Lady Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Kim Jaeger – Blog 3

Another thoroughly enjoyable update from our Lady Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Kim Jaeger. I’m sure you’ll agree – they make great reading! Here, for the many of us who don’t know, she helpfully outlines what exactly is involved in obtaining a PPL. Difficult enough anyway but more so by far when you have to contend with a cumbersome and extremely painful prosthesis. I know that Douglas would be watching with interest Kim’s devised way of getting into an aeroplane. Again not an easy task for anyone but she manages it in style with her own, individual technique and even makes it look easy! 

Kim in CATS Classroom learning her craft

Kimmy Cat’s blog – Part 3

I thought I would start this post by explaining about the exams I keep mentioning.

To gain your Private Pilot’s Licence you have to complete a minimum of 45 hours, pass 9 ground school exams, complete a solo flight and at the end – the actual ‘Practical’ exam, demonstrating you know all the limitations of your plane and know how to fly it capably and safely.

I sat my 9 exams last year at CATS ground school, in Luton – in May the last one took place. You are given online course material, although you really need to study the books – available from Pooleys or even the ground school. I was extremely lucky to be honoured to receive a set of these amazing books from Sebastien Pooley himself, along with all the instruments, pilot handguides and even a note of best wishes also! Cheers Sebastien, you angel you!

The exams are quite hard, especially without having any prior knowledge, but the plan was to get them out of the way so I could then just concentrate on the flying ‘bit’. The team at CATS all pulled together to help me through and I couldn’t be more grateful – especially when I passed all 9, 7 of which with flying colours,

Unfortunately, the day you pass the last exam, the timer begins. You have 18 months to pass your PPL, otherwise you will have to pay and study to resit all 9 all over again! Which is why I am starting to get this awful horrible uneasy feeling in my tummy that I won’t pass in time! Fundraising is slow going and I fear I may not reach my goal in that time. BUT, I am positive and plodding along, doing my best, putting aside every spare penny and I am hopeful with all the kindness and support I have received, plus my own efforts, it will see me through!

When I am doing my own fundraising, apart from sharing my link on Facebook and getting support and help from the flying community and friends, I also put in any spare cash I manage to Save. My friends and family acquaintances also help. I used to get calls at midnight from those stuck or those too drunk to drive after a good night out, and I would always offer to pick them up and drive them home safely. Yet now I still get woken up at all hours of the night but they have donated some to my page!

Another small fundraising plan was last year. My physiotherapy group sponsored me to walk 20 steps without stopping – using a frame! It may not sound like much but one step causes me untold agony, so it was a big effort on my part. I managed 18 steps by the way! And 3 people each gave me £18!

And now for our regular “silly, clumsy, Kimmy bit”. As I’m sure you may have noticed in the previous posts, something ridiculous always happen in my week! (At least once!)

As my wheelchair got stolen not too long ago, I was given a lease. 

However, my lease wheelchair does not fit me AT ALL, but it’s better than crawling on the floor. 

When going faster than 10 metres an hour, if I go over even the smallest of bumps, it has a major meltdown, this particular meltdown happened only a few days ago.

So, Thursday evening, there I am rolling along with Pria dog – in our post-bedtime walk, rolling along at the same speed of a slow walk, and we go over the bumps in the pavement – to indicate to blind people (I always assume) where to cross etc. and my wheelchair flips out and starts snaking all over the pavement.

Then it starts trembling and shaking more and more violently, until it is obviously so cross with me it decides it no longer wants me as its passenger. 

so, it jerks forward at such a speed – I don’t have time to stop myself! – I go flying forward, smacking my face on my fist – as I have my hands out to try and land with at least some dignity. 

The result is my poor little tooth makes the most awful crunching sound and comes flying out my mouth!

I am not ashamed to admit I had a little cry right there and then – the pain in my mouth was quite bad 🙁 My wrist was quite sore too.

But with Pria trying to give me lots of kisses all over my face – yuk! – I couldn’t stay upset for long! (Once she tried to kiss me when I was preoccupied and she licked my nose and my teeth! not a pleasant experience!) so, sniffling sadly and very very very carefully, I tried to get back into my chair. Luckily it didn’t seem to mind having me in this time around, so I apprehensively made my way home, with Pria pulling me along. 

As you can see in the picture – it smashed right out, leaving only the root still in! OUCH!

Unfortunately, it’s going to take a lot longer than I thought to have it fixed, but fingers crossed it will be in the next few months! 

So for now I am stuck looking like a pirate, but determined to beat that 18-month deadline!

You can help Kim to achieve her goal:

As you can see, Kim is battling against the odds to raise enough to complete the flying hours and lessons necessary to take her Skills Test and gain her PPL within the deadline. If you’d like to help brave and very determined Kim to reach her ambitious goal, she has a fund-raising page through PayPal  ( and all donations of any amount would be very gratefully received. 

The DBF is so proud to be able to support this very worthy applicant with a Lady Bader Grant. We wish her all the success she undoubtedly deserves. We have no doubt that, by hook or by crook, she’ll be up there flying solo before too long.

And more:

You can read Kim’s previous Blogs – and they are well worth reading! – by following the link to the News Section of the Bader Grants Page.

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