View Full Version : commerical pilot with stuttering

11th Apr 2019, 15:08
Hello everyone, I am new on this PPRuNe Forum,
I am living in Germany and I graduated from a University with a major in Aircraft Technology. I want to become a pilot but I have a speech disorder (stuttering). I can speak three languages and in one language I am really fluent (I did a speech therapy) but in English I am fluent as well but not as much as I am in Turkish. I want to start with my pilot training in the USA. And I read that there is a SODA (Statement of Demonstrated Ability) at the FAA.

And I read something that if someone who has a speech disorder like stuttering puts an Pilot Headset on and then he wouldn't stutter anymore because of the sidetone is that true? And I think as long as I am fluent over the Radio then there shouldn't be a problem to become a pilot? Is here anyone who knows a pilot with a stutter or are here any commerical pilots with a speech problem (especially stuttering).

Thank you in Advance.

13th Apr 2019, 12:03
Hi Integral123

I can’t help directly, however I had a colleague with a bad stutter who was an RAF air traffic controller, he never stuttered when using the radio, I believe he was based in Cyprus and scared the hell out of the ladies he met in the pub when he explained that he was ATC and would be controlling their flight the following day.

Good luck with the training.


13th Apr 2019, 14:23
I've flown with a student pilot who had a bit of a stutter. I don't want to discourage you but there's more to communication in and around the aircraft than just talking on the radio. You'll also need to be able to keep up a running commentary of what you're doing. Your instructor may ask you questions at different point during the flight and there's not that much extra time available sometimes. Especially when you're going to be flying commercially, you'll need to be able to operate in a two-man cockpit environment, with all the communication needed for that. I cannot remember what happened to that particular student, but I do remember that his progress wasn't as smooth as for other students. In short, it may not be impossible, but you will have more of a challenge than others.

13th Apr 2019, 14:49
I have a friend who stutters except when he’s talking on the radio.
He flies parachutists.
There’s only one way for you to find out and that is try.
Start with your Private pilot and see how it goes.
There’s not one level of stuttering, it obviously comes in different levels of severity.

blind pew
14th Apr 2019, 03:02
I have a mate who stuttered a lot and we were both up for the chop in front of the principal nearly 50 years ago..a mid air collision solved his problems. Word perfect mayday and a safe landing in a small field proved he was up to the job. Retired a couple of years ago from a legacy carrier.
Now I dont suggest that you try that.
I stutter sometimes especially when tired and stressed but I have zero problems in aviation and still do some extremely risky exacting flying. Perhaps NLP might help on a personal note.
In my case it was dealing with bully boys in authority (started with a paedo english master at school).

14th Apr 2019, 06:38
You'll also need to be able to keep up a running commentary of what you're doing.

Not as a student pilot, I trust! Any half decent flight instructor can see what you're doing and you do NOT need to keep up any 'running commentary' - indeed, you should be firmly discouraged from doing so.

14th Apr 2019, 19:59
Perhaps I should have rephrased that. I didn't mean all the time, but sometimes it can be useful to have a student 'think out loud' while going through the steps of a forced landing exercise or something similar. I certainly hope I'm somewhere north of half-decent as a FI (I may be wrong there of course), but that doesn't guarantee the same level of instruction to the topic starter. I wanted to explain that there are more situations during flying training where a stutter may be a hindrance. I've had students go mute when faced with a bit of decision making while flying the aircraft and looking out for the next waypoint, and they didn't start out with a speech impediment.

14th Apr 2019, 23:16
I had a flight commander in the RAF with a very pronounced stutter, he managed OK.

15th Apr 2019, 13:23
I had a glider instructor who stuttered.
F-f-f-f-BAM-flare!!! Too late lol.
Great guy.
He could get spitting mad on the pitch if he saw something boneheaded from us youngsters and few things funnier in life then cursing with a stutter.

16th Apr 2019, 06:58
I had a student that stuttered, but didn't once the headset was on. I believe there was some Russian doing therapy using headsets on people.
Perhaps the slight delay on the intercom sidetone helps.

Ascend Charlie
18th Apr 2019, 00:09
We had a famous flyer in Oz with an ahhh..ahhh..ahhhh..stutter, but it didn't ahhh...ahhh...affect his career. He flew his own P-51 Mustangs (until CA$A costs forced the sale) and flew with regional airlines on DC-3 and F-27s. Long since passed on.

18th Apr 2019, 13:35
Try speaking whilst wearing a live headset. There is a YouTube video of a pilot (USA) who has a fairly strong stutter in normal life, but once he hears his own voice as he speaks, viola! perfect, no stutter.