Capt Caroline Busingye dreamt of becoming the first female air wing commander not only in Uganda but the entire East African region, but alas, her dream was brought to an abrupt end by the crash of a chopper she was piloting.
Busingye was on Thursday afternoon rushed to hospital where she was later pronounced dead after suffering severe injuries that she sustained when she together with a cadet trainee pilot that she was instructing were involved in a chopper accident.
The accident saw an Agusta-Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopter that according to Daily Monitor was planned to fly from Entebbe via Kampala to Mukono and back, crash shortly after takeoff in Entebbe, a few metres away from the Uganda People’s Defence Air Forces airbase .
The duo was rushed to Kisubi hospital but Busingye was a few hours later pronounced dead.
According to the Daily Monitor, Capt Busingye joined the army in 2007 and was later in 2008 sent on an exchange cadet course to Monduli Military Academy in Tanzania where she graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant.
In 2009, Busingye went to Nakasongola for the first aviation course and upon completion in 2010, she started flying the Jet Ranger which killed her yesterday.
Already a Captain in UPDAF, Busingye was due to graduate as a flight captain in May, this year and before the ill- fated flight, the duo was training to fly in all weather, landing in mountainous areas and flying at night.
Wanted to carry on Maj.Karungi’s legacy
According to friends and workmates in the air force, Capt Busingye was taken aback by the death of Maj Naome Karungi who was not only her senior but also a good friend.
“After her(Karungi)’s death, Capt Carlo(as she was fondly referred to by colleagues) was determined to carry on the legacy of her close friend,” said a colleague in the air force who asked to remain anonymous so as to speak freely.
“She dreamt of continuing with the legacy of being the squadron commander of the Agusta Bells.”
By the time of her death, Maj Naome Karungi had completed her Squadron commander course in 2016 at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama which is also known as Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base under the Air Education and Training Command of the US Air Force.
First female airforce commander
According to friends, Capt Busingye dreamt of being the first female airwing commander in the East African region, a dream she worked so hard to achieve.
“She wanted to become the first female wing commander in the history of the airforce both here and the whole East Africa. Other than that, she was the most humble pilot on ground and people outside the airforce would rarely know she was a pilot.”
Following Busingye’s death, a number of people took to social media pay tribute to her.
So sad, our hearts are with family members, friends and relatives. May God strengthen you all. May her soul rest in peace,” Samuel Byaruhanga tweeted.