The representatives of Etihad airlines who visited SMATSA Aviation Academy at Vrsac had talks about possibilities of training pilots, obviously came to the right address. This institution is one of the oldest and largest of this kind in Europe which, from the date of its establishment in 1954 has trained more than 2000 pilots.
By Ranko Pivljanin
“In the past eight months of this year we have had 9.000 flying hours which is the record within European framework. It means there is a system which may give answer to all requirements – trained personnel, three runways and twenty aircraft including eight Cessnas 172 S. These are the aircraft of the latest generation including the latest state of the art flight simulator. The flight instructors guarantee the high quality of training where the most experienced ones have between seven and eight thousand hours of flying” said Mr Mirko Vranić, Head of SMATSA Aviation Academy.
“The training at this Aviation academy depending on the type of licence, lasts up to 16 months while the Academy is capable to train up to 150 candidates; we just had final skill test for the group of Algerian students – 46 of them will go back to their country with pilot licences.
They stayed nine months here sponsored by the second largest Algerian aviation company; we meet three of them settling the documentation for flying. With one voice they say they will remember Serbia by its green fields and friendly people.
The advantage of this Academy for candidates from African and Arab countries is that the training is performed in various meteorological conditions so the candidates are prepared for the situations for which they will not have chance to encounter in their own countries. The remaining can be compensated in a sophisticated flight simulator capable to change flying conditions, aircraft type and airport while one hour of flying in the simulator is equal to flying in the plane. Two of the candidates have just landed at Frankfurt airport in variable weather conditions”.
Ana Tereza Bilić and Uroš Stojković were getting ready for their first solo flight with their instructor Živojin Lazić. Today they will fly traffic pattern – they will exercise landing and taking-off, both are here from April this year and they came with the intention to become airline pilots. If Uroš succeeds, he will be the second pilot in his hometown Leskovac while Ana decided to break down the prejudices about women pilots.
“I worked as a cabin crew in Qatar Airways and in one moment realized that I want to fly a plane but not to serve coffee. I quit my job, gained money for pilot training and here I am”, says Ana.
Instructor Živojin Lazić explains what is first accessed with candidates. ” I first access motivation of the candidates for the profession and then their commitment to professional duties. It is not enough to have wish to become a pilot without sufficient quality preparation”, said Mr Lazić, while his colleague Marko Marković adds that before and after flight analysis is one of the most important segment of training. He is the Academy’s child; he completed the training at Academy at the age of 22 and got the job as an instructor, but he plans to fly in the sky in a Boeing or Airbus plane one day.
Depending on the type of licence, the training fees start from 5.000 EUROS (Private Pilot Licence) to 45.000 EUROS for Airline Transport Pilot Licence. Although the training seems expensive, it is true that pilots, when start flying, can bring back the invested money in their training with a few salaries.
The enrollment for the new group stars on September 10.