Date Published:

Monday, September 12, 2022 - 15:15

The KWS Club House in Nairobi National Park was the venue for the closing ceremony and cocktail reception for the Rotax iRMT training on Friday, September 2nd, 2022, hosted by KWS Director of partnerships and Enterprise, Mr Edwin Wanyonyi.

The team at KWS Airwing recently concluded three weeks of training on the Rotax engine, facilitated by COMET Aviation, South Africa. The training program is specific to Rotax engines only, to train mechanics and engineers on carrying out maintenance and repairs, as well as the use of special tooling on Rotax Aircraft Engines.

KWS Director of Partnership and Enterprise, Mr. Edwin Wanyonyi – representing the KWS Director General, commenced his remarks by congratulating the 10 aircraft maintenance engineers, one civil aviation inspector and 32 pilots who undertook the course. He said that there would be an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding trainees, even as he spoke of the challenges faced with the gyrocopters, right from clearance procedures at the Port, to some unfortunate accidents involving the gyros. He hoped that - given the interesting genesis of the gyros story - KWS and US Fish and Wildlife could collaborate on another training for the teams, due to the versatile nature of the gyrocopters and also to incorporate new and improved technologies.

The Regional Director, US Fish and Wildlife, Mr. Keith Swindle expressed his sincere condolences for the loss of KWS officers in the war on wildlife trafficking during the week, adding that the US government really recognizes and appreciates the work that KWS does on a daily basis, and the conditions and circumstances under which the Service fulfils its conservation mandate. “I really appreciate the mechanics in this program, because more lives depend on you and how well you do your job,” he said. Mr. Swindle conveyed regrets from messers Mike Solese and Dan Wright of the US Embassy Anti-Terrorism Agency within the State Department, adding that they funded the gyrocopters and the subsequent Rotax training.

The CEO of COMET Aviation Supplies Mr. Niren Chotoki expressed gratitude to KWS Management and staff, for the close collaboration during the training program. He explained that the training program, named independent Rotax Maintenance Technician (iRMT) was done in three stages: first being an introduction to the engine and basic servicing for scheduled maintenance; second was a slightly more advanced maintenance program; finally, the heavy maintenance, which involved the actual repair of major components. “The trainees grasped the contents of the manuals, understand the engines and the concepts involved, and I am more than confident that they will be able to complete the maintenance and repairs on these engines successfully,” Mr Chotoki said.

DD Accountable Manager for KWS Airwing Captain Michael Nicholson said that the course was done in three quarters: an introductory session comprising 43 people, including aircraft attendants, pilots, technicians, engineers and administrators, so that staff connected with the Airwing gained insights into what a Rotax engine is.

The introductory course was followed by two other sessions of heavy maintenance - up to level four on the (iRMT) Training Syllabus. 11 people successfully completed the iRMT training, comprising KWS Staff and representatives from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

Awards were presented to outstanding trainees as follows:

  1. Robert Muriuki – Management and Motivational. He clearly showed that he could accomplish all tasks in the courses, demonstrating exceptional strengths at managing and motivating a team to complete any given task.

  2. Januaris Ndaisi – Application of Methods and Techniques. Demonstrated the ability to understand contents of manuals and apply it accordingly, with a special ability to improvise where required.

  3. Stephen Rotich – Intuition and Initiative. He understood procedures easily and was able to apply these instinctively.

  4. Alvin Wanyonyi – Enthusiasm. As the youngest participant, he demonstrated a willingness to learn new concepts and studied the relevant manuals thoroughly.

Also in attendance was the Director General, National Air Support Department (NASD), Brigadier E.P. Lopokoiyit; KCAA representative Mr. John Ndirangu; KWS Airwing Chief Base Maintenance Engineer, Mr. Robert Wahome Muriuki and Chief Pilot Airwing, Captain John Munyori.