Wed, Dec 04, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Foundation to offer ground school courses for flying

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Would-be pilots interested in attending flight schools overseas can finish their ground course in Taiwan before taking flying classes elsewhere, a non-profit foundation said yesterday.

Aviation Education Foundation chairman Billy Chang (張國政) has dedicated himself to establishing the nation’s first pilot school after he retired as director-general of the Civil Aeronautics Administration six years ago.

Though hurdles remain, the foundation has been approved by San Francisco-based Pacific Stations Aviation to offer an aviation training course approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration in Taiwan, Chang said.

The foundation’s first course will begin on Dec. 20.

Aside from having to follow a FAA-approved syllabus, the course must be taught by FAA-certified instructors because US pilot schools will not recognize ground course training if it is not taught by such instructors, Chang said.

Students will be able to take practice written and verbal tests in Taiwan before taking the official license test in the US, he said.

The foundation is working toward establishing cooperative arrangements with other pilot schools in the US, he added.

Chang Shih-cheng (張世承), an FAA-licensed instructor at the foundation, said that a would-be pilot could save about NT$180,000 in accommodation and living expenses, which account for about 10 percent of flight school costs, by taking a ground course in Taiwan.

They would also be able to gradually get used to an all-English environment and learn how to communicate using aviation English, Chang Shih-cheng said.

“When they go to the US, they can take the written test right away without having to take the [ground] course there. After they pass the written test, they can focus on flying training,” the instructor said.

Those interested in taking the course must first pass a physical examination, the foundation said.

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