Colonel Donovan Chetty made history when he became the first Indian to command South Africa’s largest flying unit.
Chetty revealed his love for aircraft started at a young age while growing up close to the previous airport in Durban.
“I would always wonder how such a massive machine could be kept in the air. Although the commercial aircraft thrilled me, the military jets that zoomed over our house, routing out to sea to conduct their exercises every now and then, excited me more,” he shared.
IOL also revealed that Chetty has a firm belief that opportunities are available for South Africa’s youth but he feels commitment to serve the country to be a crucial factor in success.
Chetty’s first taste of South Africa’s defence force arrived in 1996 when he actually started in the SA Navy.
He soon started working as an aircraft mechanic and realized his aviation dreams would remain unfulfilled while in the navy.
Chetty explained, "In 2000, I was among the seven candidates to make the final cut in the air force’s trainee pilots programme. I trained at Langebaanweg, obtained a degree at the Military Academy and got my pilot’s wings in December 2002, and there has been no looking back since.”
He also cited other officers of Indian descent as an inspiration for his achievements. One of them being, Brigadier-General Kevin Moonsamy, who provided mentorship at the Air Force Gymnasium in 1998.
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