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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Blue Sky in Cambodia

Blue Sky in Cambodia

Blue Sky in Cambodia

The day that makes me so excited was Jun. 19, 1986 which Kampuchea airlines was opening

by the officials of the State of Cambodia. Not only me but also Cambodian people

were very excited and happy, because after the great victory of Jan. 7, 1979, our

country had no any aviation, the country was in bad and very complicated condition.

According to proposal of the government of Cambodia to Soviet government in order

to restoration of aviation in Cambodia Soviet government agreed to sign the contract

of helping to train and teach Cambodian specialists in order to have an airline in

Cambodia like other countries in the world. The government called on all intellectuals

who had intended to learn about the aviation. The information was announced through

out the country. The first session were chosen 51 persons, including me, who had

passed the medical health examination.

I was sent to USSR Oct. 10, 1980 to learned about aviation (nobody knows what will

he or they become). When we arrived in Kiev (is the capital of Ukrain-USSR) we had

sent to the medical health examination again, then we had known "what we will

become". The initial year 51 persons of us were studying together in Kiev Institute

of Engineering of civil aviation. At the end of the year some of us were sent to

learn to be mechanic of the plane AN-24 (Antonov.24), radio operator, navigator and

pilot.

I was sent to learn to be a pilot of the plane AN-24 including 5 of my friends, where

in a small country side of Sasovo civil aviation flight training school (about) 1500

km from Moscow to the west). I, although, lived in a small country but I was very

happy. Five years had passed quickly, finally at the end of the year 1985 I've got

the pilot license and returned to Cambodia on Feb. 3, 1986.

I've been working in the direction of civil aviation of Cambodia and I've been flying

in and out the country for seven years.

"Say the Pilots"

The first I would like to thank you for Soviet specialists especially my teachers

and trainers, who has helped me from the time that I still a simple person. Now I'm

a pilot I'm very happy of my job. This is my fancy when I was a child. Jan. 26, 1992

it was the greatest day in my life, that my crew allowed to fly without Soviet trainer.

This was the first crew of 4th Cambodian crews was allowed to fly without Soviet

trainer on the aircraft.

In my experiences of flying, I believed that Kampuchea airlines will be increasing

and spreading widely in the future. Conclusion of my story I'd like to stress AN-

24's extreme reliability. I used to fly the machine all around the USSR and Cambodia

landing on dirt airfields and in weed grown plains the machine had never given me

a cause to doubt its reliability. No wonder, since AN-24 was specifically designed

for these kinds of landings. I've been flying Soviet aircraft for 7 years. I flew

to Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and especially in our country. The machine looked fine

on every field. As a pilot I can say with all confidence the Soviet aircraft are

superb! I have never had a single serious trouble in the air. The best machine is

Soviet aircraft! I'd like to fly Soviet aircraft.

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