Meet our team ...

  • Hans Laas
Today we introduce one of our Cape Town Rotor Wing Pilots to you. A man who has travelled the world, an absolute gentleman and a career of note, here’s a look into the life of Hans Laas …
How long have you been with AMS? “My life with AMS came as an unexpected blessing in December 2015.”
Tell us about yourself: “I was born a long time ago in Blue Bull country to a family of soldiers and aviators.  At the age of 17 I started travelling the continent after joining the SA Army. After a very fulfilling 23 year career I left the military to pursue a flying career. My adventurous travels of the continent continued however, this time with a passport. After flying for food as a contract aero- plane and helicopter pilot in Africa I came home. Home was however redefined and moved to Cape Town. I moved to Cape Town after landing a “ship service job” in the Mother City. My association with AMS started two years later. I have been blessed with two beautiful and bright daughters. I am very proud of them not only for what they have accomplished but also for their character & tenacity and I love them dearly. My greatest friend and love of my life is my Mientjie. My Spartan lifestyle will be tailored when we get married on Poppy Day this year.”
Were you in any other trade before? “I was a soldier before I started flying. I conduct forensic investigations as a sideline.”
What is the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? “Best day was Friday 3 June 2016. I have to quote my dear AMS colleague/sister/friend Ayesha Allies: “The day I gave up religion, for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. From then on the days have been happier.” Thank you Ayesha!  Worst thing happening was Friday 3 June 2016, seeing Ilne Markwat, a young 25 year old intern leaving her sorrowed mother behind, at the MVA scene on the N1 highway near the Klapmuts off-ramp.”
If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “I don’t know how to stop camping. I need some form of domestication.”
What do you do in your spare time? “In my entire life I never had one boring moment.  I am in awe with God’s creation and extremely inquisitive.  I hope for the 25 hour day in which I could pursue my hobbies which are all outdoors and time consuming. My garage, bedroom, lounge and kitchen look like an Outdoor Warehouse or Trappers Trading dealership. When I am indoors I read about the outdoors.”
What is the one thing about you few people know?  “I am very shy.”
What do you enjoy most about your job? “Working alongside professionals in a band of brothers (and sisters). Pilots, Paramedics, External Load Operators and Technical Rescue Crew alike. Serious but funny and cheerful. Calculated but warm. Firm but compassionate. Procedural but spontaneous. The work itself is challenging and rewarding. To see Crew Resource Management and principles such as mutual trust, teamwork, flexibility and communication in action during high workload is fascinating.  It was the first experience of camaraderie I had since leaving the military. I am not a hero but I did have the honor of walking beside a few. The AMS team is no exception.”
What is on your bedside table? “A reading lamp, a cellphone, a photograph of Mientjie and a coffee cup.”
If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Erwin Rommel, Douglas Bader, Danie Theron, King Solomon and his father and my own father (he was most famous to me).”
What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I thanked God that He gave me a second chance and that I’m no longer a slave of fear.”
What has been the happiest day of your life? “Monday. Monday in October 1991 and Monday in November 1993 when my two daughters whom I love more than life were born.” 
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “My nickname was “Mashamba” which is a Portuguese word for “Farmer”. I would love to be a cattle farmer in the Kalahari on a day that would last a lifetime.”
What is your greatest indulgence? “Afternoon coffee with Mientjie, good biltong and a good campfire.”
What is the one thing you can’t live without?  “Red meat on the coals, humor and good music.”
Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?  “Count to ten. Spend more time with your children (I will always wish I followed the advice more religiously).”
What animal best represents you and why? “An African fish eagle. The fish eagle is such an effective hunter it spends only 20 minutes per day working (which is fishing). The rest is spent flying, soaring and searching. It raises chicks in the safety of the highest of trees and keeps one mate in its life time. Its call is synonymous with the African bush and the true sound of freedom.”
Any motto you live by? “Wherever you go, there you are.”