Who is Telani Lithgow?
Telani Lithgow is a Career Flight Instructor and the author, and webmaster this website.
She is also a South African Grade II Flight Instructor with over a decades worth of experience in the business; over 4000 hours total time; with more than 3500 hours ab- initio flight instruction, (ab-initio flight instruction is when you teach someone who knows nothing about flying how to fly up to the level of earning their private flying license).
She took her first flight on a windy Port Elizabeth day in the Eastern Cape, South Africa in 1996. She wove an untidy pattern on the taxiway, fortunately her able Flight Instructor, Ted Lunt, kept them lined up for the take-off.
Some months later Ted confessed he did not expect to see her again, as during the Introductory flight in the Cessna 152, he hit his head on the cockpit ceiling three times when they flew through air pockets. Telani was
short enough not to notice, and had whooped (in delight it turned out, not fear), when the short roller coaster rides caused this temporary weightlessness resulting in their buttocks departing their seats.
She fell in love with flying that day. The smile that first flight placed on her face did not fade for three solid months. It was on that day she declared to herself that no matter what difficulties arose on this path, she would remember this feeling of knowing exactly how she wanted to spend her time.
At the time she was in her third and final year studying Marketing, and managing a small internet café in the afternoons called Cyber Joe's, when the possibility of flight crossed her path in a rather unexpected fashion, and she ventured on her first step towards a flying career.
Early in 1997 she pinned on her wings at Algoa Flight Club, where she earned her Private Pilot License.
In 2001 she completed her single engine IF CPL and in early 2002 became a Flight Instructor at Virginia Flight School in Durban, KwaZulu Natal.
Around August 2004, commitments to the family accommodation business and in 2006 the giant step into motherhood, took her out of the full time aviation world for a few years.
By 2010 she was a twin aircraft, Instrument Rated Commercial Pilot studying for her Airline Transport Pilot exams. She became the Chief Pilot and Chief Flying Instructor at Richards Bay Air Carriers in mid 2010, and left for Durban in 2013, when she started working for Pietermaritzburg Aero Club.
From the beginning she loved ab initio flight training, so it was a logical decision to focus on Flight Training as her career. She began developing what became flight-training-made-simple.com in 2012.
Telani Lithgow grew up in the Far Northern Province, where her grandfather was the town Vet, and her parents ran Ben Lavin Nature Reserve for a number of years. This is where the seeds of her love of the bushveld and her views on conservation were planted. As a young girl she counted among the household pets a vervet monkey, a grysbokkie, an impala, a duiker and various birds. (They were all raised and released successfully back into the wild).
In 2011 in an attempt to highlight the wrongs of Rhino Poaching she joined a small crew to create this video:
She also made a short appearance on a local TV station 50/50 as an eco-warrior.
With this site, she hopes to support both of her great passions... teaching people to fly and improving the skills of those who already do, and donating towards aerial support for wildlife protection.
She is currently the Chief Flying
Instructor at Pietermaritzburg
Aero Club, Oribi Airport,
Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu
Natal, South Africa, and
lives in Pietermaritzburg.
Our passion drives our purpose of teaching people to fly with understanding.
We are an open book. We believe in sharing what we know.
We admire the perfection of simplicity, and strive to keep our training simple, clean, to the point.
At Flight Training Made Simple, we own our mistakes and successes. We even share our embarrassing errors so you may avoid them.
Sometimes we are just a little bit naughty.
“Man must rise above the Earth - to the top of the atmosphere and beyond - for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.”