achieve his private pilot’s licenses (A) and pass the class 1 medical, required for all commercial pilots.

“We support people with limb loss and limb difference to live independent and full lives every day, but it’s certainly not every day that someone comes to you with the task of adjusting a prosthetic to help them fly an aircraft without adaptations,” said Steve Cox, Prosthetist at Dorset Orthopaedics.


“Luke’s confidence and determination has always been contagious. We assessed the issues Luke was facing in the real life setting of a flight simulator and through trial and error, we worked together to create a set up that means Luke has satisfied the Civil Aviation Authority as to his ability to control aircraft safely and effectively.”

Luke has now begun the long and very challenging work towards his commercial licensing.

In the meantime, he has his sights firmly set on a place at the 2024 Paris Para-Olympics, where he hopes to win a place on the long jump team.

As a professional para-athlete, Luke has achieved some amazing feats on his specially adapted running blades. He has competed as an Invictus Games competitor and at the Para Athletics World Championships and European Championships.




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