• October 1st, 2020

Air Namibia pilot shares flying experience during Covid-19

At a time where hundreds of pilots have been grounded due to the coronavirus outbreak globally, Air Namibia youthful pilot shares his experience of domestic flying during these unprecedented times of the pandemic.
The virus spread so rapidly and countries had to close their borders worldwide, while flying became a thing of the past- both for passengers and crews.

Although Covid-19 may have decimated air travel and forced many pilots into their restricted bubbles, Air Namibia’s 27-year-old Lorenzo Platt is grateful that he is still flying. “It’s a blessing to still be able to be flying. This pandemic has negatively affected flying globally and so many pilots are grounded. For so many pilots, the future looks bleak and my heart goes out to all of them. For someone that’s a passionate flyer like myself, I know what it feels like to sit on the ground for weeks and not knowing when and if you’re going to fly anytime soon,” Platt stressed. Platt hope and pray that more can be done to combat the virus and solutions for the aviation industry as a whole, to save jobs in the aviation sector, and other respective industries. For as long as Platt can remember, he has always dreamed of soaring high.

Platt started his private pilot’s license in 2011 at Wonderboom Airport (formerly known as Pretoria Flying School) in Pretoria.
Ultimately, he completed his Multi-Engine IF Commercial License at 43 Air School, Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape. During 2016, he joined Air Namibia as a First Officer (FO) on the Domestic Fleet, where he has been flying until to date. “I always had a dream of becoming a pilot. Nothing else interested me growing up. Driven to achieve my dream, I conducted thorough research and enrolled with the right institutions to kick-start my career. With the support of friends and family, I am grateful to be living a dream,” he said.
He highlighted that becoming a pilot is not a cup of tea and comes with its own unique challenges.

He mentioned aviation is a small industry in Namibia, although playing an important role of connecting people and businesses from different walks of life. According to Platt, not only is it small but also very competitive, but it’s expensive to obtain a flying license. 
“The required hours and training processes are cost-intensive. Besides, it is required for an active pilot to renew their license annually, subject to the successful completion of various ratings. Therefore, one never stops learning really.” Platt explained that there are various requirements to become a professional pilot.

Acquiring a license, one would be starting with their Private Pilot License (PPL), moving on to doing the Commercial Pilot License (CPL), and ultimately their airline transport pilot license (ATPL).”
Nonetheless, even though being or becoming a pilot does not come easy, he says it’s worth every experience.
“Those who love flying will tell you there is nothing quite like it. The excitement of speeding down a runway and a few seconds later being in the sky never gets old. I have seen the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets from up there. The view from the top is what most people can only dream of seeing. I love the fact that every day is different, and that no single day of flying is the same,” he said, adding that, “You sometimes get the opportunity to meet people that you wouldn’t normally have met in life.”  
On his off times, he enjoys playing the guitar, reading, and doing photography.  – anakale@nepc.com.na

Albertina Nakale
2020-06-09 09:48:56 | 3 months ago

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