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Elisabeth Heilmeyer

Glider/Microlight pilot

First disabled person in Spain to obtain a flying license.
Founder of the Spanish Disabled Flying Association “ Las Sillas Valadoras”, meaning the Flying chairs.

Elisabeth Heilmeyer

"I was born in 1953 and raised up in Munich, Germany. I studied interpretation and translation of English, French and Spanish.

Being only a child I had always been looking towards the sky, watching the birds and the airplanes and longing for being in one of them. However, I didn’t have my first flight experiences until the age of 16 when a cousin of mine had obtained his PPL.
Unfortunately he died in an accident and talking about flying at home had become impossible.
Nevertheless I sometimes went gliding with some friends of the university but never could tell my parents. At the age of 22 I went to Salamanca, Spain, for a one year’s course at the university, but it was not only one year I stayed there but rather more than seven years.

Then, due to personal reasons, I moved to Madrid and started to work for the International Children’s NGO “SOS Childrens’ Villages” for 30 years.
Unfortunately, flying had turned to be very faraway except when travelling for family visits to Germany, for vacation or work.

In May 1994, I met just by chance my nowadays best glider pilot friend and only a couple of days later I made the medical check-up and started the glider pilot’s course.
Finally the wish of my life, flying like a bird, had become true when I got my license!

In 2003 , I had an accident in a winch launch and since then I am paraplegic.
At that time it was not possible yet to get, or in my case get back, a flight license being disabled. Since from the very beginning of my new and different way of living in a wheelchair I wanted to fly again. I had to start fighting for this right in Spain and finally succeeded by means of a legislative amendment.

In May 2010 I became the first person in Spain with a flight license, though at that moment it was only possible for glider pilots. The logo you see above is of the Spanish Disabled Flying Association that I founded in 2005, “Las Sillas Voladoras”, the Flying Chairs. Just recently with the new European legislation EASA, also applied in Spain since April 8th, 2015, I could start with the microlight pilot license.

Elisabeth Heilmeyer


Elisabeth Heilmeyer
Glider pilot amd Microlight pilot
Founder of “ Las Sillas Valadoras”

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