Meet Hayato Konaka who moved from Japan to the United States to join our professional pilot training program. He started his pilot classes in March 2020.
- Why do you want to be a pilot and what’s your dream job?
I have been traveling around with my family every year since I was little. When I was boarding a huge airplane that’s when I realized, I had a dream to be a pilot. I got the opportunity to talk with the pilot. After talking with the pilot I was even more determined to become a pilot. If I will be an airline pilot in Japan, I would like to pass on the dream to children like that pilot did to me long ago. I would like to become an airline pilot and fly around the world.
- What can a potential student expect when starting school?
When I started my training, I was really worried about how much I needed to learn. I like to learn but I still need a lot of skills, knowledge, and ability to become a pilot. However, the HAA instructors are supporting me with my studies every day.
- What is the daily time commitment to becoming a pilot?
I usually take half of a day for aviation study, which includes ground, flight, chair flying and so on. I also take an English lesson sometimes especially normal conversation on online because a pilot is always speaking in English on ATC.
- What is your favorite part of the training at Hillsboro?
My favorite part of the training at Hillsboro is private pilot training. It was the first lesson to my first solo flight lesson. I felt a large amount of growth during this period. I was able to go on my first solo on my 14th lesson. I was gaining a lot of knowledge and skills at the time. I am still surprised that I was able to make my first solo flight in less than 1 month.
- Why did you choose Hillsboro?
I chose Hillsboro because my college has made contract with them. I belong to Japan Aviation Academy.
- What are some of the biggest challenges when learning to fly?
My biggest challenge is to keep thinking ahead of the airplane. Especially for IFR flight. Pilots need to think ahead of the airplane at all times. This was very hard for me when I started my flight training. However, I was able to overcome it because my instructor taught me how to prepare for a flight before we take off, I know how to think ahead of the airplane.
- Outside of school, what does Oregon offer as far as social life?
Because of COVID-19, we couldn’t go out much. But there are some spectacular forest scenery and trails. The weather is very nice around Hillsboro during the summer. You can go on foot from HAA to buy everything for daily life. For the Japanese students, we have an Asian grocery store close to Hillsboro. We can go there by bus or train MAX, and it takes about 10 minutes.