Have you ever had this gut feeling, this feeling of restlessness that you are meant to achieve more, that ultimately you know what you're meant to do in life? I have this feeling. Ask any pilot why they love being up in the skies. Most of them would tell you that it's a different world up there. That behind the organised chaos, it's fairly peaceful and tranquilizing, serene and beautiful as per quoted by Leonardo da Vinci "Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk this earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return". I believe in this quote.
Good day fellow Captains, First officers, crew, all travelers alike & potential backers! I'm Shaun LiPaul, a 32 year old chef instructor, keen observer in aviation, a man with a childhood dream of one day operating on the flight deck of an aircraft. Today we will be flying flight Chasing Dreams & I'm the captain of this flight. Weather conditions are good however do expect minor turbulence along the way and keep your seat belts fastened at all time. We expect to take off as scheduled however we can't fly the aircraft as there is no wings at the moment. I would need all your help in helping me by contributing some 'feathers' in order to build a pair of wings!.
You might be wondering: 'What is this old man trying to do? Aren't you too old to do this now?'' Isn't it too late??...
Well, here's my tale.......
I have always wanted to obtain a pilot's license ever since my first visit to the airport to plane watch with my late dad. I knew from that very moment that this is all I ever wanted, to fly. In the year 2000, when I was 14 my dad moved on after a long illness leaving behind 2 boys and a wife to march on. Although he left this world I made a promise to myself to never give up on that dream, to study hard, to try and achieve that. Somehow somewhere along the way, I lost sight of this dream. I was complacent, played a fool too much and as a result, my grades in my SPM (O-levels) suffered a lot. I felt so guilty to myself and especially to my mother who relentlessly tried to make sure I live this dream.
However, God must have been on my side as I was offered a place to do my sixth form in which I bucked up. The only setback to that was instead of continuing in the science stream, I opted to the arts stream where I did economics, business studies and English literature. I did the best I could and managed an above average CGPA of 2.2. After my STPM (A-levels) year, I realized that I still could not get an entry into a flight school as there were no scholarships offered for such and since I come from a single parent family, my mom could not afford to send me to flight school as I still had a younger brother who was still schooling.
After contemplating much, I decided to go for the next best thing, culinary arts as I have always been fascinated by chefs and food. I managed to secure a full scholarship award to help me with that. Fast forward, a diploma and an honors degree in European Culinary Management later, I pursued a career in the food & beverage industry to be a successful chef. And presently, been in the education line for the last 7 years. I have always tried to be successful on my own and not asking for help. This is no different. But 10 years down the road, I still have not the funds to put myself into a flight school.
I did not give up, I tried and by God's good grace again, I was offered an opportunity in March 2014 to sit in for year 2014 cadet pilot intake with AirAsia in which I did not manage to pass the entrance exams as I wasn't really prepared & due to such a short notice on it. I was looking out for the intake for year 2015, however there wasn't any. And since 2016, my age does not qualify me for the selection. Therefore my only options is through self-funding. I have also tried another approach by starting up a business with securing funds in mind for flight school. With the costs escalating about 20% each year since 2003, it's hard to catch up and match it. I did try my best in running the business but unfortunately it successfully failed and put me in a bigger turmoil, however I stand here today a much wiser person and still grounded on my feet. I have not given up hope that I can still achieve this. I believe in opportunities and chances as long as you don't give up as per our recently departed genius of this generation, the late Professor Stephen Hawking once said:"However difficult life may seem, there's always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up". I have exhausted all my resources and this is my last one. I understand that I may be a risk, that it's not worth it but whatever it is, I will not give up on this dream. I would like to be the first professional chef to ever obtain a pilot's license. Would you like to help me by being part of this dream and help to build it?
If by your good graces, this opportunity is given to me, I will be forever be thankful and indebted to all you reading this and helping me with my cause. I can't promise that I'll be an ace or a top student, but what I can promise all of you; hard work, determination, resilience, perseverance & commitment to be a pilot.
How I will achieve my goal:
The donations will be used to enroll myself in Malaysian Flying Academy (http://www.mfa.edu.my/) which is a leading tertiary institution fully approved and accredited by the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia (DCA) and recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
Course Fee Structure as of January 2018:
- Dry Cost - Flight Training on single engine (135 hours @Rm 1042.00/SGD 340 per hour) = Rm 140,670/SGD 46,032
- Wet Cost - Flight Training on Single engine (135 hours @Rm 272.00/SGD 89 per hour) = Rm 36,720/SGD 12,016
- Dry Cost - Flight Training on Multi Engine (25 hours @Rm 1660.00/SGD 543 per hour) = Rm 41,500/SGD 13,580
- Wet Cost - Flight Training on Multi Engine (25 hours @Rm680.00/SGD 222.50 per hour) = Rm 17,000/SGD 5563
- FNPT II Flight Simulator - Simulator Training (Single engine - 30 hours, Multi Engine - 10 hours) =Rm 23,570/SGD 7713
- Ground Training (920 hours @Rm 44.00/SGD 14.30 per hour) = Rm 40,480.00/SGD 13,246
- MFA Examination Centre Fees (17 papers X Rm 40 per paper) = Rm 680.00/SGD 222.50
- English Language Proficiency Test required by ICAO = Rm 830.00/SGD 271.65
- Admin Charges = RM 1000.00/SGD 3272
- Mandatory Campus Accomodation = Rm 24,190.00/SGD 7917
That is a Grand total of Rm 326, 640/SGD 106, 919
Post training I believe that my age and experience will serve me well. I will offer a good level of maturity, sense of responsibility, commercial awareness and I have a significant amount of leadership experience which is cited by many airlines as being an important attribute. I will aim to complete my training in one block so as to retain continuity and a high skill set. As I have matured my desire, and with it, capacity, to learn and develop my skills has increased year on year. I have been inspired to always strive to learn, adapt and improve myself. This is an essential quality for airline pilots.
Airbus has forecast that the industry will require some 450, 000 pilots to be in operation by 2035, furthermore the need to replace existing flight crew which increases the total to an outstanding number of 560, 000 new pilots in the said period (https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-releases/en/... Boeing.co already has a forecast that by the same time frame itself, Asia Pacific would require of at least 16, 000 new aircraft to service this region itself which would also mean job opportunities in the flight deck. A total of 637, 000 new pilots would have to be operational between 2017 - 2036 according to Boeing. Co. An outlook by CAE, which is a global leader in civil aviation training forecasts that the industry would require a total of 255, 000 new airline pilots over the next 10 years. This outlook is shared by experts across the industry. Further research into this analysis led me to discover that much of that demand will be for Captains positions. This is due to the baby boomer pilots reaching retirement age. This should intern increase the demand for First Officers.Typically when the big legacy carriers start a recruitment drive, the others follow suit as many will have transferred from the smaller airlines. Furthermore with middle class people being able to afford air travel, the market needs more & more pilots to fly the aircraft.(http://www.boeing.com/resources/boeingdotcom/comme...) (https://www.boeing.com/resources/boeingdotcom/comm...) (https://www.cae.com/media/documents/Civil_Aviation...)
Whoever you are, I sincerely thank you for your time to read this and for whatever contribution you make on my cause. I understand that SGD 109, 702/RM 326, 640 is a lot of money to raise however even if I manage to attain just half of the amount needed, I still can figure something out.
We tend to spend money on things we don't necessarily need but want at times, or even on entertainment just to fulfill Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Perhaps I'm trying to fulfill mine too, perhaps by spending it on a more noble cause will give you a more satisfied felling? As the saying goes what goes around, comes around. You'll never know when you might need someone else's help somewhere down the road someday. I'm only really asking this as I need it and it would mean the world to me as it's also close to the heart. It's not about how big or small your donation may be, however should you not plan for a donation, perhaps by just sharing this post on your social media/family/friends/Instagram/twitter account or by spreading the word around would be helping me already. I hope that my story inspired you in some way & I do hope to one day pass down the good deed that I have received through all of you in the similar way.
Also the reason why the currency selected is in Singapore Dollars & not Ringgit Malaysia is because I did not have that option of selecting my preferred currency which is Ringgit Malaysia while creating this fundraiser, hence why you see Singapore dollars as the shown preferred currency. Should I not meet my target within a considerable time frame, the funds collected at the end would be either refunded back to you or by unanimous decision be channeled to benefiting charity/soup kitchen. You do not need a PayPal account to donate as you could do so with a credit card or a debit card. All you have to do is just follow the instructions as per PayPal but when you come to the payment page, you will have the option to pay with a credit card/debit card (it's much easier if you have a PayPal as signing up for one is free). If you're having some difficulties doing so via credit card, please refer to the update section OR you could just drop me a line! Thank you all once again & God bless. =)
-“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing”. Coco Chanel-
For any authentication/inquiries/questions, I may be reachable at:
- e-mail: [email protected]
- Instagram: shaunlipaul86
- Skype: Shaun LiPaul
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/shaunlipaul86