Son of Mulilii who gives Kenya its pilots

Major (Rtd) Francis T. Kavingo’s fying career kicked off in 1983. Jimmy Wanjala The year was 1958. The location, Mulilii village in Makindu area of Ukambani, on the slopes of the magnificent Yatta plateau. A boy was born and named Francis. Nobody would have guessed that this young lad would grow to become the now renowned Major (Rtd) Francis T. Kavingo. His legacy began after he completed studies at Shimo La Tewa High School in 1978. Dedicated and committed to his goal of joining the armed forces, he was accepted and enrolled in the Kenya military in 1980. Armed with his boots and rifle, he joined the engineering unit in the Kenya Air Force, and that is where he developed an interest and desire to fly. Major Kavingo’s flying career kicked off in 1983 when he began his flight training. Despite the many challenges in training, he excelled and was selected among the few to undergo further training in the United States of America. He completed the training in excellence in 1985 to join the Fighters Squadron at Laikipia Airbase, which was his base station for seven years. Come 1992, his exemplary conduct and performance earned him a slot in the instructors training at the Moi Airbase, Eastleigh. This is where he began imparting his greatly acquired knowledge to bring forth generations of aviators under his wing, and what has followed since is thousands of pilots training under him, including his two lovely daughters, Mueni and Nduku Timona. On August 2, 2002, Major Kavingo exited the military to venture into the civil aviation industry. With his lessons and knowledge in the field, he joined the then famous CMC Flying School, where he began training civilian pilots. With his military discipline, the pilots who have gone through his hands have come out as confident and ready to safely navigate the skies. Many of his students have gone on to become senior captains and first officers in Kenyan airlines, with some transitioning to foreign ones as well. “I am very humbled and honoured to see all these graduates excelling in their areas of work,” Major (Rtd) Kavingo says. His passion for aviation and training united him with Captain Koros to start Westrift Aviation Academy, and continues to train pilots to the best standards. Aside from instructing, Major (Rtd) Kavingo has kept his job as an airline pilot at Astral Aviation, a cargo carrier, as a DC9 captain. “I enjoy every minute of it and carry on with no regrets. To me, trying is a passion and I am glad to the Most High for all the energy and protection He has accorded me to undertake all this and bringing me this far.” Kavingo enters our list of most influential aviators in Kenya.