Celebrating African Women in Aviation – Lebo Mokoallo

HOW DID YOU GET INTO AVIATION?

I was introduced to aviation as an Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic Apprentice at South African Airways Technical. I never knew there was such a career in aviation until the day of my interview, I was successful and went through all the process of psychometric tests, background checks and medicals.

HOW WAS/ HAS BEEN YOUR TRAINING?

My training was great. It entailed three phases, which gradually prepared me to work on commercial fleet. I understood my tasks and was guided through the on the job training by skilled Aircraft Maintenance Technicians and Engineers for over six months before I could do my trade test.

Waking up every day to seeing planes taking off, landing, taxing and on the parking bay was the best moments of my training. The complexity of the environment and how I had a small notebook to scribble everything down because everyone there was willing to teach you something and it definitely assisted in my everyday work and trade test.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE AIRCRAFT?

“The queen of the skies” Boeing 747. I think it’s the most beautiful aeroplane ever. It was very efficient back then and mostly used for cargo now but I get goosebumps all the time when I see it. Even thinking of getting a nice painting of it in my bedroom.

ARE YOU WORKING OR A STUDENT?

Both. I’m a Bachelor Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering student and now working at UAV Aerial Works as a drone pilot.

WHAT AIRCRAFT ARE YOU FLYING?

Lol I wouldn’t call it an aircraft; I do however have a rating to fly all multirotor drones in BVLOS and as anRPAS Instructor.

WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

• God, I believe His Mercies keeps me going and My family, definitely my pillars of strength.

ANY MENTORS OR ROUTINE THAT YOU FOLLOW?

I look up to a lot of women in the industry in no particular order, to mention a few Capt Refilwe Ledwaba, Kelebogile Molopyane, Nyasha Manyika, Queen Ndlovu, Kim James, Itumeleng Mokoena, Mpumi Masinga, Major Mandisa Mfeka.

ADVICE TO OTHERS WHO WANT TO TAKE UP AVIATION?

Go for it, the industry is big and growing. Any career you feel can suit you, why not?

YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?

When everything seems to be going against you, remember the aircraft takes off against the wind, not with it” – Henry Ford

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