Simultaneous Triumph: Father, 45, and Son, 17, Attain Private Pilot Status in UAE
A remarkable tale of joint accomplishment has unfolded in Abu Dhabi as a 45-year-old Pakistani expatriate, once weighing 120kg, joyfully attains his private pilot's license alongside his 17-year-old son. This achievement takes on an even more profound significance, as the determined businessman managed to shed an impressive 50kg before embarking on this shared mission with his teenage son.
Suleiman Mahmood, a respected member of the Abu Dhabi business community, transitioned from aspiration to actuality as he and his son, Hashir Suleiman, completed an intensive six-month training program at the esteemed Fujairah Flying Academy. Suleiman, a native of Abu Dhabi, expressed his pride and elation in an interview, recounting their journey towards achieving this milestone.
He candidly revealed that his passion for aviation had always burned within him, yet his previous weight had hindered his ambitions. At 120kg, he acknowledged that soaring through the skies seemed beyond reach. Motivated by an ardent desire for transformation, Suleiman took a resolute step in 2020. He committed to a disciplined regimen of exercise, moderated eating, and steadfast dedication to his goal. Within a mere six months, he triumphed by shedding an astonishing 50kg, a feat he commemorated by rewarding himself with a sports bike.
This triumphant transformation emboldened Suleiman to pursue his long-held aspiration of flying. He confided that the notion of enrolling in a flying school abroad had crossed his mind, but his professional obligations precluded such an endeavor. However, upon discovering the Fujairah Aviation Academy within the UAE, he seized the opportunity and convinced his son, Hashir, to join him on this remarkable journey.
Thus, father and son found themselves transitioning from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah, immersing themselves in a rigorous flying program at the academy. Suleiman's determination remained unwavering as he balanced his weekly classes with his work commitments, often traveling back to Abu Dhabi for the weekends.
The educational journey was no cakewalk. Yet, Suleiman embraced the return to the classroom and the structured routine of lessons from 7:30 am to 3 pm. His determination shone through, proving that age is not a barrier to learning.
Notably, in a charming twist, Suleiman bested his son in achieving this feat. Despite the age gap and disparate learning paces, he proudly proclaimed that he was the first in their batch to successfully graduate. Captain Mohamed El Sheikh, Head of Training at the Fujairah Aviation Academy, corroborated Suleiman's accomplishment, confirming that he had completed his training five days ahead of his son.
With their newfound private pilot licenses, both Suleiman and Hashir possess the capability to operate single-engine aircraft and accommodate passengers. However, the distinction between private and commercial pilot licenses is essential, as the latter is a requisite for being employed as a pilot. This achievement marks not only a personal triumph for the father and son but also an inspiring tale of transformation, determination, and shared success.