• “I joined Kenya School of Flying on October 14, 2018, I have undertaken the piloting course for one and a half years now. My dream is so near, yet too far,” Mutinda said.
• He has since joined the mother in running her hotel at Industrial Area, with hopes that he will one day raise the Sh3.5 million and resume his studies.
A Sh3.5 million school fee debt stands between Earnest Mutinda and his dream of becoming a pilot.
Twenty-year-old Mutinda, a piloting student at the Kenya School of Flying, was forced to stay at home after his mother failed to raise the Sh6 million required by the institution for his training.
Mutinda says he has been home since July 2020. His mother, Ruth Wambua, said the firstborn son was sent home for the fee after she ran out of income.
The Covid–19 containment measures interfered with her hotel business, hence she couldn’t raise the money.
The widowed mother of two boys on Wednesday said she had already paid Sh2.5 million and is left with Sh3.5 million as pending arrears for her eldest son to complete his course.
Mutinda said he was worried as his future was oblique given the fact that he could no longer attend his classes.
“I joined Kenya School of Flying on October 14, 2018, I have undertaken the piloting course for one and a half years now.
"My dream of becoming a pilot is so near, yet too far,” Mutinda told the Star at her mother’s rented house in Makadara, Nairobi.
He has since joined the mother in running her hotel in Industrial Area, with hopes that he will one day raise the Sh3.5 million and resume his studies.
Mutinda said his widowed mother had been struggling to educate him through the professional course after his father died in 2017.
“My father died a day prior to my KCSE exam. I sat my papers while his body was lying in the mortuary but excelled. Life has never been the same since his demise,” he said.
Mutinda’s younger brother is in Standard 8 at a school in Makueni county, he will be joining secondary next year.
“I feel so bad growing up struggling to make my dreams come true. I should be flying now but I am at home.
"I have friends with whom I began the course and they are almost done with the first phase of their course,” Mutinda said.
He called on well-wishers to come to his rescue by helping him raise the Sh3.5 million through M-Pesa pay bill– 7138262, or reach the mother on 0722553615.
Mutinda said the course includes a private pilot licence and commercial pilot licence, with the former being the first phase.
“Private Pilot Licence flying hours and revision costs Sh14,360 per hour, it takes 45 hours," he said.
"The second phase is Commercial Piloting Course that involves flying 155 hours above the 45 Private Pilot License hours, each hour costs 14,360.
"There is also an additional three hours for the General Flight Test charged at Sh14,360 per hour. Commercial Piloting License Ground School costs an additional Sh60,000.
“Other charges include those of ground school instruction course, stationery, equipment, uniform and accommodation, KCAA PPL Ground exams and KCAA PPL License application.”
The third and final phase, Multi/IR ratings take about two months, according to Mutinda.
It includes 20 hours approved simulator at Sh6,500 per hour, 25 hours on twin sereca PA 34 at Sh42,780 and three hours for the GFT at Sh42,780 per hour.
Documents seen by the Star indicated that Mutinda had paid Sh2.5 million towards his fees. His mother Wambua said she was overwhelmed with the fee after exhausting all the money she had.
“I have utilised all my savings and even sold several of my properties towards my son’s professional training.
"I have nothing more to sell despite our wishes that he completes his course to become a professional and qualified pilot,” Wambua said.
She called on well-wishers to come to her aid and help raise the Sh3.5 million for the son to complete his studies.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)