Does the work of an F-16 pilot look like in “Top Gun”? How do you get used to huge overloads and speeds of 2000 km/h? Colonel Krystian Zięć (Ret.), former F-16 pilot-instructor and expert of the Alioth Foundation, reveals the backstage of his work.
– When I decided to go into military aviation in 1987, I decided to go into Polish military aviation, which looked just like in that great movie “In the sky and on the ground” [“Na niebie i na ziemi”]. This film is extremely realistic, there are none of the things you see today in productions, like Top Gun. The important thing in fighter aviation is that each flight has a huge added value in building a baggage of experience, if mutually to each other we have aircraft maneuvers with high overloads, speeds, speed differences over a short distance. A good fighter pilot is one who wants to learn, who wants to get better and better, and such people later in the squadron are recognized, with whom others want to fly, from whom they want to learn – says Krystian Zięć.
How to survive the huge overloads and speeds ?
– It is not lightly. The human body adapts, maybe not quickly, but at some pace. When it comes to overloads, in general, anyone who starts flying on an F-16 aircraft, coming out of the plane-they have to pull it out. This is such a monstrously strong sensation for the body, because if the hand, the head, every part of our body can weigh up to 9 times more, the body at first is in shock. A person is weak after those first flights.
About the work of a fighter plane pilot, he says simply – it’s a treacherous mistress. Private life has to be practically entirely sacrificed to the service, which can bring a lot of satisfaction, sensations, but also dangers and serious consequences.
We encourage you to watch the entire interview available below (in Polish).