Sky’s the limit for young pilots
SIXTEEN young pilots have graduated with flying colours from the Gulf Golden International Flying Academy (GGIFA) International College of Aviation, Bintulu.
They received their licence at the College’s inaugural convocation on Dec 8 at BDA Auditorium after completing their course for commercial pilot licence (CPL) and instrument rating (IR) with Frozen Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).
They are now qualified to work for commercial airline companies in the country.
Adam Gumis, 20, was one of the pilots who received the Best Overall Performance Award (Kenyalang Award).
He said the cadets were given the best accommodation and treatment by the college throughout their studies.
“You feel like you’re actually at home. You have a foster family here and Datuk (Morshidi Abdul Rahman) and Datin (Joanna Lim Abdullah) take very good care of you,” Adam told thesundaypost after receiving the award. He was accompanied by his parents.
Adam said they had to work very hard to to complete their studies.
“I knew I had to slog to achieve my dream which is to be an airline pilot,” he added.
Adam’s father Gabriel Gumis, 53, said he was very proud of his son’s achievement, adding that the Bidayuh community also felt proud because “it is rare to have a Bidayuh pilot.”
Gumis believes his son will have a good future in the airline industry and most probably join local airline companies like Malaysia Airlines (MAS) or AirAsia.
To parents, who want to send their children to the Aviation College, Gumis said: “Young people have their own dreams. Let them achieve their dreams as long as they are good for them.”
He thanked the college management for looking after Adam and Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) for giving him a study loan.
“Parents shouldn’t worry if their children face financial problems when applying to study at the Aviation College. They can get study loans more easily now,” he said.
Gumis has five children — the first is a lawyer, the second (Adam), a pilot and the third is studying medicine.
For Amira Nuria Anuar of Kuching, one of the female pilots who graduated from the College, it is a great challenge for a woman to compete with the male cadets.
However, she said the challenge could be overcome if the female students proved they were just as good if not better, than their male counterparts.
“It’s been over two years that I studied at the college. I have always wanted to be a pilot,” she added.
Her interest in becoming a pilot was kindled when she heard there were no female pilots in the country.
On the biggest challenge she had to overcome while studying at the College, she believed it was the ATPL ground paper called CAA6 and CAA2.
“I think everyone agrees it’s hard,” she said.
Amira logged165 flying hours in a single-engine aircraft and 35 flying hours in a twin-engine aircraft to meet the requirements for completing the course.
She flew in a single-engine aircraft to Mukah, Sibu and Miri.
Meanwhile, GGIFA executive chairman Datuk Morshidi Abdul Rahman said they were entering the third year of operation and this was the first graduation ceremony for the college’s first and second batches of graduates.
“They have gone through tough training to qualify as commercial pilots as well as air transport licence holders and believe me, it hasn’t been easy,” he added.
Morshidi said the young pilots had gone through hard training and flown many hours through good and bad weather, tears and fears and laughter and anxiety.
“But above all, most came as young boys and girls and we have groomed them into disciplined and responsible adults,” he said, adding that these young pilots would be flying with high discipline, self-esteem and confidence.
“We, as owner of the college, together with the staff and instructors have grown with them, trying to understand these young minds full of ideas and rebellious spirits.
“Yet today, we have, through the commitment of our instructors, mostly former air force officers and airline pilots, moulded the young cadets into pilots ready to take to the sky with confidence and dedication,” he added.
The instructors, Morshidi said, had even taken the “slow cadets,” under their wings, especially in the flying stages, to ensure that they improved and graduated at the end of the course.
He thanked the hangar boys who sweated in the hot sun to make the aircraft safe for flying.
“We are also appealing to banks like Bank Rakyat to give study loans to help young potential cadets pursue a career as a pilot. We do not foresee any problem for them to pay back their loans.”
To the graduating pilots, he said: “I’m sure one day when they grow older, they will look back and realise that all the tough training they had at the college was for their own good.”