At 21, Zambia’s youngest commercial pilot Kalenga Kamwendo has achieved 1,000 flying hours with the Zambian Proflight airline.
Kalenga achieved this milestone during a morning flight from Lusaka, Zambia’s capital to Mfuwe last week. This milestone is a great feat for someone who started flying for the airline a year and nine months ago.
Kalenga who is a First Officer is 500 hours away from becoming a Senior Officer. When a First Officer earns 1,500 flying hours, he’s eligible to sit for the exams that can grant him the Senior Officer License. With 1,000 more flying hours, Kalenga can then become a Captain.
“My family and friends were all shocked and astonished when they heard that I have clocked 1,000 hours,” Kamwendo said.
He also added that he was delighted to have earned such a milestone in a shorter time frame than he had previously thought he would.
“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.”
Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs Captain Phillip Lemba congratulated the young pilot on his achievement.
“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 elaborated.
“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 added in a statement.
Kalenga’s accomplishment is also being celebrated on Social media. With some singing the young pilot’s praises with the hashtag