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Complements the local road ambulance services by providing rapid emergency aero-medical transportation of patients who are critically ill or injured.

Brad Kinsey
  • Brad Kinsey

Team focus ...

Today we visit a town situated on a 30 square kilometre lagoon of the Mhlatze River in KwaZulu-Natal – Richards Bay; which gives it one of the country’s largest harbours. Fitness fanatic Brad Kinsey who knows the dirt roads pretty well of Richards Bay, is one of the organisation’s helicopter pilots. Here’s a look into his life…

How long have you been with AMS? “Next month it will be five years! When I first joined AMS I don’t think anybody thought I’d last this long in the Bay! Coming from Jozi to the Bay…that’s a big change!”

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in Jo’burg and lived there all my life until moving to Richards Bay which took three years before it was actually official. So a lot of travelling up and down between home and work! I’ve always wanted to be a pilot, first the thought of Boeings, then the teenage years hit with the thought of fighter jets and then a helicopter flip changed all of that… I was sold, helicopters it will be! Then I saw the price tag for a licence…ummmm… ok!! I worked for National Airways Corporation (NAC) as an apprentice for a year after school which just made me more determined to fly but the price tag just became bigger so I decided to go study B.Com Sports Management at Rand Afrikaans Unoversity (RAU). During my degree I also did a personal training certificate and as I was finishing up my degree I started working as a trainer. As my personal training business grew I was able to start my pilot training with Henley Air at Rand Airport and eventually became a pilot! Whoohoo!! I worked for Matrix and Cartrack building my flying hours on night shifts while making people sweat and curse during the day until the opportunity to work for AMS came along.”

Were you in any other trade before? I was a Personal Fitness Trainer for about 12 years.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “For some reason the financial markets have appealed to me for a while now so I’d like to master the art of Trading!”

What do you do in your spare time? “Surprise, surprise…I love my gym!

I enjoy mountain biking as well, so all the dirt roads in the Bay’s forests are well ridden! I am a spinning instructor at the Richards Bay Virgin Active so I still get to scream (“motivate”) at people while they sweat it out! I also enjoy cooking…a little contradicting to the above!”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “It doesn’t look like it now but I received SA colours for natural bodybuilding when I was a junior… waaaaaayyy back in the day!!”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Paperwork…I love paperwork! Said nobody, EVER! It doesn’t happen often for the Bay pilots but I really enjoy the few hot responses we get from time to time…it makes my blood rush!”

What is on your bedside table? “A lamp…but it’s more about what’s inside the draws…”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Aniston. Oh yes and Jennifer Aniston!”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I didn’t think…it takes about two hours to realise I’m actually awake.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “There have been a few… Going Solo for the first time…I’m sure a lot of pilots would agree! Receiving South African colours for bodybuilding. Winning an overall category in joBerg2C (9 day mountain bike stage race-900kms) Buffalo category in 2014 & 2015.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Well… I am doing my lifelong dream of flying choppers but I recon been a killer trader would be a good job…dangerous but a bit of a rush! Maybe a pro mountain bike cyclist too!”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Woolworths Mint Choc Ice-cream!! That stuff is dangerous! And chocolate! Evils for a personal trainer! So my cheat days are big…really big!”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? Exercise and ice-cream! I confuse my poor body!”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Not to have expectations. Set your own standards and goals but not to have expectations! (That comes from my girlfriend, Chanelle).”

Any motto you live by? “It takes courage to push yourself to places you’ve never been before…to test your limits…to break through barriers…You either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret! Pick a side…”

 

 

 

Team focus ...
  • Brad Kinsey

Team focus ...

Today we visit a town situated on a 30 square kilometre lagoon of the Mhlatze River in KwaZulu-Natal – Richards Bay; which gives it one of the country’s largest harbours. Fitness fanatic Brad Kinsey who knows the dirt roads pretty well of Richards Bay, is one of the organisation’s helicopter pilots. Here’s a look into his life…

How long have you been with AMS? “Next month it will be five years! When I first joined AMS I don’t think anybody thought I’d last this long in the Bay! Coming from Jozi to the Bay…that’s a big change!”

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in Jo’burg and lived there all my life until moving to Richards Bay which took three years before it was actually official. So a lot of travelling up and down between home and work! I’ve always wanted to be a pilot, first the thought of Boeings, then the teenage years hit with the thought of fighter jets and then a helicopter flip changed all of that… I was sold, helicopters it will be! Then I saw the price tag for a licence…ummmm… ok!! I worked for National Airways Corporation (NAC) as an apprentice for a year after school which just made me more determined to fly but the price tag just became bigger so I decided to go study B.Com Sports Management at Rand Afrikaans Unoversity (RAU). During my degree I also did a personal training certificate and as I was finishing up my degree I started working as a trainer. As my personal training business grew I was able to start my pilot training with Henley Air at Rand Airport and eventually became a pilot! Whoohoo!! I worked for Matrix and Cartrack building my flying hours on night shifts while making people sweat and curse during the day until the opportunity to work for AMS came along.”

Were you in any other trade before? I was a Personal Fitness Trainer for about 12 years.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “For some reason the financial markets have appealed to me for a while now so I’d like to master the art of Trading!”

What do you do in your spare time? “Surprise, surprise…I love my gym!

I enjoy mountain biking as well, so all the dirt roads in the Bay’s forests are well ridden! I am a spinning instructor at the Richards Bay Virgin Active so I still get to scream (“motivate”) at people while they sweat it out! I also enjoy cooking…a little contradicting to the above!”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “It doesn’t look like it now but I received SA colours for natural bodybuilding when I was a junior… waaaaaayyy back in the day!!”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Paperwork…I love paperwork! Said nobody, EVER! It doesn’t happen often for the Bay pilots but I really enjoy the few hot responses we get from time to time…it makes my blood rush!”

What is on your bedside table? “A lamp…but it’s more about what’s inside the draws…”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Aniston. Oh yes and Jennifer Aniston!”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I didn’t think…it takes about two hours to realise I’m actually awake.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “There have been a few… Going Solo for the first time…I’m sure a lot of pilots would agree! Receiving South African colours for bodybuilding. Winning an overall category in joBerg2C (9 day mountain bike stage race-900kms) Buffalo category in 2014 & 2015.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Well… I am doing my lifelong dream of flying choppers but I recon been a killer trader would be a good job…dangerous but a bit of a rush! Maybe a pro mountain bike cyclist too!”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Woolworths Mint Choc Ice-cream!! That stuff is dangerous! And chocolate! Evils for a personal trainer! So my cheat days are big…really big!”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? Exercise and ice-cream! I confuse my poor body!”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Not to have expectations. Set your own standards and goals but not to have expectations! (That comes from my girlfriend, Chanelle).”

Any motto you live by? “It takes courage to push yourself to places you’ve never been before…to test your limits…to break through barriers…You either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret! Pick a side…”

 

 

 

Ruth Lackay
  • Ruth Lackay

Meet our team ...

Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP), Ruth Lackay is the newest addition to the Cape Town base team. Ayesha’s partner – as Ruth refers to herself has been with the organisation for one month and three days. She brings with her a wealth of experience gained working in Namibia, Madagascar, Afghanistan and Somalia to mention a few. Here’s what she has to say …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in Somerset West, grew up in Firgrove/ Macassar. I studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), grateful it’s over!”

Were you in any other trade before? “I was a bartender at a golf course in Somerset West.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started for AMS? “Meeting Lindsey, after all she’s the AMS mascot and working with an exceptional group of highly skilled professionals…ESPECIALLY Ayesha!”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Eat without gaining weight…”

What do you do in your spare time? “Watch Nickelodeon, Sponge Bob mostly…I’ve discovered Telemundo in Somalia so I normally flip between breaks.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “My third name is Grace.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Having Jeffrey Persens (fixed wing pilot) mock me.”

What is on your bedside table? “Bedside lamp…and some anti-wrinkle cream to remove the three lines on my forehead after almost five years of sun damage in Afghanistan.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, TUPAC (I’m not too sure if Jonno might agree), Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Where am I…?”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “EVERYDAY I’m happiest because I’m very blessed.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “A farmer…I have no idea why.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “CHOCOLATE…I know I know I know, it’s bad for my health…I’ll schedule a dentist appointment ASAP.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Faith…there’s a higher power, no matter what your belief structure… wait my husband, if I don’t mention him and he reads this I’m sure he’ll have an issue.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Take your time…you’ll know when you’re ready (most things in my life).”

What animal best represents you and why? “Wolf…google it, but mostly cause of its relentlessness… I can function in a pack, but can lead if needs be.”

Any motto you live by? “Today might be your last…laugh uncontrollably, life is so damn short to be dreaming…instead live your dreams, if not…work hard until you’re able to live those dreams.”

Meet our team ...
  • Ruth Lackay

Meet our team ...

Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP), Ruth Lackay is the newest addition to the Cape Town base team. Ayesha’s partner – as Ruth refers to herself has been with the organisation for one month and three days. She brings with her a wealth of experience gained working in Namibia, Madagascar, Afghanistan and Somalia to mention a few. Here’s what she has to say …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in Somerset West, grew up in Firgrove/ Macassar. I studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), grateful it’s over!”

Were you in any other trade before? “I was a bartender at a golf course in Somerset West.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started for AMS? “Meeting Lindsey, after all she’s the AMS mascot and working with an exceptional group of highly skilled professionals…ESPECIALLY Ayesha!”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Eat without gaining weight…”

What do you do in your spare time? “Watch Nickelodeon, Sponge Bob mostly…I’ve discovered Telemundo in Somalia so I normally flip between breaks.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “My third name is Grace.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Having Jeffrey Persens (fixed wing pilot) mock me.”

What is on your bedside table? “Bedside lamp…and some anti-wrinkle cream to remove the three lines on my forehead after almost five years of sun damage in Afghanistan.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, TUPAC (I’m not too sure if Jonno might agree), Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Where am I…?”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “EVERYDAY I’m happiest because I’m very blessed.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “A farmer…I have no idea why.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “CHOCOLATE…I know I know I know, it’s bad for my health…I’ll schedule a dentist appointment ASAP.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Faith…there’s a higher power, no matter what your belief structure… wait my husband, if I don’t mention him and he reads this I’m sure he’ll have an issue.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Take your time…you’ll know when you’re ready (most things in my life).”

What animal best represents you and why? “Wolf…google it, but mostly cause of its relentlessness… I can function in a pack, but can lead if needs be.”

Any motto you live by? “Today might be your last…laugh uncontrollably, life is so damn short to be dreaming…instead live your dreams, if not…work hard until you’re able to live those dreams.”

Sybrandt Venter
  • Sybrandt Venter

Meet our team

Sybrandt Venter, helicopter pilot based at the AMS Richards Bay base is the newest addition to the AMS family. Here’s a look into the world of a man who once was a comic performer …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in the Blue Bull country, Pretoria and eventually matriculated in Lydenburg. I lived on a farm about 30 km outside of town. I started flying when I was 19 years old, which is 10 years ago this year.”

What do you do at AMS? I am flying helicopter for AMS.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I briefly had a career as Chico the Clown in Spur while I was in high school. I decided to move up in the world and worked as a wedding DJ before I started flying.”   

What is the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? “Best: I REALLY enjoy my job! Worst: Can’t think of anything.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? Piloting a submarine.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I love doing research on world events/ financial markets. I study part time; BSc Mathematics and Economics.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I like pink drinks.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I enjoy making a difference in the world.”

What is on your bedside table? “A Bible and usually a cell phone charger.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Robert Kiyosaki, George Washington, Winston Churchill, General George S. Patton and John F Kennedy.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I have to write this reply to Venessa!”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day I met Lana, my fiancé.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “I’m torn between a Submarine Captain and an Alaskan crab fisherman.”

What is your greatest indulgence?  “I LOVE Tim Tams with coffee. (Google it...)”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “The internet.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Never stop learning, always be teachable.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Leopard, I’m shy. I like eating a rooibok every now and then.”

Any motto you live by? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

 

 

Meet our team
  • Sybrandt Venter

Meet our team

Sybrandt Venter, helicopter pilot based at the AMS Richards Bay base is the newest addition to the AMS family. Here’s a look into the world of a man who once was a comic performer …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in the Blue Bull country, Pretoria and eventually matriculated in Lydenburg. I lived on a farm about 30 km outside of town. I started flying when I was 19 years old, which is 10 years ago this year.”

What do you do at AMS? I am flying helicopter for AMS.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I briefly had a career as Chico the Clown in Spur while I was in high school. I decided to move up in the world and worked as a wedding DJ before I started flying.”   

What is the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? “Best: I REALLY enjoy my job! Worst: Can’t think of anything.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? Piloting a submarine.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I love doing research on world events/ financial markets. I study part time; BSc Mathematics and Economics.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I like pink drinks.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I enjoy making a difference in the world.”

What is on your bedside table? “A Bible and usually a cell phone charger.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Robert Kiyosaki, George Washington, Winston Churchill, General George S. Patton and John F Kennedy.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I have to write this reply to Venessa!”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day I met Lana, my fiancé.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “I’m torn between a Submarine Captain and an Alaskan crab fisherman.”

What is your greatest indulgence?  “I LOVE Tim Tams with coffee. (Google it...)”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “The internet.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Never stop learning, always be teachable.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Leopard, I’m shy. I like eating a rooibok every now and then.”

Any motto you live by? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

 

 

Anina Mostert
  • Anina Mostert

Little cobra victim visits aero-medical team

Three year old Anina Mostert, is physically back to her normal chirpy self after she was bitten by a Cape cobra on the 4th of February while taking an afternoon nap in her room with her mom on a farm outside Citrusdal.

Anina Mostert (then two years old) was airlifted by the Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter from Citrusdal Provincial Hospital to Tygerberg Hospital after she was bitten thrice  (twice in the face and once behind her head) by a Cape cobra who made its way into their home during a hot summer’s day. Anina was admitted to the Children’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Tygerberg Hospital and later transferred to High Care. She was in hospital for ten days, but unfortunately had to return to Paarl Provincial Hospital just two days after being discharged. The snake bite had formed an abscess and had to be drained.

Besides a small physical scar below Anina’s jaw line there are no other physical scars left of this horrible incident. Anina is a brave little girl. “Emotionally we still have a long road to walk, but we take it one day at a time” said Benita Mostert, Anina’s mother.

Anina visited the AMS base to thank the aero-medical team who transported her. She truly is a bright little girl who creeps into your heart. She soon warmed up to the crew and enjoyed spending time with the team who looked after her while being airlifted.  “We are grateful that Anina has made a full recovery and that she is alive, thank you to everyone who had helped us along this journey. We have learnt so much from this ordeal, Anina talks about the incident and what happened to her which makes one believe that she was awake after the second or third bite. The fear of what happened and what you possibly dodged stays with you as a parent, we know with time the emotional damage will get better” concluded Benita Mostert.

We have been informed that Anina is back at school this week and is adjusting well to her new environment. We wish her and parents well on this emotional journey.

The AMS in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provides an emergency rescue and air ambulance to the community of the Western Cape via a fleet of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

 

Little cobra victim visits aero-medical team
  • Anina Mostert

Little cobra victim visits aero-medical team

Three year old Anina Mostert, is physically back to her normal chirpy self after she was bitten by a Cape cobra on the 4th of February while taking an afternoon nap in her room with her mom on a farm outside Citrusdal.

Anina Mostert (then two years old) was airlifted by the Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter from Citrusdal Provincial Hospital to Tygerberg Hospital after she was bitten thrice  (twice in the face and once behind her head) by a Cape cobra who made its way into their home during a hot summer’s day. Anina was admitted to the Children’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Tygerberg Hospital and later transferred to High Care. She was in hospital for ten days, but unfortunately had to return to Paarl Provincial Hospital just two days after being discharged. The snake bite had formed an abscess and had to be drained.

Besides a small physical scar below Anina’s jaw line there are no other physical scars left of this horrible incident. Anina is a brave little girl. “Emotionally we still have a long road to walk, but we take it one day at a time” said Benita Mostert, Anina’s mother.

Anina visited the AMS base to thank the aero-medical team who transported her. She truly is a bright little girl who creeps into your heart. She soon warmed up to the crew and enjoyed spending time with the team who looked after her while being airlifted.  “We are grateful that Anina has made a full recovery and that she is alive, thank you to everyone who had helped us along this journey. We have learnt so much from this ordeal, Anina talks about the incident and what happened to her which makes one believe that she was awake after the second or third bite. The fear of what happened and what you possibly dodged stays with you as a parent, we know with time the emotional damage will get better” concluded Benita Mostert.

We have been informed that Anina is back at school this week and is adjusting well to her new environment. We wish her and parents well on this emotional journey.

The AMS in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provides an emergency rescue and air ambulance to the community of the Western Cape via a fleet of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

 

Melvin October
  • Melvin October

Meet our team

Today we introduce you to someone who has one of the most important responsibilities within our organisation, the responsibility to ensure that our aircraft and hangar is kept in pristine condition. Melvin October has been with the organisation for more than a year and with his quiet demeanour he ensures that the aircraft at Cape Town base are looked after on a daily basis. Here’s a look into his world...

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in Cape Town, grew up in Eersteriver and for the past six years I have been living in Ravensmead.”

What do you do at AMS? “I am a hangar assistant. I ensure that the aircraft is kept in a sterling condition and ensure that the hangar is kept tidy.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started working for AMS? “The best thing is that my job entitles me to ensure that the aircraft and hangar receives the necessary Tender Love and Care (TLC).”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “To be a person that others could rely on when needed.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Spend time with my family and I enjoy watching sports e.g. soccer & rugby.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “My parents taught me to be humble and respect others at all times.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Being able to do a thorough job with pride in my heart.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible & cell phone.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “The WWE wrestlers.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “To say thank you to the Lord for His grace that was given unto us.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day the Lord gave me the pleasure of being there when my daughter was born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “I would like to do anything where I can travel and see the world.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Anything sweet.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Praying to God.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Always be willing to help others.”

What animal best represents you and why? “A beaver – it is a hard working animal.”

Any motto you live by? “Being loyal and having pride in what you do.”

Meet our team
  • Melvin October

Meet our team

Today we introduce you to someone who has one of the most important responsibilities within our organisation, the responsibility to ensure that our aircraft and hangar is kept in pristine condition. Melvin October has been with the organisation for more than a year and with his quiet demeanour he ensures that the aircraft at Cape Town base are looked after on a daily basis. Here’s a look into his world...

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in Cape Town, grew up in Eersteriver and for the past six years I have been living in Ravensmead.”

What do you do at AMS? “I am a hangar assistant. I ensure that the aircraft is kept in a sterling condition and ensure that the hangar is kept tidy.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started working for AMS? “The best thing is that my job entitles me to ensure that the aircraft and hangar receives the necessary Tender Love and Care (TLC).”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “To be a person that others could rely on when needed.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Spend time with my family and I enjoy watching sports e.g. soccer & rugby.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “My parents taught me to be humble and respect others at all times.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Being able to do a thorough job with pride in my heart.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible & cell phone.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “The WWE wrestlers.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “To say thank you to the Lord for His grace that was given unto us.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day the Lord gave me the pleasure of being there when my daughter was born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “I would like to do anything where I can travel and see the world.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Anything sweet.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Praying to God.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Always be willing to help others.”

What animal best represents you and why? “A beaver – it is a hard working animal.”

Any motto you live by? “Being loyal and having pride in what you do.”

Kyle Jackson
  • Kyle Jackson

Team focus ...

Our team member we introducing to you today was born in the largest city of South Africa, he participates in full contact combat sport, loves the outdoors and can definitely be classified as a fitness fanatic. Kyle Jackson has been with the organisation for a year and a half and is based at our Cape Town Base. Here’s a look into his world …

Tell us about yourself … “Well, I’m 30 years old, married, with one step son.  I was born in Boksburg, on the East Rand of Gauteng, where I spent my first few years of life; my family moved down to the Cape and I attended Gene Louw Primary School – before moving to Worcester to complete my schooling at Worcester Primary school we then moved back to Boksburg where I attended Boksburg High School.  Post High School I studied at the University of Pretoria (I studied IT) – however the studies bored me and my passion for travel and adventure had me drop out to go to the UK on a working holiday visa.   When I returned from the UK I attended a Basic Ambulance Assistance course (BAA) where I discovered one could do a degree to become a paramedic so I enrolled and completed my BTech in Emergency Medicine Care at the University of Johannesburg in 2013.  My undergraduate research study: South African paramedics’ experience of financial medicine practices was published in 2016.”

What do you do at AMS? “I’m a flight paramedic and registered as an Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP). I provide an Advanced Life Support function on the Fixed Wing and Rotor Wing Platforms. I’ve also recently been approached by management to add a quality role to my portfolio so I’m looking forward to assisting AMS in that capacity. I am also currently undergoing External Load Operator (ELO)/ Hoist Operator training which I’m very excited about.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started working at AMS? “I think every red patient (Critical/P1) you treat has its own unique challenges. I think the best thing is getting an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills I have obtained in my career to benefit my patients some of whom are very sick; and to hopefully impart some of that knowledge to my colleagues and students (I enjoy taking on the mentorship role and guiding and assisting the newer ECP’s, students and even the ECT’s).  There’s not much better than when you receive a thank you from a patient you treated, or a compliment from a colleague or Doctor or someone whom you assisted.  I think the worst thing is when you have to deal with ungrateful or disrespectful people, but you have to maintain your professionalism and treat all people equally.” 

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “I’d like to complete my ELO training, and master all the aspects of being a hoist operator.  I would also like to complete a Master’s Degree and eventually a PHD.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I enjoy training and working out. I am currently undergoing Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training. I train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Kick-Boxing (K1), and also try to get to the gym 5-6 times a week.  I also enjoy hiking, being in nature and trail running.  Attending live sports events is also something I enjoy.”

What is the one thing about you few people know?  “I don’t think many people know that I have a second degree black sash in Wing Chun Kung Fu.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Having the privilege of flying, I honestly believe that in my profession there isn’t currently a better job I could have.   I can truly say I have my dream job, and when I was a student it used to be my dream to become a flight paramedic one day.”

What is on your bedside table? “My AMS calendar and a lamp.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Bruce Lee, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Richard Branson and then maybe someone like Hansie Cronje oh and my Grandfather.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I’m late for gym.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day I received the phone call from Catherine Brown who offered me the job at AMS.  And the day I got married…”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “I’d have to say an Astronaut (if that day was the day they were going to outer space) or a Mount Everest Mountain Guide.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Hmmm… probably even though I shouldn’t be eating it, cake… and bacon. Bacon for the win.”What is the one thing, you can’t live without?  “Did I mention bacon… definitely my wife.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “All the advice my grandfather gave me whilst I was growing up and you always need to maintain your sense of humour.”

What animal best represents you and why? “I’ve always had an affinity to wolves.”

Any motto you live by? “The Jacksonian Way.”

Team focus ...
  • Kyle Jackson

Team focus ...

Our team member we introducing to you today was born in the largest city of South Africa, he participates in full contact combat sport, loves the outdoors and can definitely be classified as a fitness fanatic. Kyle Jackson has been with the organisation for a year and a half and is based at our Cape Town Base. Here’s a look into his world …

Tell us about yourself … “Well, I’m 30 years old, married, with one step son.  I was born in Boksburg, on the East Rand of Gauteng, where I spent my first few years of life; my family moved down to the Cape and I attended Gene Louw Primary School – before moving to Worcester to complete my schooling at Worcester Primary school we then moved back to Boksburg where I attended Boksburg High School.  Post High School I studied at the University of Pretoria (I studied IT) – however the studies bored me and my passion for travel and adventure had me drop out to go to the UK on a working holiday visa.   When I returned from the UK I attended a Basic Ambulance Assistance course (BAA) where I discovered one could do a degree to become a paramedic so I enrolled and completed my BTech in Emergency Medicine Care at the University of Johannesburg in 2013.  My undergraduate research study: South African paramedics’ experience of financial medicine practices was published in 2016.”

What do you do at AMS? “I’m a flight paramedic and registered as an Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP). I provide an Advanced Life Support function on the Fixed Wing and Rotor Wing Platforms. I’ve also recently been approached by management to add a quality role to my portfolio so I’m looking forward to assisting AMS in that capacity. I am also currently undergoing External Load Operator (ELO)/ Hoist Operator training which I’m very excited about.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started working at AMS? “I think every red patient (Critical/P1) you treat has its own unique challenges. I think the best thing is getting an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills I have obtained in my career to benefit my patients some of whom are very sick; and to hopefully impart some of that knowledge to my colleagues and students (I enjoy taking on the mentorship role and guiding and assisting the newer ECP’s, students and even the ECT’s).  There’s not much better than when you receive a thank you from a patient you treated, or a compliment from a colleague or Doctor or someone whom you assisted.  I think the worst thing is when you have to deal with ungrateful or disrespectful people, but you have to maintain your professionalism and treat all people equally.” 

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “I’d like to complete my ELO training, and master all the aspects of being a hoist operator.  I would also like to complete a Master’s Degree and eventually a PHD.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I enjoy training and working out. I am currently undergoing Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training. I train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Kick-Boxing (K1), and also try to get to the gym 5-6 times a week.  I also enjoy hiking, being in nature and trail running.  Attending live sports events is also something I enjoy.”

What is the one thing about you few people know?  “I don’t think many people know that I have a second degree black sash in Wing Chun Kung Fu.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Having the privilege of flying, I honestly believe that in my profession there isn’t currently a better job I could have.   I can truly say I have my dream job, and when I was a student it used to be my dream to become a flight paramedic one day.”

What is on your bedside table? “My AMS calendar and a lamp.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Bruce Lee, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Richard Branson and then maybe someone like Hansie Cronje oh and my Grandfather.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I’m late for gym.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day I received the phone call from Catherine Brown who offered me the job at AMS.  And the day I got married…”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “I’d have to say an Astronaut (if that day was the day they were going to outer space) or a Mount Everest Mountain Guide.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Hmmm… probably even though I shouldn’t be eating it, cake… and bacon. Bacon for the win.”What is the one thing, you can’t live without?  “Did I mention bacon… definitely my wife.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “All the advice my grandfather gave me whilst I was growing up and you always need to maintain your sense of humour.”

What animal best represents you and why? “I’ve always had an affinity to wolves.”

Any motto you live by? “The Jacksonian Way.”

Peter Turner
  • Peter Turner

Meet our team

The AMS apprenticeship programme is a skills development programme, aimed at increasing the talent pool for the skills shortage of aircraft technicians within the aviation industry. Today we introduce one of the participants in this programme, Peter Turner. Peter born and bred in Durban, has been with the organisation for four years. He is currently based at our King Shaka base, here’s what he had to say when we chatted with him…

Did you always want to be in the aircraft engineering field? “Yes I always wanted to be in the aircraft engineering field.”

How did your career start in the aviation field? “I have a friend that I had known for many years who is a licensed Aircraft Engineer. He was employed at AMS and asked if I would like to come and help on a voluntary basis - that’s where my passion and love started.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started at AMS? “The best thing that’s happened is that I get to work with a great bunch of people who make you feel like family.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “I would like to master being a professional licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Spending time with family and friends and regularly attending church - these values I hold dearly to me.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I love keeping aircraft serviceable and being part of a team that service the aircraft and indirectly saving lives and going the extra mile.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible and cell phone and my aircraft maintenance theory booklet.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “To have dinner with Jesus.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “What can I do to make a difference today & add value and to thank God for everything he has done for me.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “When I got my first car.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Spending time with family and friends around a braai and watching sport.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “I can’t live without God.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Achieve your goal no matter what it takes.”

Any motto you live by? “Invincible determination can accomplish anything.’’

Meet our team
  • Peter Turner

Meet our team

The AMS apprenticeship programme is a skills development programme, aimed at increasing the talent pool for the skills shortage of aircraft technicians within the aviation industry. Today we introduce one of the participants in this programme, Peter Turner. Peter born and bred in Durban, has been with the organisation for four years. He is currently based at our King Shaka base, here’s what he had to say when we chatted with him…

Did you always want to be in the aircraft engineering field? “Yes I always wanted to be in the aircraft engineering field.”

How did your career start in the aviation field? “I have a friend that I had known for many years who is a licensed Aircraft Engineer. He was employed at AMS and asked if I would like to come and help on a voluntary basis - that’s where my passion and love started.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started at AMS? “The best thing that’s happened is that I get to work with a great bunch of people who make you feel like family.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “I would like to master being a professional licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Spending time with family and friends and regularly attending church - these values I hold dearly to me.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I love keeping aircraft serviceable and being part of a team that service the aircraft and indirectly saving lives and going the extra mile.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible and cell phone and my aircraft maintenance theory booklet.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “To have dinner with Jesus.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “What can I do to make a difference today & add value and to thank God for everything he has done for me.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “When I got my first car.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Spending time with family and friends around a braai and watching sport.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “I can’t live without God.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Achieve your goal no matter what it takes.”

Any motto you live by? “Invincible determination can accomplish anything.’’

Heinrich Williams
  • Heinrich Williams

Meet our team

We are delighted to welcome Heinrich Williams, (Technical & Quality Controller of the AMS’ Aircraft Maintenance Organisation - AMO) to the AMS family. Heinrich has been with us just short of two months. Heinrich was born in Cape Town but grew up in Klerksdorp in the North West Province. Here’s a glimpse into Heinrich’s world …

How did your career start in the aviation field? “It began when I started my career in the South African Air Force.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started with AMS? The best thing is that I found myself with a new extended family, from whom I can learn.  There are no worst things there are only challenges in life, so this will make me grow in the near future.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? To be humble.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Spend time with the family, watch sports and reading my Bible.”

What's the one thing about you few people know? “That I learn every day from people young or mature.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Being able to help where I can no matter what it may be.”

What is on your bedside table? My Bible, watch, cell phone and one toy of my child.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? From the Bible Jesus, Daniel, Samuel, David and Moses.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? To say thank you to the Lord for His Grace that was given unto us.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day the Lord gave me the privilege of witnessing my daughter being born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Guidance counsellor.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Eating a nice piece of chocolate cake with caramel topping.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Praying to God for guidance.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Always have a smile on your face and stay humble.”

Which animal best represents you and why? “A dove, because it symbolises peace.”

Any motto you live by? “First impressions last a life time.”

Meet our team
  • Heinrich Williams

Meet our team

We are delighted to welcome Heinrich Williams, (Technical & Quality Controller of the AMS’ Aircraft Maintenance Organisation - AMO) to the AMS family. Heinrich has been with us just short of two months. Heinrich was born in Cape Town but grew up in Klerksdorp in the North West Province. Here’s a glimpse into Heinrich’s world …

How did your career start in the aviation field? “It began when I started my career in the South African Air Force.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started with AMS? The best thing is that I found myself with a new extended family, from whom I can learn.  There are no worst things there are only challenges in life, so this will make me grow in the near future.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? To be humble.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Spend time with the family, watch sports and reading my Bible.”

What's the one thing about you few people know? “That I learn every day from people young or mature.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Being able to help where I can no matter what it may be.”

What is on your bedside table? My Bible, watch, cell phone and one toy of my child.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? From the Bible Jesus, Daniel, Samuel, David and Moses.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? To say thank you to the Lord for His Grace that was given unto us.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day the Lord gave me the privilege of witnessing my daughter being born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Guidance counsellor.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Eating a nice piece of chocolate cake with caramel topping.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Praying to God for guidance.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Always have a smile on your face and stay humble.”

Which animal best represents you and why? “A dove, because it symbolises peace.”

Any motto you live by? “First impressions last a life time.”

Zeenat Samodien-Petersen
  • Zeenat Samodien-Petersen

Team member focus ...

Today we introduce you to the first friendly face you see when you visit the Occupational Health Clinic situated at Cape Town International Airport. Zeenat Samodien-Petersen has been with the organisation for more than two years and offers administrative support and receptionist’s duties at the Clinic. The AMS manages and oversee the critical ground ambulance and occupational health service of ACSA (Airports Company of South Africa). This service is provided to the airport users, ACSA employees, operators and sub-contractors in the airport precinct and surrounds. Here’s a look into Zeenat’s world…

Tell us a little bit about yourself:  “I am a born and bred Capetonion ... A true daddy’s girl (she laughs). A hopeless romantic and a lover of books, the great outdoors, the sun, the rain and wind with its fresh breeze. I love nature, plants and animals and children (they are my soft spot).I am married to my best friend, my everything, my joker and ace of spades. I am a mother to a little boy who has shaped my world in many ways I never could have possibly imagined. He amazes me every day. I am generally a very quiet person but when I care about someone or something, I care with all my heart. I never give up.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Meeting new people from all walks of life from all over the world and learning new things every day. Working with people that save and change lives…what can be greater than that!”

What do you do in your spare time? “Baking, cooking, reading, running, going for walks and visiting new places and the outdoors. I love swimming as well, and lazing on the couch with a blanket, a good movie or series, couch-potatoe style (she giggles).”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I bake, cook and like trying new recipes and methods of cooking with my husband and son.  I do beading, painting and embroidery.”

What is on your bedside table? “My prayer book, two novels I am currently reading, one of my son’s toys and a necklace.  My calcium tablets and Vicks - only a mom knows why.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? Maya Angelou (The Poet), George Carlin ( The comedian), Mother Theresa (Missionary ) , Aung San Suu Kyi (The Diplomat) and Malala Yousafzai (The youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate - female activist).”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “A Foundation Phase Teacher.”

What would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? “My husband and his medical rescue equipment - as he is a handy man who always has a plan.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I love chips, coffee and rainbow cookies.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My family...I wouldn’t be me without them.”

If money was no object, what would you do all day? “Travel the world and help those less fortunate than myself.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “It doesn’t matter how many people you meet in your life, you just need the real ones who accept you for who you are and help you become who you are meant to be.”

 

Team member focus ...
  • Zeenat Samodien-Petersen

Team member focus ...

Today we introduce you to the first friendly face you see when you visit the Occupational Health Clinic situated at Cape Town International Airport. Zeenat Samodien-Petersen has been with the organisation for more than two years and offers administrative support and receptionist’s duties at the Clinic. The AMS manages and oversee the critical ground ambulance and occupational health service of ACSA (Airports Company of South Africa). This service is provided to the airport users, ACSA employees, operators and sub-contractors in the airport precinct and surrounds. Here’s a look into Zeenat’s world…

Tell us a little bit about yourself:  “I am a born and bred Capetonion ... A true daddy’s girl (she laughs). A hopeless romantic and a lover of books, the great outdoors, the sun, the rain and wind with its fresh breeze. I love nature, plants and animals and children (they are my soft spot).I am married to my best friend, my everything, my joker and ace of spades. I am a mother to a little boy who has shaped my world in many ways I never could have possibly imagined. He amazes me every day. I am generally a very quiet person but when I care about someone or something, I care with all my heart. I never give up.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Meeting new people from all walks of life from all over the world and learning new things every day. Working with people that save and change lives…what can be greater than that!”

What do you do in your spare time? “Baking, cooking, reading, running, going for walks and visiting new places and the outdoors. I love swimming as well, and lazing on the couch with a blanket, a good movie or series, couch-potatoe style (she giggles).”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I bake, cook and like trying new recipes and methods of cooking with my husband and son.  I do beading, painting and embroidery.”

What is on your bedside table? “My prayer book, two novels I am currently reading, one of my son’s toys and a necklace.  My calcium tablets and Vicks - only a mom knows why.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? Maya Angelou (The Poet), George Carlin ( The comedian), Mother Theresa (Missionary ) , Aung San Suu Kyi (The Diplomat) and Malala Yousafzai (The youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate - female activist).”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “A Foundation Phase Teacher.”

What would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? “My husband and his medical rescue equipment - as he is a handy man who always has a plan.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I love chips, coffee and rainbow cookies.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My family...I wouldn’t be me without them.”

If money was no object, what would you do all day? “Travel the world and help those less fortunate than myself.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “It doesn’t matter how many people you meet in your life, you just need the real ones who accept you for who you are and help you become who you are meant to be.”

 

David Bruiners
  • David Bruiners

Team focus ...

Today we introduce you to one of our Emergency Care Technicians (ECT) and External Load Operators (ELO) who is part of our Cape Town team for the past four years - David Bruiners. Originally from a small town in the Eastern Cape, David is an adventurer who has travelled many countries and has a zest for life.  Here’s what he had to say when we got chatting to him …

Tell us a little bit about yourself: “I was born in the little town of Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape, I am the third child of four. I went to school in Humansdorp and finished Matric at Humansdorp Secondary School in 2001. I am an adventure freak who loves the outdoors. I love traveling and have travelled to about 20 countries and still counting. I’m married to the most amazing woman in the entire world who still think I’m made of granite. I love action and because of that I had the opportunity to work as a line medic on demining contracts in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Mozambique. I am a very funny person and always love a good laugh.”

How did your career start in the EMS field? “I always loved the lights and sirens, the excitement, adrenaline and then the massive impact my dad and uncle had on me who was also in EMS for as long as I can remember. So after returning from abroad and not really sure if I still wanted to continue working in the tourism sectorI completed my Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) course and the rest is history.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I just enjoy helping people and really see what I can do as a calling rather than a job.”

What is the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? Best: Qualified as an ELO. Worst: My first body recovery.”

What do you do in your spare time? I love swimming, running, hiking, adventure racing, rock and surf angling (BIG TIME), kayak fishing, pistol and rifle shooting, air soft and Mil sims.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I love cooking.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, Jesus, Princess Diana.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Commander of an Air Craft Carrier.”

What would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? “Definitely my Leatherman.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Hershey’s” 

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My watch.”

If money was no object, what would you do all day? Fishing. Kayaking, spending time with my wife and just enjoying the outdoors.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? Smoking.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? Follow your dreams, never ever give up, pain is just weakness leaving the body.”

 

 

Team focus ...
  • David Bruiners

Team focus ...

Today we introduce you to one of our Emergency Care Technicians (ECT) and External Load Operators (ELO) who is part of our Cape Town team for the past four years - David Bruiners. Originally from a small town in the Eastern Cape, David is an adventurer who has travelled many countries and has a zest for life.  Here’s what he had to say when we got chatting to him …

Tell us a little bit about yourself: “I was born in the little town of Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape, I am the third child of four. I went to school in Humansdorp and finished Matric at Humansdorp Secondary School in 2001. I am an adventure freak who loves the outdoors. I love traveling and have travelled to about 20 countries and still counting. I’m married to the most amazing woman in the entire world who still think I’m made of granite. I love action and because of that I had the opportunity to work as a line medic on demining contracts in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Mozambique. I am a very funny person and always love a good laugh.”

How did your career start in the EMS field? “I always loved the lights and sirens, the excitement, adrenaline and then the massive impact my dad and uncle had on me who was also in EMS for as long as I can remember. So after returning from abroad and not really sure if I still wanted to continue working in the tourism sectorI completed my Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) course and the rest is history.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I just enjoy helping people and really see what I can do as a calling rather than a job.”

What is the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? Best: Qualified as an ELO. Worst: My first body recovery.”

What do you do in your spare time? I love swimming, running, hiking, adventure racing, rock and surf angling (BIG TIME), kayak fishing, pistol and rifle shooting, air soft and Mil sims.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I love cooking.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, Jesus, Princess Diana.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Commander of an Air Craft Carrier.”

What would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? “Definitely my Leatherman.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Hershey’s” 

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My watch.”

If money was no object, what would you do all day? Fishing. Kayaking, spending time with my wife and just enjoying the outdoors.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? Smoking.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? Follow your dreams, never ever give up, pain is just weakness leaving the body.”

 

 

Dave Solomon
  • Dave Solomon

Meet our team ... soaring the AMS skies for 16 years

Our staff member who is featured today is from the second largest city and capital of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. Dave Solomon, Fixed Wing Pilot at the AMS King Shaka base has been soaring the skies with AMS for 16 years.  A man of many talents which includes motor-racing and a professional cook now flies to the far flung areas of KwaZulu-Natal to bring specialists to rural hospitals to provide appropriate and effective healthcare to the community. Here’s a look into Dave’s world …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg which was a unique and an exceptional place to grow up. I attended Merchiston and Alexandra High School which was followed by a brief stint at Varsity (which was not for me). This lead to working for Honda as a junior mechanic before I enrolled as an apprentice tool and die maker at the Railways. These were good days as I was also very involved in motor cross racing, a smashed up knee stopped that and lead to me commencing flying lessons. This started as a hobby and kind of took over”.

Did you always wanted to be a pilot? “Not really. My original intention was to become a mechanical engineer, but I guess the love of flying soon changed that.”

Were you in any other trade other than aviation before?  “Yes, I was a motorcycle mechanic, a toolmaker in the last days of steam locos and ended up making stove switches at Oak Industries.  This definitely had an influence on my decision to become a pilot.”

How did your career start in the aero-medical field? “I was impressed by seeing the AMS aircraft operation in and out of Pietermaritzburg and when a position became available I applied.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Flying a PC12 and the warm fuzzy feeling of doing something good.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started for AMS? “The best was the skulduggery by Kogie and Yolanda which lead to my marriage to Rene. The worst was the uncertainty surrounding our contractual situation in KZN.”

What do you do in your spare time? “At present we love camping and exploring our country.  We look for beaches, wild animals, historic motor races and museums and collections of old stuff.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I am qualified as a chef.”

What is on your bedside table? “A picture of my wife, a magnifying lamp and a bowl of odds and ends. And hopefully coffee as I wake up.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Very interesting.  No politicians, no vegetarians. Since it would be a dinner party it would have to be entertaining so I would choose Barry Sheen, James Hunt, Prof Syd Watkins, Valentino Rossi and Murry Walker - all from the motor racing world.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Supreme dictator.”

What would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? “My wife and a jet ski with petrol.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Coke”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Coke”

If money was no object, what would you do all day? “Build and race historic sports cars.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “Sleeping until all danger of frost is passed.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “If you ever have an opportunity to meet your idol….. don’t, you will be disappointed” (Jeremy Clarkson).

Meet our team ... soaring the AMS skies for 16 years
  • Dave Solomon

Meet our team ... soaring the AMS skies for 16 years

Our staff member who is featured today is from the second largest city and capital of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. Dave Solomon, Fixed Wing Pilot at the AMS King Shaka base has been soaring the skies with AMS for 16 years.  A man of many talents which includes motor-racing and a professional cook now flies to the far flung areas of KwaZulu-Natal to bring specialists to rural hospitals to provide appropriate and effective healthcare to the community. Here’s a look into Dave’s world …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg which was a unique and an exceptional place to grow up. I attended Merchiston and Alexandra High School which was followed by a brief stint at Varsity (which was not for me). This lead to working for Honda as a junior mechanic before I enrolled as an apprentice tool and die maker at the Railways. These were good days as I was also very involved in motor cross racing, a smashed up knee stopped that and lead to me commencing flying lessons. This started as a hobby and kind of took over”.

Did you always wanted to be a pilot? “Not really. My original intention was to become a mechanical engineer, but I guess the love of flying soon changed that.”

Were you in any other trade other than aviation before?  “Yes, I was a motorcycle mechanic, a toolmaker in the last days of steam locos and ended up making stove switches at Oak Industries.  This definitely had an influence on my decision to become a pilot.”

How did your career start in the aero-medical field? “I was impressed by seeing the AMS aircraft operation in and out of Pietermaritzburg and when a position became available I applied.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Flying a PC12 and the warm fuzzy feeling of doing something good.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started for AMS? “The best was the skulduggery by Kogie and Yolanda which lead to my marriage to Rene. The worst was the uncertainty surrounding our contractual situation in KZN.”

What do you do in your spare time? “At present we love camping and exploring our country.  We look for beaches, wild animals, historic motor races and museums and collections of old stuff.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I am qualified as a chef.”

What is on your bedside table? “A picture of my wife, a magnifying lamp and a bowl of odds and ends. And hopefully coffee as I wake up.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Very interesting.  No politicians, no vegetarians. Since it would be a dinner party it would have to be entertaining so I would choose Barry Sheen, James Hunt, Prof Syd Watkins, Valentino Rossi and Murry Walker - all from the motor racing world.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Supreme dictator.”

What would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? “My wife and a jet ski with petrol.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Coke”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Coke”

If money was no object, what would you do all day? “Build and race historic sports cars.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “Sleeping until all danger of frost is passed.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “If you ever have an opportunity to meet your idol….. don’t, you will be disappointed” (Jeremy Clarkson).

Personal hearing protection donated to AMS KZN Pilots & Engineers

The AMS is grateful for the personal hearing protection that was custom made by the H.A.S.S Group (a total hearing healthcare solutions provider) and fitted by audiologists Gillian Te Brugge and Nishana Saman for the pilots and engineers at the AMS King Shaka Base.

The custom made hearing protection is in the form of an ear mould that is inserted into the ear canal. The device protects your hearing in a noisy environment in which the pilots and engineers are exposed to on a daily basis. The different filters in the device filters out the noise but still allows for communication if your hearing is within the normal limits. Further benefits of custom-made hearing protection are as follows: hygiene, it is made from durable acrylic material which is better than foam plugs, comfortable and easy to clean and also more cost effective than disposable ear plugs.

When asked what the importance of ear protection is, Nishana & Gillian explains… “Pilots and engineers are exposed to prolonged noise which can affect their hearing. If you think about a jet taking off, the sound levels of that noise is between 100-150 dB. That level of sound is enough to rupture an eardrum - compare that to a conversation in a restaurant at 60 dB. It is not just about the level of noise but also the period of exposure. The more you are exposed to noise without ear protection, the more likely you are to develop a hearing loss.  A study by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics in 2013 listed the airline industry secondary only to metal manufacturing for having the highest hearing loss rate of all professions.”

The pilots and engineers first had a baseline hearing test then ear mould impressions were taken to ensure that the hearing protection was custom made to fit the individual’s ear canal. 

Personal hearing protection donated to AMS KZN Pilots & Engineers

Personal hearing protection donated to AMS KZN Pilots & Engineers

The AMS is grateful for the personal hearing protection that was custom made by the H.A.S.S Group (a total hearing healthcare solutions provider) and fitted by audiologists Gillian Te Brugge and Nishana Saman for the pilots and engineers at the AMS King Shaka Base.

The custom made hearing protection is in the form of an ear mould that is inserted into the ear canal. The device protects your hearing in a noisy environment in which the pilots and engineers are exposed to on a daily basis. The different filters in the device filters out the noise but still allows for communication if your hearing is within the normal limits. Further benefits of custom-made hearing protection are as follows: hygiene, it is made from durable acrylic material which is better than foam plugs, comfortable and easy to clean and also more cost effective than disposable ear plugs.

When asked what the importance of ear protection is, Nishana & Gillian explains… “Pilots and engineers are exposed to prolonged noise which can affect their hearing. If you think about a jet taking off, the sound levels of that noise is between 100-150 dB. That level of sound is enough to rupture an eardrum - compare that to a conversation in a restaurant at 60 dB. It is not just about the level of noise but also the period of exposure. The more you are exposed to noise without ear protection, the more likely you are to develop a hearing loss.  A study by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics in 2013 listed the airline industry secondary only to metal manufacturing for having the highest hearing loss rate of all professions.”

The pilots and engineers first had a baseline hearing test then ear mould impressions were taken to ensure that the hearing protection was custom made to fit the individual’s ear canal.