Wonders of Aviation South Africa (WOA SA) relies on the aviation industry to identify high potential students who become the WOA Award recipients.
WOA Award recipients learn about the aviation industry by participating in sessions that include a tour of an air traffic control tower; a ride in a helicopter; experience flying a plane either in an Airbus or Boeing flight simulator; instruction in gliding, and a flight in a glider; learning about aeronautical engineering and a tour of the Wits supersonic lab.
WOA Award recipients are also taught how to help with outreach efforts, how to be mentors, and how to be a role model to future Award recipients. WOA works with supporting organisations to assist Award recipients in securing employment within the industry.
The air is the only place free from prejudices.
WOA SA’s work in South Africa recently received two major recognitions:
- The Aeronautical Society of South Africa awarded Donald Schenk the John Weston Award for Wonders of Aviation’s work in helping develop human capital.
- The Aero Club of South Africa awarded Daniel Ralefeta its Silver Wings Award for the work Daniel Ralefeta does with the Aero Club’s Transformation and Development division, which exposes thousands of youngsters to aviation.
In addition, the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is preparing a documentary on how WOA transformed Gift Kgadima into the leader he is today.
WOA’s Awards to-date, include:
- Aero Club of South Africa in conjunction with the Soaring Society of South Africa: a day of learning how to fly gliders;
- Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa and Jonker Sailplanes: airplane memorabilia.
- Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS): a tour of the OR Tambo airport's ATC tower;
- Comair Limited: flying a Boeing simulator and a course in business writing;
- Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR): a tour of wind tunnels at this South African national research center;
- South African Airways: flying an Airbus simulator;
- South African Civil Aviation Authority: a tour of an airport fire station and a flight in a helicopter; and
- University of the Witwatersrand’s National Aerospace Centre: a tour of the
In 2018 WOA SA will support a robust programme for high potential individuals. The winners of the 2018 Educational Aviation Awards will participate in several activities, including: flying Airbus and Boeing simulators; visiting the O.R. Tambo International Airport Control Tower; flying gliders; and other hands-on experiences. They will receive leadership training, such as: critical thinking; business writing; and entrepreneurial training, and they will participate in industry-sponsored events in townships where the most underprivileged are exposed to aviation.
WOA SA relies on volunteers for most of its work, and on industry to provide free use of surplus capacity on simulators and wind tunnels. However, WOA SA covers costs such as transport, food, materials, and housing for multi-day events.
The 2018 WOA SA expenses are expected to total R1,600,000, with two thirds being provided by South African supporters.