At a ceremony this week Czech Airlines has inaugurated 11 new ATR 42/72 captains. The inauguration ceremony, on the occasion of the appointment of ?SA pilots into the position of captain, took place for the third year, this time at Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle. The pilots received the certificates of ?SA captains from the Company’s President, Radom’r La?ák.
“The newly appointed captains had to comply with the strict criteria required of this position. Their professional work and loyalty to the Company made their professional and career growth at ?SA possible,” said the Company’s President, Radom’r La?ák, about the new captains. “Aside from its high prestige, the position of captain is inherently connected with responsibility for every-day decisions in the preparation of a flight, and during the flight itself,” added Jan Jan’k, Vice President for Flight Operations.
Each pilot flying for ?SA partakes in a regular cycle of professional checking throughout his or her career, every six months, which is both theoretical and practical. Excellent results in those tests are only one of the many criteria for selection as a captain. Each captain must hold the licence of a commercial pilot, which is awarded on the basis of demanding tests, according to the highest standards applicable for all of Western Europe. A required condition is also a sufficient number - several thousand - of flight hours on multi-engine commercial aircraft. Each pilot selected to be a captain must also undergo strict training for the position, comprising a theoretical part, as well practical flight checks.
By their appointment as captains, pilots become the highest commanders in ?SA cockpits, responsible for the safe conduct of the flight and the comfort of passengers. The freshly-appointed captains will also newly wear the uniform of ?SA captains, with four golden braids on their sleeves.
Czech Airlines has 527 pilots, of whom 279 are captains, and 248 are co-pilots. Aside from the turbo-prop ATR42 and 72 aircraft, the Company also operates jet aircraft - Boeing 737’s, Airbus 320’s, and long-haul Airbus 310’s. ?SA aircraft are also piloted by women. Presently, 11 work as ?SA pilots, of whom one is a captain.