Celebrated Uganda Airlines pilot Capt. Charles Karabarinde retired after 40years in the cockpit. Karabarinde was in charge of flying the first Uganda Airlines Bombardier CRJ900 from Montreal Canada to Entebbe international airport on April, 16, 2019. His retirement coincided with his last flight of the Bombardier from Mogadishu, Somalia to Entebbe airport on Tuesday afternoon.
It was a nostalgic moment when Capt. Karabarinde was received by fellow aviation staff, family and close friends at Entebbe airport. While climaxing his 40years of active piloting, the Bombardier which was flown by Capt. Karabarinde, cut through a water salute with Uganda airlines staff awaiting in anticipation of his last arrival. There followed a brief ceremony at the Uganda airlines offices to bid him farewell.
With 21,600 hours of flight-time logged, Capt. Karabarinde described his journey as a fantastic one. “I have really enjoyed this wonderful journey,” stated Capt. Karabarinde who for the couple of years used to fly the late Robert Mugabe, former Zimbabwean president.
According to the retired flight captain, piloting requires vigorous training and application of the acquired skills. “Am proud to have been part of the Uganda airlines and my main wish is to see a growing national carrier,” said the 65year-old pilot.
He appealed to colleagues and junior pilots not to foster personal needs ahead of their carrier and the future of Uganda airlines. “Think of what you will contribute for the development of this airline and what you will be remembered for,” Karabarinde advised.
Capt. Karabarinde served in the defunct Uganda Airlines from 1982 to 1990 before joining Air Zimbabwe from 1990 to 1995. It was from there, that he was selected to fly the (then) president. He later joined Das Air cargo from 1998 to 2008, then returned home to join Air Uganda from 2008 to 2013.
From the year 2015 to 2019, Capt. Karabarinde was flying Nigeria’s Arik Air before returning to Uganda for the Bombardiers. He is rated for having flown aircraft such as Cessna C172 and C310, Fokker Friendship F27, Boeing B707, McDonnel Douglas DC10, DC9 and MD80 plus the Bombardiers CRJ100, 200, 900 and 1000.
Cornwell Muleya the Chief Executive officer for Uganda Airlines described Capt. Karabarinde as an outstanding role model who has selflessly mentored many, throughout his aviation journey, guiding the carriers of young professionals who have gone on, to achieve great things in the aviation industry “both as a flying instructor and as a father figure.”
His early education saw him pass through the gates of Kyamate primary school in 1962 and later Kinoni boys school, joining Mbarara high school in 1970 and finishing at Kololo secondary school in 1976. He started his flying journey in 1978 enrolling at the East African Civil Aviation academy commonly known as Soroti flying school where he graduated as a commercial pilot in 1981.
Capt. Karabarinde retires with a wife Judith Karabarinde and seven children. He was awarded the Pilots’ leadership accolade by members of the Uganda Professional Pilots Association. He hopes to remain doing other aviation services and helping to build a big brand of Uganda Airlines