Living the Life

There's nothing ordinary about life in the RSAF, because everything is elevated to a different plane.

PILOT

The ultimate objective is to dedicate one's self to the defence of our nation!

LTC Benjamin Fu Pilot

RISING ABOVE ALL as A PILOT

When it came to planning his career path, one young man had some interesting options: Accept a scholarship in Japan or study medicine. But he had a life-long seeking something different and exciting – and instead signed on as an RSAF fighter pilot. A decision LTC Benjamin Fu has never come to regret. He says, "It's important for potential RSAF scholars to know that ultimate objective is to dedicate oneself to the defence nation in the long run."

Not everyone can be a fighter pilot. It is a profession that demands one constantly be at his best. Since his university days, Benjamin proved to be the right man for the job. He graduated from the Imperial College, London with 1st Class Honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a Masters in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

Now, flying the F16 Fighting Falcon, Benjamin has travelled to different ends of the earth such as Cazaux, France and Tucson, USA, to hone his flying skills. "Flying the F16 requires one to operate at the limits of one's endurance and awareness levels," he says. "There is a steep learning curve and little room for mistakes. Failure would have ended my dream as a pilot."

So what keeps Benjamin at his best? With the help of dedicated instructors and peers who impart their experience and knowledge, he is able to perform as a wingman and contribute in the tactical arena. Today, the qualified fighter pilot finds flying in the company of strong camaraderie sheer joy. "People I have met are genuinely concerned about your development. Instead of colleagues, we operate as a family that looks out for one another." In turn, this team spirit has helped Benjamin fulfil his calling – looking out for Singapore's defence.

TOP 5 THINGS PILOTS DO BEFORE FLYING

  1. Adequate rest is essential. That means at least 8 hours of sleep.
  2. Stretch well. You won't be moving much in a 3m x 2m cockpit.
  3. Prepare mission plans and briefings with your teammates.
  4. Ensure your flight plan is in order.
  5. Inspect your vehicle well before starting up the engine.

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

Callsigns are like affectionate nicknames given to a pilot by colleagues. Benjamin's callsign reflects what his colleagues think of his piloting skills – top-notch and unbeatable.