Aviation people: Smaranda Ioana Dragomir - first officer (co-pilot)
As we announced last days, we are starting a new editorial project of Airlines Travel. Through this project, we will talk to people in aviation: pilots, flight attendants, ramp agents, ticketing agents, check-in agents and many others. We start the project "People from aviation" with Smaranda Ioana Dragomir, who is first officer (co-pilot) at an airline in Romania.
Airlines Travel, one of the few aviation sites in Romania, has attracted many people who are passionate about aviation and flights. Among them we find Smaranda Ioana Dragomir, a young woman passionate about the aeronautical industry.
Smaranda Ioana Dragomir - first officer
Smaranda has grown with Airlinestravel.ro. We know it since the pilot school started and we have watched it constantly. Today, Smaranda delights us with beautiful pictures taken beyond the clouds in the cockpit.
Today we are launching the project "People from aviation" with this interview. Smaranda tells us about her passion for flying and what it means to be a first officer (co-pilot) on commercial flights. If you fly with Blue Air, you have a good chance of seeing Smaranda on the plane's sleeve.
To get acquainted. Are we talking about?
My name is Smaranda Ioana Dragomir and I was born in Bucharest!
Let's go straight to the topic. Where's this passion for airplanes and flight?
The passion for airplanes, flight and aviation came with increasing age. At first, when I was a child, I dreamed of becoming a doctor. In those days, all children dreamed of being police officers or doctors.
But, attending many discussions about airplanes and flights between my father and brother, I began to be attracted to this industry and wish to follow in their footsteps. As the chop did not jump far from the trunk, my family expected to enter aviation.
I thank them for trusting me, for being and being with me unconditionally and supporting me in what they do. They guided my steps towards the plane sleeve.
My brother attended the Romanian Civil Aviation High School. He was co-pilot and commander at TAROM on ATR aircraft and co-pilot on A318. He is currently commander on a superb Airbus 320 / 321 within Wizzair.
My father has extensive experience in the field. Has accumulated approximately 18000 flight hours on the sleeves of several aircraft (AN-2, AN-24, IL-18, 1-11, Airbus 310 and MD-82).
At what age did you fly for the first time and when did you decide to board the plane?
I flew to Clinceni for the first time. It was a flight with a stunt plane. I think at that time I fell in love with aviation. I realized what it means to take off, the flight, the landing, I was too fascinated by what was happening. I went through several states.
Then I flew as a passenger on board the aircraft where my brother was a pilot. That's how I became even more interested in becoming a pilot. I like the uniform, impose respect and attract the looks of others.
In the 12th grade I decided to enroll in the Romanian Aeroclub, in gliding, where I attended the courses and took the specific exams. The IS28B2 glider flight to Clinceni was a beautiful experience. I met people who were passionate about flying.
In 2011, after the baccalaureate exam, I decided to start the training courses for the accompanying students in the FLY LEVEL school.
In 2012 I started the pilot courses at the Romanian Civil Aviation High School. I flew the PPL and CPL modules, accumulated flight hours on the Cessna 172 aircraft at Strejnic Aerodrome.
Here I met Razvan Petrescu, my first instructor, who taught me the mysteries of flight, trusted me and supported me along with the other instructors in the school.
After taking the examinations at the Civil Aviation Authority and after obtaining the license, I decided to start the Type Rating within the framework of the company Tarom, on the ATR 72-500 aircraft.
After this period followed the second Type Rating on the Boeing 737 Classic aircraft, but also NG, within the company Blue Air. Today I fly within this airline as a first officer (co-pilot).
Smaranda also enjoyed a parachute jump! He had this courage. We still have the courage to experience a parachute jump :).
How do you divide yourself between family life, personal life and work? Do you have time to reconcile them all? 🙂 How is a day in your pilot life going?
Currently my base is in Iasi, far from the house. It is very difficult to share my time with my family. I take advantage of the free days and go home to see them, to talk, to tell stories. I am very attached to the family.
A normal day in my pilot life, in which I fly, starts with a coffee :). Then I'm getting ready for the race. I go to the airport, and at the Briefing Room I meet the crew members. We set the data on flight, fuel, weather on the route, then board the plane and prepare it for boarding.
We enjoy the flights and what the sky has to offer! Upon return, everyone is happy and satisfied because everything was fine and we returned to the base without any problems.
On holidays I go home, relax or, if I stay in Iași, I meet with colleagues and we go out to the table and to various activities depending on the program of each one. We are not bored!
In a male-dominated world, how did you get as a woman on the plane? How do colleagues at the airport see you? What do passengers say when they see you in the pilot's uniform?
In a world dominated by men, in which there are more and more women, there were no prejudices. I and my colleagues went through the same stages in aviation school, held the same exams and underwent the same flight and ground tests. I am treated and seen as a normal man, who does his job professionally.
Instead, passengers have different reactions. I am impressed that most passengers are pleasantly surprised when they hear my name or see me on the sleeve. Some of them greet me, others wonder, others thank me.
What is your dream in aviation? Have you considered flying to other airlines in Europe, the Gulf or other regions?
My dream is to become a pilot in command. I can see myself flying on bigger tracks, but I didn't think about where and when. At the moment I am focusing on what I am now and what I have to do in the near future, on the accumulation of flight hours. I invest in my training and am accumulating the experience in my 11.000 m altitude office.
Did you get hit by difficult situations? Did you have a more special flight to tell your grandchildren about?
Fortunately, until now, we have not had any difficult or special situations during flights. There are situations that get you out of the rut, but we are prepared to deal with them so that everything goes safely for passengers, crew and aircraft.
Which destination do you prefer the most when flying? Do you have a favorite airport, destination, city, country?
All destinations are beautiful, none are the same. From above everything looks beautiful. I could say, from what I have seen so far, that the approach and descent to Bergamo - Orio al Serio is a very beautiful one. The same could be said of Antalya.
What do you advise young people who want to follow in your footsteps?
I am glad that aviation is loved by more and more people. And I am glad to see that more and more people decide to take pilot courses, board companions or qualify for an aviation profession.
For those who want to become pilots, I advise them to be passionate, patient and consistent. Be aware that it takes a lot of patience and sacrifice, that they have to learn a lot and want to be better. Always invest in them and their profession.
Smaranda, thank you for your answers and for giving us some details of your pilot life. We have limited ourselves to a few questions, but aviation is certainly an endless area of discussion. We wish you clear skies, beautiful flights and great success in the future!
If you have any questions for Smaranda, we invite you to comment in this article! Smaranda will certainly answer you personally!