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Pilot Story #9
Every Monday a new story!
Daniel Ryfa is Sweden’s top aerobatic pilot and has claimed European, Nordic and national championships. He’s also one of the most experienced and consistent pilots in the Challenger Cup, climbing onto the podium in 75% of his races across the series’ first two seasons. Ryfa came oh-so-close to the Challenger Cup title in 2015!
Born in Stockholm, Ryfa discovered his passion for aviation as a two-year-old. He began flying gliders at 14 and earned his pilot’s license while still a teenager, quickly developing an interest in aerobatics. Let’s see what he has to say for his story so far!
So Daniel tell us about how it all started, your dream as a child and how you made it up to here?
Hello to all enjoyflying fans pilots and enthusiasts! I’m Daniel Ryfa from Sweden, 36 years old. It is an honor for me to be part of this project! It really motivate aviators and those who want to chase this career.
I started at the age of 14 with gliders. I think it’s a great way as the first step into getting a pilot. It learns you the fundamentals for an aircraft and how to fly coordinated. I have flown about 100 different types through the years. I got my CPL and instrument in a Swedish aviation school.My passion are with Aerobatics, vintage aircrafts and air racing. My first competition was in the 2005 Nordic Championship, when II captured the second place, and then I won t the European Advanced Aerobatic Championship in 2009. With the title I got involved with Redbullairrace and finally after a hard selection to be an air race pilot with them. I also flown lots of airshows for the past 10 years taking me all over Europe and as far away as China on several events.
While new to racing when the Challenger Cup kicked off in 2014, I get involved and I climbed in the second place at the inaugural stop in Abu Dhabi.
Three more podiums followed during that season, but 2015 was my breakthrough year, as I scored my first two wins as well as three additional podiums.
In 2016 I came to first place in Budapest at Red Bull Air Race Challenger Class as I managed to make a new record on time in 1 minute and 3,571 seconds!
What type of airplanes do you fly and for which company?
Actually, I fly a lot of different airplanes. At work I fly the Extra 330LX as a race pilot for Redbullairrace or flying airshows in my Sukhoi 26 or R.A.F SE5a. I’m also a captain on the Citation XLS for Bluelink Jets. If not working I’m flying my L4 Cub for pleasure! I love this plane!
Do you hold any other license?
I used to fly MD80΄s and Jetstream 32. But both those ratings are gone. I also used to be typed on the B737. I fly a lot of single engine pistons aircrafts and still have my glider license.
Have you experienced any type of emergency that you want to share?
I’m lucky to never had any serious issue flying so far.
Your plans for the future?
Continue as a redbullairrace pilot, doing more Airshows worldwide and getting more Airplanes!
People that you want to thank or inspired you?
There are a lot of aviators who inspired me since a young age making me very goal oriented but most I’d like to thank my Russian coach in aerobatics for getting me so far.
Your message to upcoming pilots?
Believe in yourself, there are no limits for what you can do if you put everything into it. And never forget why you are doing it! Daniel.
Thank you Daniel, we wish you all the best, to win as much air races as you can and many Airplanes in your Backyard!
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