Two Students Flew In F-16s


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Two students from the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC), 18-year old Gabriel Yam and 20-year old Matthew Foo, flew on the F-16 fighter jet. This was the first time that the RSAF provides a familiarisation flight on the F-16 fighters.

The annual SYFC-RSAF Orientation Programme which was conceptualised in 1995 aims to encourage SYFC members to take up flying as a career with the RSAF. The programme also enhanced the awareness and understanding of members on RSAF aircraft and operations. Both young SYFC students were selected for their exceptional flight knowledge and capabilities, the two students were guided by Major Joseph Leong and Captain Benjamin Kim from 143 Squadron in Tengah. The two aspiring pilots were put to the test through the one-hour flight in which they went through a series of aerobatic manoeuvres comprising split S-turns, hard turns, loops and rolls, in addition to experiencing the adrenaline rush of “dog-fighting”. Yam, a second-year student at Hwa Chong Junior College, described the flight as being simply exciting and breathtaking, “The experience is unbelievable. The flight was certainly different in comparison to other flights that I have flown. When you are flying in an F-16, things happen in a matter of one or two seconds, a good example being that when flying the Piper, one takes approximately about ten minutes to descend while in the F-16, it only takes 5 seconds to descend. It is certainly a world of difference.”

Has flying in the F-16 reinforced our young aces’ dreams in joining the RSAF? Mr. Yam said, “I prefer a career that is not mundane, four walls and a quiet office. A flying career is more down-to-earth and action-based.” Mr Foo, a second-year student at Singapore Polytechnic added, “This flight has certainly cemented my decision to join the RSAF. Flying has always been my passion and I intend to continue doing something that I love.”

Additional Background: Mr. Yam Ah Mee, age 46, is the President of the Singapore Youth Flying Club since 1998. Mr. Yam also studied at Hwa Chong Junior College 30 years earlier and graduated from from Royal Military College, Duntroon, Australia who was on a Singapore Armed Forces scholarship. Mr. Yam rose to be the chief of staff of the air staff before retiring as a Brigadier-General in 1997. He joined the Public Service Division and was appointed the Deputy Secretary (Development) and the CEO & Dean of the Civil Service College.

Piper
Photo Credit: Flickr.

Reference: http://www.mindef.gov.sg/content/imindef/mindef_websites/atozlistings/air_force/news_events/newsletter/newsletter2003/_jcr_content/imindefPars/0006/file.res/jul_03.pdf

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