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30 April 2009

So You Wanna be a Pilot?:YES!!

By Kenneth

Note from Blog Team: Guess whos back? From outerspace. Okayla from the blogospace. Number 31 has been unveiled. Step right up Kenneth. This ones for the rest of the people still waiting for their turn, we’re still alive and we’re still reading each post. We love you all! We’re putting up our hand in the ayer, ay-ayer, ayer- ay-ayer!!!

When I first saw this blog, I remembered Florida’s song — “Oh hot damn, this is my chance! Keep me partying till the a.m. Y’all don’t understand? Make me throw my hands in the ayer, ay-ayer, ayer- ay-ayer!!” I can definitely raise my hands in the air right now!

My name’s Kenneth Teng Ngee Lun, currently 18 years old who had just received my SPM results and waiting for my King Scout Award examination. First and foremost, I would like to thank Dato’ Anthony Francis Fernandes and Airasia for giving me and other aspiring pilots the chance to blog their feelings and reasons to become an airline pilot. So you wanna be a pilot, you ask? And YES is definitely my ONE and ONLY answer. I believe not only Airasia, but any, anyone in the world that ask me the same question will only get the same answer — YES!!

So why?
Well, if not, I would not be here blogging and answering Airasia’s call. Not only me, but other aspiring pilots will also do the same and take up the challenge. This is the place only for people who dream to be a pilot. I still remember my childhood experience when I am up in the sky. Every time I board a plane, I’ll have airsick. And I mean it, EVERY TIME. However, that doesn’t stop me from boarding a plane of course. I’m determined to get over my airsickness. So I tell myself when I’m on a plane: “GET OVER WITH IT. WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY”. I tried and tried. And yes, repeated exposure to the flight environment decreases my susceptibility to subsequent airsickness. Airsickness never comes again. I enjoyed every flight I had back then.

I never thought of becoming a pilot when I was young. I just knew I enjoyed my flights in the plane. Taking a view of the surroundings outside when I’m in the plane, that really excites me. Thinking back, I was happy to successfully overcome my airsickness. I knew that if I hadn’t keep on my will to do it, I wouldn’t be enjoying my flight as I would now compared to the old times. The feeling when I’m in a plane is totally indescribable and I cherished my every moments in a plane. What makes me more enjoyable are those smiles… Every time I see pilots and flight attendants, their faces will be lit with generous and charming smiles. They must be enjoying their career a lot to be able to give those smiles.

See those smiles? =)

I remembered watching “Triumph in the Skies” which is a Hong Kong drama television series. I never knew this drama was such memorable to others until I read their blogs. They all love it as much as I am!. It’s really a great drama. It shows the story of several people who are in the aviation industry. Oh my, how nice those pilots look in their uniforms! This drama is probably the best drama I’ve ever watched in my life, and my favourite. I learned a lot about the life of pilots from it. I can watch it over and over again!! The drama also shows flight training in Adelaide. That was the time when I took a step closer into the life of a pilot. I read aviation stuffs and articles about pilots’ life and career on the internet. And I finally knew what I wanted ever since in my life and as my career. Yes, P-I-L-O-T.

Is it their uniforms, their hats, their ties or their epaulettes that make them admirable? NO, it’s their job, their job as a PILOT!!

Ah, another thing I finally knew was filling in the “cita-cita” columns in school with the job I really wanted to be. And I filled all 3 with P-I-L-O-T. It was the first time I filled up the columns from the bottom of my heart (I always copied my friend’s as I don’t know what to fill, hahaha). My parents did asked me what I wanted to be in the future.
Mum: So have you decided what you wanted to be in the future?
Me : Yes, I wanna become a pilot. Mum: Are you sure? It’s a dangerous job.
Me : Yes, I’ve made up my mind. Piloting is what I really wanted to be and I’m sure about it.
Mum: What if you can’t be one? What other jobs you have as your second choice?
Me : There’s no second choice. I just want to be a pilot.

Yes, you see it. I just want to be a pilot. Nothing else is my dream. I worked hard studying in Form 4. You may ask why. What’s the requirement to be a pilot?
Passed a Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or equivalent qualifications with credits in five(5) subjects including English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject.
Getting good academic results is the first step in ensuring I achieve my dream as a pilot. Besides, I limit my time watching television programmes. I wanted to maintain a good eyesight as that’s also one of the requirements to be a pilot. I also exercise regularly to keep myself fit.

Well, hard work does pay off. I got straight As (8A1 3A2) for my SPM. I scored A1 in English 1119, Physics, Additional Mathematics and Mathematics which are the subjects required. My first step in becoming a pilot is successful! What’s more to come? Airasia’s opening cadet pilot intake!! Of course I’ll never let the chance slip by. I applied it straightaway after completing my National Service. I also wrote a letter to DCA to get my DCA’s approval letter for professional pilot training. Sadly, my father doesn’t have enough money to finance my pilot training. 250k will add his burden as he’s heading his retirement age in 2 years time. Furthermore, he’s to pay housing loan and my elder sis is still studying at overseas at the meantime. Being a private pilot is not an option anymore.

My DCA Approval Letter

My parents asked me to apply for JPA scholarship after I received my SPM results. I had to do so and it was really difficult for me to fill in the course as there was no PILOT! So I put engineering and 2 weeks later I was called up for an interview. In mid April 2009 I was offered Engineering (France) by JPA. I thought of getting an engineering degree at first before becoming an airline pilot if I didn’t receive a reply from Airasia cadet pilot intake. My heart sank when I was told I have to study Engineering in France for 7 years and bonded for another 7 years. 7 years in Engineering isn’t a big deal, but another 7 years for bond? I’ll be 32 years old by that time and I won’t be eligible to apply for either MAS or Airasia’s cadet pilot intake anymore as the age limit for Airasia is 28 and it’s 26 for MAS. It was the biggest decision I have to make in my life. In the end, I decided to reject the offer and study locally.
My reason?
After completing my engineering and bond I’ll be 32 years old where I’m not eligible to apply for cadet pilot anymore. Because private pilot is not an option for me, I can only put my hopes on cadet pilot. Moreover, they only offer Mechanical, Chemical and Electrical Engineering. Where’s Aeronautical Engineering?? So if I study locally, I’ll still have the chance to apply for cadet pilot intake if it’s open every year. I’m not willing to give up on my dream to become a COMMERCIAL AIRLINE PILOT.


My dream office, an office that travels with breathtaking view

Why me? How will I make a good pilot?
Passion is the word
I believe every aspiring pilots blogging here will have the same thing, that is PASSION. Passion is of utmost importance for one to be a pilot. A pilot with great passion will love his job. It helps to remember why we are there in the first place. Every second in the plane matters to a pilot. If I didn’t love it deep down it would simply become just another job that requires extraordinary sacrifices. That’s why I choose to be a pilot because I love it deep down in my heart. Becoming a pilot is about enjoying flying as our career and part of our life. And I’m sure I’ll enjoy flying as my career. I’ll take up whatever challenges ahead and overcome them to be a pilot. I’m willing to fly for my whole life!!

Attitude
The skills of flying an airplane is only a small portion of what it takes to be a pilot. A pilot’s attitude can be his or her most valuable asset. Every decision made is influenced by attitude. I have the attitude to become one.

1) Leadership. I’m very active in school’s co-curricular activity as I joined various clubs such as Chess and Carom Club, Leo Club, Taekwondo, English Club, Kelab Bimbingan dan Kaunselling and Scout. I held the positions of class monitor for several times in primary and secondary school. I was also the Assistant Head Prefect in primary school. Besides, I’m the President of my school’s Scout Group. During my year as the president, my Scout Group received the Chief Comissioner Quality Scout Group Award. There’s only 3 Scout Groups in Sarawak to receive the award that time. I also held the position as Platun Sarjan when I’m in National Service.

2) Teamwork and communication. A good pilot communicates and works well in a team. From large team such as Airasia to a small team of cabin crew in a plane. As an active scout member for 5 years, I value teamwork and communication. Communication leads to teamwork and without communication, there won’t be any teamwork. Captains, co-pilots and air traffic controllers need communication among themselves. Even when we are in the position of the captain of a plane, we can’t be ego and deny the advices from our co-pilot about possible mistakes in the decision we made. Pilots need to communicate and work in a team in order to ensure a safe flight. Thus, a pilot’s attitude decides his or her flying altitude.

3) Discipline. 5 years in a uniform group has instilled good discipline within me. Why is discipline an important criteria to become a pilot? Nowadays, it’s a common thing for people to drive over the speed limit on the road or continue driving their car in very heavy rain. Both of these activities elevate the risk associated with driving. But, if we as pilots carry this same attitude into the cockpit, we are NOT GOING TO LAST LONG. Flying an airplane is nothing like flying a car. If I’m a pilot, I’ll put great emphasis on flight safety and do my best to ensure that the passengers fly and land smoothly.

4) Responsible. Being ultimately responsible for the safety of the plane, passengers and lives on ground, becoming a pilot means putting tonnes of responsibilities on one’s shoulders. It’s important that pilots do not scare their passengers or does anything people might not understand without first making sure all passengers understand what they are doing and why. I lead my Scout Group so I know what is it like to take up responsibilities.

5) Decisive. I have the power to determine an outcome. Characterised by decision and firmness, I never hesitate to make decisions. Besides, I have good judgement. What is good judgement? It is the ability to make an instant decision which assures the safest possible continuation of the flight. I believe pilots strongly need that as pilots are always prone to situations that requires them to make the best decision in the shortest time.

6) Cautious. A pilot cannot afford to take risks because the lives of hundreds of passengers are in his hands. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t take risk and able to evaluate risks and make decisions. With a cautious attitude, the probability of a safe flight increases.

7) Health-conscious. Pilots need to undergo strict medical examinations. I do not smoke or drink alcohols because I know pilots must maintain a good health in order to be eligible to fly an airplane.

When we think of our dream, we think of someone who can take us there. That someone to me is Airasia. Despite the global recession we’re facing now, Airasia’s still hiring pilots. If I’m selected as an Airasia pilot, I’ll do my part in Airasia’s vision, that is “To be the largest low cost airline in Asia and serving the 3 billion people who are currently underserved with poor connectivity and high fares” by providing the passengers safe flights with happiness and satisfaction. If I’m not selected, I’ll never give up and knock the doors of Airasia and Malaysia Airlines until I become a commercial airline pilot. Why? Because I’ll never take NO for an answer! Lastly, I would like to thank Airasia again for giving me the chance. Make this first blog I write in my lifetime the best.

I wanna be the man who flies a multi-million dollar machine in the sky ─ Pilot

Thank you.

  • Kong Sun

    Congratulation man. Welcome onboard.

  • Low

    Very impressive curriculum vitae you have there. Why everyone watches the same drama? I should go find it hehe. Congrats!

  • Chee Keong

    congrats bro…
    i just like it when i see people then i am having great dreams..
    dare to dream!!!

    welcome on board!!

    Regards,
    CK

  • Chong

    congratulations, welcome..
    wah, “Triumph in the skies” again, so many people like it…haha I wrote about it and used the same picture as you in my second blog, but it was not shortlisted.

    Anyway, Ganbatte….

  • Sin

    Kenneth congratulation, and well done for your SPM result.
    Keep it up!

  • Wai Weng

    Wow….you are such a top student ya~! With good academic result and excellent curriculum performance. You deserve it!

    Congratulations :)

  • Wan Siong

    Kenneth,
    You know what?
    With your qualities, perhaps you should go pick up some acting skills.
    Then convince TVB to cast you in their next “Triumph in the Sky” installment – Reality TV style..
    Haha..
    Anyway, I gotta say this..
    Congrats on being short-listed!

    Benjamin Siew Wan Siong

  • Kenneth

    Thanks guys! Triumph in the Skies is truly a great movie. Highly recommended for aspiring pilots =D

  • Sara

    Congrats and good luck! Where there is a will, there’s a way!

  • Ailin

    Its funny how many airline pilots that i’ve come across who’re called kenneth!

    congrats man, and this yr first blog attempt!! hats off to you!!!

  • Kien Fui

    Congrats Kenneth, you are one step closer to you dream. I can feel that you’re really dying to be a pilot. Congrats again!!!

  • Jonathan

    hey kenneth..congrats & welcome onboard..everyone seems to be telling about the ‘triumph in the skies’ movie..congrats also on your excellent results in SPM..best of luck!

  • Daniel Sia

    Tat’s cool… Congrats Kenneth… G00D LUCK…

  • Ooi

    That’s a very inspiring real life story you wrote there.
    Truly, you made a tough choice of giving up JPA scholarship and took a big risk. Congratulations for taking one more step closer to your dreams.

    Determination determines success.
    All the best.

  • Shahrul Lokman

    hye there… u r really amazing~ like me, i am a medical student who really want to be a pilot.. medicine is my parents choice, thus can i apply for the pilot training after my housement. is about after my 25 years old..

  • Fong Choon

    Congrat to you Kenneth.
    By the way, how you finanace yourself to become pilot since the amount is huge..?
    RM250k is not a small amount..
    I also want to become a pilot just like you but because of the financing problem, i have to on hold my decision.
    I also have the same situation like you. Parents cant effort to support.
    Can you teach me how to find a financial aid and finally become a pilot like you..?
    Thanks.

  • Jonathan

    may i know how do i apply a scholarship for pilot training? thanks

  • Tan

    i am only 16 and my pmr result is 8As and my ambition is a pilot wanna be. I want to ask if i get a CPL in australia and come back to malaysia will airasia hire me or I need to bond with airasia only i can get a job in airasia?? because airasia got their cadet already will airasia hire another pilot again??

  • Leonard

    i have been wait for over 3 years to try to reach my dream of becoming a pilot.the problem do always come from my financial.as a great passion lure over my mind,i just can’t get any of good news.i try and i try to make something,try to realize my dream at a place where it could helping me,but it always been a bad news all the time.saying that..bla..bla..and sometimes i have been nearly give up on my dream,but i had to be strong and never ever try to pass myself up,cos i remember 1 of my friends,say to me…”we are the aviation,will never quit” it gives me a lot of confident,even i still can’t do nothing to realize my dream,but i know someday i could,i believe,i trust,and i gain my will to be on top and reach out the skies soon.

  • Muneer

    Kenneth

    You made to the shortlist of the would be AA Pilot cadet way back in April09 it reminded of my time when I was short listed and finnally selectedthat was way back 1977 and subsequently weant thru the training and obtained CPL/IR(UK)and later ATPL(UK) also, indeed became Captain in many of the equipment that was in the fleet of my Airline Co.. 2 years ago I retired from Commercial flying.
    I wonder what stage have you reached now in your training ??
    For your information At the time of finally being selected I had just graduated with Bsc Mech. Eng.(UK) at the age of 25, coz the issue of bond did not come to play in my case and therefore it was Ok for me to persue my dream except I was better prepared for the Pilot Training Technically ,this was to my advantage as I found out later and am sure those in similar circumstances will do . For those who are young and aspire to become Airline Pilots, go for to obtain the highest grades is purely for competion purposes amongst other applicants not that it required tat degree of excellence but more importantly the determination ,descepline,dedication yes above all make sure one get the highest of the grades to compete with others specially in the scientific subjects including English language as English is the language of Aviation Industry. All the best for Kenneth in your trainig as well as those new commers who are making their 1st attempt in applying for the available slots with both AA & MAS . REGARDS

  • Bharmjit

    When is the Cadet Pilot intake for 2010?