Eagle Air celebrated the achievements of their students and staff at a very enjoyable graduation function on Thursday 21 November at the very upmarket Morgenzon Estate which is located in Airport Road adjacent to Wonderboom Airport.
Eagle Air have fostered a wonderful family atmosphere for both their staff and students, this was very evident as the students arrived and all came to greet the managing director , Percy Rudman, and his wonderful wife, Mari, personally this not all that common in the larger flying schools as keeping track of all the students can be a mammoth task not to say getting to know each one personally.
Percy and Mari Rudman
As a result of this personal interaction, family has become cornerstone of training at Eagle Air without jeopardising their standards or degree of discipline. Although they have a rigid company structure, they advocate an open door approach enabling students and pilots to liaise directly with management and even with the directors.
Eagle Air Management and Instructors
All their directors, members of the management team and personnel are qualified pilots and therefore have appreciation and understand the challenges in the field of aviation. Eagle Air has a broad base of international students from Kenya, Mozambique, Botswana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Abu Dhabi, China, Ghana, Angola, Egypt and India, to name but a few.
Eagle Air with their wide variety of aircraft have over the last ten years become one of the best flying academies in Africa, in fact a recent survey, by Fly Magazine, placed them in second best on the continent. These high standards are carried forward to the newly established Eagle Air Middle East who continue to work very closely with the South African parent organization.
Directors Percy Rudman, Iemei Mendillo and Tommy Tseng
The evening got off to a great start with Chief Flying Instructor, Philippe de Ravel, welcoming everyone to the celebration. Phillip then introduced François Naude, François is a senior Captain at South African Airways and also one of the Designated Flight Examiner at Eagle Air. François addressed the crowd of predominantly young aviators, emphasising that passion is a non-negotiable when it comes to a career in aviation, “ if you don’t have aviation pumping through your blood, then you may need to look at anther line of work”.
Chief Flying Instructor, Philippe de Ravel
After François’ speech and starters were enjoyed, it was time to get to the business of honouring the Eagle family members that exceled over the last year. First up were the fledgling eagles that achieved their initial solo flights, no less than fourteen young aviators were invited to the stage to collect a certificate commemorating one of the most memorable flights in any aviators’ career.
The next group of pilots to make their way to the stage was all those who managed to obtain their Private Pilots License, eight newly winged aviators received their PPL’s at Eagle Air over the last year. They were then joined by the six pilots that achieved their night ratings and one pilot who acquired an Initial Multi Engine Rating.
Three newly qualified Commercial Pilots were the next to be honoured followed by two Multi-Engine Instructor Ratings and two Grade III Flight Instructor Ratings and one upgrade to a Grade III instructor. Damian Shima was then called to the stage to be honoured for achieving his Air Transport Pilots Licence, this must be the greatest achievement for any career pilot it signifies many years of hard slog and expense.
CPL Recpiants Kennedy Tshivhase, Timothy Brandt and Mariska Wisse
Damian Shima with Mari Rudman
Main course was the served followed by the announcement of the exceptional achievement awards, these are awarded to students and staff that have performed above all expectations and continue to make Eagle Air very proud.
PPL Student of the Year Ahmed Helmy
CPL Student of the Year Timothy Brandt
Most Spirited Student of the Year – Anindya Biswas
Instructor of the Year Marcelle Nienaber
Employee of the Year Kelly Slingers
A scrumptious dessert was served and the it was time to celebrate yet another remarkable year by one of the best, we at Flightline Weekly wish all the graduates only the best in their careers ahead and most of all many safe flying hours. Thank you to Percy and his team for inviting us to this auspicious event and to Morgenzon Estate for making the evening very memorable.