In Jordan, Arab boys who want to be commercial air pilots need no longer travel to the United States or Britain to get their training.
In Jordan, Arab boys who want to be commercial air pilots need no longer travel to the United States or Britain to get their training. They can learn to fly and take their pilot's license at the Royal Jordanian Aeronautical Academy at Amman Airport.
The Academy's Chief Flying Instructor, Captain Lee Jones is English and he says the 15 month course is similar to a pilot's course in Britain in content and standard.
The Royal Academy was established in 1970 by command of King Hussain to train young Arabs, mainly from Jordan, but also from other Arab countries, as commercial pilots. Jordan had decided it was time it could train its pilots at home.
The competition for a place at the Academy is very keen. Only those with the highest academic qualifications are ever considered. Then the applicants are subjected to British-style aptitude tests. Only ten young men are accepted for each course. They each must do 230 hours of flying on both single and twin engine Piper training planes.
The Ground School is based exactly on the requirements of the British Civil Aviation Authority. The trainees are also subjected to a military style discipline, with drill, physical fitness training and exercise in desert survival.
When the trainees get their flying licenses they join the Royal Jordanian Airline or the airlines of other Arab nations.
The flying Academy has seven single and twin engined Pipers and delivery is expected any day of an advanced flight simulator and an acrobatic plane - to further test the skill of the young trainee pilots.