Lee, an electronics entrepreneur, brought a ragtag, crashed Cessna 210 into the country in 1998 and through sheer willpower and a lot of cash and determination, rebuilt it and convinced the authorities to set up a means by which he could register it in the country. That task alone took nearly five years. Prior to Lee’s intervention, the only thing close to GA flying in the South Korea was that done by ultralights. The ultralights could not fly higher than 500 feet agl or more than 3 nm from the airport. With his introduction of the 210 and a Cessna 172 a friend of his bought to start a flight school, they launched what is still a fledgling and fragile GA industry in the country.
Today there are 18 rental aircraft in Korea. Lee, determined to grow GA in his nation, is the president of AOPA Korea and was a speaker at the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Association’s World Assembly in Tel Aviv in mid June. He is just one of many pilots from around the world who told tales of overcoming remarkable odds to promote general aviation.