A young man came to the field recently. ‘I have been reading Fresh Air Matters in the Business and Financial Times’ he proclaimed. ‘I really want to learn to fly after reading your column.’ He then went on to make references from several editions going back a long way as well as recent writings. At times I wonder if writing Fresh Air Matters is a good use of my time, but I realise that it helps to shape policy and, today, that it also inspires new blood into the who concept of aviation.
We chatted about flying and he shared his ambition to be at the controls of an airplane, and that today was his birthday. We flew, and he was excited at being on the controls – I explained to him that ‘should you learn to fly, part of your money and part of your lessons go towards helping MoM to achieve its goal of changing lives one flight at a time’…. He embraced the concept, and, hopefully, will become not only a student pilot, but perhaps, one day, a mission pilot too… for this is where the seeds of success are planted. MoM’s only chance of imbuing the concept of sustainable humanitarian aviation lies in having enough young, inspired and enthusiastic African pilots and engineers, willing to give some of their time to help make it real for their own brothers and sisters.