This is my story…
What is pilot? The first time, I can remember looking at pilot is when I was about 8 years old, my uncle from Sabah arrived at Subang Airport. While waiting for him to come out of the arrival area, I saw 2 people walking side by side with hat on their head wearing blazer with shiny gold lines on the sleeves.
I said to my mother, “Umi, tengok tu ada ketua askar”.
My mother corrected me and said that they are pilots not “ketua askar”. She explains that they are the “driver” of the aeroplane. That’s the first time I knew, what is pilot.. “aeroplane driver”. As time goes by, when I was in highschool in Form 3, my mother went to US for her medical operation, that’s the time I decided that I am kind of like to be a pilot after I saw pilots at KLIA. They walk and dress properly and looking very smart with cap and blazer, they caught my eye thinking that their job must be joyful. And when my mother came back from the US, she represented me with 2 aircraft models, B747 and B777 that she bought during her visit to Boeing factory after her operation. I became more interested to become a pilot and thinking that maybe I can become a pilot someday.
The most important moment in my life was the day I decided to live my life as a pilot. It happened before my first flight. It was from KLIA to Nagoya, Japan, Sunday night at 2345 hours. That was my trip for a month of Hippo Family’s Homestay Programme at my penpal’s house. My family members were not familiar traveling using aircraft, especially on my mother side. In fact, they haven’t board any aircraft before me. When they heard about the news that I was going to Japan, one of my auntie said to me 2-3 weeks earlier, that it is very dangerous to fly because there are many air accidents happened. She highlighted the air crush in Sarawak few years earlier where a helicopter crushed into the rain forest, all the passenger and captain were found dead. She told me how terrified the condition of the corps. That thing could happen to me she said. She also said that I better cancel the trip for my own safety. After all, that was only homestay it’s not like a thing I must do she told more. My mother doesn’t know about this because she might be seduced by my auntie’s word and cancel the trip. So, I keep it as a secret between us.
At that time, the story she told me doesn’t bother me because I was really happy to go oversea for the first time of my life. The day I went to KLIA for my flight, I wait in the waiting lounge looking at the aircraft that I will board. At that moment, my aunt’s story really haunts me. I was thinking of the movie Final Destination, where the aircraft blow and I was stuck in the middle explosion. I was thinking of going back home instead of board the aircraft and went to Japan. I really felt that aircraft was much more unsafe because that flight was at night – maybe the pilots don’t see other aircraft flying (that’s what on my mind). The worst thing was that I thought to quit my ambition to become a pilot. All I thought was “I won’t go in. I don’t want to die like this”. There was no one to talk to because most of the passenger is Japanese. I was so worried all by myself. And then the stewardess called for passenger to board the aircraft. Ofcourse I board the aircraft, if went back home and cancel the flight, I’ll waste the ticket that had been paid for me. My mother surely got angry, it is much better to take the risk and board the aircraft rather than got scold by my mother. That’s the worst thing ever. When I board the aircraft, I put my bag on my seat and I wait near the entrance, I was waiting for the pilot to enter the aircraft. I was still worry to fly in that aircraft. The stewardess tries to comfort me but it wasn’t enough, I stood still waiting for the pilots. When the pilots enter the door, I go straight to one of them and ask him “Is this aircraft safe to fly?” “Will it explode in the sky?” “Will it fall down during flight?”. He asked me instead “Is this your first time?”. “Yes” I replied. He then told me this “I fly this thing with full focus and I trained well, your life are much more important to me than mine. You’ll arrive safely, enjoy the flight”.
Suddenly my aunt’s horror story fade away and I feel so safe for the rest of the flight – I sleep most of the time. Thanks to that pilot. Maybe for others it was just a flight but for me that flight made me think that a job as a pilot is no ordinary job. The pilot was so calm even though I scratch his feeling by asking him stupid questions. He can even ignores me and ask the flight attendants to take care of me. Instead of doing that, he answers my questions. Showing that what he said comes form his heart, not a standard pilot-passenger guidebook phrases. But since then, I am very clear about my goal and there’s nothing hard enough to make me let go of my ambition as a pilot. I really look up to pilot with respect and I want to get in their shoes.
My path to be a pilot
As I get much more mature, I look the career of a pilot as something that is beyond career. Pilot is a lifestyle and becoming a pilot is not just passion, it is also involving high responsibilities and disciplines. So, I intended to be not just a pilot but a pilot with aerospace engineering knowledge. I want o become a pilot that have flying skills and also technical knowledge of aircraft and really understand the aircraft inside out. That’s the standard that I have for myself to become a pilot. For three years I devoted myself to study about aerospace. The fundamentals of flying, the aerodynamics of aircraft, the aircraft maintenance and the aircraft systems are some of the subjects that I studied during my Diploma in Aerospace Mechanical Engineering back in UiTM Pulau Pinang (Dec 2005 – Nov 2008). Those precious 3 year paid off with crucial knowledge of aerospace engineering especially involving aircraft. Thus, now I am well prepared to be a pilot and I believe that it is the right time for me to become a pilot.
Beside knowledge, interpersonal skills and discipline also a requirement to become a pilot. For that reasons, I become an active student when I was studying diploma. I join student associations to learn to become a much more discipline person with interpersonal skills. Through Majlis Perwakilan Komander Kesatria (MPKK) I earn discipline, the para-military association provide training such as marching and physical endurance. I earn discipline life through weekly and monthly trainings. I knew the important of time management, the responsibility I have for each duty given. Thus, working in a team as a leader or follower is a norm for me. I have conducted many activities and programmes when I was in Majlis Perwakilan Komander Kesatria such as Seminar on Organizing Association and Interpersonal Skill Seminar.
In class, I manage to come out with the idea to design own model aircraft base on the knowledge that I had learn during lectures. It’s not in the syllable to have such project, but for me, in order to really understand how aircraft fly, I must build one and learn from it. So, I form a group of friends with the guidance of my Head of Aerospace Mechanical Engineering Programme – Mr. Iswadi. We manage to build and fly a model aircraft. The person in red is Mr. Iswadi
I was given the honor to fly it among my friends since my ambition is to be a pilot. There were many hiccups and problems before the aircraft can fly smoothly. 6 times the aircraft had fall, crash and also burned. But, the effort to rebuild and redesign the aircraft was so valuable to me, I learn that it was a big responsibility to fly an aircraft. There’s no room for mistake. Much more than that, I learn the responsibilities that I had when I am operating the aircraft. I become much more understand what a pilot carry on their shoulders, it’s not the epaulette rank but the responsibilities the pilot have to take.
My basic knowledge about aviation is stronger since I met a flight engineer that happens to be my friend’s dad. He is Mr. Baharuddin a Flight Engineer of Transmile with more than 30 years of flying experiences. As much as I want to know about pilot, he thought me the fundamental skills and the theories of flying when ever I came to his house. With that, I bear in my mind that knowledge he gave me. He gave me the big picture of a pilot’s lifestyle, the working schedule, the responsibilities and the risks. It made me much more understand what pilot really means. Sadly, he refuses to let his picture in this entry because he doesn’t want it to be publish on the web.
I did all of these things to ensure that I am well prepared to become not just pilot but a very good high standard pilot. Even though it took me few years but it was worth enough for me since I become a better person. A person with much more knowledge and well prepared to become a pilot. The best one I hope.
For now, even though I am not attending any flying school. The learning process is still on going, my passion to become a pilot always opens a wide view for me to learn to become a pilot. Since I graduated my diploma level in November 2008, I read few books on how to get Commercial Pilot License. Even if I can’t afford to buy those books, I borrowed them at a nearby library. I believe that if there a will there will always a way to gain knowledge before I become a pilot.
Sometime people ask me, “Why do you want to be pilot?” “Why don’t you go for pilot after SPM?”“Isn’t it wasting your time studying engineering” I answer them.
I do everything with my pride. Pilot is my ambition, a job dedicated for people that have passion to fly, people with responsibility at heart, people who have discipline and self control. People who put their reputation to the ultimate challenge. I fit those criteria, I wanna go for pilot. I want to become the best pilot I could, so I have to really be prepared before I study as cadet pilot. If anything goes wrong, my pride is the price, I’ll lose them. I don’t want that to happen, my pride is the quality to be respect by other peoples. If I become pilot with lack of knowledge, I had crushed my reputation and pride. That’s the reason, I studied aerospace engineering earlier before I become a pilot. It’s not wasting time because the knowledge is useful for all my life time as pilot. I made them understand this noble career. Fly with pride.
The first thing to do when I knew I wanted to become a pilot is that I asked myself “Am I eligible to be a pilot?” “Do I qualify to wear the white uniform and the epaulette on my shoulder?”
I search down through the internet and knew about a website that provide with information to become a pilot. With forums provided, I spoke to pilots and cadet pilots on the topics of “How can I become a pilot?”. They all helped me a lot and generously share their information and teach me.
First of all, I sent letter to Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Putrajaya asking them whether I can study as cadet pilot in local flying academy or not. Few weeks after, they told me through formal letter saying that I was granted the permission to study in flying academy since my SPM result meets DCA standard.
Then, I went for medical check ups. There are stages of check up to be done. The Visibility Test, Physical Test, x-ray, Audio Test, Electrocardiogram (ECG) Test and Blood Test. The time when the doctor gave me the tests result. He said that, for most of the test I’m doing well but the ECG test was bad because my heart beat is higher than the normal heart beat and it will go higher if I am flying. Too bad he said to me while giving me a piece of paper, I feel so sad about it hearing that my ambition is over before it even begin. Thinking that the paper was bill I walk toward the room’s door. I almost cry, my eye were red holding on my tears from coming off. But then, the doctor said, why don’t you look at that paper. I stopped and read it , and I began to smile. It was not bill but certificate saying that I passed all of those medical checks up tests. The doctor certified me as an eligible person to become a pilot. He was then smile and laugh at me, saying that I must be tougher to become pilot. With that certificate surely I am happy, forget the red eye. I will be a pilot.
The next thing is to apply for cadet pilot programme. And AirAsia provide such a unique and interesting chance for me to become a pilot. This is another positive step I have taken to go for pilot as my career.
I walk the talk. I done all the things I could to realize my ambition and I tried and still trying my best to become a pilot. I hope my effort is impressive enough so that it can lead me to my successful life as a pilot. AirAsia here I come!! I wanna be your pilot !!!