5 minutes to read
Pilot Story #10
Every Monday a new Story!
This week we have the honor to interview a charismatic pilot flying both airplanes and helicopters! Aviator’s spirit runs in his veins from the very first years of his life due to the fact that his father was already a successful pilot in Hellenic Air Force. Konstantinos opens his heart in this interview and show us the way to a successful career and why we have to dream big!
So Konstantinos lets start from you, tell us a few words about you and how you made it up to here?
I was born in 1980 (36 yrs old now). I started flying at the age of 17 and by the age of 19 I was already a commercial airplane pilot as well as a flight instructor. Shortly after, I got my helicopter commercial pilot’s license and flight instructor rating as well. During my career I have flown several types of airplanes but only up to twin-engine pistons, as it was, helicopters that got my interest more in the end.
I have logged about 1.000 hours as an airplane pilot/flight instructor. I still keep my license valid however and I do enjoy flying a light airplane from time to time. I have also flown more than 6.500 hours as a helicopter flight instructor & commercial pilot doing air-taxi and aerial work flights. I first started flying the Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters but eventually I got other type ratings such as the Bell 206, Bell 407, Agusta A109, AS355, EC120 and the R66 helicopter. I have trained civilian , military and police pilots and I have flown in 4 different countries.
One of the greatest projects I was involved is the company that I founded with my father Elias Sofianos 10 years ago. Superior Air is a general aviation company that offers just about every service there is, such as flight training from 0-ATPL for airplanes and helicopters, airtaxi flights, air ambulance flights, (again airplanes and helicopters) in Greece, the rest of Europe and part of the middle East and Russia , Aerial Work flights (aerial photo, video, external cargo, surveillance etc.) and Maintenance services for airplanes and helicopters.
Currently I am running the company with my father who is a retired AirForce officer with more than 25.000 hours of flight experience having flown more than 50 types of aircraft, including the legendary F-104G Starfighter where he has logged more than 2.000 hours and was a flight instructor at the type as well.
So what type of aircraft do you fly these days ?
These days I mostly fly the Agusta A109 and Bell 407 helicopter, the Bell being one of my all time favorites. When I am not flying you will most likely find me in Superior Air , running things as the General Manager there, or during the weekends at Dekeleia Aeroclub , which was also founded by me and my father 20 years ago, in order to spread the idea of aviation to as many people as possible. Dekeleia Aeroclub , utilizes more than 10 airplanes and helicopters and is the biggest Airclub in Greece and with the biggest flight activity in terms of students and hours flown per year.
Do you hold any other license?
I do have another license yes. I am an EASA Part-66 licensed aircraft mechanic, with Robinson Helicopter and Agusta 109 capability apart from piston engines and light airplanes.
Tell us about your biggest influence in aviation!
It is apparent that the person who influenced and inspired me more than anyone else is my father. I have always looked up to him, and although sometimes we get competitive with each other, in the end we complement each other great as a team and we are always very creative, working together. That’s probably why our company Superior Air utilizes the biggest general aviation fleet in Greece (16 aircraft) and has a growth rate of about 20-25% every year without the company having any outside investors, loans or debt.
So what are your future plans?
My future plans involve making Superior Air one of the leading companies in Europe and the Middle East as a training provider. One plan that we are not far from achieving, considering that we already have about 100 students at the Academy every year and again with an annual growth rate of about 15%. I would also like to see our company staying at the number 1 position as it is now, when providing VIP transfer services with our airplanes or helicopters and increase our fleet by about 50% in the next 5 years. It sounds ambitious, but we are well on our way there.
Your message to future pilots?
My message to upcoming pilots is this. Choose your flight school carefully. This will be one of the most important choices you will make during your career and it starts now… Make sure there are enough resources, check the testimonials from other students, check the school’s reputation. Today you can find anything online. Then go there. No matter where it is. You may see something that is not shown in that pretty website. Don’t go to the cheapest place. Go to the best place. Good training costs money and you should not be ”cutting corners” nor does your school. Finally, be patient and study.
Nothing comes easy in this job and it shouldn’t anyway. If you get the chance, become a flight instructor. You will build hours and get paid, but more importantly you will grow as a pilot, discover your limits and the aircraft limits in a new way, never seen before as a student. Don’t just go for the big airline immediately. Airmanship is what you shall be more focused on. Not money. That will definitely come if you work hard and make the right choices. Never, ever work somewhere, where you feel your safety and safety in general is compromised. Don’t be around amateurs. Work with the best. I wish you all good luck.
Thank you Konstantinos for your story, we wish you all the best and good luck with your future projects!
You can reach Konstantinos and Superior Air in the following links:
Youtube channel: Konstantinos Sofianos
Tripadvisor: Superior Air