A Pilots Story: Flying high in Coastal Aviation’s Planes

16Aug 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
A Pilots Story: Flying high in Coastal Aviation’s Planes

Imagine you are hurtling over 3500 feet above the ground, flying toward a 300 - foot runway!

That’s a daily reality for Coastal Aviation’s Pilot Munya, who has been flying Coastal Aviation planes for over 3 years now, a certified pilot who is one among Coastal Aviation’s group of pilots that have adopted to ensuring safety accountability, commitment to leadership, good customer care and at the same time flying green.

Being a pilot still remains one of the most sought after careers and to many just a fantasy because only the smartest, strongest-willed people pass the crucible to become one; for Captain Munya, it was a childhood dream that started right from the time airplanes were flying past their village house.

In an exclusive interview with Guardian reporter, Captain Munya, full names Munyaradzi Mtetwa explained his experience as a pilot for Coastal Aviation and gave 5 pieces of career - changing advice to aspiring pilots of which even existing pilots can also learn from.

Question: What does it feel like to be a pilot having wanted this dream from quite a young age?

Answer: Very fulfilling, it's a passion so I don't feel like I'm actually working because I love what I do

Question: Where did you study piloting from?

Answer: I received my private pilot license from Zimbabwe and later my commercial pilot license at Progress Flight Academy in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Question: How is your routine like on a normal day of flying for Coastal Aviation?

Answer: I wake up early and catch the Coastal shuttle bus at 05:45 am, arriving at the airport by 06:25am and getting ready for the 1st flight at 07:15 am. On a normal day, I fly throughout the morning and if it's an easy day I'll finish around 14:00hrs otherwise it's a full day which will end at 18:00hrs.

Question: What Coastal Aviation planes do you normally fly?

Answer: I fly scheduled routes in either the Coastal Aviation Cessna 206 or Cessna caravan 208B, also am yet to start flying Pilatus PC12 having gone through the necessary training required for Flying that specific aircraft. I have also flown other light aircraft like the piper, and Cessna 172,182,210

Question: Tell us more about the Coastal Aviation Routes.

Answer: I am Dar es Salaam based, so I get to fly the tropical paradise beach runs (Zanzibar, Pemba, Tanag, Saadani, Kwajoni, Mafia) or the often unexplored Southern Circuit (Selous & Ruaha) or connect up to the North (via Arusha and Kiliminjaro).

Question: What are the first things you do before taking off?

Answer: Before take-off, it's mandatory to go through the pilot checklist. It's a routine item, that reassures the safety and compliance of our operations. It can be routine, but at Coastal with our 2-pilot cockpits, it's a great team working exercise that really bonds us and checks that we are on the same page. To name a few, we conduct checks on critical systems such as power, fuel, battery, flight controls, avionics and radio communication systems.

Question: What advice would you give to aspiring pilots and even so those already practicing?

Answer: Here are a few practices if applied to their day-to-day routine will lead them to become a more successful professional.

i/Dedicate yourself to a higher calling to unlock your true potential

ii/You are never too experienced to fore-go a checklist.

iii/Be a humble and knowledgeable team player.

iv/Learn to manage stress to improve your performance.

v/Master the fundamentals of your craft to improve performance and never lose that passion for continuous learning