Graham Shema, 8, has earned himself the nickname, “Captain Shema.” The Ugandan-born continues to dazzle Africa with his flying skills and talent for flight-related subjects. Graham Shema first became a sensation when he was seen flying a plane as a co-pilot, making him one of the youngest pilots in the world. So far, the young pilot has only co-piloted three times as he looks forward to being an aviator of repute himself.
Perhaps he already is a pilot of great repute, with impressive knowledge and popularity likened only to a celebrity. Shema’s background and hobbies are an attestation to his intelligence. In an interview, the young aviator revealed he is a lover of math and science.
Shema’s journey as a pilot began at an early age. As little as seven, “Captain Graham” as he is fondly called, started taking flying lessons. Thankful to his mother, Shema revealed his mother enrolled him in an aviation academy, he was just seven. While he began taking flying lessons at seven, his interest in flying had been with him years before that.
The Birth of Graham Shema’s Interest
Graham Shema, in an interview, shared how he developed an interest in aviation at the age of three. His interest came to life when he saw a police helicopter blow off his grandmother’s roof. After such a dangerous and tragic sight, Shema became curious. His concern became increasingly directed at how planes work.
As his concerns grew, so did his questions. Since he had no one to direct these questions to, he asked his mother. However, his mother soon grew tired of these questions and instead contacted a local aviation academy, where Shema began to take lessons. First, he started learning about the vocabulary used in aviation, and then he became confident enough to go further. It didn’t take long for him to fly for the first time. “I felt like a bird flying up,” Shema said when describing the joy he felt.
The Aviation Genius
His instructor asked him to describe how the engines on a Bombardier CRJ9000 plane sitting on the tarmac worked one recent morning at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport. Shema rattled off the answer, his voice struggling to rise above the roar of a plane’s running engines: “The inlet tubes suck in the air and inject it into the compressor, the compressor squeezes it with the fans, and after squeezing it with the fans, it becomes hot,” Shema said, jokingly gesturing and going on to explain how an engine generates thrust.
Elon Musk is the young aviator’s role model, and he aspires to be a pilot and an astronaut someday, as well as travel to Mars.
Graham Shema, mentioned on local television, also has several interviews under his belt.
Graham Shema’s nickname is “Captain” in newspapers and on social media. Recently, he was invited to meetings by Germany’s ambassador and Uganda’s transport minister.