Humans of Cape Henry: Fred Zhang – Class of 2020



Fred Zhang (‘20) comes from China as one of Cape Henry’s foreign exchange students through the New Oasis International Education program.  When talking about his life in China, he said how School is a lot more difficult because harder, more advanced work comes earlier in the curriculum, causing there to be a lot of stress on high school students and a much heavier workload.  Fred enjoys how the course load at Cape Henry is not so overwhelming.


Fred loves aviation and space – he even has his pilot’s license!  To achieve this amazing accomplishment, Fred went to flying school and had to have a minimum of 40 hours of class time, along with solo flights and other training exercises.  Fred was ecstatic while watching the NASA streaming of the InSight robot lander and could not contain his excitement during class! Whenever he discusses his interests, it is clear that he is extremely passionate about them.

Something Most People Do Not Know About Fred:

During Fred’s interview, the surrounding students were intrigued by Fred’s story and thought that having his pilot’s license already was amazing. Fred was also featured in an article for AviNation that focused on young aviators. While at the world’s largest air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Fred was approached by the magazine for a story focusing on a foreign pilot’s perspective on flying.

Best Experiences:

During his time in flying school, Fred had several solo flights to obtain his license.  While some may be frightened to be operating a plane by themselves, Fred “was not scared at all.”  The first solo flight is the biggest milestone for a rookie pilot and it is a moment that Fred will “never forget.”


Other than earning his pilot’s license, Fred prides himself on getting to the United States and adapting to the American lifestyle.  He had to work extremely hard, learn English, and pass two standardized tests before being able to join the CHC community. All of his hard work paid off and he is enjoying life in Virginia Beach.

Tough Experiences:

During his second solo flight, Fred flew for one and a half hours to North Carolina.  On his way back to Hampton Roads, a thunderstorm formed and Fred had to divert to Chesapeake airport where he was stranded.  He was hoping the storm would pass and he would be able to fly home, but that was not the case, so his instructor picked him up from the airport and took him back to Virginia Beach.

Lessons Learned:

Work hard and it will pay off!

Hopes and Plans for the Future:

Fred is aiming to be a professional commercial pilot (who fly for hire) but not an airline pilot.  He wants to travel the world and take in new places, which he thinks will allow him to have a better lifestyle.  If he has enough money, Fred wants to earn his helicopter license as well as every other license he can obtain.