Female Amputee Air Force Pilot Back In The Air

A United States Air Force Academy graduate who is the first woman amputee to return to flying duty is now helping future pilots.

"I am an amputee pilot." Major Christy Wise is a United States Air Force Academy grad and the first woman amputee to return to flying duty. "About five years ago I lost my leg in a boating accident on vacation. I just got back from a deployment to Afghanistan and I almost lost my life and lost my leg on vacation," said Maj. Christy Wise. After eight grueling months of rehab, this pilot was ready to get back in the air, but it wasn't easy.

"I have to complete all the same check rides and emergency procedures, prove that I can get out of the aircraft quickly on the ground if there's a fire or something, and then also passing my physical fitness test," said Maj. Christy Wise. Through those tests she gained a new outlook: something that helped propel her forward. "We're not getting any different standards but we're capable of doing this," said Maj. Christy Wise.

Now, she's teaching future pilots that anything is possible with a little hard work. "It'll take time for me I know I'm like 'I'm going to get back in the plane in four months' and then all the other amputees are like 'okay Christy, like no way,'" she said. In 2016, she returned to the sky. "Five other men did it before me which is really cool. So, they kind of paved the way and helped me know the steps to get back to flying," said Maj. Christy Wise.

Soaring to new heights, going beyond the clouds and returning to the air to make history and pave the way for those to come after her. A feat she says she couldn't have done alone. "Through this community we can succeed together," said Maj. Christy Wise. Major Wise was most recently deployed to Iraq in 2019. Following her accident, she and her twin sister started a non profit to help amputees in Haiti.

Please contact our knowledgeable staff at Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics for any questions. We’ve been providing expert orthotic and prosthetic services in Michigan since 1955 and have grown to 22 locations, including Traverse City, Cadillac, Greenville, and Three Rivers!

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