Reaching for the sky

Reaching for the sky

A teenage girl is determined to become a pilot and is prepared to take the longer route to achieve her dream...

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Photo: Wong Yat-hei
Everyone has a dream, and Mavis Tsang Ka-yee has a high-flying dream of becoming a pilot. The 18-year-old, a Form Seven student from Good Hope School, had received a conditional offer from the University of Waterloo in Canada to study geography and aviation.

Mavis' results in this year's Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination were sure to be good enough to land her a place in one of the local universities, but were a little short of the conditional offer by the University of Waterloo.

"I cannot say I'm extremely pleased with my results, but they were what I expected. Since I was in junior forms, I have done a lot of things to prepare myself to be a pilot. I believe I will reach my goal one day as long as I keep working hard," she says.

Mavis fell in love with flying when she was a junior secondary student. She was inspired by a television drama that portrayed the life of pilots. She became a member of the Hong Kong Air Cadets and began to collect books and magazines about planes and pilots.

Mavis has a huge interest in geography, but when she was in Form Four she chose the science stream so that she could study physics, which is necessary to become a pilot. "Since my school does not offer a geography and physics combination, I studied geography on my own to make way for physics. I'm not really into science or mathematics, but I have to study it to be a pilot."

Mavis does not view missing University of Waterloo's target as a let-down. In fact, she has a well-planned route to pursue her dream. "Going to Canada to study aviation is the most direct path to becoming a pilot, but with my results, studying English at HKBU [Hong Kong Baptist University] is now my first choice ... I know being a pilot requires excellent English and I'm pretty good. I will do everything I can to be a pilot. I may have to take the longer route, but I will get there."

After graduation, Mavis plans to apply for a cadet pilot's post at Cathay Pacific, but she knows the competition will be tough. "If I can't make it at the beginning, I will take a step back and become an air-traffic controller first. I will take jobs related to flying ,and one day I will make it as a pilot. If there is a will, there is a way."

Apart from the academic approach, Mavis works hard to keep herself in shape.

She wants to protect her eyesight so she sticks pieces of paper near her computer to remind herself not to get too close to the screen and take a break every 30 minutes. She also swims to keep fit.

Two summers ago, Mavis visited an Airbus factory in France and flew a helicopter, a glider and other types of aircraft under the guidance of a flying instructor. With so much determination, Mavis seems set on the path to success ... watch this space.

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