Friday, January 28, 2011

Flying with a Service Dog

Hans and his wife Betsy have been  passionate and enthusiastic pilots for many years.  They own a Cherokee and also Hans favorite, a motor glider, both based at Palo Alto Airport.  The controls have been converted so he can fly with his hands only.  (I am sure for many of you that are rudder challenged, you probably wonder why all airplanes aren't rigged this way). 

Recently Hans got a service dog, Rilla, who now goes everywhere with him and is his flying companion.  If you feel like I do about my dog, what a great thing to be able to take your dog everywhere, especially flying.  I hope she likes Mutt Muffs, those cute ear protectors for dogs.

Sue Ballew


  1. It's great that they are able to convert the plane so Hans can fly. As for the dog I just have one question. Do they make parachutes for dogs?

  2. Wow, I never would have thought of that but you would want your dog to jump with you, I think.

    The whole article is pretty cool! Thanks, Sue.

  3. That is a great question, so I went and did a search. Most dogs that actually jump out of airplanes are strapped to a person - like tandem skydiving. They were used in WWII and currently by the British and Austrian military and possibly others in the Middle East. There are various videos on Youtube of dogs jumping with their own parachute - can't imagine a dog owner doing this.