They were all recordmakers when they earned their stripes and the right to be entrusted with the lives of others. They were young, driven, and focused pilots-to-be.
Through hard work and determination, these young African pilots are doing what they have always dreamt of doing. For readers, they are an inspiration. Note that they all went to flying school after high school. Goes to show you that it is not too early nor are you too young to chase your dreams.
Bessa graduated from flying school aṣ a commercial pilot at the age of 19, becoming the youngest Zambian to do so.
The now 22-year-old enrolled in the South African Flight Training Academy in Heidelberg after high school in 2013.
From there, she proceeded to SIMU flight in Pretoria to obtain her Commercial Pilots Licence when she was 18.
Mumba has since been a copilot with Proflight Zambia, accumulating the flight hours she needs to get her captain bars.
Before Bessa graduated as the youngest Zambian pilot, the record was held by Kamwendo, who graduated aged 20.
Like Bessa, he works with Profllight Zambia as a first officer and has already logged in 1000 hours of flight time, 500 hours away from the 1500 he needs to be able to sits for the Senior Officer exam and halfway from the 2000 hours to qualify to be a captain.
The Kitwe-born pilot enrolled in an air training school at Port Alfred, in Eastern Cape, South Africa in 2012 right after finishing secondary school.
In 2014, when he was just 19, British-born Nigerian Daniel Adeyelika became Nigeria’s youngest pilot.
Adeyelika came to Nigeria after his secondary school education to get his A-levels done. He proceeded to the Delta Flight School, Texas, at the age of 17, where he got his International General Certificate of Secondary Education and Private Pilot License (PPL).
Now a first officer, he flies the Boeing 737, 600 series to 900 series.
Favour Odozor was just 20 years old in 2013 when he got his Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), making him the youngest Nigerian to do so at the time.
He attended the Afrika Union Aviation Academy (AUAA), Mafikeng, South Africa.