A HunAF Gripen Demo Pilot´s journey
Máté Majerik from the Kecskemét Air Base talks about his journey as a Gripen demonstration pilot so far.
Máté Majerik joined the Hungarian Air Force in the year 2009. A year later, he moved to Canada to attend a program called the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC). After a few years, he returned home but did not get an immediate opportunity to fly Gripen. However, he attended several simulator training sessions and also flew in Gripen as a co-pilot. His Gripen retraining happened in Sweden in 2015. And after a few years, in February 2019, he became a demonstration pilot.
According to Máté Majerik, a demonstration pilot has to be really careful about things he can do. "It is a greater experience to fly in front of tens of thousands of audiences, but the pilot has to rule it out the manoeuvres he can’t do," he says.
Máté Majerik, who performed at events last month, and has another event planned in August end, says he tries to add something new to every performance. He also stresses on the importance of training and getting feedback from his colleagues and previous demonstration pilots. He trains regularly before every event. “This is essential because aerobatics are performed at low altitudes, and most probably in the presence of 30-40 thousand spectators, which means that safety is very important. The lower limit for vertical maneuvers is 500 feet, or about 150 meters, and for horizontal drags, the limit is 200 feet or a good 60 meters. So the spectators can expect a fairly intense sound experience,” he says.
Majerik Máté and his colleague Szentendrei David Szazados were officially welcomed by the Hungarian Air Force in a recently released MH59 video.
Watch Majerik Máté’s Gripen demo from 2019 here.
Read the full story here.