OSHKOSH, WI (WTAJ) – Day two of EAA Airventure took flight in Oshkosh and for some, the sky is the limit.
Captain Stewart McQuillian, an Air Force veteran from England, knew he wanted to fly again, but after being paralyzed during his service, there was not an aircraft equipped for him. That’s why he created one.
The helicopter he designed is decked out in stars and stripes and is the first of its kind. It’s designed for paraplegic pilots.
“If I move this, you’ll see the pedals are moving all on their own, so yes, we put the legs in there for a reason. It helps smooth out controls,” McQuillian said.
McQuillian partnered with Rotor X to manufacture them, and now, hundreds of thousands of pilots have learned to fly again. He hopes by showcasing his chopper at EAA and other events, he will raise awareness for the National Veterans Vocational Village Foundation.
“We will bring in, tech vets new skill sets, and they will work within our own industry, they will move on, new vets will come in, but at that point, we don’t need the donations we’re there,” McQuillian said.
McQuillian also wants to share his message with other veterans who have gone through a similar experience.
“Not having your legs is not a limitation, it’s a challenge that can be overcome,” McQuillian said.
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McQuillian chose to put the number 988 on his helicopter in honor of the suicide prevention lifeline that launched earlier this month.