Quadruple Amputee Becomes Flight Instructor After Over 200 Alleged FAA Rejections

(Public/Screenshots/Twitter—CBS News/YouTube—Jennifer Hudson Show)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A congenital quadruple amputee became a flight instructor after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allegedly rejected him over 200 times, CBS News reported.

Zach Anglin, 25, had always dreamed of becoming a commercial pilot, saying the only limbs he ever desired were wings, per the CBS News report.

His adoptive parents Harold and Patty Anglin reportedly failed at talking him out of it. “From the time he was born, he was a disciplined and determined child,” Patty told CBS News.

Once he turned 18, Anglin began to apply to flight schools but over a dozen of them rejected him, the report noted.

“There’s nothing we can really do for you, we’re sorry,” Anglin recalled some of the schools telling him, per his CBS interview.

“You’re not hearing what they’re saying?” CBS’s Steve Hartman asked, per the interview.

“I’m not! Selective hearing,” Anglin replied, laughing. “My wife will tell you I’m a little bit hard-headed.”

The Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Oklahoma, accepted Anglin. However, the FAA reportedly declined five times to approve Anglin for the flight lessons.

“It’s like, this is not for me, this is impossible to do — and so, my mum was over my shoulder at this point, right? And then, she’s like, You’re not done yet,” Anglin recalled.

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

Anglin resumed appealing to the FAA until, after 200 phone calls from him, the FAA relented, approving him for one takeoff, per the CBS News report. (RELATED: Embracing Life’s Unexpected Turns: Johnny Sirpilla’s Journey from Hope to Resilience)

The Nigerian-born, Wisconsin-raised Anglin graduated from flight school in 2019, becoming the world’s first quad-amputee pilot, The Oklahoman reported. He works as a flight instructor at his alma mater, Spartan College, the CBS interview video showed.

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

Singer and TV show host Jennifer Hudson awarded Anglin and his wife, Martyana, an all-expenses-paid honeymoon at Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Mexico.