2010. július 31., szombat

Flying in Botswana and Namibia

As I promised this entry will be a quick answer on the questions I get. So here we go:

Do I have to go back to my country waiting for their call, or I need to stay over there for days, weeks, months... waiting to get hired?
Botswana: Well, don't expect an interview like you would anywhere else. Companies don't really do interviews. Except Sefo a formal one. They will just hire you from one day to the other. So yes, you need to stay there. When they need people is usually for yesterday, so they will not call you from wherever. They will pick the next available guy on site. Companies there also like to see if you can stick to the place. Maun is a really "boring" little town (no offense guys). There's not much to do. So companies will hire you only after one or two months, so they know you're not going to run home after a week. But what I can tell you is that from all those guys I was with in Maun this everybody got hired who sticked for 3 months. 
Namibia: the same applies here. The only company that will hire you through phone and skype is the one I work for. But then I was hired because I spent a month here got to know the pilots, made lots of friends. And when they had a vacancy they told the boss they want to fly with me. Any other company works as in case of Maun.

In case I need to wait over there, how much money I need to carry with me?
Botswana: in Maun the cheapest place to stay is Audi Camp (it is worth checking their site for What to expect and What to bring). Is around 2 euros a night (but you need to bring your tent, matress, sleeping bag). You need to tell you are a pilot. Beer is 1 euro a bottle. Transportation from Audi camp to the airport is 50 cents. You might calculate with this. I'd say 500+ euros a month. Other place to stay is the Old Bridge Backpackers, around 5-6 Euros a night. It is a very nice place just on the shores of Thamalakane river. With great bar and lots of visiting pigeon sized bats after sunset. Namibia: is a bit more expensive. Cheapest accomodation in Swakopmund is Villa Wiese, pilot rate is 85 Namibian dollars (if you can get it), 8.5 euro per night, in a dorm, but with breakfast and wireless internet included. In Windhoek dorms, like the The Cardboard Box or Chameleon Backpackers are 100 namibian dollars  per night(10 euro).

What can you tell me about malaria? Is it a real problem?
It is not an issue. I don't know anybody in Maun infected by malaria. In Namibia it is the same. So forget about it. Worst case you will have to deal it after you got infected (usually you get Coartem), as you cannot fly on anti-malaria drugs. But I suggest you bring lots of insect repellents to Maun as there are swarms of biting bugs in the night.

Let's assume I'll be hired. May I go back to Europe for a few days to renew my CAA licences whenever I need?
You will have your leave. As far as I know is at least 20 days, but some companies will give you a month leave. Although there are seasons, mainly the high season, when you will not be able to leave.

Do I have to spend lots of money for any kind of conversion, medical,and all the crazy paper works, once get hired?
Majority of companies are willing to bond, so I did not spend money on these here. Some of my friends liked to pay for themselves. The paperwork is mainly sorted out by the company, or they are helping you in sorting it out.

What documents do I need to carry with me?
All your pilot papers (license, logbook, any certificates you got from your flight training organization), an accident and incident report from you DCA, birth certificate (with english or having an english translation), police clearence from your countries police, a bunch of passport photos (let's say 10). But, I was never asked for any of them here in Namibia. The DCA wasn't even curious enough to ask for my logbook. In Botswana you might need all, of these papers.

As I understand I have to camp there in Audi Camp what type of clothes and tent do I need to carry?
You do not need to stay at Audi camp, but that is where the majority of guys are staying and as i mentioned above it is really cheap. Any tent will do if it is water tight. Lots of rain there in December, January, February. And there will be very-very hot. You will need an inflatable matress as well. Clothes for a hot summer. It is really hot even in the nights.
Do the companies do any interview? If any what type of questions do they ask? (I mean only related to flying or do they take psychometric test and all also).
Do not really think of these as interviews. Majority of companies do just a formal interview, not even aviation related. They will mainly be interested in your personality. It is only Sefofane who has some kind of a test before hiring, but even if you just write crap they will hire you if they like you (I know of a guy hired this way).
As I mentioned nothing too special, if there is any at all. Sefofane has interviews in Maun, they have a written technical and a psychometric (I posted this a couple of times here, but Sefofane has a good document on their recruitment procedure, download the PDF here). On the interview they will only ask questions that you had on the written exam.In Namibia most companies have interviews but nothing special. Mainly interested in your personality. The trickiest part is the psychometrics that some companies have here. Couple of guys failed them this year.

And what do the companies look in a person apart from flying to hire them?
They like you to fit in their team. Party with the guys, stuff like that. Just give yourself and it will work out. Maun is a pretty isolated place on earth, so they want to see that you will be able and willing to stay there for a year or so. This is more important that your flying skills. You'll anyway do 50 hours right and 50 hours left seat flying, so I might say, they will kindda teach you to fly again! The same applies for the majority of companies here in Namibia as well, except maybe the amount of training hours vary.

There is a lot's more info on these in my first entries from 2008 as well.

My opinion is to not think too long, decide and then give it a go! I spent 2 months in Maun and never got a job there as the hiring season was over, I've been a month in Swakopmund and the hirings did not start. But made friends and after I went home to Hungary I got the call and ended up flying in Namibia.

1 megjegyzés:

Maria Mcclain írta...

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