He Reached For The Sky - NEWS REPORTS
A Decade Later, He Touched It:
20-year Old Air Pilot Rajandeep Singh
EDITOR: The following story was published ten years ago on sikhchic.com about 10-year-old Rajandeep Singh, under the caption “He Reached For The Sky“.
It is worth a reread -- it is reproduced below -- before you get to the “Ten Years Later” update to the story which immediately follows.
TEN YEARS AGO
Rajandeep Singh dreams of being a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot. But at just ten years old, he has at least eight more years until he can fulfill his ambition and, like most young boys, he can't wait until he is old enough to reach for the skies.
He was therefore thrilled when RAF Linton-on-Ouse in the UK recently did a 'Jim'll Fix It' for him and his friends to spend a day at the airbase and get a taste of what it's like to be a real life RAF pilot.
Rajandeep attends the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship, in Bradford. RAF Linton-on-Ouse, located near York, has a close relationship with the Gurdwara; staff from Linton are regular visitors at evening scripture lessons held in its Prayer Hall.
It was on one of these visits that Linton's station Commander, Group Captain Andy Sudlow invited the youngsters to the base so they could see what goes into training modern day pilots. For Rajandeep, the invite was a dream-come true:
"I've loved planes since I was two and have always dreamed of becoming a pilot and traveling the world," he said.
Rajandeep's visit coincided with Graduation Day and he got to speak to pilots who had just won their coveted RAF 'wings'. He also got to see some of the RAF's newest jets give a special display as well as a vintage Battle of Britain Spitfire.
Rajandeep came about as close to being a pilot as a 10 year old can. When the Spitfire landed, he and his friends got to climb aboard the world's most famous fighter.
Rajandeep's mum, Nina Kaur, who organizes classes at the Gurdwara explained the importance of the Sikh community having a good rapport with the RAF:
"This relationship is about changing mindsets on both sides as well as making valuable links and letting our children know what opportunities are out there for them," she said.
"Today is a good example, you don't have to be a pilot to join the RAF and I think that surprised some in the party. The Gurdwara and RAF Linton have worked closely for about three years now, building bridges and establishing friendships."
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TEN YEARS LATER
Bradford, United Kingdom
At the age of 20, Rajandeep Singh has now fully qualified as an airline pilot.
Last month he accepted a job as a pilot on a commercial aircraft with an international airline based in the United Kingdom.
[Courtesy: Defence News. Edited for sikhchic.com]
December 24, 2016
Conversation about this article
1: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom ), December 25, 2016, 9:39 AM.
We know Rajandeep and his parents and are extremely impressed that a 20 year old Sardar has achieved so much in such little time. Sikh ethos and practicality require education to be used wisely. This achievement by Rajandeep Singh is indeed extraordinary. Well done, Rajandeep Singh, for this chardi kalaa!
2: Sangat Singh (Kua;a Lumpur, Malaysia), December 25, 2016, 4:34 PM.
Rajandeep, you have the wings you aspired for. Congratulations. Should mention woman power too. There is Apinder Kaur, the first Sikh woman to fly commercially in the diaspora. On the subcontinent, it was Harita Kaur, the first Sardarni to fly in the IAF. Unfortunately she died in an air crash as a passenger in the mid 90's. There is no field of endeavour in which a Sikh hasn't excelled!