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The best of the best, future F-16 pilots, train on the White-tailed Falcons. What sets them apart?

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Only the best of the best get into this training, and only the best of them will survive until the end. Before they sit at the controls of the F-16, young pilots must tame the jet-winged bald eagles, and this requires not only knowledge and skills.

The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 is the last aircraft in the pilot training chain before they sit at the controls of the F-16 fighter. In Poland, it was given the name Bielik. – It is one of the game birds, predatory birds, so it refers to its flight characteristics – explains Major Robert Jeł, pilot and instructor in the M-346 “Bielik” aircraft.

Major Robert Jeł is one of the instructor pilots. He is the one who checks the skills of young pilots and shares his knowledge with them. – When a student does not meet these basic requirements, then, unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to him. In fact, it is also a relief and a favor for him, because falling from a higher level is much worse – says Robert Jeł.

The training is extremely demanding

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The best of the best are already starting their training on the White Eagles. For cadets from the fifth year of studies at the Air Force Academy, in addition to good grades, health and knowledge, humility is also useful.

– In order not to feel too confident after each flight, not to fall into such hurray optimism that I can't do anything – says Major Adrian Chudziński “Chudy”, pilot and instructor on the M-346 “Bielik” aircraft.

The training is extremely demanding, the standards are high and few volunteers will serve in fighters. – So that in the future we can defend our own borders – says Sergeant Aleksandra, a cadet at the Air Force Academy. Her image and data must remain secret. She has already had several successes. The latest was on July 5. That was when she made her first solo flight.

– This is probably the most enjoyable moment of the flight, the feeling of the plane accelerating to high speeds, of it lifting off, of me being the person who controls the plane, I am in charge of it and these are my decisions as to what I will do with it – reports Sergeant Aleksandra.

WATCH ALSO: “It's fun, but it's also work.” Interview with an F-16 pilot

The responsibility is considerable

The responsibility is big, but so is the desire to be better and better. – In a situation of real danger, it is not whether we are good that decides, but whether we are the best. The more sweat shed during training, the less blood later in battle – says Adrian Chudziński. – We have to choose only those people who are really suited for this. Those who will fail in a very stressful situation, who will not press this button, or quite the opposite, who will press this button at the right moment – he sums up.

For pilots, flying is above all a passion. Together they form a close-knit family that is aware of their values, but they are also aware that they are responsible for their own safety, and soon they will be responsible for the safety of our country.

“It was only after flying an F-16 fighter that I understood how difficult the work of pilots is”Artur Molęda/Fakty TVN

Main image source: TVN24



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