Vietnamese-born woman a Korean 'national pilot'

By Linh Le   October 19, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
Vietnamese-Korean amateur pilot Lee Ho-jeong has been selected to fly a South Korean Air Force fighter jet as part of the nation’s Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX).
Lee Ho-jeong, 41. Photo from Republic of Korea Air Force Facebook

Lee Ho-jeong, 41. Photo from Republic of Korea Air Force Facebook

A banker and Vietnamese language tutor, Lee, 41, was the only woman chosen out of four honorees to participate in this year’s air show, reported The Korea Bizwire news site.

She obtained an aircraft flying license because her childhood dream was to become a pilot, but financial struggles prevented her from pursuing the goal, reported The Korea Times.

In response to her selection for the event, Lee said she wanted to motivate other married migrants to pursue their dreams.

She came to South Korea in 2001 and married a local citizen. She was granted South Korean citizenship in 2007.

The event honoring non-professional pilots has become a biennial part of the Seoul ADEX since 2007. Its purpose is to give the public a peek into the lives and work of Air Force pilots.

Selected candidates are granted the chance to experience flying a domestic T-50 training aircraft alongside Air Force combat pilots during the air show.

This year’s other national pilots include an older brother of a late pilot who worked for the Republic of Korea Air Force, a neurosurgeon, and a university student who is also the youngest person ever to complete the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series.

The four honorees managed to make the cut against a competition rate of 692 to 1.

They have all already completed mandatory rigorous training in preparation for their flights.

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