24 August 2019

AWACS pilot: We are the “eyes” in the sky

Andreea Soare

An AWACS pilot talked, at the Bucharest International Air Show 2019, for the Defence and Security Monitor, about the AWACS pilot career within NATO, but also how are the AWACS aircrafts ensuring security in the air space.

Image source: Mediafax

We are offering you the entire interview:

Reporter: What would you recommend to youngsters who want to follow the army pilot career?

Pilot: This is a tricky question. These days, aviation is growing on all sectors. So, every airline or air force is looking for people who are willing to fly. Hence, there are so many questions. They can apply to the forces and see if they get to that pilot training. As the industry is growing so much, the chances are pretty good. 

Reporter: What qualities should they have?

Pilot: Actually, the normal pilots. They are looking for average people. They do not have to be too eager, but also not too lazy.

Reporter: What was the most interesting experience you have lived so far as a pilot?

Pilot: Uh! Though question! I still remember the pilot training. All pilots I think they remember their first solo flight, when their instructor tell them: <<Ok, today you are flying on your own!>>. It is trilling, but you do so much training, then you are sitting in the aircraft, all of a sudden on your own, however, then the training kicks in and you are flying and it works just like the day before, when the instructor was sitting next to you. You would think, initially, that it is scary, but once you start flying, everything works as the day before. During the flight is like any other flight, almost.

Reporter: How does the AWACS aircrafts ensure security on the air space?

Pilot. We are like the “eyes” in the sky. We provide a picture, especially in areas where there is no air coverage, over water or at the border of NATO air space. We are providing an extended lookout and transferring that picture to leaders on the ground that helps them to make a decision. That give just more information for them to make a solid decision. 

The NATO Airborne Early Warning &Control Force- NAEW&C, with its permanent headquarter in Germany, Geilenkirchen, is back at BIAS 2019. With a huge satellite above and full of equipment, the E-3A Sentry AWACS Boeing is surveilling the air space but it also coordinates the other alliaed aircrafts in different missions, by sending information to all of them.