Captain Apollo Malowa, the pilot of the ill-fated helicopter that crashed into Lake Nakuru, has been described as one of the highly experienced, creative and most trusted helicopter pilots in East Africa.
He is said to have been a Kenya Air Force pilot and one of the best copter flyers at Flex Air Charters, a company at which he also served as a director.
At Flex Air, he was the captain of choice for most politicians and who-is-who in the region, including presidents, former presidents and business moguls.
In social media, Captain Malowa is said to have flown sitting presidents during their campaigns, including Tanzania’s John Pombe Magufuli in 2015.
He had a similar contract with the Ugandan Government and flew President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as he chased votes.
Captain Apollo was also the pilot who was responsible for flying Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate Raila Odinga during his campaigns in 2007.
He was also Mr Odinga’s official pilot during his tenure as prime minister after the formation of the Government of National Unity.
The slain pilot has also flown former Tanzania President Jekaya Kikwete, Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, former Kanu stalwart Nicolas Biwott, several Cabinet secretaries in Jubilee government, businessman Jimmy Wanjigi, former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo among others.
The list does not end there.
Captain Malowa was the official pilot to Kirinyaga County Woman Representative Wangui wa Ngirici for almost nine months during her 2017 campaigns .
After the August 8 elections, he was contracted by Jubilee Party to be their official flyer during campaigns for the repeat election.
A look at his social media pages confirms most, if not all, of what has been said about him.
His Facebook and Instagram accounts are awash with photographs showing the places he has visited and the helicopters he has used to ferry his clients.
In one of his Instagram posts, he poses with a helicopter, registration number 5Y-HKK, which has photos of President Magufuli on it.
He is also seen inside a helicopter wearing a yellow cap written ‘Vote Yoweri Museveni’ and another with the initials NRM believed to be National Resistance Movement— President Museveni’s party.
In another Facebook post, he is aboard a helicopter with Mr Odinga and in yet another, he poses with Kenya Sevens Rugby player Collins Injera and comedian Jasper Muthomi, alias MC Jesse.
Captain Malowa also has a photo of him with a helicopter, registration number 5Y-JNM, painted in Jubilee Party colours and written Wangui wa Ngirici.
On Facebook, the pilot details his career journey—from Kenya Air Force before joining GeoAir Limited in November 1, 2014 as chief pilot and director of flight operations.
He then moved to Northwood Aviation as Chief Pilot in April 1, 2015 before leaving for Flex Air Charters on October 1, 2016 as helicopter pilot.
On December 19, 2016, he became flight operations director at the same company.
Despite his glamorous careers, controversy has always flown with Captain Malowa.
In late 2016, for instance, he hit the headlines for landing a copter in the middle of a busy highway somewhere in Bondo, Siaya County, just to say hi his mother while Mr Odinga was on board.
It is also alleged that his love for the bottle cost him his job with Kenya Air Force.