The former Outward Bound instructor from East Knighton said his life has been transformed by taking up flying.
He has just been awarded a scholarship that will help him gain his pilot’s licence – and he is determined that will enable him to help mend other people’s broken lives.
But it was only last year that his spirits began to lift after the amputation of a leg confined him to a wheelchair or crutches.
Mr Poole, 57, said: “I was really desperate for a time. I was desperate for mobility. Then I discovered flying and that was it. “The first time I flew it was the most incredible feeling of freedom. Up there you leave your wheelchair and your disability behind.”
Mr Poole’s disability started 13 years ago when he underwent surgery in Scotland to fuse an ankle that kept dislocating.
He said: “They thought it would stabilise it but I got MRSA and had to have my leg below the knee amputated. And then four years ago I got a deep vein thrombosis and had to have the upper part of the leg removed.
“At that point I went into a terrible place. I feel as though I’ve gone from the depths of despair to flying high, literally.”
Mr Poole, who served in the Royal Navy for 23 years, had an artificial leg fitted and carried on in a new career as an Outward Bound instructor. But that ended with the second amputation.
He discovered flying for the disabled after reading a magazine article and got in touch with the British Disabled Flying Association.
He then applied and got a Flying Scholarship for the Disabled that enabled him to undertake five weeks training at Lasham airfield in Hampshire, where he has already clocked up five hours flying time.
His aim is to take other disabled people flying to help them experience the liberation and pleasure of becoming airborne.
Mr Poole, who moved to East Knighton ten years ago, has also been a social worker and he is keen to bring those skills together with flying to help others.
He said: “Since I started flying and got better there’s this need to help others really burning inside me.
“It doesn’t matter how ill you think you are – this charity will take you on.”
Dorset Echo, 25th April 2009