FORT WAYNE, IN - As someone who has been a pilot for more than 15 years - it isn't easy getting in the backseat
But it's especially hard today - because my pilot…is blind!
"Right now I've got less than five percent of my field of vision left."
Jim Platzer used to be a president for a Fortune 500 company. But he was forced into an early retirement due to retinitis pigmentosa.
It's a degenerative condition that leads to blindness. But Jim, who had his pilot license before he went blind, hasn't let a little thing like losing sight - stop him from taking to the skies.
That's where Joel Pierce, a flight instructor and the general manager at sweet aviation, comes in.
"Is this guy for real? Is this guy serious?!' But, for the most part, I got his vision. What he was trying to do."
And now - the team has become a well-oiled flying machine. Seems a little crazy, huh? So how do they do it?
"Yes. I have a complete set of dual controls," Pierce said.
"It's an awesome feeling. To get back in the cockpit after going through the challenges of visual impairment and figuring out that I am able to do this," Platzer said.
So what advice does Jim have for others facing overwhelming challenges?
"Think outside the box. Be innovative in your approach. When you can't get there one way, find another way to get there. Sometimes we think 'okay, a blind guy can't fly an airplane.' Well, I can."