Tell us about yourself:
Name and Surname: Musa Ndukuya
Qualification Details: Commercial Pilot License, Airline Transport Pilot License and Medical Degree
Birthplace: Nelspruit, South Africa
Current location: Johannesburg
Occupation and Organisation:
Quote that motivates your work:
- When you were younger, what did you think you’d become?
I always thought I would become a lawyer, my family even printed a T-shirt for me written “Lawyer Musa”
- Tell us about your career path. What steps did you take to get where you are?
My aviation career kicked-off in 2003, I was in grade 10 when I noticed an advert about a flying school. When I was a little boy I used to always watch the crop sprayers visiting our neighbors farm for spraying and wondered what it would be like to be able to fly over the farms too, and since then I always walked to the airport to watch the planes. This has contributed towards my interest in learning how to fly and finding ways to accomplish this. Initially it became a hobby, doing it on weekends and holidays. After completing matric I decided to take it to career level and went further to study for my Commercial Pilot License and later my Airline Transport Pilot License.
My medical career then kicked off 4 years later after travelling to Canada to spend some time with my sister and brother in-law, who is a medical doctor himself. That is where most of the motivation came from.
- Were there any role models who inspired or pushed you?
When I started in aviation as a hobby I met a lot of people who have been in the industry for some time, whom I regard as role models.
My brother in-law has always been my role model in medicine.
- What influenced your career choice?
Being a little boy who grew up on a farm I never knew much about aviation. I always wondered how it felt like to pilot a plane and then seeing the advert influenced my path to find out more and begin the journey in aviation, also the fact that I could start flying before finishing high school.
- You had already followed a particular career journey, why did you decide to pursue another?
I was provided the opportunity to study something else and at the time I was still very young, time was on my side, my motive is never say NO to education if the opportunity arise.
- Did you know about these careers when you were younger?
I never knew much about aviation when I was younger, all I thought about when it comes to flying was Airlines. I didn’t know aviation was so broad with different avenues to explore.
I always knew about medicine because I had a family background.
- Describe your typical work day?
Type rating instructor for airline pilots from all over the world on a passenger jet aeroplane.
It can be quite busy and unpredictable sometimes but loving it because every day is a learning curve.
- What makes your work exciting?
I enjoy the challenges, the constant learning and growth that happens in this career path. I also enjoy meeting and connecting with like-minded people in my field of work and learning about new technologies in existence, this keeps me growing and actively seeking new skills in aviation.
- What makes your work challenging?
Sometimes it is very challenging having to train senior personnel with different levels of experiences in aviation, most of the time more experience in the field than myself and I have to train them on a new type of aircraft.
- What sacrifices did you make to get where you are?
I did things the other way around. I trained to become a pilot, I worked and then stopped working (earning a salary) to go back to school and study medicine for many years. It was quite a sacrifice to give up working to go back to school. Looking back now it was all worth the sacrifice.
- Are you able to practice both occupations that you are qualified for?
At the moment I am full time in Aviation however future plans are in place to integrate and merge the two.
- Which are you more passionate about?
I guess passion develops with experience, I have been in aviation the longest, quite passionate about it. However, medicine is also slowly growing on me too.
- When did you know for sure this career is for you?
When I flew solo the first time, it felt like a dream come true! Then I wondered how it would feel like to fly an even bigger aircraft, this pushed me to want to do more, up to a point where I found myself piloting a Passenger Jet.
- What do you wish you knew, before you started on this career path?
I wish I knew the road was not going to be as easy as I thought, it took hard work, dedication and a lot of knocking on people’s doors looking for opportunities to grow.
- How does your current job fit into your career goals?
It broadens the spectrum of my experience in the aviation sector, as it is different from my previous roles within the industry, therefore it adds value towards the next mile stone in my career path.
- What are your next steps? What do you still need to do to achieve your ideal work situation?
Working towards merging my two career paths. To achieve this, I need to acquire more experience on the medical field.
- If you could give the younger you advise, what would it be?
Before starting a career path, you must really have your heart and mind set and become committed to it. It does not matter what your background is. There are so many avenues for funding to reach out to, and so many areas for guidance that I wasn’t aware of when I started in aviation, however to truly succeed, focus and understand that it may be a long journey ahead, but the end results are absolutely rewarding.