Hi, I'm Pavel Gridin, first officer of SkyUp Airlines.
I'm from an aviation family: my father is a pilot, and his father worked at the Antonov factory.
In the first week of my life I was transported from Kiev to Kirovograd (the "forge" of pilots of that time) and registered there. After 18 years, when I entered GLAU (Flight Academy of NAU in Kropivnitsky, former Kirovograd), all those who checked my passport said: "Uh-oh... ...returned to his historic homeland?!"
My childish observations of my father and his pilot friends did their job - I made the decision to become a pilot in kindergarten and since then has not changed it. People go to aviation at the call of their hearts and therefore are as open as possible, ready to share their emotions with everyone who turns, and I turned.
Some relatives have tried to offer alternatives - for example, to enter the Naval Academy. Many of my acquaintances and friends of my parents were surprised when they found out that I had only applied to the GLAU for admission, and for me It was the only option under consideration - I didn't expect any other.
In high school I went to the lyceum, where, in addition to the regular school curriculum, there were 11 different subjects in English (vocabulary, religious studies, U.S. history, grammar, business English, etc.). It gave me a good base for studying in Kirovograd. The second semester of study I finished on 5 points ((it in what year?)), this level I maintained and till the end of study - GLAU I finished with the red diploma.
After graduation was six months waiting for work, and after that spun and carried: retraining, simulators, checks and study. But it was already a narrow and specific training, very necessary, so there are no options: sorted out, studied, asked my colleagues. The world of aviation is rich in people who know and want to give advice.
For the first time at the helm.
In January 2013 we were sent to Vilnius for a simulator, and in February we were sitting at the helm of the real B-737 in beautiful shape. I was 23 years old. ((did I get it right by the years?))
My first flight took place in the second year of the Academy - it was an introductory flight to the Aeroclub, where we went with a friend. When after it we sat and shared our impressions, my dad's colleague came up and offered to fly more - as it turned out, he was flying as an instructor. He let me feel the full control of this plane.
The first training flight was very spontaneous and unexpected: I collected all the necessary documents for the practice and was waiting to be instructed to go for it. One evening there was a bell - I had to be ready to leave in the morning. Of course, I got ready to run and stood there waiting in the morning. The bus ride was very long, especially on the PAZik - as it turned out later, we spent more time on the road than our flights. I was the first one in the group, so the instructor who met us gave me the flight relief and introduced me to the aerodrome on the way to the plane. The flight itself was fast, but the instructor was so good that there was a lot of impressions and knowledge left.
The first time we flew the airfield training on Boeing, and the second time, two days later, we were already on a regular flight as pilots. I went to the airfield training with a friend with whom we were training together and had a simulator. We came to the airport "Borispol", a whole 737-500 and one of the airport lanes was allocated for us. We performed 6 takeoffs/landings, which took an hour and a half each, but this time flew so imperceptibly that it felt like we had just started. Satisfied and happy, we went home, and two days later I was on my first working flight to Vienna. The instructor was so interesting that the communication and training were interrupted only for procedural moments and negotiations with the dispatcher.
With time, due to the large number of flights, the feeling dulled, but any such pleasant moment you remember with a smile.
Working at SkyUp
I worked at another airline for seven years. I liked everything, but the question of my joining the aircraft commanders was postponed.
After consulting with different people and getting to know the situation at other companies, my choice was obvious - SkyUp. The company has a good growth rate, has many ambitions and a great desire for further development, everything is as friendly and open as possible.
Although I immediately sent my CV and expected to be invited to an interview, the call from SkyUp was unexpected. We agreed on a meeting quickly enough - I didn't even fully understand what had happened. At the interview itself, we talked for a long time about different topics, different areas of my life, and when the conversation came to an end, there was a desire to talk more.
After that there was a long wait for the technical interview, which took place three weeks later. During this time there were fears and twists, but everything turned out great, and the day after the technical interview I was called, said that I liked and fit, offered to "sit down to study" in 2 weeks.
Even before working for SkyUp, I heard a lot of positive feedback. Now, being in the team, I can say that I feel comfortable. This is a team that always supports and grows together.
Profession is a pilot.
I somehow had it in me that my friends always knew that I would be a pilot and got used to it. A friend of a classmate recently reminded me that some of my white shirts I wore in the lyceum were already with loops for the chases.
People who are unfamiliar, of course, are surprised to learn about my profession, begin to ask a lot of questions, and then summarize that, perhaps, I am often asked similar questions and that it is time to make a booklet with answers to the top popular questions.
I am often asked how many countries I have visited, so I even downloaded a program to my phone to keep records. According to the flight book, I flew to 41 countries, but most of these flights were turn-around, which means we're flying somewhere and there's no time even to walk around the terminal, because in an hour it's time to fly home, and the plane has to be prepared for departure.
Only in 11 of these countries our crew had enough time to rest, and I could go for a walk.
Aviation is people...
Everyone here is in love with their profession and you can find many friends. Now, when I'm on vacation, I miss the planes very much, so I go to fly small planes or try to fly to other countries to at least somehow experience the feeling of flight.