Staff Profile - Jack Leung, Flying Instructor

Get to know Jack Leung, one of our Flight Instructors in the Flying Operations Unit, as he shares profound insights into his childhood memories, what sparked his interest in aviation, and his journey through various facets of the industry.

Jack Leung Profile Photo

What drew you to aviation?

I don’t remember precisely the reason why I wanted to become a Pilot, but I know with certainty that this was a decision I made when I was at the wee age of four.

I vaguely recall being on board a Northwest Airline service from Tokyo to New York and being invited along with all the other children on board to visit the flight deck (this was before 2001). I remember barely being tall enough to see anything but one thing that captured my attention was the complexity of the image in front of me – the panels, screens, buttons, and circuit breakers. Perhaps more interested at the time at what each button did, I returned to my seat and wondered if this is what I wanted to do when I grew up (this was around the time at school when people asked you what you wanted to become when you grew up) – and I instantly thought: yes.

What are the most memorable moments in aviation for you? (directed at highlighting experiences in aviation that students can look forward to).

Sunsets are always a highlight. Especially in winter with the sun setting behind you as you head home with the fog developing in the valleys in the Blue Mountains. The colours never get old and you just marvel at the beauty of this World and truly appreciate how fortunate we are as Pilots to be able to see these views on the regular.

Can you tell us about your journey in aviation? How did you get here?

I was absolutely set on becoming a Pilot from very early on, so everything I did – from my education (subject choices) to extra-curricular activities (air cadets), was aimed at preparing for flying training. I also wanted to go to University as well but did not have any interest in studying anything other than Aviation, so it was perfect when I discovered the Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) program at UNSW.

I moved from Hong Kong to Sydney in 2014 to begin my studies and graduated at the end of 2016. I went on to obtain my Flight Instructor Rating after graduation and did some instructing at a smaller school before returning to my alma mater in 2018. Fast forward a little over five years and I now teach all training flights up to and including the multi-engine instrument rating.

What does aviation mean to you now?

There are few things in life that just feel right. I have been fortunate enough to find this feeling in a few places but more fortunate to feel this way about my day job. I’ve always enjoyed everything about aviation – the complexity, the occasional chaos, and the multifaceted nature of the job as a Pilot and Instructor. Aviation to me is more than a job or an interest – it is most definitely a passion and a vocation. I enjoy the challenges that I encounter every day and the strong sense of community that I feel amongst fellow aviators.

What is the best thing about your current role?

I really enjoy teaching. I get a huge kick out of seeing students succeed in overcoming challenges and achieving their goals. Pairing that with flying and all the things that come with it – makes my role a pretty ridiculous one in how little it feels like “work”.

I also enjoy the variety of tasks that come with my role. It’s nice to have duties to attend to in the office, simulator, aeroplanes (flying training and aerial surveying), flight line and maintenance, and student recruitment and marketing for the School. No one week is the same and certainly no one day or flight is the same – so it makes for pretty good variety and keeps things interesting.

What is a goal you want to achieve in this industry?

One of the goals I had when I first started instructing was to get to the position that I am now. Achieving this was a great milestone and something that I am very proud of.

As much as I adore my job as an instructor, the ultimate dream job for me would be a job that involves helping people with the Aeroplane that I fly. I am often inspired by the people who work in Search and Rescue and Aeromedical operations. Their unwavering dedication to duty and professionalism in order to help other people in their time of need is truly inspirational. Although I still have much to learn in order to get to that level of flying and proficiency, I hope to someday achieve this goal.

What is your one piece of advice to someone considering a career in aviation?

Work hard and stay humble. Never forget that there are many people who have gone before you who are equally passionate and perhaps more skilled than you are. Look out for each other when you’re out there flying and always be ready to help a fellow aviator in need.

Summarise aviation in one word: