HAGEN FERNANDES – FIRST COMMERCIAL PILOT FROM COLVA, GOA
Kuwait-born Hagen Fernandes hails from Colva, Goa – a place known for the touristic charm and pristine Christian churches and chapels, crosses and grottos surrounding this Goan village landscape amidst the roaring sea waves and the lining silver sands. Under the parental upbringing of Mario and Amelia Fernandes, this soft-spoken boy, soon grew up to take interest into his ‘flying toys’ frenzy of collecting them as a hobby and how best to glide them on remote controls! Before long his fondness to ‘steer’ them increased. At the popular Jabriya Indian School, as an ardent student, he completed his high school education in Kuwait. In a year’s time, he received his software engineering diploma in Goa, and moved back to Kuwait. Alghanim Industries was his first place to look for a job, where he worked for a brief stint. It was at this stage that his fascination once again took wings, and his desire grew to study and become a professional pilot!
Hagen put forth his desire across to his parents, convincingly. A man of discipline and family priorities, Mario gave a nod to his son Hagen. Having received his parent’s approval and with the blessings of the Almighty God, Hagen moved a mile closer to making his daydream come true. His application to join in for training was selected and he was welcomed at the Phoenix East Aviation Inc at Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.A. It was at the end of 2006 after rigorous training schedule, studies, assignments, dedication and perseverance, the pilot training course which usually is targeted for 24 months was successfully completed by Hagen in 20 months at this nationally accredited flight training academy. The commendation, guidance and encouragement received through his instructors was overwhelming. He was proud to be in the good hands and praised the Almighty and successfully accomplished and obtain his Private Pilot License, IRL, Multi Private License and Multi Commercial Pilot License. To further his training, he moved on to yet another guidance facility - EPIC Aviation Inc at Florida, USA certified by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education Training (ACCET) - where he obtained a Commercial Single Engine ADD-On License. Now fired up with new knowledge, the experience and his motivation, Hagen stirred on to graduate from ATP Flight School, Florida, USA where he acquired all his Instructor Licenses for CFI, CFII and MEI.
Hagen’s parents greatly acknowledge the divine blessings of the Almighty in their son’s success of becoming the first commercial pilot from their ancestral village, Colva. Their daughter Christy and her husband Sunny always uphold him in their prayers. The proud parents do feel pompous that Hagen’s achievements is a stimulation to their relatives and friends as well as to the Goan youth. They orate “if you have a dream, put your faith in God, reach out and you will be blessed in everything you do”. Hagen now has plans to build up his professional career as a Trainee/Co-Pilot. At the moment he is content to join a flight training school to build up additional flight hours to his credit, he says with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Some day, somewhere, on your next vacation, on your flight: ‘We have co-pilot Hagen…And surely hearing Fernandes…. will stir your flying moods and your curiosity to find out if he is a Goan!’. Yes, the sky’s not the limit for this Goan youngster!
-By Gaspar Almeida