Some of our fans have been asking about updates from one of our star students, Howard Lau. Since he’s been back in Hong Kong, he has started his flight training in Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong Aviation Club. Now he’s ready to share his thoughts on what flight training is like in Hong Kong.
Hi readers and fans, it’s Howard! I’ve successfully completed the Recreational Pilot Certificate (RPC) and now I am back in Hong Kong with the Hong Kong Aviation Club. I have just completed my Cessna 172S familiarisation flight and will be working towards my HKCAD PPL over here!
What is the Hong Kong Aviation Club
The Hong Kong Aviation Club is the only organisation in the Far East that provides flight training and leisure flying. We pride ourselves as being an aviation organisation run entirely by members and volunteers. Most of the instructors and staff are volunteers. They perform their duties out of passion since they do not receive any monetary compensation.
Now you may ask, “If it’s non-profit, why do they charge so much?”
I have been asked this question many times before. This is due to the taxation that the Hong Kong Government places on leisure flyers, as we take up airspace and resources. As 100LL Avgas is very expensive and rare in Hong Kong, we are fortunate to have companies supplying us with a steady flow of 100LL Avgas.
What planes do we fly at the Hong Kong Aviation Club?
We currently operate 4 Cessna 172 aircraft and 2, or soon-to-be 3, Cessna 152 aircraft. All of the planes are impeccably maintained despite their age. For example, our oldest Cessna 152 (B-HPA) is 30 years old this year!
At the end of October, I completed my Cessna 172 (B-LUW) and Hong Kong procedures familiarisation flight – it was the first time I had flown in three months. It felt great, the aircraft responded just as I had expected and the experience can be described with just one word – docile!
The 172 is heavier than the Sling that I used to train in at Learn to Fly Melbourne. It burns much more fuel and is a typical training aircraft. As the old saying goes, “You can never go wrong with a Cessna!”.
What are the instructors like in Hong Kong?
I had an amazingly passionate and fun instructor. His name is Adam and he was also a PPL flying member of the Hong Kong Aviation Club until he earned his AFI rating. AFI stands for “Assistant Flying Instructor” and is the first instructor rating you can achieve in Hong Kong. It does not require a CPL, just like the RA-AUS flight instructor rating! I found him quite accommodating, encouraging and very humorous when we flew over Tolo Harbor – which is our main training area with a vertical limit of 3000 feet AMSL.
We also managed to squeeze in 4 circuits in Shek Kong Airfield, an airfield with one single runway (11/29) and a CTAF frequency (123.60). We had to go around twice since I travelled high and fast in the first attempt and during my second attempt another Cessna 152 (B-HHN) began to backtrack into the airfield’s apron. We flew a very tight circuit at just 800 feet AMSL and a very steep approach – this differed from what I did in Melbourne. Full flaps for every landing!