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Czech Air Force pilot reaches 2000 flight hours in Gripen

3 min read

Lieutenant Colonel Michal Daněk is the first Czech Air Force pilot to pass 2000 flight hours in Gripen, which he did during a flight between Linköping, Sweden and Čáslav in the Czech Republic.


Lieutenant Colonel Michal Daněk has been connected with the Gripen fighters since the very beginning of their operation in the Czech Republic. Lieutenant Colonel Michal "MACRO" Daněk is a graduate of the Military Academy in Brno (now the University of Defense). In 2005, he was part of the first group of pilots who trained in Sweden for Gripen.



"It was an important qualitative and technological step for the air force, which moved us to the level of alliance partners," says Lieutenant Colonel Daněk.

On September 22, 2021, he reached the significant milestone when he clocked 2,000 flight hours in Gripen on a flight between Linköping in Sweden to Čáslav in the Czech Republic. Passing this number, he became the first Czech Air Force pilot  to reach this significant milestone in a Gripen. The first pilot in the world to do so in a Gripen, was Stefan Kaarle, pilot in the Swedish Air Force who reached 2,000 flight hours in Gripen C/D in 2015.


"There are various milestones in each pilot's career, the most significant being the first solo flight. Furthermore, retraining for a new type of aircraft and later achieving a certain number of flying hours - 100, 500, 1000…. The fact that it would be possible to exceed 2000 hours on Gripen was, so to speak, from the realm of dreams ", explains Lieutenant Colonel Daněk.

In November 2020, the Czech Air Force passed the respectable number of 30,000 flight hours with 14 Gripen aircraft in 15 years, which is a significant milestone.

"This in itself is an excellent sign of reliability and also testifies to the high erudition of the staff, without which we would certainly not have achieved this result," explains the commander of the 211th Tactical Squadron and one of the most experienced pilots, Lieutenant Colonel Michal Daněk.

Lieutenant Colonel Daněk has so far participated in four NATO missions - in Lithuania, Estonia and twice in Iceland. Next year he will go on a mission to the Baltics for the fifth time, but for the first time as the commander of the entire task force. This time Gripen aircraft and pilots together with technicians and other personnel will operate from Lithuania.