We recently caught up with Captain for KUTAIR, Ercan Caner, to discover the story of his career so far, including what he wishes he’d known before starting out, the pros and cons of the job, and who he turns to for advice.
How long have you been a pilot? Tell us a little bit about your career so far.
I have been in the aviation environment since 1988. Military fixed and rotary wing pilot until 2013 and I have been in civil aviation since then.
Did you always want to be a pilot?
Actually it was totally by chance! I didn’t even know that land forces had an army aviation branch before being a pilot.
What do you love about the job?
I think the best part of my job, either with fixed or rotary wing, is flying. Feeling the freedom just like birds do in the air.
What’s the hardest part about the job?
Keeping abreast of all technological improvements and leading a disciplinary life.
If you weren’t a pilot, what profession do you think you’d be in?
I think I would be an electrical and electronics engineer.
Does being a pilot affect your relationships with friends and family? If so, how?
Of course, and I think they all know that I am a disciplined man – and consequently a good pilot!
Why do you think it’s such a male dominated industry?
If anybody aspires to become a pilot he/she should be prepared for a challenging life. Bearing the responsibility of others is definitely a hard task. They should take steps to become pilots if they really love flying.
Would you encourage your children to become pilots?
I have two sons and they have already chosen their careers, but why not with my grandsons?
What’s the one thing about being a pilot which no-one knows?
Flying an aircraft is really easy as long as you play by the rules!
What’s the most unusual thing that’s happened to you during a flight?
Entering Inadvertent IMC while flying VMC during a test flight. It was my fault and I am lucky enough to survive and to tell my story! Do you know how I survived? I just kept calm and continued to fly the helicopter.
What is something you wish you’d known about the profession when you were starting out?
I would like to have been aware that finding a pilot job is very difficult once completing flight school. But, I would advise all the aspiring pilots and young pilots out there to be patient and stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who/where did you turn to for advice throughout your career?
I have always done what experienced pilots did during my flight career. Their advice has always been invaluable to me. If I am still alive and still flying, this largely depends on them.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
About 1500 single pilot flight hours accumulated during test flights, and no incident and accident record. I think my best achievement is the no accident record during my 8 years military aviation unit commander positions.
What are your thoughts about the future of the profession?
I am really concerned about the future of aviation, not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of the unmanned aerial vehicles. I know that the aviation industry, technology and airline companies are ready for the unmanned aircraft, and only the passengers object to it.