Launched a year ago, Sim Aerospace is the Republic of Congo’s first professional flight simulator. The two founders now want to expand their offer, in a region where training needs are enormous.
Pilots in the Congolese army, Dany Pepa, 34, and his partner Ilithe Ongania, 38, now an airline pilot, had a dream. While there was no pilot training structure in their country, they wanted to show as many people as possible that their profession was not inaccessible. A year ago, they finally made that dream come true by launching Sim Aerospace, the Republic of Congo’s first professional flight simulator.
They could not afford a small device to learn to fly. It therefore took them 7 months to manufacture the sheet metal hull of the simulator, similar to a Cessna 172 cockpit. Today, their simulator is housed in the training and development center of the Congolese Civil Aviation, in the Maya Maya International Airport in Brazzaville.
The system is able to represent day, night, dawn and dusk, haze, fog
Installed inside, the student must first perform the instrument check, before starting and engaging the engines. It benefits from a 180-degree, 3-dimensional vision. “Through programmed special effects, the projection system is able to represent day, night, dawn and dusk, haze, fog as well as a dazzling light,” says the presentation file.
Promote aviation professions
Everything is there, the airport lighting devices including the taxiing marks, the edges of the taxiway, the center of the runway, the landing zone… And the simulator seats are of course equipped with a system. of vibration. Enough to give thrills to the general public or to school and student audiences for whom the two founders hope to give birth and take off a few vocations.
Because one of the first missions of Sim Aerospace is to promote the aviation sector, “in a country where its professions are too largely unknown”, regrets Dany Pepa, himself trained in Morocco.
About twenty students aspiring to become airline pilots took advantage this year
Sim Aerospace also offers introductory pilot training courses. About twenty students aspiring to become airline pilots took advantage of it during this first year. “They are training here, while they wait to be able to pass the civil aviation tests and receive a state scholarship. They will then go to South Africa for training, ”says Dany Pepa.
It costs 5,000 FCFA for a first flight on a simulator, between 60,000 to 100,000 FCFA for professional training.
Looking for investors
A second simulator should be installed in the Brazzaville terminal. The African School of Meteorology and Civil Aviation (Eamac), based in Niamey, and which depends on the Association for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (Asecna), said of its very interested side in this project.
But while the training needs are enormous in Congo and Central Africa, the founders of Sim Aerospace would like to move up a gear, train pilots from A to Z, have a small aircraft, provide other simulators, increase training here and abroad, and attract even more students …
Dany Pepa and Ilithe Ongania have so far financed their project solely on equity, around 30,000 euros, and would very much like to find investors by the next aviation trades fair, to be held in December in Brazzaville. . History to give wings to their dream.