Ing. Branislav Čop has more than 26 years of professional experience as a transport pilot. During his career, he flew for Fischer Air, CSA, Travel Service and Ryanair. There are more than 17,000 flight hours on various types of aircraft, of which 14,000 as a Boeing 737 commander. As a type instructor on a Boeing 737, they last more than 1,000 hours in type ratings and training. He currently works as a commander of the Boeing 737 at Ryanair.
Flight hours: 17,000
Qualification: TRI B737, IRI (A)
What were your beginnings in flying?
In high school, I decided what to do next, and I found it interesting to become a transport pilot. In my time, there was only one comprehensive path of study at a university, the University of Žilina, where I studied economics and at the same time completed flight training as a commercial pilot. The condition was a strict selection for a university and at the same time psychological tests, air show and mathematics with an average of up to 1.5%.
What is it like to drive a Boeing 737 airliner?
The B 737 was designed about 30 years ago and has undergone many improvements to the current latest model B 737 MAX. I have been flying this plane since 1996 and I have flown about 15,000 hours on it. The B 737 is a modern and very powerful aircraft for 200 passengers and 6 crew members. It is incredibly reliable and excellently controllable both in the air and on the ground.
What are your greatest experiences while working as a transport pilot?
The greatest experience is when I fly through the first layer of clouds in the morning and there is a blue sky and a sunny day, which for many people on earth remains shrouded in clouds. It’s a feeling that never looks away :-)). The work of a transport pilot will take you to many beautiful places that will remain in your memory for life. During many stays it is time to get to know the places and people who live in remote places of the world.
There are days when you leave Prague where is -25 ℃ and land in Thailand where is +35 ℃. At the beginning, you devour every new experience, such as a sunrise from a height of 14 km or its sunset, these are fascinating moments when the sky creates a palette of colors and beautiful moments. Flights to interesting places such as the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Himalayas, the Atlas and the like. You are fascinated by how beautiful the earth’s surface is. Interesting places such as a flight with the Hungarian Prime Minister to ….. with a secret diplomatic permit and a welcome on the red carpet are experiences that will not be forgotten.
What are the benefits of working as a transport pilot?
The advantage of the work of a transport pilot is the work itself, which is your hobby and which you must love. It is a constant process of education and acquisition of new information due to the constant development of technology, materials and construction of aircraft, their equipment is changing dynamically and we must change as well. It is a dynamic process where the stereotype of ordinary jobs has no place. An indisputable advantage is also the financial evaluation of this demanding work.
What does a person have to do to become a pilot of a transport plane?
He must make a timely decision and then gradually fulfill his dream step by step. Nowadays, in addition to good health, they also have to have the financial resources needed for training, so at a young age they have to make their first difficult decisions on how to have a loan and repay it monthly. These parameters form in a young person the qualities, such as responsibility, punctuality and precision in the performance of assigned tasks, which he will need for the performance of this demanding profession.
What would you recommend to those interested in a career as a professional pilot?
I would recommend young novice pilots to constantly trust their forces and follow their dream as generations of pilots before them do. To have the opportunity as one of the few to experience the opportunity to fly like birds in the sky.
How does the quality of flight training affect the future career of a pilot?
Quality training is the basis for mastering the demanding training of a transport pilot. The first steps must be taken under the supervision of quality instructors who will lay a quality foundation for further development and on modern technology that will ensure continuous training without technical problems. There is a huge difference between individual schools, in the quality of instructors and aviation technology. At our AeroJOB school we have great and experienced instructors with years of training experience. Ideally, the school has instructors who are actively flying as transport pilots and have rare knowledge that they can sell to their students. Aircraft equipment is changing very rapidly and it is necessary to have aircraft that have instruments and equipment according to the latest modern trends in order for training to be effectively managed and the transition to higher and more complex types to be smooth.
What are the trends and future in the field of work of transport pilots in Europe and in the world?
There is a huge boom in the world of aviation and the need for pilots in modern aircraft is enormous. Many airlines leave their new planes on the ground due to a lack of pilots. This trend should last for several years and it is good for novice pilots who can find work anywhere in the world today. I wish them that their dream of flying come true and that they be happy when they get up in the morning and look forward to “the best office in the world”.