First women pilots of Vietnam

Among big and handsome pilot trainees, are 6 girls who have passed the entrance exam for the pilot training course by Vietnam Airlines’ Flying Training Center. All these girls are above 1.6m tall and meet the “5 star” standard of health, knowledge, mentality and sensitiveness. They will be attending the 1st training course of women pilots in Vietnam.

These girls, aged from 18 to 25, did compete with thousands of males and pass all the tuff rounds of examination. Even by now, they are still excited and surprised at this inspiring examination. To enroll men pilots is as hard “to pan sand for gold”, but it is even much harder to take in women pilots as “to find a needle in the seabed”.

For year 2004-2005, there are totally 4,500 candidates nationwide applied for pilot training course. After all the rounds of examination, o­nly 28 candidates are selected (22 males & 6 females). The candidates find hard to pass the third round with the highest demand of health such as eyes, skin, brain, mentality, heart and otolaryngology… At this round, you will definitely be dropped if you have any scar o­n your skin or a fissure in teeth. Particularly, when going through tests of centrifugal spinning and atmospheric pressure, many candidates got serious vomit or ear-blood impulse, fast heartbeat and mental confusion.

Everyday, at 5.30am, the 6 girls start a new day with jogging, playing badminton, skipping rope, swimming… until getting sweat. They have a full training timetable for the whole day. In general, they have to take 18-75 hours for o­ne subject, particularly 309 hours for physical training.

The training content is mainly o­n specialized English and knowledge of aeronautics including aerodynamics, aerometeorography, aeronautical technical systems, plane features and load balance. These subjects are so comprehensive and extremely pressurized that, sometimes in the middle of the class, some o­ne would get out to cry for a while to release their stress and worry. Everyday they spend 2 hours for physical training including: direction awareness after take - off, nerve reflex through specialized sports of spinning and ladder…

The Flying Training Center now has 83 fresh trainees. According to male pilots women colleagues have better potential. The training curriculum are the same for both male and female trainees. The final and most decisive round is to select qualified trainees to be trained abroad to become pilot. “Many trainees can’t pass this round even after a long period of training in the country” said Head of Education and Training Department Tran Xuan Trung.

Head of Trainees Management Department Nguyen Thanh Son (who has finished the flying course in Australia) said: women have advantages of patience and resistance. Their IQ and physical health are as good as men’s. The most important thing is the adaptability of each individual. In foreign countries, women pilots are as “super” as men pilots and some even become chief pilots”.

All these 6 women pilot trainees share the same determination of making the choice and never giving up. o­ne day, their names will be written o­n the sky as the first women pilots of Vietnam ./.

Quoted from The Youth