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THE SKY IS NOT THE LIMIT FOR PROFLIGHT’S MOST SENIOR PILOT

Nothing else matters but simply enjoying the moment when you’re up in the sky. Taking off into the blue and gazing down at the world beneath you is incredibly fulfilling. Flying takes the weight of the world off your shoulders, says Proflight’s Captain Tembo.

The keen aviator has been flying for more than 30 years. Even with his new role as Proflight’s Director of Flight Operations, the Captain continues to fly with passion, while achieving a milestone of experience – and inspiring many Zambian aviators. He takes to the air three days a week, keeping himself familiar with Proflight’s operations, routes and aircraft in person.

Because of his remarkable work ethic and admirable aviation experience, Capt. Tembo was recently promoted to Director of Flight Operations from his previous role as the airline’s Chief Pilot .

“I have been in aviation for more than 30 years now, having made my foray into this profession at the age of 21,” he said with a big smile.

He cites a career highlight as flying all of Zambia’s presidents, from First President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda to Fredrick Chiluba, from Patrick Mwanawasa to Rupiah Banda, from Michel Sata to the current serving President, H.E. Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

The urge to fly struck him as a child, growing up in Kasama. “I’ve been passionate about flying ever since I was a child. My trips to the library inspired my passion. I used to love W.E. Jones’ ‘Biggles’ books. The fictional adventures of this pilot and adventurer captured my mind as a young boy.

“When I was a child, the President would fly in to our rural town. You would see him landing and then see the pilots following behind in their immaculate uniforms, the blue hats and the wings on their shirts. And I thought to myself: this is the way to go.

“From the stories in the books and my encounters with the planes, I got the affinity to fly,” he recalled.

Kasama saw the young flight enthusiast attend primary and secondary school, but then he went onto to study mechanical engineering and natural sciences at the University of Zambia in Lusaka.

“During my childhood years, I forgot about my early love of flying, and decided I should do mechanical engineering.

“But after completing my two years of engineering, I decided to follow my dream of flying after hearing that Zambia Air Services Institute (ZASTI) was training pilots.

 

 

 

“I abandoned my training as a mechanical engineer and went back to my earlier call of flying,” declared the proud aviator.

Starting his flying career in the 1980s was an exciting time, he shared. “At that time, the aviation environment in Zambia was budding and extremely vibrant,” he said.

In 1985, he graduated as a pilot, and began his career with the Flying Doctors Service in Ndola.

After two years, he joined a chartered air company in Chingola, then onto Lusaka to fly with Zambia Airways, until its closure in 2009, when he decided to go into aviation regulation.

But after a few years on the ground with the Civil Aviation Authority, the skies were calling the pilot back, and he joined Zambia’s leading domestic airline, Proflight Zambia, at the helm of the Jetstream 41 aircraft, a role he has relished ever since.

In 2012, Proflight recognised his talents and made him Chief Pilot. More recently, he has been appointed Director of Flight Operations.

“Now, Proflight has invested its trust in me to deal with policies, interacting with the civil aviation and regulations, and creating and reviewing policies in line with flying operations, for example. It’s humbling to know the company trusts me with such an important job and responsibility.”

Despite his stellar career and exemplary service record, he still aims to create a good example to the pilots and the people at Proflight.

His top tip for pilots? Time management.

“I like to be at dispatch an hour before my signing in so I prepare the aircraft; if there are any defects we speak with the maintenance team or engineers. If there is any discrepancy maybe with the passengers, we speak with the ground people. So, time is of essence in the work we do, as everything happens according to time. If you miss it, the aircraft is also delayed.

“Aeroplanes don’t just sit on the ground, when we return from one flight it is prepared to fly again. So, if you create a delay, it means you are affecting other schedules,” he explained.

He also cites discipline, keeping yourself in good health and maintaining the ability to apply yourself to long periods of concentration as you fly.

Aiming to be an ambassador for a career in aviation, and a role model for young flight enthusiasts – as he once was himself – the Captain’s advice is to aim high and keep pushing yourself.

“I like to help and interact with the young pilots to help them in any way possible while giving them the motivation to push through in their careers. As a flying instructor, I have been helping the young generation of flyers to take Zambia’s aviation to another level.”

“I would like to encourage anyone aspiring to be a pilot that aviation in Zambia has a very bright future ahead and the sky is not the limit for anybody coming aboard.”

But what does this inspirational figure do when he’s not in the skies?

“Other than being a pilot, I’m a farmer at heart. I spend most of my free time at a small homestead with my family. I love dairy farming and beef cattle rearing. A farm, as far as I am concerned, is where purity is. The serenity of farming is so refreshing after the hustle and bustle of office work and flying,” he stated.

He’s also a family man, having been married since 1990, and with four children. “I love my family so much; my wife and I have been married for 28 years now.”

This is what keeps Proflight’s renowned aviator energised and ready for take-off.

Given the longevity of his airborne career, the Captain says his extraordinary work has become quite the norm to him and his family.

And now it seems one of his sons is interested in taking to the skies too – his second eldest child plans to walk in his footsteps by taking up a career in aviation.

Captain Tembo continues to inspire and build Zambia’s upcoming generation of flyers with his experience as an aviator – even his own family.

About Proflight Zambia

Proflight Zambia was established in 1991 and is Zambia’s leading scheduled airline. From its base in Lusaka its domestic routes include Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Kalabo, Ndola, Solwezi, Kasama, and Ndola-Kasama, and regional routes to Lilongwe in Malawi, and Durban in South Africa and Harare in Zimbabwe.  Mfuwe-Lower Zambezi and Livingstone-Lower Zambezi direct services operates between June and October 2018.

The airline prides itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service, and offering good value to business and leisure travellers locally and internationally.

The airline operates a 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-100 jet, three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft and two C208 Caravans.

More information is available at www.flyzambia.com.

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Welcome on Board

All of us in Team Proflight Zambia look forward to welcoming you on board one of domestic or regional flights.  With a history spanning over three decades, we are Zambia’s largest airline, offering reliable schedule flights to leisure and business travellers. We’re proud to connect Zambia to the world, and the world to Zambia.

Our fleet includes 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-100/200 jets and  29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft.

Whether you’re embarking on a business trip, planning a safari adventure, or simply seeking a quick getaway, we are here to make your journey a seamless and memorable experience.

Our domestic destinations include Kalumbila, Kafue (Chunga), Kasama, Livingstone, Lower Zambezi ( Jeki & Royal), Lusaka, Mansa, Mfuwe, Ndola and Solwezi. We operate regional direct flights from Lusaka to Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

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Proflight sells FlySafair connecting flights within South Africa but currently not sold on our website. Please book through Proflight Reservations by emailing reservations@proflight-zambia.com or WhatsApp +260 777034742. FlySafair connecting flights are not available to book online and must be booked direct with Proflight offices.