Phamela Baloyi (24) takes to the skies

Phamela Baloyi from Giyani is one of the nine young women who were granted an opportunity to undergo aviation training at an aviation academy in Nelspruit.

The women were selected by the South African Police Service to become pilots for the SAPS air wing.

The cost of their training was met by the Transport Education Training Authority (Teta).

Carel van der Merwe, head of Kishugu ATO, commented, saying Phamela is a very determined and hardworking student.

“She passed all her Private Pilot License (PPL) exams first time around and passed her commercial subjects in just six months.

“These subjects range from mathematics to navigation and routine aircraft maintenance and are extremely difficult. Phamela focused all her attention on studying and refused to allow anything to distract her from this goal.”

“I am very proud of these ladies’ hard work. They are all enthusiastic, focused and a pleasure to teach,” said van der Merwe.

“It is not easy obtaining your CPL and there is still a lot of work to be done before they qualify, but I am confident that their work ethic and passion will pull them through,” he added.

“I am loving every minute of it. This is an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to begin a career as a pilot,” said Phamela.

She said that she had been extremely anxious when the course began over a year ago.

“I am less anxious now,” she said cheerfully.

Phamela said as a child growing up in a township she had dreamt of flying.

Now that her dream is coming true, her advice to other youngsters is to read as much as possible.

“It is only through reading that you gain knowledge and learn of the opportunities that are out there for you,” she said, adding that they have to be prepared to work hard as it is only through hard work that they can succeed.

She said her family and friends are very happy about her achievements so far.

SAPS Section Commander, Col Fred Blaauw, said the programme was aimed at skills development and creating jobs.

He said Kishugu ATO won the contract to train the pilots after an extremely tough tender vetting process.

HWB Communications

HWB Communications

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