Deaf Palo Alto pilot to fly to 48 continental states

Mark Stern, 35, plans to pilot his single-engine plane through all lower 48 states.  Of the 600,000  licensed pilots in the United States, about 200 — including Stern –  are deaf.

Stern serves on the boards of the Jean  Weingarten School for the Deaf in Redwood City and the Alexander  Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Stern also volunteers for Angel Flight, an organization of pilots who donate  their time and aircraft transporting patients to medical centers  for treatment.

Mark Stern got money to make this ambitious trip.  His plan is to cover all 48 states in about six or seven weeks. Stern will  stop in each state, sometimes just long enough to send himself a postcard. When  he stays overnight, he hopes to camp out at the airport. He will also chronicle  his trip on his Web site.

His trip is being underwritten by the Oberkotter  Foundation to promote its film “Dreams Spoken Here” and other oral deaf education  publicity efforts.


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