71-year-old American aviator's Chinese flying dream

Updated 2017-11-17 11:02:11 Xinhuanet
Wayne Mansfield at 2017 World Fly-in Expo held in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province. (Photo provided by Mansfiel

Wayne Mansfield at 2017 World Fly-in Expo held in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province. (Photo provided by Mansfiel

Wayne Mansfield, a 71-year-old American aviator, has visited China for 16 times during the recent three years.

Not long ago, Mansfield was in China to perform at the World Fly-in Expo which was held in central China's Wuhan.

"The Expo was wonderful," Mansfield recalled during an interview with Xinhunet, "It was much bigger than I expected. I am very pleased that I have come."

According to the World Air Sports Federation, the event featured 788 aircraft, 588 taking part in air shows and 200 in the exhibition.

Talking about his aerial banner show, Mansfield was still excited.

"People were so amazed. They jumped up and down seeing me flying in the sky with the huge banner," said Mansfield.

"When I landed the banner on the ground nicely, everyone was cheering, and coming to me to ask my autographs and to take photos with me," he added.

Mansfield is a third generation aviator and businessman whose family has been in the business since 1929. Highly experienced, he himself has flown 64 types of aircraft in 23 countries around the globe.

In Mansfield's opinion, China doesn't yet have an aviation culture, different from that widespread in America where aviation permeates movies, TV, magazines, and daily life.

"This is the beauty of aerial media in China," he added, "It is new and fresh. It opens new horizon of Chinese people."

As China is set to boost development of its general aviation industry to create a market worth more than 150 billion dollars by 2020, Mansfield is actively seeking chance to start his business in China as he sees the huge potential.

He believes there will be a shortage of qualified pilots in China during the next 10 years.

"However, the problem is that China's aviation is not starting from the bottom going up," pointed out Mansfield, "They are trying to start at the finishing line, and it is dangerous."

To avoid the danger, Mansfield emphasized that pilots should first of all study to gain knowledge and know well how the plane functions.

Seeing a potential market, Mansfield plans to design a game based platform in China to bring aviation culture and learning to the children aged 8-15.

"Cooperation between China and the U.S. is improving all the time," said Mansfield, especially after the two reached the new agreement on airworthiness of C919.

"I believe China has ability, intelligence and capacity to train qualified pilots to fill the looming gap, and America is willing to help," said Mansfield.

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