Posts Tagged ‘disadvantaged students’

Ntsikelelo with a monoplane at the background

Being a pilot is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling jobs I can think of. Whether one becomes an Air force pilot or simply takes a few lessons and gets their Private Pilot’s License, flying is something that has and always will fascinate us all. I’m currently a Student Pilot for a Private Pilot’s License (PPL) and I need a major support in terms of fees to pay for my studies and flying.

I want to be a pilot because I love flying, the view; I enjoy the challenges of doing a difficult and complex task safely. It’s something very few others can do, it a stable career, prestigious career (I know some won’t agree, but for me it is) and I think this would fulfill my life. The beauty of the aircraft (any plane, especially during take-off and landings) is very graceful. It’s a huge machine taking to the skies, from being a ground craft to an aircraft, the transition is always beautiful.

The science behind it, why does something that big, with no visible means holding it up; flying? How come a 200 ton thing full of people is flying through the air without falling? I wanted to know everything behind that magic and the dream I think every real pilot has one day.

I’m 20 years of age and I currently live at KwaMashu with my parents and my four siblings. I was born and raised in Durban. I grew up playing lots of sports and enjoyed all things. Since I’m coming from a very poor background family and finished my metric in a very disadvantage school which is called Mzuvele High School and I completed my metric in the year 2008, living in township area, it is not much easier for me to pay the fees for my studies and flying by myself. Life is difficult at home, my parents are both not working sometimes I even hardly to get the money for a transport to go to school. A support is something I’m looking up to. For me it is very hard to do other course or do something else because I cannot become something else besides being a pilot.

How did I get in here?

In 2007 while I was doing grade 11, one member of the city counselor from EThekwini Municipality came to our school to introduce this kind of project which is a Cadet Pilot Project that took place at Virginia Flight School, this flight school is located at Durban North. The project started by the selection process (short listing) of approximately 85 pupil including girls. As the selection went on and on whereby I had to pass all the aviation exams that we were given, by a pass mark of more than 75% in order to get through, but through the hard work and excellent result we did, only three pupils got admitted and I was the one of those pupils. It’s not about being lucky it all about dedication, love, commitment and immense passion I have for this kind of career. But since we have been started attending the full-time course they haven’t fund us.

I started to attend the full-time course which is a Private Pilot’s License in earlier January last year in the best well known flight school in the country which is called Virginia Flight School. We initially train for a Private Pilot’s License involving between 40 and 70 flying hours, a theoretical examination and a practical flight test. With a PPL I can fly for recreation purposes, but I may not fly for reward (either monetary or in kind). I’ve gone so far well with my studies, I’ve already flew on solo flight and I have 43.7 hours of flying and I’ve finished all 8 theoretical exams and I’m left with some few flying in order to get my Private Pilot’s License and move into the next License which is called a Commercial Pilot’s License (CPL), once I finished my PPL.

I Love Flying Aeroplanes - click on me to see a bigger image

In Commercial Pilot’s License I will have to pass a more stringent aviation medical examination, build up a further 200 hours of flying experience, pass theoretical examinations laid down by the SACAA (South African Civil Aviation Authority), complete an instrument flying rating and pass the CPL flight test. My own ability and commitment will determine how long it takes to obtain the CPL. The minimum period is nine months, but more often it takes two years. The amount of money that I need in order to further my studies is R350, 000. I’m seeking for some help from anyone.

Being honestly the salary Pilots make is another thing I like. They make money than they know what to do with. This is because most people think that Plane is dangerous except Pilots don’t because they know how easy it is. Another best part I like about being a pilot is that you get to see the world, travel all over and meet new people. Pilots are known for being able think well under stress and multi-task. Playing sports is one of the best ways to develop these attributes.
No one had became something big in my family I think this would be a greatest gift or a blessing for them, but to me it would be a dream come true.


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My name is Sifiso Mdletshe and I am 20 years old young man who lives in Durban. I became interested in aero-planes at a very young age. Each time a plane flew above my home I would stop and stare at the sky until it vanished. The idea of becoming a pilot truly caught my attention in grade 6 when the class had a discussion on careers and I realized that no one wanted to become a pilot. I went on to do research and I made a shocking discovery that this career only catered for children from very wealthy families, not for disadvantaged children like myself and many others which made me realize that the democracy we attained in 1994 has not yet reached our communities in areas like this one.

This discovery did not kill my passion but it got me even more fired up. In grade 11 I received the opportunity to do my work experience at Durban International Airport where I got to interact with the pilots and learn more about the fascinating work they do. I believe that to be a pilot requires  a lot of hard work, passion, and  great deal of discipline. Piloting is more than just a lucrative  career and   to be a pilot means more than just a big paycheck at the end of the month.  I understand that piloting  is stress-full and draining at times, it has its advantages and disadvantages like any other career and it also requires you to strive for perfection because people’s lives are always at stake, therefore I need to be in it for the right reasons.

In 2009 I took part in a selection course that was organized by Durban Municipality in partnership with Virginia Flight School, not only to attain financial aid for my pilot training but to also gain insight on the type of work I will be expected to do and the standard of marks I will have to maintain. In the beginning I thought the selection course was just to determine whether or not we are worthy of a bursary but judging from the lectures and exams we’ve had over the past few months I realized that the course was also there to assess whether or not this is the right career for each of us and if we are doing it for the correct reasons. I expected that by the end of the course I would have had an idea of the kind of work I’ll be dealing with in the future and if I will be able to cope with it or not.

There were sixty of us when the selection process began and we were finally reduced to four. We did a final exam of which I passed but the Durban Municipality withdrew from the partnership due to lack of funds.
I deserve this opportunity because I understand what is required of me right now and I also know what will be required of me in the future. I don’t see myself doing anything else besides piloting and it’s been my dream for a long time now but I want it to be more than just a dream and that is why I am willing to do anything and everything I can to achieve this goal, and make my dream a reality. I have proven my dedication and commitment to my piloting career with the level of marks I attained during the selection course that we did through Virginia Flight School. I was at the top of my class and if given the opportunity, I will work even harder to maintain the level of marks needed for me to be successful in this career


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We as Siyasizana Community Development NGO, have joined forces with Virginia Flight School in pursuit to positive contribution to the United Nation’s 1GOAL – Education for ALL. Virginia Flight School have put together a remarkable Cadet Training Program that will also be beneficial to the previously disadvantaged children.

The program offers the Cadets the chance to become pilots. For the cadets, this will be their dream career and they would not be able to achieve it on their own accord. Working and learning at Virginia Flight School introduce the students to a network of select individuals known as piloting community. Being part of this community will open doors for them in their future careers. Virginia Flight School is comprised of pilots and teachers who consider themselves as a family who are committed to offer continued support to their students.

All of the young candidates that apply for the Cadet Program would, by themselves, never be able to afford the costs involved in getting a Pilot’s License. Out of the many applicants that were put through the very strict selection process, there were candidates that stood out the most.

The training thus far has been stalled by the insufficiency of funds and unfortunately trainee pilots have to wait until monies start flowing in, for them to continue with training.

Please be so kind to contribute by  Clicking Here or contact us : siyasizana@gmail.com for further information regarding financial contribution.

“We support the footballers and their fans in calling on all world leaders to do their part to ensure every child can go to school. We need to see action at the World Cup and beyond. By acting now, together we can ensure education for all.” President Jacob Zuma. South Africa Host, 2010 World Cup.

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