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20 April 2009

I WANNA BE A PILOT.. IS AGE A BARRIER?

By Sundararajan

Note from Blog Team: What can we say? We would love to give you number 25. But we can’t. We are putting this up because if you have met the age requirement, we would have shortlisted you. In fact, we debated on this for the last few days on how do we approach this. We think your an inspiration to the others and you embody what it takes to be a pilot. The blog crew salutes you.

Firstly my many thanks to Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes on this brilliant idea and also not forgetting our fellow corporate blogger “ DEREK TAN” (checked the spelling 3 times) and associates who are on the wheel as well. As a corporate blogger I know how your ears and heels are right now reading thousands of it daily. Smiling at some and also starring at a few shocked. Me too infact, been reading all the short listed blogs and now it stands at number 22. Syabas to all that have been short listed so far. You all could have been reading many thousands of blogs from every individual. After reading everyone’s blog on SO YOU WANNA BE A PILOT, I am having sleepless nights, well even before when it was announced. I find it doesn’t take anything out of me to tell the truth and I want to share this to the whole world who reads this. I wanted to be a pilot too but the impossible hit me hard with negative vibrations. With AIR ASIA, today I had a hard knock on my head which really pinned me down to earth saying “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE”.

I never submitted any blog, but only read them. My first blog in this lifetime.. Here goes my story line and I hope it would be received in good hands. I am 39 years old now, coming to 40 very soon. I am writing this not because I want to be a pilot and get in via short cut but to share my feelings and how I had struggled in life to be one and met failures. I did not do really well in SPM at that time when I was 17 but thinking of not to waste my time further I continued my studies in a local Engineering college and earned my Diploma which is now paying me well. Well everyone might be worried for Maths, but calculations on board before taking off is crucial, but why worry, Dex Kong Sun (one of the short listed candidates) had his picture posted along with his blog taken with a second officer on board, did anyone notice on the far right there is a calculator, probably belongs to the second officer. Well I find we should be ok and flexible on this.

I have about 20 odd close friends of mine who are pilots with Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qatar. We were all the bunch who would be only talking about aircrafts over “teh tarik session” and guess what, even bets on what company aircraft is that approaching to land over RWY 02/20 SIN at Changi Beach in Singapore. We will take a ride on our bikes to Singapore from JB just to see the take offs and landings, believe me almost everyday without fail. All except me got through into airlines as pilots. This was due to some work related issue where I was stranded in BKK and unable to come in for the intake with Singapore Airlines. There is no second chance with Singapore Airlines as such I just smiled to myself saying, well the world has not come to an end yet. Then it went on with me in tears when I was 22. All my friends now are captains with their respective airlines with me being diverted to a different line all together. I continued my career with the customer service engineering job. As time passed, I was really down thinking about my ambition, so I asked my dad who was a magazine stores owner, to sponsor me to Perth for me to take up CPL /IR and he went up to almost all the banks in the city but came out with rejection. I felt so bad to see my dad’s face each time he comes out of a bank. He will give me a reason and we will go for a short chat session over tea or something. Banks reason being too high of a cost for a short duration of training because at that period of time banks prefer supporting doctorate and engineering studies over a 5 years period. This was what the banks replied. So I dropped it as my dad equally felt bad that he could not fulfill his own son’s dreams. Even I had a millionaire “uncle” whom I approached but hmmm..bad sign again he said dream for something within your capabilities not beyond. I showed him my interest, my computer aircraft simulators games etc etc but it didn’t seem to convince him at all. RM146,000.00 in the year 1992 is something every tom, dick and harry would have his/her eyebrows sticking up high. I continued with my job and since busy, I closed my chapter of dreams and continued with work, work, work and being a super workaholic, life went on.. until Air Asia tickled me and I believe everyone, to bring their respective dreams to reality. Sometime last two weeks ago I thought to myself, shouldn’t have Air Asia started when I was 22..

Then I started my own company in year 2000, simultaneously when Air Asia started its deals. At the same time, days and years went on, I started buying magazines which had Datuk Tony’s photos in the front cover. Read them and created my own enthusiastic growth within my company. I am proud of where Air Asia is now. OK coming back to the story.. I am also a Amateur/Ham Radio enthusiast. Well can’t be a pilot hmmm at least able to listen beyond frequencies listening into air band frequencies, ATIS and so on and now with the commands of a pilot on board and a Jeppesen map, I track them at times, their current locations and follow them until they are lower on ground and land. In fact at one time there was a FEDEX aircraft which had a landing gear retract problem and I monitored till they made a safe landing back to base. Very interesting to hear how the pilot managed his way through and wasn’t panicked at all. This is the Jeppesen Map i use to track aircrafts while listening in to my amateur radio. Some may drop the hope of becoming a pilot looking at the complicated map but not to worry its simple..

Now that I am on my own..my Company is running fine but now at this moment of time with the idea which popped up within the heart of the CEO and his fellow blogger team, to come up with the idea of a blog “ SO YOU WANNA BE A PILOT” I am having a positive feeling, stronger feeling within me maybe I should try but then again my age requirement bothered me a lot. Well I remembered something so suddenly that I wanted to share this along.. I met a CFI of Air India on board a flight to London when I was going there for my work. He had a book entitled “Monkeys Can Also Fly” an inspiration. That pushed me again. Interesting isn’t it? Until today wherever I travel whether on a business meet or at home I am always within my cockpit..

Well, I wish to fly for Air Asia with committed responsibility, attitude, and good customer service, take everyone flying with you as a family member, last but not least, willing to sell my shares off the company I own to pursue my passion in this lifetime and embark into being a “CHAUEFFER IN THE SKIES FOR AIR ASIA”. I am healthy still (just finished my medical checkup, to at least make sure I am fit to embark). 6ft 1 tall. I know I could earn more in my own company but the dreams the passion whatever I can think off is just flying and make Air Asia an airline for everyone. I still have the courage with Datuk Seri’s words “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE” I am sure and confident I can do it and my friends, especially my teh tarik partner CAPTAIN MATHEW who is a Captain with Singapore Airlines, whom would be equally happy to give me a helping hand whenever I need. The age is what bothering me but nevertheless, I COULD BE OLD AT AGE BUT I AM YOUNG AT HEART. Would you accept me in with my age being a question mark?. I don’t even mind if Air Asia fulfills my dreams and wants me to self sponsor and take up my own PPL “at least” before coming in to Air Asia to continue with CPL towards ATPL. I am willing to sign any bond required under Air Asia and willing to sacrifice my whole life with Air Asia. You could ask why now, well its all because I WANNA BE A PILOT . My last chance I guess to be one. I believe my courage would bring me up one day and I really hope this could be it. My chance, my very last chance. Oh yeah my favourite and lucky number is 23, well..

If I get short listed, I believe “EVERY GOOD THING HAPPENS FOR A REASON” and NOTHING IS TOO LATE. AGE is NOT A BARRIER BUT WHAT DATUK SERI has said…

Believe the unbelievable – I had submitted this, I get myself short listed, I could believe the unbelievable.

Dream the impossible
- I gave up my hope long time ago but now I started dreaming again..

Never take no for an answer - No I am 39 years old. am I eligible to apply? Well I just did it.

That’s what takes to be a high flyer..Don’t anyone think so…
Well I managed to fulfill at least this for now.. and hope i could bring it to the skies one day.
“taken on board AIR ASIA en route BKK-JHB, on location Kuala Trengganu coastal”

  • Rahamat Tulla

    inspiring story…
    never give up its not too late.:)

  • Rahamat Tulla

    dun give up..i have a friend who is a mas engineer he did his ppl at the age of 37 and now he is a flying instructor…nothing is too late..
    just have faith

  • Mohd Danial

    Mr. Sundararajan..

    Wow.. Reading ur blog has made me feel quite ‘speechless’.. U are one tough guy.. and I admire that a lot.. All the ‘could-have-beens’.. All the struggle to achieve one’s dream..

    Well.. It’s never too late to go for what you believe in aite?.. n I really respect your courage just to submit this entry of urs.. and I sure do hope that Air Asia can do something about it.. Truly remarkable and inspirational..

    All the best Mr. Sundararajan! :)

  • Daphne Siew Li

    Congrats!

  • Kong Sun

    Hey Mr. Sundararajan, I fell sad for you about your age factor. Well I really hope AirAsia can work out something for your.

    Anyway that picture I took is with a Captain and I was sitting at the First Officer seat.

    Hope everything in your life goes on well.

    God bless. =)

  • Chee Keong

    I am sorry that you’re not shortlisted bro…

    But your post has really inspired me..
    Never give up, and do your best to get what you really want in life..

    Regards,
    CK

  • Stephen

    Mr. Sundararajan a pilot in the making! All the best!!
    Take care and god bless.

  • Haansel Ananth

    Dear Mr.Sundararajan, dont let this bring you down. Have faith in god. All the best and god bless you.

    regards,

    Haansel

  • Low

    If all of us can give you 1 year of our youth, then u might be able to get in. Somehow I feel your age crisis and glad that I’m where I am now instead of worrying to be the ‘older’ ones here.

    I’m sure you can make it somehow, one way or another =)

    smile and we will smile with you

  • Lorin

    Hi Mr.Sundararajan,dont let this bring you down.If God close one door he opens another door…….. be cool God bless you!!!

  • Gayathri

    Dear Sundararajan,

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

    Dont give up!! Your blog is a motivation for all the guys/girls out there.
    So Mr Sundararajan…wish you all the best for your dreams to come true.
    Take care.

  • Wan Siong

    Sundararajan,
    I always believe age is a very big factor. People tend to doubt your capability when you are too young, or doubt your ideology when you are too old.
    And also I’m a firm believer that when one cannot jump over the barrier, walk around it to find a solution.
    Sad to hear that you cannot make it this time, but I do sincerely wish you good luck in finding alternatives in achieving the same goal.

    Benjamin Siew Wan Siong

  • Wai Weng

    Sundararajan, I’m speechless after reading your blog. It’s sad that you have been rejected. However, don’t give up. I believe nothing is impossible. All the best to you.

  • Yee

    Hi Sunda,

    You really have impressive determination to be a pilot. It’s really not too late if you would like to achieve your dream especially when you have no financial difficulties right now…

    Cheer up man… Nothings being too late and the aviation door always open big for you…

    Cheer

  • Dinagaran

    ROYAL SALUTE!!!!!

  • Sundararajan

    TO ALL DEAREST ONES WHO HAD COMMENTED AND WISHED ME ABOVE…

    This is not a failure for me and this is the beginning, with all of you out there as an inspiration for me, I am already up in the sky flying high with all those kind words you friends had cherished on me. My Heartfelt thanks to all the bloggers, including the AA Corporate Blog Team, for all the wonderful motivating words from everyone who commented. THANK YOU once again and ALL THE BEST. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

    Kind Regards,
    R.Sundararajan

  • Cinta Theresa

    Hi Sundararajan,

    you’re great! at the ae of 30 plus you still tried your best to write in! You ‘re like me haha. tough I’m just 30 this year.

    anywhere, don’t be too sad. if you think the God is closing up all your windows, remember that He will actually open a door for you!! that’s how my pilot friends told me. just talked to Captain Shannen Khan from SIA!! Actually he encouraged me to go for cadet pilot. My age is a barrier, now I know.

    Who is the next one to become “Susan Boyle” ? She is now a Super star on the world screen!!! An 47 year-old women from Scotland who took part in “Britain’s Got Talent”. Everyody there were trying to laugh at her as she really has a “Plain look” and her age that is too much older than other contestants. She sang “I dreamed a dream”

    But her voice, really surprised the whole audience in the auditorium!!wow…almost put everybody to tears..included the original singer, Patti Lupone , when she heard the song that she used to perform in the past time.
    Broadway legend Patti Lupone, who performed in “Les Miserables,” said she was brought to tears upon seeing Susan Boyle’s performance on “Britain’s Got Talent.”

    She really has a angelic voice and most importantly se had wowed the world music industry..her voice is so wonderful, the lyrics is so touching.

    Watch her performance on youtube. I’m sure that you will cry. I had watched many times…
    An 47 year-old women who grabed the world attention with her incredible voice..Nobody knew there’s a superstar who hide from the world screen.
    “She said to Simon, the judge, “I never got the chance.”That’s wy I’m here now,..

    Let’s us Dreamed a dream together…
    Mr.Sundararajan, I’d never give up!

    Cinta Theresa

  • Hamimah

    i AM CRYING JUST BY READING THIS..AND ALL THOSE COMMENTS..

    Dear mr Sundararajan..thank you for being my inspiration..
    you’re incredible person

  • Sin

    Bro Sundararajan,

    Your post certainly inspire us alot and leave great ”punch” into our heart. Salute

    Don’t let the age factor beats your dream, mayb you can go pusue PPL, flying to your dream since I see you are a boss now..LOL

    Your post really great and it touched me hard. Haha, salute again !

  • Kung Yung

    Hey Sundararajan,

    I noticed the title of your blog says “I WANNA BE A PILOT.. IS AGE A BARRIER?”

    Airlines tend to impose an age restriction for cadets. However, if your ambition is to be a pilot and not necessary an AIRLINE pilot, there are many other options available. PPL, Flight Instructor, Charter operations, etc etc etc.

    My father took up his first flying lesson at the age of 55. Today he is happily flying around the country, sometime even carrying out charity works along the way.

    When I wanted to pursue my flight training in Malaysia, the DCA shut its doors on me to all flying school in the country, simply because I did not fulfil the necessary high school qualification, despite having a Masters degree. Refusing to allow DCA to seal my fate, I am now learning to fly in Australia.

    WHEN THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY!

    All the best.