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Wednesday, 13 August 2014 - 18:54
Third Batch of Mihin Lanka Trainee First Officers Take Flight
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Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka's national low-cost carrier is proud of the excellent progress made by its third batch of cadets inducted in July 2013. The airline fulfilled its commitment to clear all 11 Trainee First Officers (TFOs) to fly as fully-fledged pilots within a mere 12 months of their training as planned. Mihin Lanka is now preparing to recruit its fourth batch of trainees.

Capt. Pujitha Jayakody, Director Flight Operations, Mihin Lanka said, “This achievement has been made possible by the talented and dedicated young trainee pilots, as well as the commitment of the Sri Lankan Airlines resident simulator instructors who supported the cadets’ simulator training.  The passion of Mihin Lanka’s veteran instructor captains who shared their expertise with this new batch of pilots also contributed towards the success of their training. Teamwork and dedication played a pivotal role in us achieving this milestone, which was cemented in customized training programmes. We were the pioneers to use the ADAPT interview process by Alpha Aviation and Sim bio tics in the UK, which tailor-made our interview process to identify the qualities we were looking for in our cadets. Our selection process is extremely important as it is our responsibility to people and society to produce world-class pilots who will be future commanders of airplanes.”

Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama, Chief Pilot Training and Standards, Mihin Lanka said, “The selected candidates were required to have a Commercial Pilots License from the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. After the suitable candidates were selected by the ADAPT aptitude process, they had to undergo a six week stint at the ground school conducted by Mihin Lanka with the help of some veteran ground instructors who had been professional flight engineers on Boing 747 and Lock Head Tri Star airplanes for Singapore Airlines, LTU and Sri Lankan Airlines. During their training with the ground instructors, the cadets were introduced to complex working systems on bigger and more modern airplanes. Thereafter they completed the Type Rating Course, which includes Aircraft Type Specific ground school and simulated flight training which in this case was on an Airbus A320. This aspect of the cadets’ training took approximately six to eight weeks per person and only after they completed it could they commence flying actual aircraft with an instructor captain. This aspect of training called line orientation enabled cadets to fly a minimum of 40 sectors (take offs and landings) to a maximum of 60 sectors before they got final clearance to fly as fully-fledged first officers. Line training was conducted by Mihin Lanka’s resident local and expatriate instructors all of whom have a minimum of 20 years of experience in the aviation industry.”    

Nishantha Ranatunga, Chairman / CEO, Mihin Lanka stated, “Mihin Lanka has always been open to new challenges and we are doing our best to meet our current industry requirements and developments. Our training management has already started working on the recruitment of our fourth batch of cadets.  An enhanced training programme will also be introduced to address the present demands of the aviation industry. In the last two years, approximately 20 first officers who began their careers at Mihin Lanka, have joined some of the largest airlines in the region including Etihad, Tiger Airways, Air Arabia, Vietnam Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines.  At Mihin Lanka, we believe in continuously improving our standards. I must thank our training team and professionals who adhered to stringent deadlines and helped produce a world-class batch of young pilots.

The world has an increasing demand for good technical crew members and Mihin Lanka believes it’s the duty of the airline to create opportunities for Sri Lankan youngsters from all parts of the island.”

Commenting on the training experience with Mihin Lanka, Ruchaka Dadagamuwa, Trainee First Officer, Mihin Lanka stated, “Mihin Lanka gave me the opportunity to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an airline pilot. I completed my training in only six months and I am very thankful for the training I obtained from the instructors. I would like to thank the entire Mihin Lanka team for giving us the necessary support and guidance."

Also commenting on the training experience, Adhil Anees, Trainee First Officer, Mihin Lanka stated, “The extensive training we received from Mihin Lanka significantly enhanced our knowledge and capabilities. The challenging training programme delivered by Mihin Lanka’s team of experienced instructors really helped us gain confidence and fine-tune our skills in handling aircraft.”

Also commenting on the training, Dilakshan Angunawela, Trainee First Officer, Mihin Lanka stated, “My training at Mihin Lanka was truly an enriching experience. I am proud that Mihin Lanka adheres to such stringent international standards by implementing vigorous training for pilots that covers both theory and practical learning. Our foundational ground training was carried out by veteran instructors with over 15 years of experience.  Line training was also a great experience as we had the fantastic opportunity of training with Mihin Lanka’s most senior captains who have decades of flying experience. I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to complete this training course provided by Mihin Lanka and I look forward to fulfilling my role as a pilot for Mihin Lanka.”

Photo Caption (From L to R)- Suraj Perera, Adhil Anees, Jehan Fernando, Eswaran Ramanathan, Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama - Chief Pilot Training & Standards, Capt. Pujitha Jayakody - Director Flight Operations, Harith Perera, Harith Jayasinghe, Indula Abeynayake, Dilukshan Angunawala.

Absent - Ruchaka Dadagamuwa and Eranga Karunaratne.
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