82 years old Alexander Kujawski is still an active instructor and glider pilot, as well as airplane pilot . He has trained dozens of young glider pilots. He made nearly 8,000 glider and about 2,000 plane flights. He was awarded the Silver Cross of Merit and won the badge and the title of Meritorious Sports Aviation and others. He also has a Gold Badge with Three Diamonds.
In August this year it has been 65 years since your first flight . How did your adventure with aviation start ? Is it true that you were 8 years old? Your father bought you and your brother a ticket for aviation flight? What was next …..?
My interest in aviation began before the war in the 30’s. I remember my father’s story about the aeroplan landing in the fields around the monastery of Jasna Gora. Man who landed – Michael Scipio del Campo was a famous pilot . This was about the year 1912 – 13. At this time my father was 7 years old.
In July 1939 near Chęstochowa was an air show. My father bought us a ticket for flight .
Unfortunately plane broke down and we didn’t fly. It was a critical moment for me. I decided to be a pilot , earn a lot of money and have my own plane . I started reading available aviation books. Later during war and Hitler occupation I was building flying models (also with rubber drive)
13 August 1948 , Polish Nowy Młyn. It was a date and place that changed your life forever?
I was waiting for end of occupation to made my aviation dream come true. It happened in winter 1947 when I graduated with a passing grade aviation theoretical course . In August 1948 I started flying on glider SG-38 at Polish Gliding School in Nowy Młyn.
After I came back to Częstochowa I started very intense flying at Aeroclub of Częstochowa. My glider intructor was pilot Tadeusz Piętka, who flew in the „september campain” on „Karasiach”. He said tha he was afraid of flying without engine…….. that means gliders. He liked me and appreciated my aviation payment and skills. Because of that I had extra work – I flew gliders after repairs and inspection . I was training (without instructor permission !!!) my equals on glider „Żuraw” . It was a great time in my aviation life Until Stalin’s time! In March 1952 my brother and I were removed from Aero Club of Częstochowa with no access to the airport because we were capitalist ‘s sons. At this time my friends and a lot of others pilots were removed from the airport. After that I started my adventure with sailing. In Ozimek I organized „ Sea Club” , where I got internation maritime helmsman patent. My tragic separation from aviation lasted until 1956 when Władysław Gomułka took power in Poland. At this time I was working as metallurgist engineer in “Hucie Małapanew” in Ozimek.
You made nearly 8,000 glider and about 2,000 airplane flights. You also have a Gold Glider Badge with Three Diamonds?
In 1957 the Club Of Opole was founded , where I immediately volunteered as a glider pilot. For me it was intense time of glider training .In 1963, after obtaining a glider instructor license class II , I trained my first group of students for the (surprisingly) Aero Club of Częstochowa. In this group was a great student – Marek Małolepszy pilot, named by me “eagle”. In Aero Club of Opole in Nowa Wieś near Komprachcice I flew intensively on gliders and airplanes gaining new powers and conditions for the golden glider badge .In 1959 I made a flight destination Opole – Szczecin – a condition for gold badge and first diamond 385 km. In 1962 in Jelenia Góra I got elevation to the golden signs glider 4,200 meters and won a gold gliding badge with number 404 of FAI In 1978 in Jelenia Góra I got elevation of 5,700 meters winning the second diamond. In 1989 I made a trip Poznan – Olsztyn – Poznan (580 km) to give the same third and last diamond to the golden glider
badge . For me this badge is not only the highest international gliding badge , but also the
culmination of my efforts to acquire and its peculiar pride in its ownership.
How mamy gliders have you trained for all this years ?
I have never counted. But I can confidently say that more than 200. Many of them work for airlines or sanitary aviation ?
Have you got the feeling that all your aviation dream came true? Does your family support you in your passion?
Althought I am 82 years old I still fly and train young glider pilots. My life motto (not only in aviation ) is “”QUIDQUID AGIS PRUDENTER AGAS ET RESPICE FINEM” ( whatever you do, do it right and wait for the effect”.) I am happy that I am healthy and I can continue my adventure with aviation. The most important is that my family accepts my passion.
Photo. Aleksander Kujawski