Brilliant Nkuna’s journey of giving South Africa extra wings to fly through the skies

South Africa wants to create the next generation of elite pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers.

The most difficult obstacle to getting pilot’s license is financial, which in South Africa means that only four percent of the 17 000 licensed pilots are black, according to the South African Civil Aviation Authority. Another South African Civil Aviation Authority survey in 2017 revealed zero black flight engineers.

Brilliant Nkuna, born and bred at Joppie Village under N’wamitwa Traditiona Authoriy outside Tzaneen but currently based in Gauteng, Johannesburg. Like any other kid from the countryside, his dream was to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Police Officer, unfortunately the love and passion for flying took over.

Being born from the dusty streets of Joppie Village didn’t stop him from pursuing further a challenging career within the Aviation Industry. Brilliant Nkuna decided to pursue an aviation career, his potential caught the attention of the Department of Transport, which is currently paying for his Aircraft Engineer qualification and Private Pilot’s license.

“I have always had the flying bug from as early as i can remember. So about the training itself, it was extremely enjoyable although it was also very demanding, but we are being trained for great responsibility so you would expect it to be tough.

“If you have a passion for flying and are considering a career in aviation, i would recommend going to the Department of Transport and there is also a lot of information available on the internet from Aviation Schools and the TETA website. If you are passionate about flying and seriously considering it as a career, take the plunge and go for it. Make sure you do a lot of research beforehand to ensure it really is for you as it is a massive commitment.

“For someone to make it, one should consider subjects such as English, Mathematics, Physical Science and Geography. I would recommend going to visit various flight schools to find the one that suits you before making any decisions. This is a fantastic career; i love my job and would recommend it to anyone,” he concludes.

Brilliant Nkuna is currently doing Commercial Pilot Training and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Training at Skyhawk Aviation Training for FlySAFair.

An Aircraft Pilot or Aviator is a person who controls the Flight of an aircraft by operating its directional flight controls. Some other aircrew, such as navigators or flight Engineers, are also considered Aviators, because they are involved in operating the aircraft’s navigation and engine systems. Other aircrew members, such as flight attendants, mechanics and ground crew, are not classified as Aviators. In Recognition of the pilot’s qualifications and responsibilities, most militaries and many airlines worldwide award Aviator badges to their pilots


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