The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 32

Gavin Allderman (1973W)
After 40 years as a pilot, Gavin
Allderman retired in May 2019,
having clocked 23,000 hours for
SAA on its international routes. His
passion for flying coincided neatly
with his other enthusiasms – travel,
meeting people, photography – and
resulted in an unforgettable career.
Bishops boys Christopher Dicey
and Samuel Warren job-shadowing
Paul Weich, September 2019.
Bruce Seymour (1984S)
Bruce Seymour’s passion for anything to do with aviation started at a young
age, with building model aircraft. Now based in Hong Kong, he flies five days
a week for Cathay Pacific to destinations around the globe.
“While I was enrolled in the MbChB programme at UCT, I started my private
pilot’s licence training through the UCT Flying Club. My first lesson was
unforgettable; from that day, I knew I wanted a career as a professional pilot.
“My first full-time flying position was with Anglo American’s Aircraft Division.
From there, I moved to SA Express, and for the past 23 years I’ve been employed
by Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong. I have flown many different planes – light aircraft,
business jets and the De Havilland Dash 8, as well as Airbus A330s and A340s
and Boeing 747s. I am currently a Senior Training Captain on the Boeing 777.
“A career in aviation is challenging, exciting, rewarding and full of surprises.
But the industry is often the first to suffer the consequences of change in
economic sentiment, so opportunities for employment can be limited.
Anybody considering such
a career would thus need
to go in with the attitude
that there is nothing else
Thumbs up: Boeing 777
they would rather do –
Captain Bruce Seymour.
and that airline flying is
far from the only option.
From the military to
search and rescue, cargo
and humanitarian aid,
there are opportunities
in some wonderfully
remote areas of the
globe to gain experience.”
“I was in Tim Hamilton-Smith’s class
one day when a Concorde flew over
– it was hugely impressive,” he says.
“But my interest in flying only really
started in my third year of medicine
at UCT, when I attended a South
African Air Force show at Ysterplaat.
I saw the transport planes, and… let’s
just say that was the end of medicine.
“After completing my military
service in the air force in April 1977,
I got my wings after two years of
flying Harvards and Impalas, as
well as doing Angola border tours
in Dakotas. I also flew for the Red
Cross, to make up the hours required
to join Anglo American, where I spent
almost four years.
“I joined SAA in October 1987,
starting as a boy pilot on a 747
Classic. After six months, I became
co-pilot on a 737, then on Jumbo
747s. I found the SAA pilot training
to be among the best in the world
– the ratings and exams we had to
undergo every six months were
tougher than getting into the

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