Mike is a recreational pilot, not affiliated with any aviation company. He has close ties with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA, and is a past Chairman of Chapter 322 (Johannesburg). He started flying in 1975, and obtained a Comm/IF rating, which has now reverted to a PPL. With a total time of 1800 hours, he is rated on the usual single engine piston light aircraft, and a few twins. He owns his own Globe Swift and Beechcraft Debonair.
He says ``Flying has been my passion, my hobby and my relief from stress for my entire adult life. It’s given me so much - friendships, fun, fear - the whole gamut of emotions. As a doctor dealing with patients at the end of life (I work for Hospice), I deal with both physical and emotional pain and suffering on a daily basis. I feel I am able to empathise with those going through some form of distress.
If I can give back to aviation colleagues in some way, by providing support in their time of need, then I believe I am repaying only a small part of the debt I owe to aviation for the pleasure it has given me.
Having survived a potentially life threatening accident last year, I have some insight into the emotional trauma such an event can induce. I’ve seen in fellow pilots the consequences of “events” in their lives, and how they too have been affected. If I can assist in keeping a fellow licence holder involved, I will be happy. As I now live in Cape Town, I hope to broaden the physical reach of Mayday-SA``.