Pardon the pun, but lately, Westline Aviation has been passing the “going the extra mile” test with flying colours...
Where else in the country could you find a flight training and charter company that places so much emphasis on training excellence, client satisfaction and safety elements?
Managing Director of Westline, Charlie Marais, has created the culture of expansion and excellence in service, and it seems to have caught on as the company has expanded extensively within the last two to three years.
Westline has undertaken many extensive projects lately:
Westline Trucking was launched with the purpose of bulk fuel delivery (Nationally and internationally). Christo Wiese (Driver and part-owner) recently performed Westline Trucking’s first across-boarder delivery to Lesotho.
Thomas Honiball has been travelling extensively to market SEAMS (Smart Electronic Management System), a flight school and charter management system. With over 20 Aviation companies nationally and internationally currently using SEAMS, Honiball Aviation aims to improve and assist companies with quality assurance and management. The company also specialises in Aviation auditing, offers Manual and Aviation Consulting services, as well as AOC Application assistance.
Charlie has once again procured the SAAF Safety training contract. This course is a combination of safety courses including: CRM (Crew Resource Management), DG (Dangerous Goods), FSO (Flight Safety Officers) and AAI (Aircraft Accident Investigation).
Westline has also created strong ties in Namibia, with Charlie and Thomas travelling regularly to Swakopmunt and Windhoek for Safety Training and Auditing. Thomas is also assisting charter companies in Namibia with their recertification process and new AOC application.
African Pilot Magazine’s pages have lately been filled with the safety wisdom of Charlie Marais. His articles aim to analyse aircraft accident investigations in an attempt to teach pilots the importance of respecting themselves and the aircrafts they fly. Be sure to catch these insightful articles every month in the African Pilot.
Westline has recently launched its new branding by hosting a launch party attended by personnel and special guests. This stylish event was held in one of Westline’s hangers and guests enjoyed an array of cheeses and wines whilst Charlie revealed the new logo and branding.
With an ever-growing fleet, the need for an AMO arose and CAMO – Central Aircraft Maintenance Organisation – was born. From the get-go, CAMO set the bar by being the only AMO in the Free State that renders both Fixed Wing and Helicopter servicing. With Nico Bam (Fixed Wing AME) and Drico Pienaar (Helicopter AME) at its head, this AMO is in good hands!
Westline recently acquired an FNTP II Seneca III Simulator. This exciting addition to our training program can be utilized for IF Ratings, Multi-engine ratings, PPL, CPL, ATPL and IF Renewals.
Speaking of training, the latest addition to our fixed wing fleet is a Cherokee 140 (ZS-MJS). This now brings our total aircraft to 13 fixed wing and 3 helicopters.
For a school like Westline, where we train national and international students, accommodation is a necessity. This is why we recently acquired another student house, which caters exclusively to our student pilots. This brings the total of Westline Aviation Student Houses to three. We also have a 12 bed-room block of flats on the airport grounds. The newest addition is to be renovated by yet another Westline Company – Charanne.
Construction is underway at Tempe Airport of three new Heli-pads. Once completed, there will be place or 7 Helicopters to land at the airport.
TETA Accreditation has been awarded to Westline enabling the company to receive government funding for future student pilots.
Andre Steyn (GM) has also done his fair share of travelling – attending many schools with the goal of recruiting new student pilots. We look forward to the abundance of student in-take in the future.
Westline has recently expanded its sphere of influence by giving high school students at Fichardtpark High School in Bloemfontein, the chance to attend ground school classes on a weekly basis. The purpose of these classes is to prepare learners (theoretically) should they decide to pursue a PPL in the future. The course runs over a period of two years and covers all 8 PPL ground subjects.
Anthony Potterton, an ex-Air Force engineer, has now joined the Westline Management team as our new Air Port manager. We look forward to a long, fruitful working relationship with him.
As you can see, Westline staff have been busy! Keep a lookout for further developments on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages. Until next time...Happy flying!
What does it mean to be proud? We often have a negative connotation with the word, but we seldom stop to think about what it actually means when used in the appropriate context. To be proud means to feel pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honourable or creditable to oneself.
On Friday afternoon, 12 August, there was a great sense of pride as over 29 certificates of recognition where awarded to Westline Aviation students and pilots alike. The quarterly Westline Aviation Solo and wings party is designed to bring honour upon those students who have worked hard to achieve either solo, PPL, CPL or Instructor status. Family and friends gather to witness their loved ones receiving these awards, allowing them to get a small glimpse into the school which has assisted their children or friends, in becoming what they are today – a SAFE pilot!
CEO, Charlie Marais gave an inspirational, yet sobering, speech about the great responsibility which Westline maintains concerning producing only the best and the safest pilots around. “One must understand that we here at Westline would rather receive criticism for not sending a student solo at an earlier stage, than be labelled a murderer for doing so, and therefore placing your child in danger! It is irresponsible and that will NOT happen at our school. We understand the game and will not allow unsafe pilots to fly – for their sake, and for their family’s sake. This occupation is not for lazy people, if you think you can sit around and not work hard, you are in the wrong place. It is a great privilege to be able to fly and we are the minority. Let’s be the best pilots we can be, so that when we enter into the industry, we are considered as ‘excellent’.”
Two outstanding students, who were overwhelmed with pride and joy, were Kgothatso Khunou and Patricia Mogau. These remarkable young ladies joined Westline Aviation in 2010 from the Royal Bafokeng Tribe. Since then, they have both completed their Private Pilot Licence on Helicopters. They went solo on the same day and everyone at Westline was highly impressed with their poise and professionalism as they took off and came in for landing. Both Kgothatso and Patricia will be completing their Commercial Pilots Licence here at Westline Aviation. Well done ladies!
The following students went solo during the last 2 quarters:
Jan Scheepers, Christopher Maclachlan, Lukas Eksteen, Alec Salley, Ashmina Bheenick, Chrisford Msini, Henning Ellis, Johan van Zyl, Kaela Seoe, Kgothatso Khunou, Kosie Pretorious, Morena Sello, Patricia Mogau, Thabiso Mongalo, Dan Brand, Bridgette Ramobolana
The following students completed their PPL and received their wings:
Jan Scheepers, GR Rueban, Christopher Maclachlan, Dewan Pieterse, Lukas Eksteen, Johano Bothma, Kaela Seoe, Kgothatso Khunou, Kosie Pretorius, Patricia Mogau
The following students received their CPL:
Jan Scheepers, Francois Loedolff, Gerhard Lombard, Christo Wiese, Rikus Burger
The following CPL holders also completed their Instructor’s Rating:
Gerhard Lombard, Avinash Lotcher and Rikus Burger
Westline’s award for the best Fixed-wing student went to Christopher Maclachlan and the Best Helicopter student went to Johano Bothma
Well done everybody! Now, let us work harder to go to the next level! See you at the next Solo and Wings Function!