Khoo Teh Lynn
Singapore’s first female fighter pilot
Khoo Teh Lynn is Singapore’s first female jet fighter pilot. She began flying while still in Junior College and she joined the air force at 18 years old. Now a Staff Officer in the Singapore Armed Forces’ Air Intelligence Department, she flies the F-16 fighter jet, having been always fascinated by powerful planes.
Lynn’s love of flying began in 1998 when she joined the Youth Flying Club during her first year of studying at Raffles Junior College. One year later, she succeeded in getting her private pilot’s license. As soon as she left Junior College she signed up to join the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
"I wanted to fly high-performance aircraft," she told PIONEER, Mindef’s official publication. The F-16 is one of the most sophisticated and advanced fighter planes in the world. Its equipment includes sophisticated radar, advanced avionics, a precision navigation system and a wide range of ordnance. Said Lynn, “It's satisfying to be able to handle such aircraft, employ its weapons effectively, and carry out successful missions."
Her training included stints in Western Australia, where she achieved her basic wings at the Flying Training Institute, and in France, where she secured her fighter wings in 2003. She then joined the RSAF fighter fleet, starting off as a wingman. She was promoted to captain in 2007. That same year, she enrolled in the University of Southern California and in 2010 she graduated magna cum laude with a double major in international relations and history.
Flying a jet as powerful as the F-16 requires dedication and a certain level of physical strength and fitness. She attributes her success as a fighter pilot to having good reflexes, the ability to multi-task and cope with dynamic situations, as well as having an aptitude for making quick and accurate decisions.
As to whether she feels being a woman makes any difference to her being a fighter pilot, she told PIONEER: "I don't feel any different. In this professional organisation, first and foremost in the fighter squadron, you are a fighter pilot. There is no gender prefix to it."
In 2011 Lynn married an RSAF colleague, a transport pilot, and their first child is due in April 2014.
"In this professional organisation, first and foremost in the fighter squadron, you are a fighter pilot. There is no gender prefix to it."