One of the world´s best display pilots will fly Gripen at SIAF air show

25. August 2017 Aktuality

Visitors to the Slovak International Air Festival (SIAF) on August 26/27 in Slovakia can expect an exciting program. A highlight of the show will be a very demanding flight demonstration of the Gripen supersonic jet fighter by the top Czech Air Force display pilot, Captain Ivo Kardoš.

Captain Kardoš recently won one of the most prestigious international display awards. He beat international competition at one of world's largest air shows, the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Britain. Kardoš beat more than 60 pilots – which is quite an achievement given that he became a display pilot at the beginning of this year. He demonstrated his excellent flying skills at another air show RNAS Yeovilton, Britian, where
he won another award with his Gripen aircraft.

What is it like to be a display pilot of supersonic aircraft? We interviewed Captain Ivo Kardoš.

Q: What is the main role of a display pilot?

A: To represent the Czech Air Force and to demonstrate the capabilities of the aircraft and the flying skills of the pilot.

Q: Can any Gripen pilot become a display pilot? Or does he need to fulfill certain criteria and undergo special training?

A: The display pilot is selected from the Gripen squadron pilots. The Air Force always has just one display pilot for every type of flying aircraft at a time, and it’s a very prestigious position that lasts no longer than three years, mostly due to safety reasons. The display pilot needs to be very experienced with the given type of aircraft, and needs to be recommended for this position by his superiors. Before the first display performance, the pilot must undergo a certification process, within which he has to prove to a special committee that he is able to perform his dynamic display in line with the set standards.

Q: Regarding the flight demonstration you are going to perform, is it one you’ve invented or was it composed by a team of people?

A: A majority of the elements of the performance were taken from previous Gripen display pilots. The entire performance is a mixture of the best elements, so all the elements are highly demanding to perform and it is hard practicing. The Gripen display has the very best image at the air shows and it is now my turn to continue and to build on the excellent results of my predecessors.

Photo caption

Czech Air Force airmen and their Gripen aircraft attended the NATO Tiger Meet 2017 exercise in Landivisiau, France. They were placed second in the concours d’Elegance for the best camouflage with the Gripen in the “Tiger design.”

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