Royal Thai Air Force Pilots Train at UCM
Contact Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (July 26, 2012) – As an international student who graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 1991, Banchar Patrasuwan developed a strong fondness for the university’s aviation program. Today, he shares that appreciation for UCM by collaborating on aviation training, which this summer has brought students from across the globe to campus.
Patrusuwan, founder of Thai General Aviation Technology Company, Ltd., has made it possible for six professional pilots from the Royal Thai Air Force to participate in the four-week program, Effective Pilot Training at UCM. Their educational coursework and related activities began earlier this month within the university’s School of Graduate and Extended Studies, with instruction provided by the faculty in the Department of Aviation.
According to Laurel Hogue, assistant director of extended studies and summer sessions, training consists of a combination of classroom lectures and hands-on experiences. It also includes off-campus opportunities such as visits to Whiteman Air Force Base; Flight Safety International, a national flight simulation company in St. Louis; and the Federal Aviation Administration in Kansas City. Students will leave UCM with training certificates and return to Thailand to use what they have learned.
“They will go back to the (Thai) Air Force and train people who are going to train pilots,” Patrasuwan said.
Patrasuwan came to Central Missouri with his wife and two children in 1989 to pursue a Master of Science degree in aviation safety, following a career as an officer in Thailand’s Air Force. He learned about the master’s degree program in aviation safety from a former supervisor, who had also studied on campus.
After graduating from Central Missouri, Patrasuwan returned to Bangkok. Pleased with his experience at UCM, he said he was inspired by one of his aviation professors, John Horine, to do something to benefit his country.
“I started thinking about what I could do, and the first thing that came to my head was we need to improve our aviation education and training,” Patrasuwan said.
His previous professional experiences, coupled with the preparation he received in aviation safety, as well as areas such as aviation management, airport planning and design, and aircraft accident investigation, provided him with a strong background needed to open his own business. He founded Thai General Aviation Technology Company, Ltd. , which offers a wide range of aviation training and educational services in cooperation with educational institutions such as UCM. TGAT organizes study groups, seminars and training courses in Thailand and abroad to serve the needs of top and middle management in both the public and private sector of the aviation industry. The company also provides pilot training and educational materials.
Patrasuwan’s main career objective is to help build a general and civil aviation base in Thailand and improve safety, effectiveness and productivity in that industry. General and civil aviation groups as well as the Thai Air Force have benefited from his company’s training programs, some courses of which are taught by the company owner. His training programs are approved by the Ministry of Education and certified by the Civil Aviation Association, which is Thailand’s equivalent to the FAA in the United States.
Patrasuwan has been coordinating training at UCM, bringing government, civil and military aviation personnel to campus since 1995.