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Thursday, November 1, 2007

From the Field: Fly Over the Republic of Rwanda

Compiled by Marcia Kay

Aspiring helicopter pilots now have an option to train in east-central Africa. Akagera Aviation has opened a helicopter flight school aimed at civilians, which it says is the first of its kind in the region, at Kigali International Airport on the outskirts of Rwanda’s capital of Kigali. Its students are trained on one of the school’s three Robinson Helicopter R44 Raven 2s.

The school has 20 students. Fifteen are studying for their private license, which takes 11 months to complete, while five are studying for a commercial license, which takes 16 months. Tuition ranges between $20,000-$30,000 for the entire course of study. Most students are sponsored by institutions, with few walking in able to pay on their own. Prospective students must take an aptitude test.

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