On my last trip to Kenya, I decided to take a discovery flight lesson in Nairobi.
I have a slight interest in aviation and before the COVID pandemic, I took a couple of flight lessons in Colorado.
Having no leads, I began by searching for and calling flight schools. Eventually, I got managed to schedule a class with Ninety-Nines Flying School.
Ninety-Nines Flying School is based out of the Wilson airport in Nairobi. Wilson is a commercial airport serving many regional airlines. I was super excited to both be flying in Kenya as well as flying out of a commercial airport for the first time.
On the day of the flight, I arrived early and Pressly greeted me warmly and showed me around Wilson airport from an operational perspective. Pressly worked at Ninety-Nines Flying School, has a private pilot licence, and is aiming to get his commercial pilot license. He told me awesome stories of learning to fly and the process of getting licenses in Kenya, which turned out to have the same requirements as the United States. The only difference was they didn’t require tailspin recovery as a maneuver.
When the clouds cleared, Pressly walked me through the pilot’s entrance at Wilson and introduced me to Captain Madara, ready with a Cessna nicknamed “the Beast”.
The Beast flew smoothly. We circled around Nairobi and saw some stunning views. (The picture doesn’t do Nairobi justice.)
Captain Madara was excited to learn I had some prior flying experience and asked if I wanted to try some maneuvers not yet covered in my prior flight lessons. I said yes.
He accelerated the plane downwards to create G-forces and which felt like gut-wrenching drops during heavy turbulence.
He also stalled the engine and performed stall recovery.
Returning to the airport, Captain Madara exchanged controls with me and guided me through landing.
I couldn’t stop smiling when I stepped off the plane. It an amazing and heart-palpitating discovery flight.