Female avionics engineer lands dream job
Published On December 12, 2022 » 1461 Views» By Times Reporter » Features
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• MANYUNGE Machaya performs maintenance checks on an aircraft.

By STEPHEN KAPAMBWE-
Zambian women have continued to push boundaries with their efforts being recognised locally.
A few days ago, Zambia’s Java Foods Chief Executive Officer Monica Musonda was named among 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world on the BBC 100 Women 2022.
Ms Musonda, featured on the list with global music phenomenon Billie Eilish, Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, actresses Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Selma Blair, to name a few.
This is the 10th season of 100 Women, which also explored what progress has been made over the last decade.
Zambian women are now finding their way into technical fields that are no longer a preserve of men.
Manyunge Machaya is a Lusaka based avionics engineer who works in the hangers and sometimes on the line.
Ms Machaya’s life revolves around aviation and she loves everything about aircraft, especially the CRJ (or CRJ Series, for Canadaair Regional Jet, which is a family of regional jets introduced in 1991 by Bombardier Aerospace).
Soon after she finished her 12th grade at Roma Girls High School in Lusaka, Ms Machaya’s passion for aviation took her to Zambia Air Services Training Institute (ZASTI) for a three-year course in aeronautical electronics engineering.
The passionate and bold woman first ventured into work at Proflight Zambia for industrial attachments, after which she was employed at the airline.
Looking back, she gives highlights of a decade of her career which has been fostered at Proflight Zambia.
“I’ve grown from an intern to a licensed avionics engineer right here at Proflight,” she recalls.
Engineering may seem too technical and male-dominated, but Ms Machaya begs to differ.
In fact, she encourages young girls and women looking at the aviation industry as a ‘no-go area’ to consider it a welcoming industry.
As a young girl, it was because of her mother who was a teacher who always told her to aim high and dream big that she has grown to be the woman she is today.
“Proflight Zambia accords each and everyone an opportunity to grow,” she says.
The avionics engineer has been trained on the entire fleet that the Zambian airline has, such as the Jetstream 41 in which she did her manufacturer’s training, Jetstream 32 and both the CRJ 100 and CRJ 200.
“When in the hangers, we do maintenance checks on the three types of aircraft Proflight has,” she says holding a voltage meter in one hand.
Ms Machaya is required to thoroughly know the different systems on the various aircraft.
Her day and sometimes night work entails checking the aircraft’s electrical systems, aircraft radios and instruments.
“The senior engineers in the hanger are very understanding, accommodating and patient, but there is need to put in the effort and a lot of reading to understand how the whole system runs,” she says.
She explains that not only has Proflight Zambia trained her, but the airline has also enabled her to work on its entire fleet for which she is grateful.
Ms Machaya wishes to see Proflight grow its fleet, which she believes will create more jobs.
She also looks forward to enhancing her skills in the aviation industry.
“The world is free for everyone; it is up to you as an individual to take up what you want; don’t expect anyone to give you something. You have to strive, read, and have a goal,” she says.

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