12 Dec 2012 / by Pilot Michael / in Wingster
Letter From Chief Pilot at Campi Ya Kanzi
Please find below my description of the job, and further below – the original description that I received when I was looking at the position 2 years ago. I am the current Chief Pilot, Lead Pilot, and liaison for Luca Safari Ltd. and will be in charge of your training and conversion, should you accept this position. Please take the opportunity to ask me any and ALL of the questions you have regarding this job, I will answer honestly and with consideration given to the big decision that moving to East Africa for a flying job is. Prior to Kenya, I lived and worked (both flying and as an A+P) for various operators in Alaska for 7 years, I learned to fly in Oregon when I was a teenager, and grew up in California. I had not visited Africa before deciding to move here for this job in early 2011. I felt supported through the license (not to mention lifestyle!) conversion and transition to flying here, my initial doubts about such a commitment were quickly replaced by the exciting life I now lead.
We are looking for a pilot with the skills to handle basic high altitude bush flying and tourist interactions and the willingness to base themselves in a remote part of Kenya for minimum of two years. The flying is primarily tourist based with interesting charters all over the country and game surveys/flight support for the wildlife conservancy that the lodge is located on. The pilot should have ample flight time in Cessna 206/207 or equivalent and a fairly high total time (over 2000 hours min) The aircraft is a nicely equipped C 206, and the flying amounts to around 400+ hrs per year (400 is what I accumulated in 2011, which was a slow year).
The accommodations at camp are very nice, with running water and internet. The scheduled flights primarily originate from or go to Nairobi, the largest city in Kenya. This position allows for plenty of free time to travel and explore E. Africa and is an easy job, the weather is nice, and the staff/boss very friendly and accommodating. I could go on and on about how much I love Kenya! I have decided not to renew my contract with Luca next year because I am ready for a career shift (I have spent the better part of the last 10 years in a 206/7), have a fiancée in Nairobi, and I am keen to explore some other options here in E. Africa. I am happily finishing out my contract with Luca and look forward to continue flying for him as back up and visit the camp for years to come.
The biggest benefit of this job is that it fully supports you in acquiring both a work permit and a Kenyan Pilot License, which are nearly impossible and completely cost prohibitive (minimum $3000 just to get your foot in the door – total estimated cost closer to 10k) to acquire on your own in Kenya. This country has a notorious reputation for being one of the most difficult countries to obtain a visa and pilots license in and once you have them you will be set for the future of flying around E.Africa. This is HUGE and I cannot emphasize enough how rare this company is to support the entire conversion while providing full accommodation.
I will restate that beyond the requisite qualification and safety the biggest consideration that we have in the hiring process is finding a candidate who is ready to make a 2 year commitment and is genuinely interested in the type of flying that we do. The license conversion and work permit are such a costly (and labor intensive) process that we want to be certain that you are the right fit for this company and also – that Luca Safari is the right fit for you.
Happy to answer any questions that you might have, thank you for your interest!
Chief Pilot, Luca Safari
045622516 Kanzi (Chyulu) office