Load Master and Winch Operator

The load master and winch operator accompany the air crew on flights.

The load master:

  • ensures that air cargo is loaded correctly

  • logs flying hours

  • records the amount of fuel used

The winch operator:

  • accompanies helicopter crews on deliveries to ships at sea

  • is responsible for loading and unloading cargo

  • picks up and lowers people while the helicopter hovers over a point

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate.

What to Study

Employers offer an in-service training programme (3 months) which covers theory and practice.


  • Air-freight companies

  • SA Air Force

  • SA Airways

  • Private airlines

Further Information

South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA)
Private Bag X 73
Halfway House, 1685
Tel: (011) 545-1000 Fax: (011) 545-1465

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in an airport

  • arrange to speak to load masters and winch operators about this type of career

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