I'm Andy from Singapore. I'm an A level graduate and I've just finished my national service. I'm currently accepted into NTU to study Mechanical Engineering. However, I've always wanted to be a pilot and fly for Singapore Airlines and I'm not sure which path to choose. Should I go ahead and go for a self-sponsored program local/overseas or should I continue my studies and wait till I'm 26 to apply to Singapore Airlines?
Firstly I'd like some advice on self-sponsored options.
There are a few aviation academies in Singapore that offers professional pilot courses mainly ST Aerospace Academy and CAEOAA. These academies offer airline partnership programs but the cost is self-sponsored and the cadets will go through multi crew pilot license (MPL) program. I would like to know how MPL holders will progress to captains as most airlines only recognize ATPL holder to be captains. Also, would a MPL holder be able to apply to other airlines that haven't recognize MPL? What are your advices on this program?
Another option that I'm looking at is to enrol into Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States to get a degree in aeronautical science and my pilot license. However after enquiring with the school, they only equip students with private pilot license (PPL), instrument rating(IR), commercial pilot license(CPL) and certified flight instructor(CFI) ratings. They do not have ATP certification. However, Embry riddle grads are able to qualify for ATP certification after accumulating 1000 flying hours as compared to 1500 flying hours outside. Is that considered a restricted ATPL? Would the certifications that the school provide allow me to work as a commercial pilot for airlines or must I have at least an ATPL to be a first officer for commercial airlines?
The cost to enrol into Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to complete the program is significantly higher compared to enrolling into local/overseas aviation school which only offers the pilot certifications. In a pragmatic society that we live in these days, including Singapore, would an A level graduate who has pilot certifications be standing on equal grounds to those who have a degree and pilot certifications when applying for a job?
Lastly, the other option for me is to continue my 4 year degree course in NTU and make a mid-career switch to be a pilot for Singapore Airlines. What advice would you give if I were to follow this path? Do those with some flying experience eg. PPL holder stands a higher chance than those without any flying experience at all?
TITTLE TATTLE:What inspired you to write this book?
LIM KHOY HING: It began with the urge to share my experiences as an airline pilot when I found that some passengers had burning questions and were sometimes fearful of flying. I realised that I could alleviate that anxiety with some answers from my experience.
There are a lot of things that the public does not understand about flying. That’s fairly understandable because aviation can be very technical at times which is why I try to write my book as simple and clear as I could so that anyone can understand it.
Two recent events in the US have led to commercial airliners namely B737-800's landing at the wrong airports.
Obviously this would be impossible during an ILS approach as the transponder at the end of the runway and the localizer for the glideslope decent wouldn't be triggered. We know however that ILS isn't available at all airports and even if it is, could be unavailable due to a number of reasons which then requires a visual approach.
During final descent and short final do flight crews watch the GPS or navigational equipment or do they tend to just follow the charts for the intended airport? I understand that some airports are close together and some runway thresholds are on similar bearings but surely this is totally avoidable! What degree of responsibility would approach control have on these errors too? They give clearance to proceed with the approach and ultimately landing clearance on short final. Surely they're accountable as much as the flight crew.
How could this happen in such a new aircraft with millions of dollars’ worth of sophisticated avionics and navigational equipment.
Triumph in the Skies – An interview translated from Feminine (Chinese Magazine – January 2014 issue)
Feature on: Captain Lim Khoy Hing Age: 65 years Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Experience: 45 years of flying Working Experience:
a. Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) (1967 - 1980)
b. Malaysia Airlines System (1981-2006),
c. Air Asia X (2006 - 2011) Present employment: Air Asia X Flight Simulator Instructor Author: Life in the Skies, Columnist of Travel 3Sixty Magazine Website: www.askcaptainlim.com Type of airplanes flown: Boeing777, Airbus A320, A330, A340 Countries visited: Most of the major countries in the world
Interviewer & Story by Jessie Lim
I remember what Samuel Tong had said “We must explore ourselves to create our destiny instead of waiting for life to take its course!” Indeed Captain Lim has been striving all this while towards achieving his destiny.
Had he not reinforced his dream, he would have been a carpenter following his late father’s foot step. He only wanted to be a teacher as it was not easy in his youth to secure a good job. To his surprise he has now dedicated nearly more than half of his entire life to the sky, culminating into this so-called Triumph in the Skies.
In his first and latest book, Life in the Skies, he narrated about his 45 years of flying experience where he also logged more than 25,000 flying hours - equivalent to about flying twenty times to the moon and back.
He started his second career on the ground after he had officially retired from flying more than 2 years ago. Presently he is being employed by Air Asia X as a Flight Simulator Instructor. His has finally excelled in his 45 years of flying and appears to be blossoming to further successes.
If you like what you read, more stories are found in my book LIFE IN THE SKIES (Preview here) and you can purchase a copy here. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my Twitter at @CaptKHLim or Facebook here