Meet Zambia’s youngest pilot

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ZAMBIA’S youngest commercial

pilot Kalenga Kamwendo has

clocked 1,000 hours of flying with

the countries’ leading scheduled

airline Proflight Zambia.

The 21-year-old First Officer

reached the milestone while on an

early morning flight from Lusaka

to Mfuwe last week, just one year

and nine months after he started

flying for the airline.

The achievement brings him closer

to the 1,500 hours mark, at which

point he can sit exams to achieve

his Senior Officer licence. With a

further 1,000 hours under is belt he

can apply to become a captain.

“My family and friends were all

shocked and astonished when they

heard that I have clocked 1,000

hours,” said a delighted Mr

Kamwendo. “I told my family and

friends when I got started as a

commercial pilot that I would clock

1,000 hours when I reach 25 years

of age, but I am happy that I have

done it at 21 years. It is a big

milestone for me and my career.”

Kalenga joined an elite team of

pilots flying for Proflight Zambia

on routes from Lusaka to

Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower

Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi and

Kasama, as well as Mbala being

lunched on June 28 this year,

Durban in South Africa and

Lilongwe in Malawi.

Proflight Director of Government

and Industry Affairs Captain Phillip

Lemba, said that for any new pilot,

reaching 1,000 hours is a

benchmark, as a pilot’s experience

is not measured on the years he

works but the hours he flies.

“It’s quite a milestone for Kalenga,

I encourage him to be level-

headed, well composed and

focused on his career. We as

Proflight Zambia praise our young

pilots for the hard work he has

demonstrated from the time he

started as a commercial pilot a

year ago,” Captain Lemba


“Kalenga’s 1,000 hours remind me

of the olden days when I got my

1,000 hours, 46 years ago. When I

got my 1,000 hours I was still in

the Zambia Air Force. Those days

in the force it was a great

millstone and achievement; with

my friends and colleagues we

celebrated together. I have flown

over 20,000 hours in my lifetime,

hence my young man Kalenga still

has a broad road of adventure and

hard work ahead of him,” he


The number of hours flown by

pilots is important, but there are

also regulations restricting the

total number that can be flown in

a given period to ensure safety.

“I have learnt a lot from the

Proflight family and am happy to

be part of the many achievements

the airline has accomplished. Great

expectations await me and am

surely proud to be part of Proflight

at 25 years,” said Mr Kamwendo.

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