To fly the Ugandan skies has long since been the preserve of a few. A piloting license required you to have had about 4 years of training at Soroti flight school…and then some. So many childhood dreams have been laid to rest because of the expense incurred, both time and financial.
However, with the Kampala Aeroclub in Kajjansi, you can attain a private pilot license in under 45hours-spread out, personal aptitude and scheduling considered. The license can be validated in any other ICAO licensed country, which means that you can fly even outside Uganda.
Just off Entebbe road, the Kajjansi Aeroclub sits on a serene private airfield, complete with an airy cafe and swimming pool. The road is dusty, but like any place towards Entebbe, the air feels cleaner. The entrance to the club is through gate A. Security is key and you will have some trouble getting in if you do not carry identification with you.
They have a fleet of 12 planes among which are C210’S, a helicopter and C172’s which are used for flight instruction. This is the only approved licensed flight school currently in the country and they have been in operation for 15years.
You will be pleased to know that the requirements to learn how to fly are not very stiff. You need to be 16 and over, have a learner’s permit which is issued at the Entebbe airport after a security check and make visit to the Civil Aviation Authority doctor.
The aeroclub also offers seats to travellers to Gulu, Kasese, Mbarara and outside of Uganda. For the nature lovers, they offer charters to Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Kibale game parks. A seat ranges from between 270 and 300 dollars. They offer executive and airport transfers; these can be great for, among others, the business executive who can’t afford to sit through the Entebbe to Kampala traffic jam. In addition, they offer medical evacuation to hospitals within the region.
Flying, besides being a destination venture can be solely done for fun. 200 dollars entitles you to a flight over Kampala city via the scenic route. For the romantics, this can be a scene right out of your favourite movie. On this roster are trips over Mabira forest and the source of the Nile in Jinja.
To demystify the idea of helicopter flight, still in the fun bouquet, are ‘helicopter hops’ which are just short trips in the helicopter for those who want the chopper experience.
That is not all; you can opt for the aerobatic experience if you want a boost of adrenaline. The pilot will take you up in a 2seater plane and perform a number of daring feats. Needless to say there are a lot of twists and turns so you are advised to stay away from food for at least 2 hours before you go up. The pilot’s seat is behind in this plane and so you have a front row view of the sky as it warps in and out of shape. He is also directly behind you in case you get sky sick and empty the contents of your stomach into the air.
Kajjansi aero club can be reached at http://www.flyuganda.com/ and on +256 772 706107, http://www.flyuganda.com/ for more details