Interview with a Filipino Aeronautical Engineer

I know Aeronautical Engineering may be quite interesting to many so I decided to interview someone who just got his license and passed the Aeronautical Engineering board exam in the Philippines. He is so young and very friendly and has just admitted he toured the whole Philippines recently which made me so jealous. 🙂 He is Ysmael Caballero. He’s been to a pilot school and I have lots of questions for him so let’s start.

Filipino Aeronautical Engineer Interview

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Fehl: First tell us a bit about you Yael. What’s your first childhood memory?

Ysmael: My first childhood memory was when I was in pre-school. I remember my teacher asking us one by one what we would want to be when we grow up. My classmates said they wanted to be a nurse, doctor, teacher, fireman, and some profession like their parents have. Then, my teacher called me, “Ysmael! What do you want to be when you grow up?” I looked at the poster hanging on a wall and looked for something they haven’t chosen yet and said, “When I grow up, I want to be an airplane!” Hahahaha! I’ll never forget that day! That was my calling. I knew from that moment I’ll be working with airplanes in the future.

Fehl: Holy crap! I’m sure your teacher will never forget about you.

Have you dreamed to become an aeronautical engineer since then or you just realized you wanted it before college?

Ysmael:  Actually, I wanted to be a pilot before but as I grew loving the industry of aviation, I realized that I wanted “more” than just flying an aircraft. I wanted to design an aircraft, invent new propulsion system, and be on the moon! So I took Engineering and pilot’s ground course at the same time. You know if you are going to dream of something, dream of something BIG! Never put a limit on what you can achieve! Go for the impossible and do your best to achieve that.

Fehl: I absolutely agree.

Why Aeronautical Engineer? Is it different from being a Pilot or Aerospace Engineer?

Ysmael:  I’ll sound like a nerd if I elaborate their differences. So here’s what they are:

Aerospace is the head of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Aeronautical Engineer designs aircrafts while Astronautical Engineer designs spacecrafts. So Aeronautics, Astronautics and Aerospace are actually the same. As for Pilots, they are the persons aboard the aircraft who is ultimately responsible for its operation and safety during flight so never stress them! 🙂

Why Aeronautical Engineering? Honestly? What do I want to achieve? No one will ever believe that I can do it actually… I’m literally thinking about making UFOs you see on the movies. I want to fly in and out of the moon anytime I want to. Impossible? I’ll never know unless I try. 😉

Fehl: Geez, you’re really so into the “moon.” You know great inventions came from crazy ideas and dreams.

How would you rate the board exam for Aeronautical Engineering in the Philippines– is it easy, hard or very hard?

Ysmael: Hard. I remember some examinees were actually crying while taking the exams! We had reviewed the difficult subjects but it just so happened that the exam was mostly about the basics so it was tough. My tip would be – stick to the basics, study hard, and break a leg.

from an Aeronautical Engineer student to being a Professional one...
from an Aeronautical Engineer student to being a Professional one…

Fehl: Where do you currently work?

Ysmael: I just got hired by Dornier Technology Inc, at Clark Pampanga as an Aircraft maintenance controller engineer. I will start working there officially on Feb 18. I really can’t wait to start! It’s my first non-callcenter agent job. Hahaha!

Fehl: What’s your happiest moment so far on being an aero engineer?

Ysmael:  The day I received a call from my aunt telling me that I passed the licensure exam. I didn’t believe her at first, but while on phone with her I’ve been receiving text messages so I dropped her call and read the text messages. I was shocked that people were congratulating me so I called my aunt and asked her where she saw the result then I checked the web and I cried when I saw my name! Five long years in college and six stressing months of review, all worth it!

Fehl: Where do you dream to work someday and why?

Ysmael: It would be NASA or NTSB. Why? NASA will actually pay you to go to the moon! Cool huh? But wait, there’s more! NASA is one of the leading experts in aircraft technology, some even say they are building some lightning speed aircrafts and I want to be part of that! Yes, someday.

As for NTSB, I’ve been watching air crash investigations in Nat.Geo and it fascinates me to see people doing detective stuff to find out why the aircraft crashed. I really love how the way they think and how they use their imagination to solve a puzzle. I really want to be like them.

Fehl: How much is the starting salary for Aeronautical Engineer in the Philippines?

Ysmael: It depends on the field you are going to work. College instructors get about 19,000 to 22,000 pesos while we, on the technical side, get only about 15,000 to 20,000 as a starter (no experience) but after 2 years of experience you can expect to get 200,000 per month!  How much more if you went abroad? Hmmnn…  Now that’s something to look forward to. 🙂

Fehl: Wow, 200,000 a month? That is huge to think you’re in the Philippines.

I know you cannot disclose your benefits and perks of your job, would you just share us your favorite benefit? 🙂

Ysmael:  TRAVEL BENEFITS! OH YEAH! I really love going to different places backpacking and meeting people along the way. I even backpacked the whole Philippines after passing the board as a gift for myself. Other than travel benefits? I don’t need more. 🙂

One of the benefits of being an Aeronautical Engineer is traveling “

Fehl: Lastly, Yael I know everyone who wants to become an Aeronautic Engineer someday would want to hear some tips from you. Can you give us some? 🙂

Ysmael:  Just a simple message that I’ve said before. Dream of something big! The more impossible it is, the better! Bill Gates told his professor that he would be a millionaire at the age of 30. His professor laughed at him and said it’s impossible. Well guess what, he became a billionaire at the age of 31!

Fehl: Shucks you really have an amazing mind. 🙂 Thank you for this great interview and we are happy to have you here at Philpad. I’m sure you will inspire a lot of engineers and pilots out there. Kudos!

Ysmael: It’s a big honor to be here at Philpad, Fehl. Thank you very much. I’m happy to meet an amazing friend like you.

Fehl: That’s a wrap. I hope you like this post and if you ever have a request for future interviews, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will gladly hear them. We will do our best to grant them. Have a fantastic day everyone!

My name is Fehl and I love interviewing people. These people are not celebrities, not listed in Forbes or Time magazine yet I feel someday they could be. Sometimes I just meet them at Starbucks or bump into them in Boracay or I just like their current Instagram. These people I know will inspire others. These people are Filipino…and that gets my attention :)”

About Fehl Dungo

Licensed Career Service Professional, tech investor, founder of Philpad, and published author of a poetry book at Barnes&Noble.

55 thoughts on “Interview with a Filipino Aeronautical Engineer”

  1. Thanks for the advise
    Pero i have a few question?
    If you are an aircraft maintenance pwede po bang mag move to pilot? May chansa po ba? Magiipon lang kasi?

    Reply
  2. To piggyback on the abovementioned comments, just wondering if the aeronautical schools in the Philippines have the following programs in their curriculum:
    a.) CATIA training for CAD; b.) Abacus for FMEA, c.) LabVIEW for Avionics, d.) composites engineering technology and e.) simulation software. If they do…the better off graduates will be in the global market. There’s a lot of retiring Engineers in the Aerospace industry starting 2016. You are the next generation of Engineers.

    Reply
  3. Are the entrance exams hard in Philsca and PATTS? Im an incoming senior high school. I would love to be an AERONAUTICAL ENGINEER. I am now learning the basics =)))

    Reply
  4. kuya ysmaelnas nasa highschool plang ako kuya kso naiisip kong parang mahirap ang trabo na ganyan kc mahina ako yata sa math pero yan po young gusto kong kunin na course anong pong maipapayo mo?

    Reply
  5. Hello Fehl, I just read the Ysmael story and would like to extend assistance to those who are looking for a job in Aeronautics Industry. I am in the Talent Acquisition Industry.

    Thanks…Jim Valdez

    Reply
  6. Hi Ysmael. Im just wondering should I pursue Aeronautical Engineering in PATTS then get a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering in MAPUA or vise versa? because I researched about what aircraft manufacturing mostly hired, and they said Mechanical engineers than Aeronautical Engineers.

    Reply
  7. good day Sir. I am a graduating student of electronics and communication engineering. Is there any possible way for an ECE to apply in an aviation company?

    Reply
    • Hi Richard! Yes ofcourse you can. Im bsece graduate as well and currently working on wide body aircrafts. You just have to search for job openings, and dont loose hope! 🙂

      Reply
      • Hi there, are ece graduates do the engineers job as well? have you had your trainings like similar to avionics technology before you were able to land the job? Bc im really struggling thinking right now since I am not quite sure if I will continue ECE and instead shift to aero eng. field Maybe you could help. thanks!

        Also, is it required to have a PRC License before entering the aviation and or are we going to have another license like CAAP?

        I’m really into aviation, if you would advice me should I shift in AERO or stick with ECE considering the higher probability of landing a job in aviation industry?

        Thank yo so much!

        Reply
  8. Hi bro ysmael,

    Nice reading you’re thoughts, ideas, tips and suggestions, here in this website! I’m glad that I found you here! Look bro, I really need your opinion, suggestions and advise if you don’t mind! I am currently OFW since 2005 with my family being just an average wages here in UAE. our income in not enough for our expenses, and years passed by, I took my sis here after her graduation and She offered me to complete my college in University, I’ve been through a lot of research and still thinking what course I am going to take in and wondering which course that suitable for me as I am quite older, a few days ago it came in my mind AE. Course which is high pay salary specially abroad, But my concern is my age and I am not good enough in mathematics! What you can advise if I’ll take this AE course? Thanks and God bless.

    Reply
    • Hi Sir Aga!

      Well that makes the two of us. 🙂 Im not really good with math also, I am more into structures though. Sir, May I ask if you are planning to continue the course there in UE? I’m not sure when it comes to their way of teaching but im pretty well sure you will be able to make it if you work hard for it. Just to give you an example, I am one of the students in our batch who has the lowest grades when it comes to mechanics and structures. But after graduating, when we are taking our review for the board exam, I told myself that i dont want to be in my room when my friends are taking their oath as an aero engineer, that became my goal… to take the oath with them. luckily, when the result came, the highest grades on my board was the structures and design. cool right? my point is, you just need to set your mind to something you want to achieve. and don’t my about the age… i doesnt matter. take the course (if it really is what you want), get the required exp. apply for work. 🙂 I may not be experienced as you sir but i will do my best to give you an advice as per my experience. just drop me a message. 🙂

      Reply
    • Hi bro,
      Thanks for ur response & really appreciated!
      Well.. responding to ur que. I would prepare to study back home, bcz here the tuition fee is so high is like 1 month of engr. salary is equivalent to 1 sem. fees (34,800 aed), around 400k php. I think I have to secure foods first for my family b4 to study hehehe..and of course I really can’t afford it! unlike Phils. the tui fees is affordable, but pretty sure.. there will b diff. teaches by diff. instructor. & prof. compare in Phils.

      Thanks bro! God bless you wherever you are today.

      Reply
  9. ysmael,

    I’m having second thought on where to go to college patts or philsca pasay. I both pass the exams for Aero Engineering.

    i have eduplans for my edu but one can be transferred to my cousin in case i choose philsca.

    what i want is not to make a mistake in which school to go to pass the board exam .

    Reply
    • hello there! 😀

      both schools are good and can help you pass the board if you study enough.
      i suggest for you to search the net and back track the history of these schools as to who has the highest performance rate these past 3 yrs. well, for the last yr passers, 100% passing rate went to holy angels at pampangga, and those passers took the topnotchers slot. you might wanna check it out.

      Reply
      • for the past 3 years, philsca has better passing rate to that of patts but last year, the top 1 comes from patts.

        thanks for replying, i’ll search the holy angels…

        Reply
  10. Hi, Ysmael. I left you a message on facebook. Since we have no mutual friends, I guess my message was sorted to the “Others” section. You can find my question there. Hope to have a conversation with you real soon regarding aviation stuff well mostly about job opportunities for Aero Eng. If there are really any. Someone needs enlightenment asap. Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Hi , Ysmael.. I want to ask kung mahal ba any mag aral ng BSAeroE.. Plano ko sanang mag aral sa philsca kaso hindi ko cgurado kung kakayanin ng magulang ko.. marami bang mga project at mahal ba ang uniform?? Kaya namin ang tuition pero hindi ko alam sa mga projects at uniform.. Gusto ko talagang maging Aeronautical Engineer..

    Reply
    • Hi almer!

      I am happy to know you that you are interested to join our family. I would suggest for you to enroll at Philsca. I’m not sure how much is the tuition there but i’m sure its affordable since its not a private school. plus, the teaching quality is great. As for the projects and uniforms, its just the same as every college courses out there, so you don’t need to worry. Almer, I hope to see you in the aviation industry. Goodluck!

      Reply
  12. Hi! I’m an incoming freshman at FEATI and taking up BS Aeronautical Engineering. I am just wondering if after my graduation and board exam, where is the best place to apply that has the highest possible starting salary? And somehow will provide me an extensive working experience that may improve my knowledge and interest in this industry? Also, is there a school here in the Philippines that offers Masters in Aeronautical Engineering?

    Reply
    • Hi Revor! Lufhtansa has the highest possible starting salary in the Phil and the training there is extensive so you’ll sure learn in a short period of time. Masteral? I think Philsca offers that, not sure though. I’ll come back to you on that. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Sir Ysmael, hello. I’m currently taking up aerospace engineering. Im 24 and now on my 2nd year. Do you think after i graduate, pass the exam, can get a job right away? Im really concerned about my degree in the job industry. When i graduate, what kind of jobs can i get? Does PAL, airaisa, cebu pacific and other airline companies look for aero engineers? If so, what are their jobs or positions?

    im asking this because i am really really concerned..thanks i’ll wait for your reply sir

    Reply
    • Hi! Aerospace Engineering here in Phili is not registered to take PRC to take a license exam, only Aeronautical Engineering are registered. In order for you to take a step ahead, while studying, get a 6 months ojt in LINE or BASE maintenance in any MRO or airline companies in Phili, so after you graduate, you can take a Airframe and Powerplant exam in CAAP. once you have your CAAP license, apply for a mechanic position as your foundation in technical service.. aircraft mechanic will be very in demand by the time your graduate since there are more than 30 aircrafts that will join diff airlines here in Phili by 2016 so you wont have a problem looking for a job. Jobs/positions you can get? if you have a CAAP license, you can apply for a&p mechanic (which i recommend), MCC, PPC. Safety Officer, and etc.. some airlines and MRO hire a&p mech as engineers if they have atlst 2yrs exp.

      Reply
  14. woah! this is cool !!! I’m an incoming freshmen student at an aeronautical school and I’m excited to take BSAeroE as my course 🙂 Thanks it helped me a lot 🙂

    Reply
  15. someday i achieve my dream in my life to being a pilot or aeronautical engeering,,,but now i finish my highschool,,,thanks

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      • Hi Ysmael, which school did you graduated? I just want to ask which are the top three best school for aeronatics engineering? It would be helpful since I’ll be supporting my youngest brother by next year.

        Reply
        • CATS. It’s cheap but the standards for BSAeE are great. top three? I dont know… FEATI,PHILSCA,PATTS.. maybe?.. not sure. 🙁

          Reply
  16. Hi all! wow! I didn’t know that there’s a comment box here. 🙂 whew! After a year, I finally get to read this again. It really feels nice. Thanks Miss Fehl! Oh! for the guys up there! Thank you for taking some time to read. Sorry for the late reply, I didnt know lot of people would see this. 🙂

    Anyway, about the comments, I’ll just shed some light in some areas since it would take a day to discuss how promising can an aero engineering course can be. This will be intended to all the readers so that everyone will have a chance to share their thoughts. Okay, I will do my best to explain this super BROAD path for Aero Engineers. Yes, I’ll say it twice. BROAD. 🙂 But first, here are the FACTS;

    – There are THREE aircraft MANUFACTURER here in Phili.
    1.) Dornier Technology – the latest a/c they made was S-ray. Please see it’s video on the fb page. They are producing it already by the way, for export.

    2.) PADC – manufactured the defiant 300 designed by fil pilot and engr.

    3.) PAF R&D – they designed and manufactured a jet for training and was used also before by the US. i just forgot the name of that a/c. 🙁 sorry.

    – airline/aviation companies would rather hire aero engineers than mechanics (if both are fresh graduates)
    BSAE- 5 yrs course + 6months OJT = 5yrs and 6 months = engineering license + A&P license
    BSAT- 4 yrs course + 6months OJT = 4yrs and 6 months = A&P license
    AME – 2 yrs course + 2 yrs OJT = 4yrs = A&P license (company still prefers BS graduates)

    therefore, adding just a yr in college will boost your potential and credibility for work.

    – BSAE are jack of all trades but must MASTER an specific skill like power plant engineer(my dream at NASA ), structural engineer, Aircraft performance engineer, and so forth…all these are possible for your grasp if you are a licensed Ae.

    now, for that one very high paying job(designer at manufacturing company)… i’ll ask you guys, how many person does it need to design an aircraft? and how many person does it need to build it? 1 mind needs many hands… so that high paying salary exist but for only the lucky ones. currently there less than 1300 registered Ae in the Phil. With only 3 Manufacturing company. So where would you go? ofcourse, go to airline or an MRO company and work your way up. right?

    now, for us Ae’s, OUR CURRICULUM is one of the most hardest in the fields of Science..TOOLING DESIGN, STRESS ANALYSIS, THERMODYNAMICS and FLOW ANALYSIS is part of our studies. I ENCOURAGE YOU ALL AE’s TO LEARN, ASK, BE CURIOUS, and HAVE PRIDE. Put it in your heart and dream as far as you can. Use it not only here in Phili but also abroad. set you goals as high as the stars. we are aero engineers, we graduated to be there. it’s up to us to pursue it. we dont give up working our way up there. ok??? anyway, there are soooo many things i love to say but making a letter this long will bore you. so please ask me(or pm me) and i’ll be gladly to share everything i know. alright? sorry if i responded so late. I thought it was just a simple interview… i didnt know many would ready it. im so happy that this interview happened. thanks miss fehl. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hey Yael 🙂 I told you you would be famous LOL Thank you for dropping by and sharing some informative details here. God bless you! Chat to you soon.

      Reply
    • Hi Ysmael!

      I am so happy to have found this interview of you here. Just in time for my son who finds it hard to choose what course to take. But one thing is sure, he wanted to become a pilot. Will you please share your thoughts about it? I will greatly appreciate any opinions, ideas, comments, advise, or anything that will shed light about becoming a pilot.

      Thank you! And looking forward to hearing from you.

      Joyce

      Reply
  17. HMMMM HIGH HOPES WAIT TILL REALITY BITES AERONAUTICAL ENGINEER HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES… ENDS UP AS MAINTENANCE CONTROLLER, PLANNER, AIRCRAFT APPRENTICE TILL HE CAN SECURE HIS AIRFRAME AND POWERPLANT MECHANIC ….. 200,000 KEEP ON DREAMING….. UNLESS YOU ARE WELL VERSED IN CATIA, TOOLING DESIGN, STRESS ANALYSIS, THERMODYNAMICS, FLOW ANALYSIS HMMMMM MAYBE YOU HAVE A CHANCE …. WAIT A MINUTE ARE THIS THINGS INCLUDED IN THE CURRENT CURRICULUM DON’T THINK SO … PRIMARY FUNCTION OF AN AERO ENGINEER IS TO DESIGN,…… QUESTION IS THERE A MANUFACTURING COMPANY FACILITY HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES ANSWER IS ???????????????? WHERE ?????? ANSWER NONE SO AS YOU CAN SEE ON THE ONSET THERE IS NO FUTIRE FOR AN AERO ENGINEER UNLESS THIS DEGREE EARNED WILL BE USED AS CONDUIT IN BECOMING A PILOT YES BUT STILL NOT MAKING AIRCRAFT IT IS NOW FLYING AIRCRAFT TO EARN THAT 200,000 IS NOW NOT FAR FETCHED …… BEING AN AERONAUTICAL ENGINEEER BETTER YET A LICENSED ONE MAY HAVE THE RING AND PRESTIGE TO IT BUT CHECK THE POCKETS AND WALLETS OF THOSE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERS THEY DID NOT EARN THEIR MILLIONS BEING AN AERO ENGINEER BUT WITH A CARRER STILL CONECTED IN AVIATION ENDING UP AS A MECHANIC OR PILOIT THAT IS WHERE MONEY IS COMING FROM ….. RECOMMENDATION IF YOUS TILL WANT BECOME AN ENGINEER BETTER NOT…. NEVERTHELESS STILL YOUR CHOICE……. 😉

    Reply
    • Hi Manny,

      In deed your comment is really an eye opener. Reason why I’m interested in this topic is because my eldest son is taking up aeronautical engineering @ PHILSCA Villamor. I can see his hard ships and his eagerness to pass every grueling subjects. So many maths but none the less , he was able to pass them all. All of a sudden he said that he wants to shift from aeronautical engineering to BSAMT or Avionics ,he told me that he can’t see any future job in this field. Do you think , this is a good idea? Please share me your thoughts on this…

      Many thanks!
      Pedro

      Reply
    • Y SO BITTER SIR? YOU SEEM TO KNOW A LOT ABOUT AERONAUTICS BEING ABLE TO ENUMERATE ALL THOSE NEEDED KNOWLEDGE HUH. WELL MIND YOU THEY ARE ALL IN THE CURRICULUM AND IN THE BOARD EXAMS. AND FYI TRY SEARCHING FOR MOOG OR B/E AEROSPACE AND SOME OTHER MANUFACTURING COMPANIES HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES, THERE ARE PLENTY OF SUB-CONTRACTORS AND AIRCRAFT COMPONENTS PRODUCTION IN THE COUNTRY THAT ARE YET TO BE TOO POPULAR FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO DISCOVER AND REALIZE THAT THERE IS REALLY hope FOR THIS PROFESSION.. Well, just saying. 😉

      Reply
  18. this really helped me. actually, while reading this, i got my eyes teary.
    my fingers brought me here. imagine 11:30pm i’m reading this.
    this gave me a lot of help and inspiration.

    i hope i will personally meet engineer caballero someday :))

    Reply
  19. hehehe, that boy is so makulit, he likes to treat me with chocolate kitkat when he was a kid.
    he is so humble and has never changed.

    Reply
  20. I know this guy, he’s a good friend of mine. This is a good interview and hopefully an eye opener to those looking forward to studying a different profession other than Nursing in the country.

    Reply
    • Oh you are a friend 🙂 Wow, he is so famous! :p Yael is so kind, humble and funny. Nursing is a very good profession too but there are millions of students who take it since it started to be in-demand especially abroad. Aeronautical Engineering is another fascinating career and I got so interested so I interviewed Yael. Nice to meet you here, Estelle and thank you so much for being the first to comment 🙂

      Reply

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