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16 June 2009

Words from An Old Hat

AirAsia Social Media team

By AirAsia Social Media team

My 3rd posting…

Wow! I am amazed by Johan’s talent! He has broken the news through his article on the much talked-about ads of the mysterious Airbus A340, “The Oakland Raiders” What a scoop! His background in the media and his journalistic inclination has definitely been a good asset to Air Asia as he pursues his career to be a pilot.

JFK was there when the aircraft arrived from Singapore with Captain Michael Lee and First Officer Zulismadi at the controls, see this post here. Yes, I have flown with both of them in the past and they have interesting stories to their name.

Capt Michael Lee and SFO Zulismadi

When I first flew with Captain Michael Lee, I asked him why he chose to become pilot. This was what (if I can remember it correctly) he said, “There are too many square hats (doctors) in my family and I wanted to wear a round hat!” Well, he is definitely a brilliant chap (I believe he has been head-hunted to be here, ha!ha!) and today he is one of the Chief Pilots in AirAsia.

First Officer Zulishmadi was equally passionate to be become a pilot that he worked his way through the AirAsia Flight Operations, learning the basic trick of the trade there before being selected to become a pilot. Ask him anything about the day-to-day running of an airline, he has the answers!

Oh ya, not forgetting my fellow blogger here, Captain Dominic Henry Chin. He was recently appointed to head the Human Factors Department, whose roles, amongst others, would be to ensure the CRM (Crew Resources Management) program continues to help pilots to become safer in their flying operations. He has a degree related to Flight Safety from the University of Newcastle, Australia and no wonder he was talking about being safe and the “Dead Duck” story in his previous posting!

To Johan, I know you have given up the limelight of the entertainment industry to become one of the future airline pilots. I hope you will love the job to the end even though there are some pros and cons to this profession. See my answer to a doctor in “A stressful doctor wishes to become a pilot”.

I am sure many aspiring pilots, after reading your posting, would have a good idea of the road leading to the acquisition of a commercial pilot license. In my time, Human Factors or Human Performance and Limitations (HPL) was not one of the core subjects to be learned. Today, much emphasis is being placed on this and AirAsia has even created a special department under this category. Maybe Captain Dom can elaborate more on this.

I like what you said that if you love what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life! Yes, it is true. If you love what you doing, you don’t feel that you are working! (ha!ha!)

To the other pilot wannabes, I would leave the part on the candidates’ expectation in the selection process to Captain Dom as his is also involved in the recruitment of pilots. Ah, that is provided he can spare the time to do it as most of us are tied up with our work!

Till the next posting…

Captain Lim

  • Princeton

    Captain Lim, (If I’m not mistaken, you run a site of your own)
    Great to hear from you. I too look forward to becoming a pilot for Air Asia. My dream to fly an A320 began when I was 13. Today I believe Air Asia is the leading Airbus carrier in Malaysia.
    Just wanted you to know that your articles helped prepare me for “So You Wanna be A Pilot?” and the much anticipated INTERVIEW.
    Thank you so much.

  • Herman

    If only our shortlisted blog entries qualifies us 2 skip d psychometric test n go straight to psycho motor or interview. sigh…sigh…

    Besides, from what I’ve read, the psychometric test is normally meant to judge our personality. I bet our shortlisted blogs are kinda like an example that pictures our personality – like why they test us on psychometric.
    I am not saying this because i hate d objective test. I wont surrender without trying. But I’ve been 2 d test a year ago at the AK academy. N i basically found it hard 2 answer d questions, ever since I’ve left physics, and add maths especially for more than 10 years now. At d age of 28, n has been working as an economist for 6 years, I cud probably b d oldest candidate here.

    And although i have been studying hard on these 2 subjects ever since i get 2 know that i was among d shortlisted, the level of absorption and understanding of d main concept appears 2 be at its lowest – this frustrates me a lot, esp as d 27/6 is fast approaching. It would b harsh if d psychometric test hamper this golden opportunity of mine 2 b a pilot…sigh…sigh…sigh…certainly it’ll b sad thing for me..sigh…sigh…sigh

  • Princeton

    Hey Herman,

    Take it easy okay…. just do your best! Just do it!
    Congrats…

  • Mohd Muhaimin

    For whom it may concern..

    the important of psychometrics test..

    for some of us we might think that this extra test (beside academic test and psychomotor test) is a burden.. big one..

    Actually the psychometrics test is conducted to analyse whether a person is eligible to take certain job e.g Police officer, accountant, etc..(in this case.. a pilot). The test result will differentiate a person who like pilot and a person who really is pilot inside out..

    The test are available for airlines in malaysia and some countries only.. why? because pilots in malaysia are small in number (compared to US for example)..

    The pilots are include of experienced pilots (thousands of flying hours) and also young pilots.. Young pilots with few flying hours are lack of experiences. This could be a burden for the airline, because at some stage some of these young pilots don’t really like to fly in large aircraft due to many reasons. The result is that they withdraw from the airline and it’s a waste of money and time.

    That is an example of a person who already pass ground school, fly aircraft and got pilot license.. But still, they don’t like to be in the cockpit..

    Compare them to us wannabe.. Some of us don’t even have the chance to fly.. We watch dramas and movies about pilots, the storyline is so touching.. and we jump into conclusion that we want to be pilot. We see macho pilot and big money they earn.. Again, we jump into conclusion that we want to be pilot. Can we (you and me) really be a pilot?

    That’s why the airline must conduct the test to ensure that they are sponsoring a real pilot (inside out) even before they enter the flying academy..

    Have to pick the best eligible pilots to fly their aircrafts. So, we should understand the important of this test.

    All of this time, we always thought that “I am the one to be a pilot..”
    Now, let us think it as a test to our self..

    “Am I really eligible to be a pilot?”

    I am writing this not to discourage anyone. I hope to make people understand this very important test.. A test to determine whether pilot is our lifestyle or not..? Just wanna share how important it is for us to take the psychometrics.

    Because at some point, maybe after 10 years of flying, some of us might think that it is very routine and boring to sit in the cockpit for hours and look at the same sky.. Just because we never took the psychometric test, we never knew that we didn’t like to be real pilot who wanted to fly again right after a landing..

    Anyway, cheer up.. Honestly at this point I am not a competitor to all of you 34 candidates.. I envy you guys and gals for the moral supports you all gave me through your posts.. I might not remember them all but surely your posts pushed me to try to be a pilot among you guys and gals..

  • Herman

    Yes, tanx anonymous for your detailed info. In short, it’s still called a personality test. To choose the right personality for the job. Isn’t it?

    =D
    Cheers