14. 08
Yuri Kutko: “It is very important to think the way an aircraft commander does”

Yuri Kutko joined Ukrainian Helicopters as a co-pilot and two years later he became an aircraft commander.

 Yuri Kutko: “It is very important to think the way an aircraft commander does”

- Yuri, in July you had yours first solo flight. What did you feel then?

 - It is hard to explain. It was exciting but I had a mixed feeling. I felt some anxiety too. It was different from the training. You have to think clearly and know what you are doing. You can't rely on the instructor or anybody else to help you. It is you yourself who should plan every little detail and work our every minute of the flight, as well as choose the spot for landing. It was then when I fully realized the burden of responsibility an aircraft commanders has.

- What did your family say about your first flight?

- My father and my grandfather are professional pilots. I think they knew that I would be a pilot too. Anyway, my father was deeply moved when I gave him white aircraft commander cap that we traditionally receive after the first flight.

- How did you happen to join Ukrainian Helicopters?

- I graduated from Kremenchug Flight College in 2003, and it was then when I planned on working in UH. But it took me five years to make it: in 2004 I started working in other company in Africa. I changed five different companies within five years. I used to work without any guarantees there.


  - Is it different now?

- Sure! It's different now: I feel confident about the future. The company gives me sense of security. All pilots have insurance and official flight hours logged record. Moreover, we receive bonuses for the years of service. But the most valuable thing for me personally is career opportunities that I have here. The Company organizes aircraft commander training for co-pilots. I started my work in UH in 2010 and worked as a co-pilot on my first two duty journeys in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Sudan. On my third business trip to the Republic of the Sudan I was an aircraft commander trainee. Honestly, I didn't expect my career to develop so quickly.

- Who helped you in your in your career to become an aircraft commander?

- I've always wanted to work with Sergey Nozdrin and Sergey Deylin. Nozdrin is one of the most experienced Kremenchug pilots and Deylin is a one of the best pilots. I was lucky to work with them in South Sudan. I did understand that instructor's work is something intangible and it's not something that catches your eye.
My first instructors' technique was completely different: they asked me questions and made me answer them. Deylin and Nozdrin had a different approach: they commented upon my work at the beginning and then they stopped saying anything at all. I wasn't getting this and at some point I asked them why they didn't explain anything to me. They said "You've been taught everything before. Our task is to make you think as an aircraft commander." And I understood that to have a vision of an aircraft commander is not just important, it is a necessity.

- You became the aircraft commander at the age of 28. What advice can you give to your colleagues?

- The most important thing is try to understand the essence of your job, the rest will come with time. The main thing is to be willing to do this.