In 1933, Vaughan Fowler proposed that the Far East Aviation Company should form a subsidiary company, the Far East Flying Training School, to provide a full spectrum of flying and engineering training. It was proposed that this company should continue to receive the generous government subsidies formerly paid to the now inactive Flying Club. The Far East Flying Training School was founded on 7 November 1933 after hard negotiation.
Courses offered by the FEFTS in 1934 include:
The Far East Flying Training School trained members of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps at special rates. Vaughan Fowler selected the best pilot and engineer instructions from various RAF training establishments and the shipment of training aircraft from the manufacturer A.V. Roe and Company.
By March 1934, all departments of the Far East Flying Training School had commenced operations in full swing. The school had three new biplane trainers – an Avro Tutor and two Avro Cadets.
In April 1935 the first Hong Kong Chinese, Watt Hew Kei, graduated with a “C” class ground engineer’s license from the Far East Flying Training School. Immediately after his graduation, he joined FEFTS as a Liaison Officer Engineering. Two months later he was promoted to the position of Ground Instructor Engineering, marking the beginning of a near 50 year career with the school
On Monday 8 December 1941, the Japanese attacked Hong Kong, and all the aircraft and equipment of the Far East Flying Training School were destroyed. Staff were dispersed and the school was ceased to exist for the remainder of the war.
Following the liberation in 1945 it did not take long for the Far East Flying Training School to get back into business again under the leadership of Bill Dudman as Principal and Watt hew Kei as Chief Engineering Instructor.
To further keep pace with the new technology, Mr Watt Hew Kei was sent to England for a four-month training course with de Havilland, Rolls Royce and Armstrong-Siddeley. When he returned, a new gas turbine engine course was introduced.
The school was under the Hong Kong Aviation Club in April 1983, due to fierce competition from other educational institutions such as the Hong Kong Polytechnic and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO)
The last principal of the school was Mr Watt Hew Kei who served in that position from 1976, on the departure of Peter Scales, until the end.
Today, around the world in all parts of the aviation industry, there are FEFTS Graduates.