Q&A with KF Flight Instructor Jyothi Bachwala

March 7, 2024

On discovering work-life balance and passion in military aircrew training

As a Class 2 Phase 1 Flight Instructor for KF Aerospace’s CFTS Program, Jyothi Bachwala shares her experiences since moving to Portage from Calgary, revealing the unique opportunities and supportive community that have shaped her career and personal life over the past two years.

Q: Can you share more about your role and your origins before joining the program?

A: I was living and working in civilian aviation in Calgary for several years, but it was very stressful and I felt I was missing too much time with my kids. My hours were all over the place and I was often scrambling with how to arrange care for them and meals after school hours. I felt bad that I was often unable to attend their extracurricular activities due to the demands of my job.

A few years ago, a friend told me about this CFTS Program training military aircrew pilots in Portage, Manitoba. Even though I didn’t know much about the area, the job really appealed to me so we took a chance and I moved my family out to Portage so I could instruct on the program. I haven’t looked back since!

Jyothi Bachwala instructs a Canadian military pilot student at the CFTS Program.

Q: What are the standout benefits of working with the CFTS Program at Allied Wings/KF Aerospace?

A: The program offers numerous benefits that significantly enhance our professional and personal lives. From financial support for further education and licenses to enjoying winter breaks and a comprehensive benefits package, the emphasis on work-life balance and continuous growth is such a great part of working here. The freedom to undertake professional flights, flexible scheduling, and a supportive work environment, coupled with on-campus facilities like a gym, contribute to a truly fulfilling career.

But above all that is the work-life balance. I finally have certainty in my schedule. I’m home every night to make my kids dinner, to spend time with them and to attend to their many activities! Since I took this position, I found I not only get to fly amazing aircraft every day and earn a great wage, but I feel like I got my life back.

Q: Living in the local area has its perks. Could you describe some advantages and your personal experience?

A: Portage la Prairie is an ideal place for individuals and families alike, offering affordable housing, a lower cost of living, and a variety of recreational and educational facilities. The supportive community, along with extracurricular activities for children and beautiful outdoor spaces, enhanced the quality of life for myself and my family when we moved out here.

I feel very fortunate to live in this community and to raise my kids here in a stable environment. This really is the best balance of smaller city living with great outdoor recreation and Winnipeg close enough that we can go anytime we want the features of the big city.

Jyothi Bachwala and her family enjoy the work life balance and recreation life in Portage offers.

Q: For someone considering a move to Portage for work, what would you highlight about your job and the area?

A: This role is perfect for those seeking to balance a rewarding career with a rich personal life. The job’s flexibility, supportive environment, and the array of local amenities make Portage an appealing choice for professionals, especially those with families or planning to start one.

The work itself is also quite fulfilling. My brother and father both served in uniform. My father was in the Air Force. I’m proud that I can do my part in helping train future generations of Canadian military pilots while providing for my family.

Interested in this role? KF Aerospace is hiring a CFTS Grob Flight Instructor Trainee NOW. Once certified, Qualified Flight Instructors can expect to earn between $92,491.26 and $102, 576.16. Apply now

Jyothi Bachwala instructs a Canadian military pilot student at the CFTS Program.

About the CFTS Program

In 2005, KF Aerospace was awarded the Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) Services contract to support pilot training for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

As the prime contractor of a team of top Canadian aerospace companies (collectively called Allied Wings), KF Aerospace established a turnkey operation at the Southport Airport (near Portage la Prairie, MB) with new facilities, training devices and courseware to satisfy the rigorous training requirements of the RCAF.

Operating four fleets of aircraft, KF Aerospace and partners provide ground school and simulator instruction, flight instruction and all of the support services for the program. The program is a fully integrated partnership between the Department of National Defence and the Allied Wings Flight Training Services Group – led by KF Aerospace.

Learn more about the opportunities with the CFTS Program and life in Southport/Portage.