Mankind’s urge to take to the skies has probably existed since time immemorial. Legends tell adventurous tales of mythical winged animals flying across kingdoms. The Chinese -- when making kites -- contemplated whether men, too, can ascend or not. Leonardo Da Vinci spent countless hours observing birds and made numerous notes and sketches on flights.
Although flying is no longer a mystery, it's still as fascinating as it was -- perhaps the urge to fly is in our genes. But only a handful among us actually takes the bold step to master the skies -- to become an aviator.
There are four schools in Bangladesh that will help you become one. One of them is Arirang Flying School of Arirang Aviation Ltd, which is a sister concern of Youngone Corporation.
The school boasts state of the art facilities for learning. The training fleet includes one of the most sophisticated training aircraft, SR-20 Cirrus, for glass cockpit training. Two Cessna-152 aircraft have been upgraded with the newest avionic systems.
An aviation library there also carries shelves full of updated knowledge to the potential aviators.
Complete with a gym and facilities for canoeing and golfing and a well thought out holistic aviation curriculum, the flying school is one of the best in the country.
In this regard Captain Rana Iftekhar, head of Arirang Flying School, mentioned that he personally visited several flight schools at Asia and Australia but did not see facilities like the ones in Arirang.
Recently, the school has installed a simulator for the students. "This is the first flying simulator in the general aviation sector of our country," the head of the school said.
Flying is serious business and requires -- other than a wide range of skills -- confidence. Of course, the trainers take the students up in the air to teach them how to fly. However, a lot of these things can now be learnt on the ground.
Sayeed Bin Rouf, a flight instructor, takes me to the Redbird Flight Simulator. As you get inside, you'll feel that you are entering a real cockpit. "The simulator contains the very same set of controls, instrument panels and avionics you find inside an actual cockpit," he informed.
As the machine is powered on, it starts to move and six flat monitors flash on, providing the (virtual) external view for the pilot. Then, you can choose the weather you want to fly in. "We want our students to develop the expertise and confidence to fly in any weather," Rouf informed, while choosing stormy weather for the flight.
Heavy 'rain drops' start to beat the 'windows' and the 'plane' starts experiencing 'turbulence'. In this kind of real life situation of low visibility, the pilot relies simply on the instruments. Tackling these situations with confidence and competence requires a lot of practice. And this is what the simulator provides.
Through motions, the flight simulator gives a very accurate flying experience. The screens can even show up graphic replicas of the location of your choice.
The simulator also prepares one for emergencies. For example, you can shut down the engine of the virtual plane to train how to land quickly and as safely as possible. The simulator is a low risk and cost-effective segment of flight training.
The stimulator was designed to be reconfigurable, allowing the training to be conducted for various aircraft. It's also versatile enough to be used for multi-engine training which the school is planning to introduce in the future.
The school offers a two-year course, with admissions in summer and winter. The applicants require sitting a 100-mark written exam on English, Math and IQ, which is followed viva. Along with a command in English, computer literacy is also expected. The candidates must have minimum HSC or equivalent degree in physics and mathematics.
The training promises a bright future. Job opportunities encompass being a general aviation/charter/corporate pilot, airliner pilot, cargo pilot and flight instructor.
Even if, you cannot get a job immediately, you can enrol in the course of becoming a flying instructor. This requires you to undergo 125 ground and 30 hours flying training. "Going through this course -- and then becoming an instructor yourself -- makes you more competent, knowledgeable, reliable and experienced. Your profile as an aviator will get even stronger," said Mohsin Kamal, a flying instructor of Arirang.
Whether you want to be an instructor or a commercial pilot, the thrill of flying, of course on air and also virtually with the simulator, is unparalleled.
Interested to spread your wings? Visit www.arirangaviation.com or call +88-019-878-70000, +880-02-8901848.
Photo courtesy: Arirang Aviation Limited