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5 Answers

FAR 67.305(b)(2) “Interferes with clear and effective speech communication” – Stuttering

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FAA Regulations, General Aviation

Anyone have any experience with a potential student that has a stuttering issue?  Is there a special issuance process?  Criteria?  Instructional issues?  Open question here - looking for helpful thoughts!  Thanks!

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5 Answers

  1. James MacGregor CFI on Apr 21, 2011

    Well if they can demonstrate to you that ATC can understand them any they dont get yelled at, then I would say its a non issue, other wise it’s a issue they should work out (al la Kings Speech) before they spend $$$ on rentals and CFIs

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  2. Lance on Apr 21, 2011

    I actually have had a student who stuttered, however he had trained himself to overcome it.  You could still tell it was there, but he was still able to get the message across effectively and in a reasonable amount of time so he was good to go.  He did not require a special issuance, or any special criteria.  The only instructional issues he had ever had (he already had his private when I began instructing him) was that he said at first he was very fearful to talk on the radio because of a fear of embarrassment.  Once he overcame that and began to talk on the radio more he was fine though.  As far as things to help you out, make sure that he is completely comfortable talking with you before you try to get him to talk on the radio, ask a lot of open ended questions in your pre-flight and post-flight briefings, that way he is at least not nervous about you hearing him talk, which should extend over to his radio calls.  He said that the stutter was worse when he was stressed or excited, so try to make sure that you don’t do anything too taxing or exciting right before he is going to have to make a radio call if you can help it, i.e. make sure you have a nice little 5 minute cruise back in from the practice area before he needs to make a radio call (at least in the beginning of him talking on the radio).  Eventually he will gain a confidence and comfortability talking on the radio just like any of us has and it will no longer be a big deal.  As James said though, make sure that they do have some control of it before they start training, it will make the training much easier on both of you, and save them a lot of money.

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Apr 22, 2011

    There is some good practical advice – but bottom line is if your student is issued a medical then the AME has examined them and determined that:
    Mouth and Throat
    Any malformation or condition, including stuttering, that would impair voice communication
    They meet the required standard, and/or the paperwork has been processed to say they do.
    Without a medical the practical aspects of CAN they actually operate the radios is moot. So as somebody suggested above, they should get their medical early in the process to ensure that their goal of a pilot certificate is within their capabilities.

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  5. PilotSmith69 on Jul 28, 2016

    I am a sport pilot and I talk to ATC and I also stutter… One trick he can try is to write down what he needs to say on a paper and then read it back to ATC… He will not stutter on reading in back… for more about me and what I am doing please checkout https://LightSportMan.com

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