Sat, Aug 11, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Twin pilots share their inspiration ahead of airshow

By Lin Yi-chang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Liang Che-hao, left, and Liang Che-wei, the first identical twins to fly the same aircraft type in the air force, pose at Chiayi Air Base on Tuesday.

Photo: Lin Yi-chang, Taipei Times

Brothers Liang Che-wei (梁哲維) and Liang Che-hao (梁哲豪) — the first identical twins to fly the same type of aircraft in the air force — said they were inspired to become pilots by their father, who was an air force ground crew member.

The Liangs, 25, represented the service at Chiayi Air Base on Tuesday, when a full dress rehearsal for the Air Force Day airshow was held.

The Lockheed-Martin F-16 pilots-in-training were in the Air Force Academy’s class of 2015 as second lieutenants and have about 200 flight hours each, they told reporters.

Their father was a huge influence on them and they grew up wanting to become fighter pilots, Liang Che-wei said.

Knowing that F-16 pilots must be able to endure up to nine Gs of acceleration during combat maneuvers, the two trained hard to achieve a high level of physical conditioning before applying for the academy, he said.

The brothers are not alike in aptitude and skill, he said, adding that they worked together and competed throughout their academy days.

Although they are attending a flight school at Chiayi Air Base, it is unlikely that their future careers will cross, as regulations forbid assigning siblings to the same formation and discourage their deployment on the same mission, he said.

At the rehearsal, the Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team and other air force pilots flying fixed and rotary wing aircraft practiced the aerial demonstrations that they are to perform at today’s airshow.

An air force spokesperson said the show would feature F-16s, Dassault Mirage 2000s, AIDC Indigenous Defense Fighters, Sikorsky S-70 helicopters and other aircraft.

Shuttles to the Chiayi Air Base are to stop at select bus stations in Chiayi, including the stadium, behind the Chiayi Railway Station, the Tropic of Cancer Monument, the Nanjing Sugar Refinery and the city’s high-speed rail station, an air force spokesman said.

No public parking would be available on the base, he added.

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