These students’ dedication only proves that no dream is too big, and no dreamer is too small!
From the ambitious plan to set up the school’s first aeronautical club, students from Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Gong Nangka are now flying high in their very own makeshift flight simulator!
A plan that is five years in the making, the makeshift flight simulator is strategically located at the school’s resource centre, making it the first of its kind ever built in a primary school in Terengganu, (or maybe even the nation!).
What’s more impressive is the fact that the simulator was practically built out of nothing!
Using only discarded items such as old car seat or broken computers, the simulator looked almost too good to be true, with a functioning cockpit complete with flight test features! As if that wasn’t enough, the students also don their very own pilot uniforms while flying the airplanes.
According to its aeronautic club coordinator, Syed Hasan Syukri Tuan Hadi, who began building the simulator in 2015, the total cost of the project came up to only RM5,000 which is much lower as compared to their estimated cost of RM20,000, all thanks to their cost-saving techniques of using used items. He had also obtained technical advice from a Qatar Airways pilot as well as a flight simulator engineer from an international carrier to ensure this project is a success.
Syed Hassan Syukri told Bernama that “the simulator indirectly encourages our pupils to improve their performance in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (STEM) subjects, especially matters related to aviation”.
“Most of the aviation terms are also in English, which helps increase their proficiency in English and at the same time, we also emphasize on the tawhid elements in Islam,” he said
The aeronautic club has 18 members who attend the club as part of their co-curricular and off-school activities.
Photo: Facebook Aeronautic Club SK Gong Nangka
Apart from the simulator, the club also has two remote-control aircraft, eight fixed-wing aircraft models and three helicopter models on display at the gallery. Visitors who decide to go onboard the school’s aviation experience will be briefed with information on operating the simulator such as takeoff, navigation and landing.
The club members have visited several related locations including Sultan Mahmud International Airport, a flying academy in Melaka and MAS aircraft engineering maintenance facilities.
A survey by Bernama found that many club members had never boarded an actual airplane, but the simulator has provided them with the ‘flying’ experience not just as an ordinary passenger, but as pilots themselves.
A Year Six pupil, ‘Captain’ Alya Damia Muhammad said the aeronautic club has given her valuable knowledge beyond scientific theories and principles and that joining the club has inspired her to become a pilot one day.
We are so proud of these little junior pilots. They literally took the term “aim high” to the next level!
By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya