Blind 21-year-old pilot makes historic flight to Washington D.C.

Flight for Sight is taking off to celebrate World Sight Day

(AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi) (Anna Szilagyi, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

PHOENIX, Az. – A blind 21-year-old lands her dream of flying a plane as she flies from Arizona to Washington D.C., according to the Foundation for Blind Children (FBC).

Kaiya Armstrong started her trip in Phoenix, Ariz. last Friday. She is flying beside a licensed pilot and flight instructor to Washington, D.C., and is expected to land on Thursday.

Kaiya lost her sight when she was 14 years old.

She recently graduated from Foundation for Blind Children’s Adult Service Program. FBC says before this program, she had no independent living skills. “I never went anywhere without my mom. For seven years, she was my eyes,” said Kaiya.

Now, she is soaring with great freedom.

Kaiya attended months of ground school and in-air flight training to prepare for her take-off. The Foundation says she will use the same devices as pilots, although differently to accommodate her needs.

“I’m confident Kaiya will be a great representative of FBC and the visually impaired community as a whole,” said Spencer Churchill, Flight for Sight organizer.

Kaiya was selected out of 25 candidates to participate in Flight for Sight, a challenge event created by FBC to celebrate World Sight Day.

FBC says the Flight for Sight candidates went through a multi-part interview process including a test, written essay, video entry, and panel interview.