Taiwan 2005

New markets means new travels… In spring 2005 team Pipistrel went to Taiwan to help establish Taiwan’s first flight school on light aircraft.
New markets means new travels… In spring 2005 team Pipistrel went to Taiwan to help establish Taiwan’s first flight school on light aircraft. With a Virus and Sinus NW already on location it was only a matter of 16 hour flight for Ivo, Boris and Tine to reach Taipei. We were awaited by Mr Peter Ku, who kindly took us to city centre and we had a cup of coffee inside the lounge of Taipei 101. In the afternoon we took a domestic flight to Hualien where the aircraft were located and where we would fly. There, Mr. David She and his wife welcomed us and led the way to our hotel. You need to understand that most Europeans will have a super-hard time reading the traffic and street signs in Chinese…

Busy streets of Hualien


Only a couple of hours later the first aircraft was already assembled and check. We took it for a test flight first thing next morning and assembled the second aircraft immediately afterwards. Then it was time for the training flight for the instructor Mr Chili Yung, who’s daily job is to fly the airliners for Trans Asia Airlines. Chili got the grip of the aircraft sooner than expected and with time to spare and 2 aircraft flying simultaneously David, who is the owner of both aircraft started taking lessons as well.

     

Tine shows the preflight inspection; Chili and Tine ready for take-off; Liftoff! 

It was the first time the Tine gave flight lessons to someone who did not speak the same language (English in this case) and very little flight experience. Although there were some misunderstandings in the beginning, David showed some really amazing progress already the very next day and was on the edge of going solo just before we left, truly an amazing experience for team Pipistrel as well as Taiwanese! Boris, who is the Head of Production at Pipistrel, also took Tenis, David’s talented young mechanic to “school”. Boris showed him all the bits that he needs to check during normal maintenance as well as different repair techniques that Tenis would maybe need to use someday.

While Chili and David were resting between the training sessions, team Pipistrel went flying together with the locals, members of press and authorities. We were even honored by the visit of the highest ranked officers of the Hualien Airbase.
David and Chili also had a surprise for us every single day. We tried different cuisines every day, including Korean, Mainland-Chinese, Japanese and of course the original Taiwanese cosines. You can imagine it was quite a challenge to master the chopstick techniques but Ivo, Boris and Tine got it right after the initial contraptions.

Dinnertime with Mr She, Peter Ku, Chili Yung and their spouses

Finally, just a day before we left, David surprised us again, by offering us to drive two of his Porsche cars that he collects. It was an offer that we simply could not resist and the curvy roads that led us into the mountainous regions above Hualien really made it possible to test-drive the cars. What and experience!

  

Ivo speeding in the black Carrera (left) and posing in the yellow Boxter


Before we left home, a press conference was organized at the airfield near Hualien, where we were flying during the past days. A crowd of about 150 people attended and listened Ivo and Tine during their presentation of the Pipistrel company and both aircraft. Chili translated simultaneously and made it possible for the non-English speaking locals to understand what we were saying. The highlight of this occasion was the speech of the Mayor of Hualien, who welcomed light aircraft activity to the aera.

Group photo with officers of Hualien Airbase, who also joined Tine for a flight


When we all thought that the surprises were over, David had one more on his mind. He took us back to Taipei, and we visited the World’s tallest building, the Taipei Tower 101, and the night market together. It was a truly magnificent ending to this inspiring trip!

Our sincere thanks go to Mr David She, for his personal efforts to make sure that everything was organized perfectly, his courage of establishing the first flight school in Taiwan, and his passion of showing us around in so many wonderful ways. Thank you Mr Chili Yung, for all the help and assistance, determination in cockpit and many fun moments together - we will never forget your Mini! Thank you Mr Peter Ku, for picking us up at the airport and the introduction to Taiwanese culture, as well as all the assistance during our trip. Thank you Miss Jeannie Liang for showing us around Taipei on the morning of our departure and keeping us company during our stay. Last but not least, thank you Tenis for showing your enthusiasm about the maintenance of the aircraft, thank you Mr Lin Der for giving us the insight in how aviation training works in Taiwan, the officers of the Hualien Airbase for the T-shirts, and also thanks to everybody who contributed to this wonderful trip that was not only a part of business but a valuable cultural experience as well! Thank you all!

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