Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Kenyan pilots who passed flying batons to their daughters

For many years, Kenya’s aviation industry has been dominated by family members with renowned pilots mentoring their children to join this lucrative career.

The professionalism exemplified by these children has also been passed down the family lineage in a bid to keep the family legacy alive.

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This article features some of the Kenyan pilots who have passed flying batons to their daughters.

Capt. Joe Mutungi and Capt. Irene Koki Mutungi


Captain Joe Mutungi joined Kenya Airways (KQ) in the early 90s. His prowess in flying aircraft inspired his daughter, Koki Mutungi, to join the aviation industry.

After completing her high school in 1992, Koki enrolled in a flight school at Wilson Airport while aged 17 years.

She obtained her private pilot’s license and later moved to Oklahoma City, where the Federal Aviation Authority awarded her a commercial pilot’s license before she secured a job at KQ.

Not only is she regarded as KQ’s first female pilot for six years, but she is also the first African woman to become a Captain of the Boeing 737 Dreamliner Aircraft.

In June 2018, she became the lead pilot during Kenya’s maiden flight to New York.

Retired Capt Paul Mwangi and Capt Emma Mwangi

Captain Paul Mwangi, a renowned Kenyan pilot, served at the Kenya Airways for over 29 years.

His daughter Emma Mwangi followed his footsteps and joined the flying industry where the duo became the first father-daughter pilot team in the history of the national carrier.

One of their remarkable moments was in 2013, when the duo flew a 300-passenger plane from Nairobi to Thailand, with Paul as the pilot and Emma as the co-pilot.

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Capt. Constant Oteri and daughter Anita Oteri

Captain Constant Oteri passed the baton to his daughter Anita Oteri on April 1, 2022, after hitting over 29,000 hours in the sky.

The historic feat was celebrated by the national carrier, which lauded Anita for following in her father’s footsteps. At the celebration, Captain Constant expressed joy for his daughter continuing the family legacy.

“I’m a family man with a lovely wife, four amazing daughters, and one son. My daughter is following in my footsteps and is a First Officer on the Ejet. So one day there will be another Captain Oteri,” he stated.

Capt Godwin Wachira and his daughters

Captain Godwin Wachira not only passed the flying baton to his daughter but also his entire family has worked in the aviation industry.

His eldest children, Leah and Peter, are captains and so are their spouses. Wachira’s youngest daughter, Esther Karungari, is also a pilot.

“In my early stages of my career, I would fly a lot with the children. They were really young then. That is where they picked up the interest to fly,” Captain Wachira stated at a past interview.

His wife, Catherine Wachira, runs the family’s aviation school dubbed Flight Training Centre, located at the Wilson Airport.

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