Loutzavia Flight Academy hosted their annual graduation ceremony at Villa san Giovanni at Wonderboom National airport last week.
On arrival I was immediately impressed by the sense of family that exists at the school, I have been to many flight schools and have never experienced the family atmosphere like I did here. Jannie Loutzis, the founder and Chief Flying Instructor is a father figure to all the students and staff alike and Maria, his wonderful wife, has slotted into the role of a supportive mother. I had a short chat to Jannie where he mentioned that in his 8000 flying hours accumulated over the last 26 years, he has been personally involved in the training of well over 1000 students with many of them going on to become very successful commercial pilots.
The evening was opened with a short talk by Seann Gerber, welcoming all the family members of the graduates for their ongoing support of their dreams. The support structure is very important to overcome the challenges that students will encounter on their journey whether they are planning on making a career out of flying or just flying for the love of it.
Seann then introduced Morne Postma who recently left Loutzavia to further his career as a first officer at SA Airlink. Morne joined the Loutzavia family twelve years ago with nothing but his passion for flying to keep him going. As a young boy Morne would spend his free time watching aircraft coming and going at Krugersdorp Airfield until he was encouraged to start flying by an instructor at the field. After a few hours Morne read a Loutzavia advertisement in a magazine and was immediately impressed he decided to move to Pretoria and continue his training at Loutzavia. Jannie saw the potential in the young man and decided to give him a job doing whatever there was to do, starting with painting a hangar. Morne slowly worked his way up the ranks while he completed his PPL and later his CPL. Once he obtained his Instructors rating, he became an instructor at Loutzavia where he accumulated enough instruction hours to obtain his ATP and the rest as they say is history.
Jannie was then called on to address the “Class of 2019” in his address Janine mentioned that over the next twenty years the world will need 617000 new pilots that’s a staggering total of 31000 per year and this is to transport the 11 million passengers that commute on a daily basis. Jannie is very proud to be one of the many people responsible to fulfil this need. He ended his speech with a quote from his daughter “ when in doubt maintain altitude, no one has ever collided with the sky”.
After a wonderful dinner it was time for all the graduates to receive their certificates for obtaining their PPL’s, CPL’s, Instrument Ratings, night ratings and upgrades in instructor status, a whopping 113 pilots received certificates for these qualifications. To achieve this Loutzavia flew just short of 7000 hours in total with 13811 landings and 1000 simulator hours.
Once all the certificates were received it was time to honour the outstanding achievements for the last year. Each of these awards are awarded after a lengthy consultation with management, instructors and fellow students.
Melisa Boehme was adjudged to be the “ Private Pilot of the Year”
Palesa Mabudusna “Most Dedicated Pilot of the Year”
Sean Sweetlove “Most Promising Student of the Year”
Nigel Matanga “ Best Student Progress”
Hanru Hillebrand “Commercial Pilot of the Year”
Cornelius van Aardt “Commercial Pilot Licence Student of the Year”
Naomi Phetor “Most Airborne Flight Instructor of the Year”
Huzaifah Omar “Instructor of the Year”
Johan Myburgh “Passion for Flying” award
The evening was then closed off with the staff, students and Instructors showing their appreciation for what Jannie and Maria have done for them by giving them a very special gift.
We at Flightline Weekly would like to congratulate the all the graduates and wish you well in your future careers.