Note from blogteam: This is what it means to chase your dreams. Ian has done so much but because he is not a Malaysian, we can not help him and we are sorry. But to all you who want to be pilots, this is what is called for. Perseverance and determination to make your dream a reality. Ian, we would have shortlisted you but apologies.

You need to sacrifice and really want this. This is what it takes to pay for your dreams. Malaysians, you really do not know how lucky you are. Tomorrows the day and we will see who will be shortlisted.

Greetings fellow bloggers and Air Asia blog crew. My Name is Ian Chenel and I live in Mauritius. I measure 190cm in height and weigh 85kg. Becoming a pilot has been my dream for a long time now, however, this passion for aviation started some time before I knew what I wanted to do. Let me explain. I was still in my early days of primary school when I used any spare time I had to draw planes on a piece of paper. That was my hobby. My mother actually kept a couple of my drawings and looking at them now makes me imagine the situation if planes actually looked like that…We’d be in a serious pickle let me tell you that!!!!

I really found out that I wanted to become a pilot at age 9 when I saw a movie about planes. After this the passion for aviation has never left me and its safe to say it never will. I got my first computer at age 11 and my first game was Flight simulator 2000. My parents were really supportive and did everything they could to help me pursue my dream. The next year, when I was 12, my mother offered me a joy flight in a small aircraft, a Socata TB-9. That was the first time I flew. I taxied the aircraft, the instructor helped me take-off and gave me the controls during the flight then took over for landing. I was overwhelmed by joy and that flight really buried the aviation ‘virus’, as i like to call it, deep in my blood. That was the first chapter of my real-life flying experiences. Since we could not afford going there often, my mum paid for an hour of flight for my birthday once or twice after that.

I successfully received my International Baccalaureate Bi-Lingual Diploma in 2006 with passes in all subjects including Maths HL and Physics HL. I then decided to go to Australia to study. I clocked up about 27 hours on a Cessna 172R before financial reasons stopped me from going on. My instructors were very impressed with my performances. I averaged 95% in all class exams and was declared ready to go solo after only 7 hours of flight. I actually went solo after 12 hours though because I had to wait for my Student Pilot License. Even with that delay I was the first to go solo in my class and I was way ahead of everybody else before I had to stop. I have to thank flight simulator and my Pilot friends for my performance. I bought a couple of add-ons for flight simulator to take my Flight sim experience to another level. I can now fly the 747-400,400F , the 767-300ER, the ATR 72-500 with skill and regard for real-life procedures. I had one of my friends who is type rated on the ATR, 767, A320,A330/340 and who is now a Training Captain to check on me if I was doing things right and he was amazed at the amount of realism those add-ons brought to Flight Simulator. I believe I was born to become a pilot and if you would give me the chance I can prove that to you. I am very harsh with myself when it comes to flying, I never settle for less.I always try to find how I can improve that approach, that flare, that crosswing landing, anything!! I am also a senior member and Junior Instructor in my local Radio Control Aircraft Club. I am Fluent in English and French both written and spoken and I am fluent in Creole, spoken only. This is my story and I am hoping you will give me the chance to realise my dream. I may not satisfy all the criteria but I am damn sure I can make a very good pilot. I am willing to settle in Malaysia and am very comfortable with working with people of different ethnicities. I am a very easy going person and very pleasant to hang out and work with. Good luck to you all who, like me, are trying to make your dreams come true. I hope it works out for you. Thank you very much Air Asia for that opportunity, I would be honored to form part of your Flight Deck Crew. I definitely want to have P-I-L-O-T in my job column and I definitely say YES to an opportunity to change my life.

Many thanks and regards

Ian Chenel


  • Wai Tian

    You looks like Obama.

  • Yee

    Hi Ian, your writing is very impressive and i do felt your efforts to make it happen. Although you are not qualify here, i believe many opportunity will be there for you… Just keep it up as you are half way through..cheer

  • Cheung

    Good luck to all the participants!!!

    So unfortunate i am not in the game because of the same reason!!

    I just can’t wait when Air Asia got a international or Asia version of the “blog to be pilot” competition.

    Keep work up your way, Ian!!

    P.S: Can you cut 10 cm of your height and give it to me?? I want to be slightly taller!!! (Joke!!)

  • Dominic

    Dear Ian,

    Although Air Asia is unable to have you with us this time around, I am sure, with your determination you will be able to make your dream come true. Do not let your financial situation be a burden, make it your strength. In Air Asia, we have many pilots who struggled to get their wings as well, but now, some have already made it to the left seat as Captains on the A320s.

    Best of luck!

    Best Regards,

  • Hwai Bin

    I appeal to Tony and Azran – please give this man a chance! A person of such passion, commitment and dedication should have a chance to pursue his ambitions. I am sure that fellow competitors will want to take on the best there is so as to make winning even more satisfying.

    I believe that he will be an asset to any airline. So let that airline be AirAsia/AirAsia X! :)

  • AirAsia Blog Team

    This is just one example of how much this profession means and why we started this competition. We want your dreams to be heard and we want to give you a hand in getting there. Its painful to many but never ever give up. That is what a dream is. Its more than wishful thinking. Its your everything. Its embarassing to get mothers calling us for their children. Step it up and reach for your own dreams. This is about you and you have to want it, to fight for it and most importantly, to believe it.

    To the public who will be watching this, this is simply how much this means to them. We are proud to be part of making their dreams come true. This is merely the starting point, we hope they will inspire you too to reach for your own dreams and live your lives to the fullest.

  • Chay

    I really respect you personally Ian..sincerely hope that one day u can spread your wings and fly with your head tilt high!!!!

    Best regards,

  • Lap Seak

    Hi, Ian. thanks for posting your blog and show by the AirAsia blog team. Honestly, I am very admire you and your passion to become a pilot. But very unfortunately you are not Malaysian, but this is not a big problem, you can still apply for many airlines and I believe that your passion will make you become a pilot or a captain one day. Good Luck.

  • Ian

    Thank you all for you awesome support. Im touched. Thanks a lot. I wish you guys who are also trying for that program, lots of luck! Once again, thank y’all for your support, I really appreciate it. It gives me the strength to go on. Hope to meet you guys in the sky one day! CHeerZ! tk care


  • AirAsia Blog Team

    Dear Ian, we, the blog team are truly hopeful to see you in the skies. We are sorry we cannot help you but with your desire, you will surely make it. Once again, salutes.

  • Cheung

    For this case, Would Air Asia make a more “multinational version”(or Just an Asian Version will do, since the airline is called Air Asia) regarding to this programme “So you wanna be a pilot”??

    I mean,later one in the future.

  • Hare

    Dont give up Ian, go for it….gud luck..

  • Carene Yam Fee

    I’m feeling for you Ian.I’m really touched by your story and wish you will never give up on your dreams.I do believe you are halfway there.You have done so much on your own already.Im glad i stumbled on your blog.Im sitting here and thinking your passion and determination and drive is INSANE.
    Bon courage et bonne continuation!:)

  • Carene Yam Fee

    bon courage et bonne continuation ian!

  • Chee Keong

    Ian, with ur passion, and determination, you are definitely heard by us..

    don’t ever give up…
    u will succeed with it!!!

    Best Wishes,

  • Hare

    Hi Ian, there a chance for you, don’t give up, apply here….

    If you think you’re what we’re looking for, apply now for a rewarding career with us!
    Logon to jobs.airasia. com to apply. (Apply before 16 April 2009)
    International applicants are encouraged to apply. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

  • Ian

    Hi Hare, I cant see any position for Cadet Pilots on the website. i saw an option there, whereby u can drop ur resume if the job you are looking for isnt there, is it this one? If thats the case, I just dropped off my CV there. Id be glad to be able to complete my studies and work for Air Asia!