Meet Major George Magondu: The Visionary Pilot killed in General Ongolla Military Helicopter crash

The family of the late Major George Benson Kabui Magondu, a dedicated pilot of the Bell UH-1H Huey II military chopper, speaks fondly of his deep passion for his profession and his ambitious aspiration to reach the highest echelons of military leadership, aiming for the position of Chief of Defence Forces (CDF).

Tragically, Major Magondu’s hopes and aspirations were abruptly halted when the military chopper he was piloting crashed in Chesegon along the Elgeyo Marakwet-West Pokot border on April 18, claiming his life along with the lives of Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Francis Ogolla and nine other officers.

Born on September 21, 1993, Magondu, the youngest among his siblings, excelled academically at Moi Forces Academy, achieving an outstanding A grade in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam.

His mother, Mary Wambui, reminisces about Magondu’s early fascination with aviation, recalling how he could identify different aircraft types from a young age. His passion for flight led him to pursue a career in the military after successfully passing the cadet recruitment process advertised in the newspapers.

Magondu’s dedication to his profession saw him undergo rigorous training, including military studies and piloting courses both locally and internationally. He served diligently at various military bases, earning recognition from his superiors for his outstanding performance. Notably, he served as the official pilot for General Ogolla and had the privilege of flying senior government officials, showcasing his skill and professionalism.

Despite his relatively young age, Magondu climbed the ranks swiftly, attaining the rank of Major at just 30 years old. His ultimate ambition was to ascend to the position of Chief of Defence Forces, a goal he pursued with unwavering determination until his untimely demise.

The family describes Magondu as a devoted father of three, including twin boys, who was deeply committed to his family’s well-being. His sudden loss has left a profound void in their lives, with his mother expressing her anguish at the irreplaceable gap left by his absence.

Magondu’s tragic death, marked by a severe head injury sustained in the crash, was a devastating blow to his loved ones. His mother-in-law, Maureen Akinyi, prays for strength for her daughter, Magondu’s widow, who is now tasked with caring for their three children.

Mourners gathered to pay their respects remember Magondu as a hardworking, compassionate, and forward-thinking officer who touched the lives of many with his humility and generosity.

Major Magondu will be laid to rest in Kariminu, Laikipia County, where he will be honored for his service and remembered for the lasting impact he made on those around him.