Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Shortage of instructor pilots hits BDF

The Botswana Defense Force has been hit by a shortage of pilots as there are being poached by private airlines.

BDF says it has a good number of instructor pilots and they have no plans to call for assistance from elsewhere.

Investigations carried out by the Telegraph revealed that BDF is in consultation with the Indian army to come and train pilots who trained BDF pilots sometime back.

There are only a handful of pilots who can pilot helicopters and other military planes.

The Director of Protocol and Public Affairs of BDF, Colonel Paul Sharp, told the Telegraph in an interview that BDF does not have any shortage of pilots at all.

He added that beside the fact that BDF recently lost two pilots in plane collisions, they still have a good number of pilots who can train other pilots as well as fly military planes.

When asked how many pilots they have so far he replied that “I can not reveal the number of pilots that we have because of security reasons but what you should know is that we have a good number of them”.

He said BDF is not yet in bad enough a position to consult any foreign army to assist them to train pilots as they have a number of pilot instructors. He denied that they ever had an exodus of pilots.
Sharp added that since the introduction of scarce skills allowance, BDF has not experienced any shortage of pilots.

Meanwhile, Captain Shepherd Ben Tamuhla, 33, of Maitengwe Village who died last week Friday at Bokamoso Private Hospital where he was hospitalized after he was also involved in the plane collision at Letlhakeng in the Kweneng District was buried on Saturday with multitudes of mourners attending his burial.

Tamuhla was the second pilot to die following the plane collision during training.

He joined the BDF as Officer Cadet in July 1999 and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in 2000.
Before he met his death, he worked as pilot instructor.

Captain Ompatile Ken Sianang, also 33, of Serowe was also buried last week on Saturday at his home village in Serowe.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper