Celebrating Women in Aviation

Mbalenhle Mphage

Mbalenhle Mphage is a Commercial Pilot Licence holder from Alberton. She is affectionately known as Mbali by her friends and family. Mbali also has a Grade 3 Instructors Rating, a RPL with Instructor Rating as well as a National Diploma in Biomedical Technology. She is currently focused on the RPAS (Drone) sector, working as a Chief Flight Instructor as she tries to remain relevant within the Aviation industry.

  1. How did you get into aviation?

My mom is a nurse and there was a time where nurses were emigrating to work abroad. We went on a long trip abroad to see how well I would adjust to life abroad. During the journey there and back was the first time I got to go on an aeroplane and from that moment on I just knew that that is what I wanted to do when I grew up.

  1. Where did you do your training and how long did it take?

I have been to a number of flight schools throughout my training but I completed my CPL and Instructors Rating at Bird Aviation at the Vereeniging airfield.

  1. How did you make your dreams come true?

Honestly without my mothers support both Financially and emotionally I don’t think I would have made it as far as I have without her. My relationship with God is also what keeps me going. In terms of training, it went a lot better once I found a School that provided me with a space and people around that made me feel comfortable being around and allowed me to cultivate lasting relationships with people on the same journey I was on so we were all able to help and motivate each other along the way.

  1. What planes have you flown?

As part of my training I have flown

  • Piper Cherokee
  • Piper Warrior
  • Piper Arrow
  • Cessna 172
  • Cessna 310
  • Multirotor RPAS (Drones)
  1. What do you do in your free time?

In my spare time I love working with children and participating in community outreaches aimed at younger children. Due to the effects of the current Pandemic I haven’t been able to do as much as I was able to previously.

  1. Any messages to someone deciding on an aviation career

You truly have to know that this is what you really want to do because it is hard and demanding work. The training itself requires a lot from you mentally, emotionally and financially, so you need to have the passion and motivation to see it through. Make sure you have people around you, especially family that supports your dreams as it is helpful to have people around you that are able to cheer you up and give you motivation to keep going on days where you feel down.

  1. Your favourite quote
  2. John C Maxwell “Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plans.”
  • James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of any kind because the testing of your faith produces perseverance”

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