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AuthorAuthor: reader en | DateDate: 21-06-2022, 09:56
Alexander Risich is a graduate of the Riga Aeronautical Institute.
He was educated at RAI under the professional bachelor's program

"Air Transport Systems Management and Operation" (graduation of 2019) and master's program "International transportation enterprise manager" (graduation of 2021).
He is an active civil aviation pilot in the business aviation segment and has more than

1000 flight hours.


- Have you always wanted to be a pilot? How did you come to choose this profession?
- Like any boy, I had a dream since childhood. I wanted to be both a pilot and an astronaut. I looked at the planes. For me it was so unattainable, it seemed to me that these were supermen, the chosen ones. And to put myself in their place was not realistic.
The choice of profession was influenced by my close circle, including my cousin - a pilot. It was he who suggested that I take a test flight, and after the flight the decision was made.

- How did you find out about RAI?
- I went to study together with a colleague. At the time of admission to the Riga Aeronautical Institute, I already had both PPL and CPL. I went there consciously in order to get a higher education and thereby increase demand for my skills in the labor market.

- Where and what type of aircraft are you flying now?
- The plane I'm currently flying is a Bombardier Challenger 350. I mainly fly within Europe.

- What position are you in now and what are your responsibilities?
- I work as a co-pilot. Responsibilities between the pilots are divided in half and agreed before the flight. One becomes the Pilot Flying, the second – the Pilot Monitoring. In short, the first one takes off, controls the aircraft and lands. The second monitors the work of the pilot, the instrument readings and maintains radio contact with the controller. The decisive word during the flight is always with the captain.


- Did you have a fear of flying?
- I had a fear of flying until I started studying, I studied how an airplane works, the principles of aerodynamics. As soon as I started training as a pilot, I stopped being afraid.

- What was the most valuable thing for you in the process of studying at RAI?
- Of course, certain disciplines that I studied. And besides this, I still remember the words of our teacher Sofya Negreeva, that the process of obtaining an education, in addition to knowledge, is also the development of certain skills - collecting information, processing the information received. Education is about the ability to learn, to acquire the required skills.

- What opportunities did your education at RAI give you?
- Throughout my entire career, I have never regretted my choice. I received a professional bachelor's degree in aviation and a master's degree in business. As I said, higher education at RAI increased my competitiveness. And speaking about psychological aspects, education gave me more self-confidence.

- Which flight do you remember the most?
- My first flight without an instructor. 11 years have passed since the first flight, and I remember it very well. Flights are also remembered because of emotional background, a stressful situation, for example.

- What is your longest flight?
- 12 hours to the Bahamas. London - Goose Bay Airport (Canada) with refueling - Bahamas. And it was my first professional experience of crossing the Atlantic.

- What kind of workload do pilots face?
- Stress accompanies the pilot on every flight. Stress is an integral part of flying.
The plane does not stand still, the pilot always is “time-stressed”, he always has to do something “here and now”, or even “yesterday”, it is always stressful. Over time, you adapt to this and you no longer experience such tension.

- What qualities do you think a pilot should have?
- This is discipline and motivation. Pilots are constantly learning, so you must be a diligent and persistent student. And the most important thing is resistance to stress. It is also the ability to make a well-balanced decision in a stressful situation, which is not so easy.

- Is it true that flying is the safest mode of transport?
- It is, even if you look at the statistics. It's just that every accident in the air is very noisily discussed by the press and has a resonance.

- Have you ever been in an emergency while in flight?
- t happened many times. One example is when a plane was struck by lightning while landing.

- How superstitious are pilots?
- I can't speak for everyone. I prefer not to know about superstitions, once you know, you start to pay attention to it.

- What do you like and dislike about being a pilot?
- When I first got into the aviation world, I was delighted, now, of course, everything is not so sharply perceived, you get used to everything. I like my lifestyle, on business trips I miss home, I miss business trips at home, and I constantly miss one or the other and it keeps me in good shape.
I really like the whole process, from the stage of flight planning, weather analysis, checking all documents before boarding the plane. But the real magic begins when you start the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) and the plane slowly wakes up: one by one, all the systems start up, it becomes cozy and comfortable on board, and you slowly start checking all the systems and entering data for the upcoming flight.
Of course, I prefer to speak about the things I like. However, there are heavy workloads and I definitely don’t like staying in this state for a long time.

- Pilots perform sequential routine actions and are limited by narrow limits of safety requirements during the flight, but is one flight similar to another and do you get tired of the routine?
- There are no two identical flights – they differ and each of them is unique. There is an expression which is used by pilots - "to make the flight beautiful". This happens when one action flows smoothly into another with the utmost comfort for passengers. From such flights you get the maximum professional pleasure. True, this is not always possible - quite often the weather and the controllers make their own adjustments.

- What is your favorite plane? Why?
- Probably I am not going to be original, it is the plane I'm currently flying, the Challenger 350.

- What is the question you get asked the most as a pilot?
- I would say that it is not even a question, but rather a bewilderment of how it is possible to remember so much information that a pilot needs to master during training.

- What would be your advice to RAI students who are just starting their journey to their dream profession?
- Believe in yourself and don't be afraid to follow your dreams. The pilot job means determination, constant development and self-confidence!


Information prepared by Jeļena Reiskarte.

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