So you wanna be a pilot? I will answer “Yes” definitely. I am Chong Woei Liang, now 21 years old. I am a student from School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in Nanyang Technological University. After reading many blogs from shortlisted candidates, I feel impressed and envy on them. They have nice flight experience during young age and some even have the chance interact with pilots that are what I never have before. However, my passion and interest would not be less than anyone. I had my first flight just 2 months ago during my recess week with AirAsia, and going to have my second flight on 28th April 2009.
Why I want to become a pilot? How this dream started?
“Pilot” this word came across me when I was 9. My dad explained to me what is pilot, but I did not really understand what was pilot at that time. He told me that pilot was the superman of this world, because pilot can operate the plane to fly in sky, and responsible for every flight to make sure that passenger can enjoy a safe journey to destinations. From such description, it gave me briefly understanding because my favourite superhero is superman. As I grew little older, I just thought that pilot is just like a person who knows how to operate the flight of an airplane, seem a bit abstract to me, because it was told by my dad and my friends. However, I really know what is pilot when I was form 5 through a Hong Kong TVB drama named” Triumph in the Sky” which is the story mainly about pilots. Samuel Tong, the main character, impressed me to become a pilot. He was a high reputation senior captain, because of his dedication, serious and high requests on his pilot this career. He taught me a lot of knowledge of pilot, and responsibility of a pilot, I found the shadow of superman that my dad said to me from him. Because of his inspiration, I even more like to fly, and started to “falling in love” to pilot this career.
Besides that, I get know about how the airport operates everyday from this drama. Before that, I seldom go to airport; I do not really how it is. It showed me the working condition among pilots, cabin crews, stewardess and other departments in airport. At the end of every episode, there will be a person to introduce the details on pilots, airports, aeroplane, and etc. Even the training of cadet pilot in flying academic, it is shown in this drama. From this, I felt more even like to become a pilot, because I like the working environment. Every day, pilot may have the chance to interact with other people from different backgrounds and places. That is why I like to become a pilot also, I can travel over the world, I may have the chance to interact with them, and learn about various cultures in this world.
On 23rd February 2009, I had an unforgotten experience on my first flight to go back to Penang. Before that, I just went to Penang by bus which took us 10 hours to reach destination. It seems quite tiring; the vibration made me cannot sleep well in bus. However, I chose go back by plane after this, because the bus ticket and air ticket were sold in almost the same rate, so better to choose a fast plane. At that day, I departed from my University, by bus, MRT, and taxi to reach Johor Bahru Senai Airport., which took my time nearly 3 hours. I felt very nervous when waiting for checking into the plane, I was wondering how my first flight would be. When I stepped into the plane, I saw 2 guys who wearing smart pilot uniforms in the pilot control cabin, they are the one who I dream to meet in my life. Before the plane took off, I just realized that stewardess would demonstrate the safety precautions steps. When plane started to move, I felt very excited, and I knew it is going to accelerate to leave the ground soon. As the plane leave the ground farther and father, because it was night, the light from the airport became dimmer, the view on the ground very nice, like seeing many stars in the ground. The feeling on flying in plane was what I have imagined long time ago, but I can experience it myself, and I like it. It had been long time I left my home; I could not wait to meet my family in 1 hour later. The plane finally landed at Penang International Airport on time according to the flight schedule. Although my first flight seems normal to others, it is very meaningful and valuable memory to me.
At the airport, I saw some scenes and realized something which inspired me further to become a pilot. Every time the planes land or take off, it brings out many touching and beautiful stories behind. Airport is the place where people gather and meet happily or leave sadly. I hope to become a pilot to bring such happiness and dreams to passengers. For passengers who are leaving, they have their own dreams such as studying, working or missions at oversea. As a pilot, I can help them by just leading them to their destination of dream. With my dream, it comes with the great achievement of passengers’ dream. Some of them might left their family to work or study in oversea for a long time, the feeling of missing home I understand because I am studying in Singapore now and always missing my family in Penang because I have never left my home so far and long. The happiness of gathering with family really is priceless and valuable, seeing such happiness I also feel very happy and proud to become a pilot.
What have I done to attempt achieving my dream?
Well, pilot this career gave me direction and dream in the future. As a result, I chose physics stream during my form 6, although my physics marks always lower than my biology marks during form 4 and form 5.To be a pilot, I must have a good academic background. With my effort and determination, I managed to score A1 in Physics, Mathematics and Additional Mathematics for my SPM and A (4.0 CGPA) for every subject in my STPM. After my SPM, I had thought to apply to become a pilot, but I took my dad’s advice. He advised me that the route to become a pilot is not easy, I must think carefully before making and decision, maybe I was too young and not mature yet, so better study STPM first, and then only decide what I really like to be in the future. As a result, I continue study STPM; I was selected to participate in International Chemistry Olympiad Camp 2006 and 2007 in Malaya University. And I won some academic awards during form 6 life. Due to my great achievement in STPM, I was selected as Pelajar Cemerlang STPM 2007 by Penang State Government in 2008. Because of this, my friends and counselor teacher in school, asked me that “What do course you consider to study in university?” I said “Piloting”. They felt surprised and wonder me as a top student why don’t choose the course like medicine, pharmacy, electrical and electronic engineering, business or law. My answer is interest and ambition. These courses seem popular and difficult to get admission from local University, but I did choose them, because I do not have interest on them. However, I know that it is difficult to become a pilot in real life, if I want to become a pilot; the only way is through selection from airline. As I know that, the course of piloting and obtaining APTL is very expensive, not everyone can afford it. As a result, I chose a course that is related to aeroplane, aeronautical engineering which is not offered by NUS or HKUST. That is why I am studying in my current university even though KHUST and NUS offer me Chemical Engineering which I am less interested compared to aeronautical engineering. In this course, I will be studying aerodynamic, aircraft structure, flight mechanic and controls, mechanics of aerospace materials, and other subjects. One more interesting point is that there are some big plane models and some body parts of plane which is provided by Singapore Airline in my school aerospace lab. That is what I feel excited and interested, because I never see a plane in such close distance in my life. Below are some photo I taken in the aerospace lab. Nice?
After studying this course, I really hope that it can help me to achieve my dream in the future. I know that if I want to be shortlisted to become a pilot, I have to be qualified and some different from others. What can I do is to enrich myself with learning new knowledge. As influence of my dad, I started to learn Japanese Language since 2006 because my dad is a Japanese language teacher. As a result I passed Japanese Language Proficiency Test level 4 in 2006. Language is very important during communication, everyday; pilot will interact with people from different country and background, the language maybe useful during communication. One day, AirAsia will develop its flight to even more countries, like Japan, Korea, India, USA, it is advantageous to know other language. Because of this, the languages I know now are Malay, English, Mandarin, Japanese, and other 2 dialects Hokkien and Cantonese.
Why should I deserve 1 of the 10 spots?
Firstly, my interest and passion on pilot, that won’t be less than anyone. Everyone has one’s personality, I am sure I have my own personality and style that is different from others. A pilot just knows how to operate the control of plane and flight which is not enough, pilot must fulfill some important criteria. Well, responsibility is the main criteria that every pilot must have. I am ready and able to take up such responsibility of hundreds of lives of passengers on every flight. I am very serious on every responsibility that I take up; I will do it with my best. At primary school, I was the monitor and head prefect, had to take care of every student in school. When in secondary school, I was vice president of bowling club and the captain of school bowling team; I did a lot of planning, leading and organizing many events for school. I have well discipline since I was small. I was selected as student model when I was in primary school. To be pilot, discipline is very important; pilot must obey the rules and order from captain before making any decision. Besides that, I am physical active person. As I mentioned of my involvement in bowling club, I represented my school to participate in many bowling competitions and won some medals. Now, I am a bowler for my university. Besides bowling, I know how to swim, play badminton and table tennis. That is how I keep myself healthy. Furthermore, I was St. John Ambulance member during secondary school. I had passed my first aid course in 2007, it will be useful when I becoming pilot. I am willing to learn from others. When there is any hesitation or what I don’t understand, I will find out the answer myself or by asking others. With good academic result, I am confident to my ability to become a best pilot (my target). I will do everything with my best effort to achieve it without giving up. Cooperation among colleagues I appreciate most, because “One team, One dream; One team, One spirit”. It is impossible for a pilot to work without communication and cooperation. For my mental, I am prepared and stable. Counseling unit in my secondary school helped me built up my mental through participation in motivation camps and talks. Thus, I am prepared and willing to face any difficulties and challenge that I never face before. If I were selected as a pilot, I will accept and appreciate it definitely. Although I am studying aeronautical engineering now; I really hope to achieve my dream in shorter time. While I am still young in age, there are many things I want to do. After being the best pilot, of course, one step by one step, I will be aiming to become a chief captain.
I have a very high expectation on AirAsia this airline company. In this economic crisis period, the number of AirAsia passengers still can be maintained in increasing condition. I salute. As the increase 21% of passenger in early of this year, and the launch of flight to London, there may be more and more pilots are needed in the future with increasing flight. If I were selected to be a pilot, I will contribute and serve 101% to AirAsia, and bring this company to even higher expectation, development and reputation internationally. At last, I would like to thank AirAsia because of giving me a chance to become a pilot. Although I maybe or not shortlisted, I will continue to chase for my dream , and I wish all the best to those shortlisted candidates, and appreciate pilot this career, because I know that even the people from other countries hope to participate in this pilot blog competition, they maybe better than us, but they are not Malaysian. I heard that AirAsia is going to launch a direct flight from Singapore to Penang, my friends and I feel very thankful and happy about that. Thank you AirAsia, I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky, Everyone Can FLY!!!