Page 9 - CemAir SkyNews Launch Edition 08 2014
P. 9
ot diaries

“You are on top of your world and the sky IS the limit, land-
ing sometimes during the last waning moments of the day,
you know that in the morning you will get up and do it all
over- again, and again, and again... and you love it.” -
We grounded with CemAir’s Chief Pilot Dean Smith to chat
about his love for flying.

Captain Dean Smith has been flying for close to a I really enjoy imparting knowledge and helping pilots achieve
their best potential. And I love having an office with the best
half-century and he still loves what he does. “I’ve view one could ask for.
How has your work experience prepared you for other as-
been flying for 44 years but it feels like just the other pects of your life?
The work experience has helped me deal with stressful situations
day that I started,” he says. As testament to the through life, to be resourceful and to deal with different people
from all walks of life, including VIPs and Royalty.
quality of his work, Dean was appointed as a Des- What is one of your fondest flying memories?
I have so many fond memories so that is difficult but if I were to
ignated Flight Examiner by the South African Civil pick one, it would be flying in northern Europe at night and wit-
nessing the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis. This is a magnif-
Aviation Authority and currently flies for CemAir as icent, spectacular sight to behold, the feeling was so overpow-
ering, I felt I could reach out and touch them. Amazing!
the Chief Pilot. Do you have a standard in-flight joke you would like to
How long have you been flying with CemAir? I am not fond of ‘in-flight jokes’ however one that does bring
I have been with CemAir for two years now. a smile to faces is “You are aware that the propeller is there to
What is a designated flight examiner? keep the pilot cool (normally people answer no). We then an-
A designated flight examiner is a pilot with many years of expe- swer “You must see how the pilot sweats when it stops”.
rience who, after having passed certain examinations for higher What qualifications are needed for a pilot to join CemAir?
ratings, is appointed by the South African Civil Aviation Authority In the cockpit there are two pilots, a Captain and a First Officer.
to test pilots on their behalf. A CemAir First Officer has a commercial pilots license with a
Why did you choose to work for CemAir? multi-engine rating, an instrument rating and a minimum of 500
It is a growing and dynamic company with exciting prospects hours of flying experience. A multi-engine rating trains the pilot
that are very attractive and I want to assist and be part of that to fly an aircraft with two engines under standard situations
growing process. as well as emergency situations such as an engine failure. An
What are two of the most important qualities a pilot requires instrument rating qualifies the pilot to fly the aircraft without out-
for your type of scheduled service? side visual references to the ground, for example when flying in
Firstly pilots require passion for the industry, for their job and cloud the pilot needs to be able to use only aircraft instruments
their passengers. Secondly and very importantly, they require a to navigate from the departure airport and land safely at the
keen attention to detail to work according to a set of Standard destination airport.
Operating Procedures. These are set out by the manufacturer A CemAir Captain requires all of the above plus an Airline
to guide the pilot on how to operate the specific aircraft type Transport Pilots License and a minimum of 1500 hours of flying
on the ground and in the air. In addition, CemAir produces a set experience.
of procedures for the pilot to follow from the moment the pilot What Training do CemAir pilots undergo?
gets to work to the time he/she leaves the office to go home CemAir Pilots go through stringent training before qualifying to
after the flight. These procedures cover events and the actions fly our aircraft. The entry criteria include written examinations
required to manage these events so as to make the entire flight on South African Air Law, technical examinations on the aircraft
as safe and comfortable as possible for our passengers. These they are employed to fly and practical examinations in a flight
operating procedures are standardised to ensure that every simulator to test their flying skills and mostly their ability to man-
Crew member flies the aircraft in the same manner, the cockpit age emergency situations. Thereafter every six months our pilots
is run and managed to a set standard enabling the crew to undergo recurrent training and additional technical examina-
function to their best potential and safely fly our passengers to tions and flight simulator testing to ensure that their knowledge
their destination. and skills are up to date and allow them to consistently fly our
What do you enjoy most about being a pilot? passengers safely to their destination.
I thrive on the variety of the job because every flight is different
to the next requiring focus and attention to different aspects
depending on the route being flown, the weather, the number
of passengers, the weight of the aircraft, etc. As an instructor

8CEMAIR Aug/Sept 2014
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