Ugandan boy, seven, nicknamed ‘Captain’ becomes sensation in his country for his aviation skills

Ugandan boy, seven, nicknamed ‘Captain’ who has flown Cessna three times and whose role model is Elon Musk becomes online sensation

  • 7-year-old Graham Shema has already flown three times on a Cessna 172 
  • The young boy said his dream is to be a pilot and an astronaut, and travel to Mars
  • His interest in flying was sparked when a low-flying helicopter blew off the roof of his grandmother’s house, while he was playing outside

A 7-year-old Ugandan boy, nicknamed ‘Captain’, who has already flown Cessna three times and whose role model is Elon Musk has become a sensation in his country for his aviation skills.   

Graham Shema,7, has earned the nickname ‘Captain’ thanks to his impressive aircraft knowledge and flying skills. 

The young boy has already flown as a trainee three times on a Cessna 172.  

A lover of math and science, he says his dream is to be a pilot and an astronaut, and someday travel to Mars. 

7-year-old Graham Shema has already flown three times on a Cessna 172 and dreams of becoming a pilot and an astronaut, and someday travel to Mars

7-year-old Graham Shema has already flown three times on a Cessna 172 and dreams of becoming a pilot and an astronaut, and someday travel to Mars

‘My role model is Elon Musk,’ said the boy, a pilot’s white shirt and black slacks hugging his small frame.

He said: ‘I like Elon Musk because I want to learn with him about space, to go with him in space and also to get a handshake.’ 

He has been interviewed on local television and even been invited for meetings by Germany’s ambassador and the country’s transport minister. 

The young boy, nicknamed 'Captain' , who loves maths and science,has already flown as a trainee three times

The young boy, nicknamed ‘Captain’ , who loves maths and science,has already flown as a trainee three times 

Graham's interest in flying was sparked  when a helicopter blew off the roof of his grandmother's house

Graham’s interest in flying was sparked  when a helicopter blew off the roof of his grandmother’s house

When his instructor at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, asked him to explain how the engines worked on a Bombardier CRJ9000 plane parked on the tarmac, Graham replied flawlessly: ‘The inlet tubes suck in the air and inject it into the compressor, the compressor squeezes it with the fans, after squeezing it with the fans, it becomes hot’.

Graham’s passion about flying was triggered when a police helicopter flew so low to the ground that it blew off the roof of his grandmother’s house. 

The incident took place on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital Kampala while he was playing outside and according to his mother Shamim Mwanaisha, 29, a travel agent, it ‘triggered something in his mind.’  

As he cannot have lessons during the pandemic, Graham has been focusing on aviation theory and watching videos about aviation and space

As he cannot have lessons during the pandemic, Graham has been focusing on aviation theory and watching videos about aviation and space

She said it was then when her son started bombarding her with questions about how planes work – up until she contacted a local aviation academy and he began lessons at home on aircraft parts and aviation vocabulary. 

Five months later Graham was thrilled to start flying lessons.

‘I felt like a bird flying up,’ he said of his first flight. 

Since then he flew three times as co-pilot  and during the pandemic he has been focusing on aviation theory, and immersing himself in videos about aviation and space exploration on his virtual reality viewer.

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