Student Profile - Meet Hyeonwung Cho

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Meet Hyeonwung Cho who moved from South Korea in August 2020 to join HAA's Airplane Professional Pilot Program to pursue his dream of becoming an aviator. He is currently working on his Instrument Rating. 
1.  Why do you want to be a pilot and what’s your dream job?
I made my decision to pursue aviation when I was high school. Senior Air Force cadets visited my school, and I was immediately drawn to the idea of joining an organization which strong values. This is one of the reasons I joined the Air Force Academy. Although I couldn't be a combat pilot, I didn't give up on my dream of becoming a pilot. There are views that only pilots in the cockpit experience, and I knew I wanted to experience those amazing sites from the air. I'd like to see the auroras as a airline pilot via polar route someday.

2. What can a potential student expect when starting school?
It will take a couple of years to build enough experience to work for an airline. Even if you start without a knowledge of aviation, the instructors are very helpful and provide great guidance and support.

Also, you might be worried about how the pandemic will affect aviation. It has definitely impacted most segments of the aviation industry, but there will be an end to it. There will be a recovery like none we have seen, and the opportunity to take advantage of that need for pilots will go to those whom are preparing now.

3.  What is the daily time commitment to becoming a pilot?
Chair flying every chance you get is very helpful for getting comfortable with the aircraft. It's also important to have a study schedule so you know what needs to be accomplished each day, week, and month as there are a lot of books and materials to read in order to be a well-prepared pilot. I also watch YouTube videos to help aid my studying.

4.  What is your favorite part of the training at Hillsboro?
My favorite part is the people who make this experience so good. All of the staff at HAA are kind and always willing to help. I also appreciate the seasons you experience in Oregon. The summer weather is a perfect time to fly a lot and build hours, while the winter weather provides a great opportunity to practice actual Instrument flying.

5.  Why did you choose Hillsboro?
I picked Hillsboro because of the opportunity for graduates to work as an instructor which greatly helps with your career path. HAA also has a great reputation and a number of strong partnerships in the aviation industry. There are numerous pilots working at the airlines in Korea who were trained at HAA.

6.  What are some of the biggest challenges when learning to fly?Sometimes it feels like skills don't improve even though you have put in a lot of effort to learn them. It's just something that takes time to perfect, and people have difference strengths and challenges during their training. I also found it challenging at time to motivate myself to stay consistent with regular flights and staying on top of ground lessons, but when I feel that motivating lacking, I just imagine my future in the cockpit and my enthusiasm is restored.

7.  What is your favorite thing about the Pacific Northwest?Oregon is the perfect place for anyone who loves outdoor activities. The vegetation is similar to Korea, and there are many incredible places to travel and forests to walk in. And there are markets that serve Asian and Korean food which is amazing and reminds me of home.