Meet the Uganda Airlines pilots

By Tracy Gwambe, Apollo Mubiru

Added 29th April 2019 10:39 AM

The crew that ushered in a new dawn was comprised Capt. Clive Okoth, Capt. Stephen Ariong, Capt Michael Etiang and Capt. Patrick Mutayanjulwa.

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The two CRJ900 Bombardier planes after touching down at the old airport in Entebbe. Two more planes are expected by September. PPU picture

The crew that ushered in a new dawn was comprised Capt. Clive Okoth, Capt. Stephen Ariong, Capt Michael Etiang and Capt. Patrick Mutayanjulwa.

The newly revived Uganda Airlines has so far recruited 14 pilots and 30 stewardesses.

These are Uganda’s experienced pilots who have worked in the US, Malaysia, Nigeria and Indonesia, according to Moses Dhizaala, a member of Uganda Airlines task committee and the interim human resource manager.

Of the total 400 anticipated staff, over 200 staff have been recruited. But little is known about the pilots that are shepherding the revived airline.


First Lady Janet Museveni (left) with Museveni and other government officials inside one of the Bombardier planes. PPU picture

Although many of the pilots New Vision talked to were unwilling to talk about themselves, we have been able to piece up information showing these are no amateurs in the profession.

The crew that ushered in a new dawn was comprised Capt. Clive Okoth, Capt. Stephen Ariong, Capt Michael Etiang and Capt. Patrick Mutayanjulwa.

 Capt Michael Etiang

Etiang is a Uganda Airlines captain and business executive, who serves as the chief pilot of Uganda Airlines. A member of Uganda Airlines task committee, Etiang was born in Tororo district.

He went to Bentham Grammar School. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in law and politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Etiang has over 18 years of flying experience, with over 12,000 flying hours on his record.

He has served as a training manager (CRJ Aircraft) at RwandAir, where he has been employed since 2012. He has also served as training captain at Fly540 and Jetlink, both in neighbouring Kenya.

He played the same role at Garuda, Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia. As chief pilot at Uganda Airlines, he is responsible for making sure that all pilots are trained and are up to date with their competence and skills.

He also manages flight and ground personnel, schedules flights and coordinates aircraft maintenance. He serves as a member of the airline’s senior management team.



Ivan Massa

Ivan Massa is a commercial airline Pilot, born on November 25, 1990 in Mbale district.

He went to London College of St Lawrence for and trained at the East African Civil Aviation Academy in Soroti, Epic Flight Academy in Florida, CAE Aviation Training and Services, Toronto, Canada and American Airlines Flight Training Centre, Phoenix Arizona.

Passionate about aviation, he enjoys travelling and hiking. “You get to love and respect the world around you each time you fly and view the world from a different perspective.


 At the same time, you must be passionate, focused, hardworking, disciplined and safety conscious as all these contribute towards being a professional pilot,” he said. Massa said sports is part of his life mainly Rugby, football and chess to keep him healthy and in shape.

 Tina Drazu

From Arua, Tina Drazu, a line pilot at Uganda Airlines, worked as a line pilot at Aerolink Uganda from July 2012 to April this year. She had earlier worked with Asante Aviation for a year and three months in South Sudan. She graduated from Cape Flying Services.

Capt. Patrick Mutayanjulwa

He has been a pilot since 2007 and worked with Air Uganda and Das Air Cargo. Mutayanjulwa studied at St Mary’s College Kisubi before he trained and became a pilot. He likes playing cricket and tennis.

Vanita Kayiwa

Kayiwa, a line pilot at Uganda Airlines, worked with Air Serv which upgraded her from pilot to captain.

A graduate of the East African Civil Aviation Academy, Kayiwa was the first female Ugandan Captain in Air Serv’s 32-year history.

“You have to work twice as hard as your male counterparts,” Kayiwa said in an interview talking about her accomplishments in a traditionally male-dominated field. “We women can do it, even the sky is not the limit!

Flying is very exciting but to succeed you need to love it, dream it, and live it,” she advised young girls according to an interview at Air Serv website.


 Rashid Cheboy

His picture went viral when he chanced on a selfie with President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday at Entebbe.

In the picture, President Museveni is seen holding Cheboy’s right hand to check the picture.

He worked at Air Serv as a line captain and check airman from 2015 to this month.

He also worked with East African Civil Aviation Academy Soroti as a senior flight instructor. He studied aviation and aeronautics at the East African Aviation Academy.

 Capt. Kenneth Kiyemba

Kenneth Kiyemba, according to his Facebook account, went to King’s College Budo before joining Epic Flight Academy located at Municipal Airport in Florida, US.

He was part of Uganda Airlines crew that recently completed flight training on the CRJ900 (CL-65) at US Airways Flight Training Center.

Kiyemba serves as director of administration in Uganda Professional Pilots’ Association. The body is charged with promoting and safeguarding the interests of pilots and aeronautic engineers in Uganda.

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