AIFA Key Personnel


Chief Executive Officer:


Yu Hao

Yu Hao attended the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing between 2003 and 2009, obtaining his Master’s degree in Financial Management. Upon completion of his studies he joined AVIC-International situated in Beijing as an accountant; during 2012 he was promoted to manager in the financial department. Yu Hao joined AIFA in South Africa during 2015 as Chief Financial Officer.

Primarily responsible for managing the financial risk of the company. The officer is also responsible for financial planning and recordkeeping as well as financial reporting to higher management.

 Christo Stroubel - Head of Training

Head of Training ( Acting Chief Executive Officer):
Christo Stroebel

Christo Stroebel qualified as a pilot in the South African Air Force in 1974 on Harvard aircraft. After flying the Cessna 185, Bosbok and Kudu aircraft operationally at 11 and 41 Squadron, he qualified as anAlouette 111 helicopter pilot in 1978. In 1983 he completed Flight Instructor’sCourse on Harvards and later served as Head of Testing and Assessing at Central Flying School Dunnottar until 1988, before continuing his helicopter career on the Puma and Oryx helicopters. He specialised predominantly in the Maritime role operating on board the SA Naval Vessels and the SA AGULHAS of the Department of Environmental Affairs, operating in Antarctica, Marion and Gough islands.

He held the post of Officer Commanding 22 Squadron and Operational Coordinator at Air Force Base Ysterplaat, where after he was appointed as the Officer Commanding Central Flying School Langebaanweg and flying the Pilatus Astra PC 7.

In 2005 he was appointed as Senior Staff Officer Helicopter Operations at Air Force HQ. He then became the Air Wing Coordinator and 2nd In Command of Air Force Base Waterkloof, where he was responsible for coordinating the 2012 African Aerospace and Defence Expo and Airshow.

Christo completed his Air Force career as the Officer Commanding Air Force Base Ysterplaat in 2014. He joined Aifa as Senior Ground School Instructor in Oudtshoorn in 2015 and is currently Head of Training at Aifa.

Head of Operations:
Braam Hechter

 Braam served in the South African Air Force for 22 years.

After leaving the Airforce he started an Aircraft Maintenance Organization (AMO) and Flight Training School in 2006. From 2008 he acted as Airworthiness inspector for the SACAA, specializing in Non-Type certified aircraft.

During 2015 Braam accepted the positon of Head of Operations at AIFA.

Braam holds a National N Diploma (Mechanical): (N4 to N6 with 3 year practical theory) at the Technical College of Centurion.


HR Manager:
GaoNan (Nathan)

Gao Nan holds a Bachelor of Management degree from Nanjing University of Science and Technology, majoring in international marketing. He joined AVIC- International situated in Beijing during 2006 and joined the AIFA team in South Africa during 2013.

Maintain and enhance the organizations human resources by planning implementing and evaluating employee relations and human resource policies programmes, practices and strategic planning.

 Head of Standards: Andrea Griesel

Head of Standards:
Andrea Griesel

Andrea Griesel obtained her pilot’s licence in 1997 in Bloemfontein. She lived and worked abroad for 6 years before returning to South Africa to continue her career in Aviation. Andrea holds a Diploma in Educational Development, is qualified in Aviation Quality Assurance as well as being a Grade II Multi-engine instructor. During 2011 she joined AIFA as CFI of the Oudtshoorn base, a position she held for 3 years, during 2014 she moved to the quality and standards department of AIFA as the Head of Standards.

The Head of Standards is responsible for the oversight, management and proper execution of all the flight training evaluations, tests, initial and recurrent instructor training/standardisation as well as ongoing company standardisation.


Quality Manager:
Faranice Davids

It all started in 2014 when Faranice joined AIFA as an operations clerk based in George. As an operations clerk she was responsible for setting up the daily flying programme, ensuring all the aircraft were booked with all the students and that a proper schedule was maintained when the aircraft had to go in for maintenance. This job had lots of responsibility and long hours but despite that she shown great development.

She was transferred to Beaufort West in 2015, which had a much more relaxed energy to it but was still very enjoyable and it was here where she really came to love aviation. With taking the lead as senior operations clerk she accepted responsibility and she continued her development.  She continued to learn a lot and was appointed as Quality representative as an over and above task.  After completing a Lead-auditors course in 2016 she was promoted to Quality Manager for AIFA.
 Arthur - Air Traffic Service Manager

Air Traffic Service Manager:
Arthur ⁠⁠⁠Bezuidenhout

 After matriculating Arthur decided to pursue his dream in becoming an Air Traffic Controller. He studied at 43 Air School where he obtained his Air traffic Controller license.
In April 2012 he joined AIFA as an Aerodrome Flight Information Service Officer and validated at FAOH. During his first 2 years at AIFA he completed his OJTI (On the Job Training Instructor) course and took up the position as Officer in Charge at FAOH tower. Further down the line he obtained his Grade 1 Designated Examiner rating, validated at FABW and was promoted to Air Traffic Service Manager which is the position he currently hold at AIFA.  He now manages all Air Traffic Service related matters for AIFA.


Safety Manager:
Herman Fondse


Chief Flying Instructor Oudtshoorn:
Strumpher Barnard

Strumpher Barnard is one of the founding members of AIFA, and has been a AIFA employee and instructor since 2011. He was appointed as Oudtshoorn base Chief flight instructor during 2016.

Chief Flying Instructor: Matthew Rawlings

Chief Flying Instructor George:
Matthew Rawlings

Matthew Rawlings completed his flight training during 2009. He was appointed as a Grade III instructor during 2010 at the former Cape Flying Services. During 2013 he completed his Grade II upgrade at AIFA and worked as a mentor instructor for AIFA until 2014, when he was promoted to CFI of the George base.

The CFI’s manage and coordinate all professional flight training courses offered by AIFA, as well as taking responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of flight training provided. They manage both the flying instructors as well as the operations room personnel.


Chief Flying Instructor Beaufort West:
Rassie Erasmus

 Gert Hugo

Chief Flying Instructor-High Performance:
Gert Hugo



Chief Ground Instructor:
Jaco Nel

Jaco Nel matriculated from Swartland High School in Malmesbury in 1988 and joined the SA Air Force in 1989, where he qualified as a Navigator. As navigator he flew C-160 Transall, C-130 Hercules and Boeing 707 aircraft. He completed his Navigator Instructor Course in 1996 and was a navigator instructor on both C-130 and B-707 aircraft. In 2005 he transferred to SAAF HQ where he was manager AIS and Flight Procedure Design. In 2013 he joined AIFA as a ground school instructor. During 2015 he was promoted to Chief Ground School instructor. Jaco currently lives in George with his lovely wife Mari and their two sons Tiaan and Marius.

Primary duties are to coordinate and manage the AIFA ground school program and the schedules of the ground instructors and to obtain the duties of part-time instructors when needed. He analyses the overall ground school results and implements rectification programs to improve results when needed. Liaison with CAA and SACAA to ensure that the ground school curricula conform to their specifications.instruct, teach and train cadets in ground school & fixed base training environments in order to provide them with the basic knowledge and skills for advanced simulator and flight training.

Janine Stander

The administration manager is responsible for student enrolment and induction. She is also responsible for the travel arrangements of students and staff and the administration and management of crew houses. She also handles all company insurance matters and maintains the company inventory.

 Base Manager Beaufort West: Ronnie Jonsson

Base Manager Beaufort West:
Ronnie Jonsson

Ronnie joined the SA Air Force on 1 January 1971. He received SAAF wings in December 1972 on the Impala. Thereafter he specialised in the helicopter line with command on Alouette III, Puma and BK 117 helicopters. He spent five years at CFS Dunnottar as a flying instructor and held the position of CFI, CFS Dunnottar for three years. He was blessed to be the first leader of the Harvard Aerobatic team after an absence of twenty years. He held various command positions of which Officer Commanding 22 Squadron and Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit were career highlights. He left the Air Force after a career of thirty seven years.

He spent two years at SA Express as an Operations Duty Manager.

Primary duties are to manage the effective and smooth running of all base operations.  Oversees all safety aspects, controls all the support functions and ensures uninterrupted logistical supply necessary for flight training operations.  Responsible for the welfare of base personnel.

 Logistics Manager: Eben White

Logistics Manager:
Eben White

Eben was part of the motor industry for more than 15 years, where he worked in all the different departments in various dealerships. He therefore gained extensive knowledge, not only about vehicles and technical aspects, but also providing the best service to clients. He still enjoys keeping himself up to date with all the new vehicle models on the road. A part of his career was spent in the retail business. That was a challenging career where he constantly had to be on top of everything being the branch manager of a shop covering budgets, stock control, sales and personal service. As the slogan says: Never stop dreaming - his dream came true in 2013 when he started working at AIFA. Seeking for any possible way to enter the aviation business through many years, he was pleasantly surprised when AIFA employed him, giving him the opportunity to give back all his experience from various previous careers to the advantage of this company.

Primary duties are the management of the aircraft- and vehicle fleets as well as the maintenance of all AIFA facilities. This includes the control over driver duties and the periodic scheduling of vehicle and aircraft maintenance.







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