39 students get their 'wings' at Singapore Youth Flying Club ceremony

Thirty-nine students were awarded with Private Pilot Licences in a ceremony held at the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC) on Saturday morning.

The students from junior colleges and polytechnics across the island had to pass six ground exams, complete 10 simulator flights and 46 flights within a year.

They are part of a cohort of 200 student trainees who attempted to obtain the licence.

Two awards - the best in flying and best in ground school, were presented to two graduates as well.

Acting Minister for Social and Family Development and Senior Minister of State for Defence, Mr Chan Chun Sing, who officiated the ceremony, said the skills students picked up over the course of the programme will help them learn how to work as a team and make critical judgement calls in a matter of seconds.

Mr Chan added that Singapore needs another generation of youth to serve the "higher calling" of keeping Singapore's skies safe.

About a fifth of all pilots from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) first learned to fly at the SYFC which was set up in 1971.

Third year Singapore Polytechnic student Craig Lee, 20, who picked up the Best in Flying award said he hopes to sign up with the RSAF after he graduates. "This is my country and I want to do my part to defend it."