by Tommy Koh (13AO1B) and Quek Zhi Hao (13S03K)
‘I have slipped the surly bonds of the Earth
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings’
– An Airman’s Ecstasy
Advancements in science leading to the development of modern day aircraft have redefined our ability to fly. Being up in the sky above the clouds is now an experience that millions of people enjoy daily around the world.
Flight entails freedom, liberation and adventure. For many of us, flight means departing for a different land or returning from one- It means being a passenger in the safe hands of a professional who says ‘welcome aboard, this is your captain speaking’. But what do we really know about how to fly a plane?
If flying has mesmerized you from young or if you simply find the idea of being up in the skies novel and interesting, the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC) offers students above the age of 16 a unique opportunity to experience flight for themselves and learn how to operate an aircraft.
Involvement in SYFC can be easily understood in phases:
In Phase 1, all members will be paired with an instructor given the opportunity to fly 6 introductory flights. During these 6 flights, members will appreciate the basic controls of an aircraft and experience how to fly a plane. Those who demonstrate good aircraft handling ability will be promoted to Phase 2.
In Phase 2, members are allowed 10 flights in preparation for the First Solo Flight. During these preparatory flights, members will learn how to safety operate an aircraft from take-off to landing. Those who demonstrate an ability to safely complete an entire flight will be allowed to fly their first Solo flight.
Those who have successfully completed their First-Solo flight may be considered for the Private Pilot’s License (Or PPL) course which is approximately 6 month long course culminating in the Private Pilot’s License.
There is no fixed training time for SYFC though most members fly once to twice a week either on a weekday after school or on weekends. New members will also have to attend 2 months of Ground school lectures held on Saturdays in order to understand the principles of flight and prepare them for their upcoming flights.
Interested applicants will have to register directly with SYFC and go through an interview and medical examination to confirm their suitability for flight training.
As one of the external organizations recognized by the school, interested students participating in an SYFC course will have their participation reflected in their CCA records if they are in the Private Pilot’s License course. SYFC also increases for the prospects of those interested in a military flying career with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and offers an accelerated path should members sign on with the RSAF in the future.
If you’re interested in pursuing an aviation career or simply want to experience what it’s like to be at the controls of a plane, do give some thought to joining SYFC. To be able to actually touch the clouds, to have a bird’s eye view of the entire island and to be alone in the sky in full control of your destiny – all these experiences provide a radically different perspective on life. Being a part of this exclusive community of student-pilots is a chance which is hard to come by and shouldn’t be missed.