When she joined the military straight from high school‚ Nandi Zama never thought she would make history by flying South African Air Force planes.
On Friday the 31-year-old major touched down the military cargo plane C-130 at the Waterkloof Air Force base‚ as part of her evaluation and became the first black woman to qualify to fly this particular aircraft.
The mammoth task at hand – flying the C-130 and being responsible for the safe arrival of both the aircraft and crew members on board from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
SANDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ntsikelelo Mantshongo said Zama’s command of the C-130 came with a huge responsibility.
“If there’s a mission and she needs to take the aircraft‚ she needs to assemble a team that includes specialists on board. The plane can take up to 160 people‚” Mantshongo said.
Zama matriculated from Saint Gregory College in the Natal Midlands in 2003 and joined the Air force.
“I went through military training and then I was at the central flying school in 2006 and got my wings in December. In 2007 I was transferred to 41 Squadron‚” she said.
At 41 Squadron she flew the Cessna Carava‚ known for its power and flexibility. From 2008‚ she flew the Casa 212 at 44 Squadron.
In 28 Squadron‚ where she is now‚ she commands the C-130 cargo plane‚ a four-engine military transport aircraft.
“Flying the plane is not something you can explain in words. You just have to be there to experience it‚” she said.
more recommended stories
South Africa to vaccinate teenagers with single dose of Pfizer
South Africa will start vaccinating children.
Are xenophobic attacks on the rise in South Africa?
Two shops belonging to foreign nationals.
At least 5 dead after a disused diamond mine collapse in S.Africa
At least five people are presumed.
At least 10 killed in tragic bus crash on the N3, KwaZulu-Natal
At least 10 people have been.
SA Government pleased by removal of South Africa from UK’s red list
South African government is pleased with.
Nelson Mandela widow urges end to violence against South African women
Widow of Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel.
WATCH: Jacob Zuma speaks for the first time, urges people to vote ANC
South African former President Jacob Zuma.
South Africa metal workers begin indefinite strike
South Africa’s biggest engineering metalworkers union.