Toussaint Mpoze is a Helicopter Pilot with Akagera Aviation. The 29-year-old was born second of three children. He has worked as pilot since 2007 and as Instructor pilot since 2013 and now specializes in tour, charter and instruction flights.
After High School, Toussaint responded to a call from Akagera Aviation for applicants interested in joining their team of pilots. They were offering training to grow their team and build capacity. He has since, found the career as Helicopter Pilot an amazing fit for him. He fell in love with his job and has continued to love it over the years.
As a trainee, he was blessed to be under the tutorage of a flight instructor who loved her job too and she took him up, shared her knowledge with him and inspired him. Toussaint credits her for moulding him into what he is today. He shared the same love for flying he saw in his instructor and says jokingly, “If flying was a girl, I would marry her!’
As it were, despite the love he has for the air, Toussaint admits he did not choose his career, in fact, he jokes that it chose him. “Think of me, fresh from high school, bumping into an opportunity of a lifetime that led me into a career that has enabled me realise my potential and do a job I love doing.”
In addition to the ecstasy of flying that his job gives him, Toussaint is gratified when he puts a smile on his client’s face after enjoying his service on a charter or tour. He is also thrilled when trainees he has worked with are able to fly the helicopter.
Much as he loves flying, the service is offered to a wide range of personalities and Toussaint’s only challenge is being able to deal with every category of client in the best way possible. It is not always easy to tell what is the best approach. Some people are terrified of flying and yet their experience must be made as pleasurable as possible.
On a typical work day, this young pilot is at work by 7.00am. He checks on the helicopters to ensure that they are in the same state they were at the end of the previous day. He then prepares for the day’s programme which includes flying various clients and instructing trainees. Work ends at 5.00pm and he leaves by 5.30pm unless he has to stay over and finish some paperwork.
Having had the privilege to do a job he loves, Toussaint advises young people to put their heart and soul in everything they do. “That way, you will be successful because your job will be your passion.” He notes that it is not enough to earn a living from one’s job, if one hates their job, it will be a difficult experience.
In his opinion and from his experience, Toussaint believes a helicopter pilot needs to be patient, flexible and with a hunger for knowledge, because, he says, every day is a school day and knowledge is power.
During his leisure time, Toussaint will often be found jogging. He says it helps him clear his mind and is relaxing and therapeutic for him.