betty July 7, 2022

SINGAPORE – He is a commercial pilot, but on Aug 9, Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) (NS) Ong Swee Chuan will be navigating an F-16 fighter jet through a challenging manoeuvre that will make its bow at this year’s National Day Parade (NDP).

He will be one of two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16 pilots who will be engaged in a turn at close proximity to each other while undergoing high g-force (gravitational force equivalent) before doing a vertical climb.

Such a manoeuvre had been previously done only by a single jet at other NDPs.

LTC (NS) Ong, 50, on Tuesday (July 5) shared with the media some of the challenges he will face.

He said: “It’s not an easy task because under high g-force, we cannot move our heads… At the same time, we got to strain against the g-force, because if we don’t, all our blood will flow to the legs and we will black out. We have to do that while flying in formation.”

Since he left the RSAF about eight years ago and became a commercial pilot, LTC (NS) Ong spends 40 days a year as an operationally ready national serviceman (NSman) to maintain proficiency and currency as a fighter pilot.

He began training for this year’s NDP in April, and the father of two is looking forward to taking part in this year’s parade.

He said: “As this year is NS55 (55 years of national service), being part of the celebrations of the nation’s independence is a pleasure.”

The RSAF will be reprising some of its crowd favourite elements this year, including the F-16 jet fly-past segment in the heartland and the bomb burst at the heart of the celebrations in the Marina Bay area.