Meet our team ...

  • Donovan Kohl

Our staff member whom we feature today, does not only know how to fly; he also knows how to keep aircraft in working order. Donovan Kohl, Rotor Wing pilot based at our Cape Town operation has been with the organisation for almost ten years. With a wealth of knowledge and travelling experience here’s a look into his life …

Who is Donovan Kohl? “I was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (or to be PC-Harare, Zimbabwe). I grew up in Tzaneen where I finished schooling at Merensky High School. The South African Air Force (SAAF) had me for the next ten years where I qualified as an Aircraft Mechanic. I left the SAAF as a Flight Engineer. Two short years after were spent in the employment of Eurocopter Southern Africa where I made acquaintance with AMS for the first time. Thereafter I managed to secure a position with Abu Dhabi Aviation and spent the next three years on contract all the while studying and funding a commercial pilot licence. I spent the following two years with CHC Helicopters in the Antarctic and Islands contract to service Antarctica – SANAP/SANAE, Marion Island, Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha. My final year with CHC was spent in Oranjemund on the NAMDEB off-shore diamond mining contract. In Jan 2008 I joined the AMS team and here we are almost ten years later.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I converted my SAAF qualification to civilian licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.”

What is the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? “The best: The invaluable experience gained in the HEMS aero-medical and rescue environment. The worst: PTSD (tongue in cheek).”

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

What do you do in your spare time? “Home DIY, gardening and bonsai.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I did the Bloukrans Bungee many years ago and now I’m terrified of falling…..or perhaps it’s a fear of heights, I can’t decide.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Rescue flights.”

What is on your bedside table? “A half read book: DREAMS FROM MY FATHER by Barack Obama and a torch.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Leonardo da Vinci, The Wright Brothers, Hanna Reich, Amelia Earhart and Karl Benz.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Better feed the cat and open the pet door otherwise he’s never going to shut up.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “Achieving my life goal and dream of becoming a chopper pilot!”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “To captain super yachts, of course with a helicopter on board but the life of the super wealthy still eludes me.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “A great red wine.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Coffee in the morning…..and then for the rest of the day too.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “One should never lose one’s humility.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Wondering Albatross – Life can be a long hard journey but the results are almost always gratifying.”

Any motto you live by? “Life is too short for regrets.”