Pupils take to the skies

2015-10-15 06:00

Pilot Nico Kohnë from Scenic Flights with Cee-Kay Lekay, Zandile May, Luzuko Nolule. In front are Nomziyanda Nofunde and Athenkosi Mbena.  , 

Pilot Nico Kohnë from Scenic Flights with Cee-Kay Lekay, Zandile May, Luzuko Nolule. In front are Nomziyanda Nofunde and Athenkosi Mbena. , PHOTOs: MONIQUE DUVAL

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Four lucky Khayelitsha high school pupils got the chance to reach for the skies, boarding a plane for the first time ever.

The leisure flight, sponsored by Cape Scenic Flights was part of the annual aviator’s event at the Ysterplaat Air Force Base held last Friday.

The base buzzed with excitement as children from across Cape Town got the chance to experience a day in the life of the South African Air Force. The event has been running for 12 years and on Friday Grade 10, 11 and 12 pupils from various schools attended talks and exhibitions.

Commanding officer Colonel AJ De Castro says the purpose of the event was to expose younger children to the Air Force and hopefully spark an interest in aviation.

“We invited different flight clubs and showed them the latest developments.

For this year’s event we invited children from disadvantaged areas and gave them an insight into the Air Force.

We combined the aviation team and also invited the Bloodhound supersonic car team to focus on various aspects,” he says.

The Bloodhound project is a global engineering adventure aimed at creating a car that will attempt to break the world land speed record to inspire the next generation to enjoy, explore and get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

De Castro explained that this was to give children a new perspective and a better understanding of what the Air Force does.

He gave a general overview of training programmes like the Young Falcons Academy.

Colonel Zolile Mama, who is at the helm of recruitment for the Air Force, explained that he was present to gather information on those interested in applying.

Among a long list of requirements, Mama explains science and pure maths were essential subjects with geography an added bonus.

He further stated that applicants undergo strict medical and psychological examinations to ensure they are fit to be pilots.

De Castro and Mama said they had invited several school across Langa and Khayelitsha to expose pupils to a range of careers in the Air Force.

On the day, pupils were exposed to various aircraft, air shows and exhibitions and even got to see engineers working on the various aircraft.

At the end of the day four pupils from the Khayelitsha school joined the City Vision team on a flight around the peninsula.

Speaking ahead of the flight, Zandile May, Luzuko Nolule, Nomziyanda Nofunde and Athenkosi Mbena from Intlanganiso Secondary School said they were nervous but easily adapted when the plane was in the air.

For these first time fliers, the motto: “The sky is a limit.”, took on a completely new meaning. It is hoped that they were inspired enough to become aviators of the future

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