IF you’re looking to become a pilot and trying to find a local flight school to train through, Westline Aviation should be your obvious choice. It offers students a package for success with experienced instructors, sophisticated aircraft, a range of contacts in the industry and personal mentorship.
GO! & Express met with Westline Aviation owner and chief flight instructor Les Daley to check out the East London branch at the airport. The flight school and charter company, which has been in East London for three years, also has branches in Bloemfontein and Grahamstown.
“We have been in business for over 25 years, offering experienced instructors, sophisticated aircraft, a connection to the industry and an international footprint,” said Daley.
“I started flying in 1987 and since then I have made it my mission to mentor young people with passion, drive and focus to achieve their dreams,” he said.
The school is the only one in East London that offers both helicopter and fixed wing pilot’s licences. Interested parties can train for a private pilot’s licence (PPL), national pilot’s licence (NPL), commercial pilot’s licence (CPL), instructors pilot’s licence (IPL) and airline transport pilot’s licence (ATPL) for both fixed wing and helicopters.
The flight school also offers specialised ratings, aerobatic training and crew training.
Daley said that to date, all their graduates with CPL and IPL had been provided with employment – many within their company.
It was the first flight training organisation to get its Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) and South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accreditation, making it easier for those lacking funds to access grants and student loans.
There are 16 students training through the flight school at present, some full-time and others part-time.
“Most students are training to be pro pilots. Many of our past students are flying for SAA, SA Express and internationally. We have a large footprint of knowledge to draw from and we follow our pilots in their careers, seeking advancement at every opportunity,” said Daley.
The East London branch also offers nearby student accommodation for six.
While it is ideal to have high marks in matric maths and science, Daley emphasised that it is not a requirement for the flight school.
Student study timelines depend on their commitment and funding and there is no time limit for licence completion.
Xolisa Diko, 27, is busy completing his IPL through Westline.
“Their standard in aviation is high and they have very experienced instructors. There are many chances to experience flying at high altitudes and on the coast.
“They saw my potential and assisted me to get my CPL. They have a passion to train people and everyone is treated equally.”
Phiwe Mqwala, 26, joined Westline to complete his IPL. “It was their personal touch that made me come here,” he said.
Daley invites interested parties to contact him for an appointment on (043) 736-9718/1660 or 082-412-3389.