Surinam Airways pilots are often complimented for their often ‘smooth’ landings. Romeo Stienstra, director of flight operations at Surinam Airways says that shake-free landings are called ‘greasen’ and that in reality the secret lies in the ‘special’ practice that Surinamese pilots undergo. Like Stienstra, some Surinam Airways pilots have started as agricultural pilot in Wageningen where steering was taught. Another good learning school was when the Surinam Airways was still operating flights to the interior of Suriname. In the interior of Suriname there are no runways, but airstrips in all shapes and lengths. From the beginning of the landing a very good concentration is required. According to Stienstra, the third school was the KLM.

The Surinam airways used to have a cooperation with KLM and the Surinam airways pilots had the opportunity to fly for this airline as well. Internationally, each runway has a touch down zone of six hundred meters. Within this boundary the pilot must make contact with the ground for a safe landing. The real work is, taking off and landing says Stienstra. Landing in the touch down zone regardless of the length of the track is a hard condition. Stienstra further indicates that every landing can be aborted once it is established that a safe landing is no longer guaranteed. In this case, another round is flown and the pilots bring everything back to a safe landing. In the cockpit it is therefore important that there is good harmony between the pilots.

The director of flight operations indicates that a lot is being sacrificed for the pilot’s work. The lifestyle needs to be adjusted because pilots do not have sun and public holidays. Also birthdays of family and / or family members are often not attended. The other side of the coin is that pilots see a lot of the world. A very grateful moment is seeing the rising and undergoing of the sun. Being a pilot is a very unique job, the only job between heaven and earth.


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