Uganda’s longest serving pilot retires after 40 years in the sky


One of the country’s longest-serving pilots, Capt Charles Karabarinde, has officially retired after 40 years of service

Capt Karabarinde undertook his final flight from Mogadishu in Somalia to Entebbe International Airport yesterday.

He retires with a record of flying for more than 21,600 hours.

While sharing his career journey yesterday, he boasted of having served meticulously since he has never registered any accident.

Asked what has kept him in the sky that long, Mr Karabarinde said his was a calling.

“If you train, acquire skills and apply them during your day-to-day life, you register boundless success in your career path. If you have a passion for what you are doing, the journey becomes smooth,’’ Capt Karabarinde said.

“I am happy that I was part of the formation of the airline. Once you have the experience, it is always good to share it with the young generation,” he added.

He said some of the highlights of his career include ferrying one of the Bombardier CRJ900 from Mirabel, Canada, to Entebbe airport at the launch of the Uganda Airlines and being awarded the Pilot’s Leadership Accolade by members of the Uganda Professional Pilots Association (UPPA).`

He challenged the authorities to be innovative and work towards the betterment of the airlines.

“Think of the future and how you are going to elevate these airlines. Work towards a common goal and not being selfish to fail the airlines.

He observed that much as the aviation course is expensive, the government had promised to come up with interventions to sponsor some students.

The Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines, Mr Cornwell Muleya, commended Capt Karabarinde for being an inspiration to his workmates.

“His inspiration means a lot to the new generation, who are looking at aviation as a career. He has been able to travel to different parts of the world and the young generation should seek his services“

He added that currently, the pilots working on CRJ 900 flight are Ugandans.

“We have 24 pilots and are looking for another 22 for the A330. Obviously, we do not have enough Ugandans who have flown the A330 before, so we are upgrading and doing training so that they can be able to join that category,” he said.