I was born on 13th April 1946 in Krakow. I started my education in
Jarosław and passed my A levels in Rzeszów in 1964. I enrolled at the
Faculty of Architecture of the Krakow University of Technology in
1966. In 1972 I became an employee of the “CSO” Design Office in
Warsaw, at their Krakow branch. I worked there for five years as an
assistant designer in the team of Mrs Zofia Bocheńska-Nowakowska.
In 1977 I got an offer from the Polish Airlines “LOT” and in July of
the same year I found myself in the group of over a dozen people who
were trained to fly AN-24. Let me add that it was a consequence of
my earlier experience. Since I was sixteen I have been flying gliders
and I had a professional pilot’s licence. I was also a member of the national
air team. In February 1978 I did a six months’ course and as a
result I started to work as a co-pilot of a turbojet in Poland. After two
years’ practice I was promoted to the rank of a captain.
In 1981 I was sent to the USSR, where after a several month’s training
at the Higher Air School in Ulyanovsk on Volga River, I received
a licence to fly IŁ-18 airplanes. The diploma of the school opened the
door to a better life: I got a passport and could go on foreign flights
to various interesting places in Europe, Africa and Asia. I spent next
nine years flying this plane.
The next promotion I was offered was to move onto an even bigger
and faster plane. It was the jet plane IŁ-62M. This work enabled
me to visit the most faraway places of our globe. Unfortunately, I did
not get a chance to visit Australia and South America because in
1991 Polish Airlines ”LOT” discontinued the use of Russian planes and
started to buy new aircraft in the West. The first purchased planes
were American – Boeing – and French – ATR.
Thus I was sent to the USA to Seattle (Washington). In May 1992
I graduated from the Boeing Air Academy with a diploma of CPT – the
pilot of a Boeing 737 aircraft. I have been flying this plane ever since.
I have spent over 18 000 hours airborne, have had 7491 take offs and
landings at daytime and 3053 at night; I have flown 10 000 000 kilometres.
The change of profession was the fulfilment of my childhood
dreams. At first I wanted to become a sailor. The air shows that I frequented
have altered my interests – towards aviation.
The demand for new pilots at the Polish Airlines ”LOT” made it an
attractive place for the newly-hired young people (as it offered a possibility
to have a flat and higher salaries). The interesting job (travels,
shopping) opened up excellent prospects that were hard to resist.
Architectural studies certainly gave me a general education and
practical skills, which – at least in my case – allowed for a stress-free
building of my house (I rebuilt a pre-war country cottage, a gift
from my family).
It also allowed me to appreciate glorious views after a take-off –
all those sunrises and sunsets, shapes of clouds and weather fronts,
awe-inspiring storms and colours of the sky and earth in all of the
I am sure that classes in urban planning, history of architecture
and the knowledge of many outstanding architectural structures
have proved useful in the head-on confrontation with real life. These
experiences provided me with an insight.
Owing to flying I had the pleasure of visiting and touching many
places of interest, which one usually only sees in photographs.
Thank you Architecture – you were but an episode, but you have
left the indelible mark upon my perception of the world.
Warsaw, June 2010