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Blind pilot flying from Arizona to Washington, DC

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Posted at 12:23 PM, Oct 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-10 16:05:40-04

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KNXV) — Twenty-one-year-old Kaiya Armstrong is on her way to Washington, D.C.

Armstrong lost her sight when she was 14 years old.

She spent months learning to fly a plane so she could make the cross-country trip.

“There’s so many people out there that don’t realize that they don’t have limitations,” said Kaiya. “I want this flight to prove to everyone, to the world, to stop limiting yourself.”

The Foundation for Blind Children is helping Armstong realize her dream, pairing her up with a sighted co-pilot.

“The very first time we went up we spent a lot of time just listening to the engine itself, and learning what the different speeds sound like so I’d be able to find them on my own,” said Armstrong. “He’d have me put my hands on the controls and steer us into small turns and larger turns giving me a feel of both.”

She’d quickly take the controls, flying by feel under Tyler Sinclari's watchful eyes.

“She’s flying the whole thing. I’m just there to kind of talk her through it. I barely touch the controls,” said Sinclair.

Armstrong and Sinclair will make several stops on their way to D.C. They are expected to arrive in the nation's capital on Thursday.

This story was originally reported by Cameron Polom on abc15.com.