Gary Tat, Aircraft Engineer of Cathay Pacific
With the vision to promote building and flying the first amateur-built aircraft in Hong Kong, the first-ever homebuilt aircraft certified to fly under Hong Kong registration - B-KOO Inspiration - took off from Hong Kong International Airport for the first time on 15 November 2015, marking an exciting moment for Hong Kong aviation.
Aircraft Engineer Ir Gary Tat, HKU Mechanical Engineering Class of 2006 alumnus, and some other HKU Engineering alumni, Mr. Sam Chen, Mechanical Engineering Class of 2011, Mr. Cyril Li and Mr. Wing Go Ng who are both Mechanical Engineering Class of 2016 alumni, took part in building the first amateur-built aircraft together with the Inspiration team members. The first Hong Kong registered homebuilt aircraft named B-KOO "Inspiration" has successfully taken off from Hong Kong to start a 3-month Round the World (RTW) journey in August 2016. After traveling across 20 countries and landed at 40 airports, with a total flying distance of approximately 50,000 kilometres, it marked a splendorous moment by completing its RTW journey on 13 November 2016.
Ir Gary Tat and pilot Mr. Hank Cheng sat in the first Hong Kong assembled aircraft
Reporter: Why did you take up your role as Aircraft Engineer in the Inspiration team?
Gary: When I was a child, I had a dream of making my own aircraft and traveling around the world. I worked in Cathy Pacific as an Engineer after graduated from the Engineer Trainee Programme. I learnt from newspaper that Mr. Hank Cheng was working closely with groups of local secondary school students to construct the aircraft. This started our 7 years aircraft building journey and the 3 month Inspiration RTW journey from August to November 2016.
Reporter: What were the most unforgettable experiences during your preparation and the RTW trip?
Gary: Back to November 2015, when B-KOO took off successfully, I was extremely excited as this was the first time it took off and it marked the success of our 7 years hard-work. Another exciting moment happened is when B-KOO took off and started the RTW journey in August 2016.
As an engineer, I focused on the technical side of the aircraft, e.g. fuel safety, foreign object damage and health of the engine which may affect our safety and RTW journey. Thanks to the engineering team of Inspiration, all technical aspects ran well in the whole journey and this marked the milestone of Hong Kong aircraft.
Reporter: Could you give some advice to the younger generations?
Gary: The key to make your dream come true is to adhere to your dream with a can-do attitude.
“Inspiration” Home-coming event on 13 Nov, 2016
Please visit Hong Kong Science Museum to meet the “Inspiration” team:
Exhibition Date: 10 Feb 2017 (Fri) – 19 Apr 2017 (Wed)
Location: Hong Kong Science Museum, G/F, Exhibition Hall, 2 Science Museum Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
To learn more about “Inspiration”, please visit: inspiration.bkoo.hk