Quad Amputee Was Told Becoming a Pilot Was Impossible, Now He Teaches Flight School


by Veracity Savant

December 5, 2023

He’s proving that dreams do come true!

Zachary Anglin was born in Nigeria and raised in Wisconsin by his adoptive parents. A quadruple amputee, he lived his life without hands or feet. Despite his circumstances, Anglin never allowed the loss of his limbs to distract him from what was possible in his life, CBS News reports. 

“From the time he was born, he was a disciplined and determined child,” his mother, Patty Anglin, told reporters. 


That determination carried him through life, Anglin longing to be a commercial pilot one day. When he turned 18, he began applying for flight school to gain the wings he’d always hoped to have. But his journey was not without challenges. Anglin was denied by more than a dozen flight schools before getting approval from one, the Spartan College of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was just the boost of confidence he needed.  

“Obviously, nothing worth having comes easy,” he said. 

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Still, he would face more challenges, needing further approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin flying lessons. He was denied five times, and Anglin eventually gave up. 

“I was like, this is not for me. This is impossible to do,” said Anglin. 

His mother, Patty, would stop him, encouraging him to keep trying when he thought it was over. 


“I said: ‘You can never succeed until you’ve learned to fail,’” Patty recalled. 

That was all he needed to hear before trying again. Anglin eventually called the FAA 200 times to press the matter until the administration finally agreed to clear him for one takeoff. Anglin made the most of his chance and proved that he could fly without wings. 

Anglin went on to graduate from flying school and earned his FAA license in 2019. Now, he is a flight instructor at Spartan, teaching the same course many said he would never be able to take. He sincerely hopes that others look at his story and know that they should never give up on their dreams. 


“My story isn’t just for amputees. We all go through trials and tribulations. The word ‘impossible’ is an illusion behind the word ‘possible,’” said Anglin. 

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