Pilot Employment


Due to the number of enquiries we receive on a daily basis, Wilderness Air has put together the following comprehensive document to assist pilots with their applications.

Wilderness Air is based in four regions through Southern Africa; namely Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

With this in mind our priority and commitment is to employ local citizens of the countries in which we operate first and foremost. Should we not find a suitable candidate locally we are able to source foreign pilots.

pilot-employment


Please note that should you have not received a response in respect of your application for employment within the Wilderness Air Group within 10 days, your immediate application has unfortunately been unsuccessful. We will, however, keep CV’s on file for a period of 6 months, thereafter you are welcome to update and resubmit.

Most commonly asked questions:

  • We will require the following qualifications and hours:
  • Valid commercial pilot’s licence and instrument rating

For Botswana applications the following flying experience is required
  • 200 Hours total time for citizens

Non-Citizens:
  • 500 hours total time with an instructors rating and instructors experience or
  • 800 hours total time with a commercial pilot’s license.

For Namibian applications the following flying experience is required
  • 200 Hours total time for citizens and C210 rating
  • 300 Hours total time for non-citizens and C210 rating

Advantages:
  • An instructors rating
  • Twin Time

For Zimbabwean applications the following flying experience is required
  • Zimbabwean Citizenship
  • Valid C-206 rating
  • A minimum of 250 hours of flying experience.
  • All pilots are interviewed in Maun or Windhoek. We would recommend that applicants take the time to travel to one of the regions and personally hand in their CV. No applicants are hired over the internet or telephonically.
  • All applicants undergo a written exam covering technical and personal aspects.
  • Once applicants have written their assessment an interview process takes place.
  • After the interview process applicants are introduced to the rest of the pilots and operations team before a final choice is made.
  • After a successful induction into Wilderness Air; pilots are required to undergo training for a further 100 hours.
  • The 100 hours training is broken up into 50 hours in the right hand seat observing, followed by an additional 50 hours in the left seat under supervision of a training captain or senior pilot.
  • This will assist new pilots in understanding the Wilderness brand and the remote areas in which we operate. On average these additional hours take between 6 – 8 weeks.
  • During this time work and residence permits are applied for.
  • Trainees are not able to earn a salary, but Wilderness Air will cover housing expenses to a certain degree.
  • Due to our clientele; attention is emphasized on the pilots appropriate client interaction and that the crew is technically competent.
Living in Windhoek or Maun is, simply put, “different to what most applicants are used to”.

A visit to Maun or Windhoek is an important part for applicants to determine if they would be happy living in these environments.
Maun is a small village with a relatively small community.

It is a dry and dusty village where donkeys have the right of way in streets! There are limited shops and restaurants; few sporting facilities and no movie theatres.

In winter Maun looks very barren but the temperatures are pleasant (10 to 23° C)). As summer approaches, Maun becomes incredibly hot (up to 45°C).

The upside about working in Maun is that our pilots spend “overnights “in the camps in the Okavango Delta. If you enjoy being in a wilderness area, birding, wild life and interacting with people, you will have a great time in Maun. We encourage applicants to consider carefully what their interests are.

If this job is simply a means to an end, you will not enjoy working in this environment. Married persons (especially those with small children) may find adaption to life in Maun more challenging than single people, but there are numerous happily married folk working at Wilderness Air and living in Maun.
Initially pilots fly the Cessna 206 for on average 1 – 2 years. The average sector length in a Cessna 206 is 30 minutes. However, we have a lot of sectors that are 5 minutes long. This in itself is a fantastic learning process and gives pilots a good opportunity to grow. The aircraft are not air-conditioned and therefore flying in a Cessna 206 in the early summer months can be exhausting. The heat is oppressive and with it comes degradation in the aircraft performance, so pilots need to pay particular attention to the loads they carry.

After 2 years of being in a Cessna 206, pilots move onto the air-conditioned Cessna Caravan (C208B).

There is virtually no IF flying in Maun as Northern Botswana is almost completely flat (3100ft). When pilots leave this environment after two to three years, many of them initially find it challenging to get back into IF flying. However changes are in the pipeline with the upgrading of Maun Airport.

Because our aircraft are small, the job of interacting with our guests, making them feel welcome, comfortable and safe is left to the pilot.
Windhoek is a small city that boasts a variety of shops, restaurants, cinemas and other forms of entertainment. Housing in Windhoek is quite expensive. There are tar roads out of town so it is relatively easy to drive to places such as Swakopmund. Pilots based in Windhoek actually spend relatively little time in the city itself.

Namibia is a large country and it is expensive to reposition aircraft empty unless there is a good reason to do so. This results in the pilots “overnighting” at the camps.
Initially pilots based in Windhoek will fly the Cessna 210 for on average 1 – 2 years. The sectors are on average 1hour 30 minutes.

As the sectors are longer, planes can climb higher so the heat is not as noticeable as in Botswana. Very little IF flying happens in Namibia and although there is frequently fog along the coast line , flights are planned to either fly below the fog or keep clear of it.
Yes this can be done. It is relatively easy to do in either Botswana and or Namibia. The process generally involves:

  • New pilots must write an air law exam
  • Pass a flight test
  • Pass a medical exam


Please bear in mind that it can take a number of weeks before the process of validation / conversion is completed.
There are many different fields for pilots to pursue in aviation. Many pilots choose airline flying and others opt for corporate flying.

Wilderness Air is principally engaged in tourism and most specifically in flying to remote eco tourist destinations.

Wilderness Air is a good place to start a career in aviation and most of our pilots are at an early stage of their career development. The majority of applicants join us with 200 – 500 hours of flying time and increase this by an average of 700 hours flying time per annum in Namibia and Botswana

Depending on personal performances, most pilots advance to larger aircraft such as the C208B once they have a minimum of 1000 hours.
While we regard it as critical, training is a time consuming process for our staff and assets. To justify the expense we require crew to make a commitment to the company. Wilderness Air only employs pilots who we believe have a genuine and serious desire to fly in our environment.

The following contracts are required to be signed by the pilots:

18 month contract on the C206/C210 A potential further 18 month contract on the C208 B
Yes pilots do, but this is not our preference. If we are given a few months’ notice it definitely helps and we encourage staff to tell us early if they want to move on to the next step in their lives. Pilots are require to pay off their bonds on the contracts should they leave before the termination of contract.

We only want a committed team of pilots working in our organisation.

Our tourist peak season is during the months of May through to the end of October. Christmas and New Year’s, we experience a brief peak in business till middle of January. Any resignations during this period leave it virtually impossible to train and replace pilots at short notice.
Traditionally we hire in January or February before the tourist season starts. However we have hired in other months due to pilot shortages or resignations.
Wilderness Holdings is the owner of Northern Air Maintenance based in Maun. Aircraft in the Wilderness Air Botswana and Wilderness Air Zimbabwe fleet are maintained by Northern Air Maintenance in accordance with the manufacturers’ requirements and we only use factory remanufactured engines directly from the original manufacturer. In our turbine fleet our engines are only overhauled at Pratt and Whitney or Pratt and Whitney approved facilities.
  • One day every seven days (Namibia is one in 5days and 2days in seven days.)
  • No public or Government holidays
  • 15 days sick leave per annum
  • 30 days annual leave
You will be responsible for your own accommodation in Maun and Windhoek. Wilderness Air assists with accommodation arrangement for pilots when they are on an overnight stop.

A housing allowance is provided for by wilderness Air, but generally private accommodation is shared by with other pilots.
Wilderness Air pays 50% of the local medical scheme.
For Employment enquiries, you can email the following Chief Pilots:

Botswana
Namibia
Zambezi Region