Brig. Gen. (Res.) Shlomo Mashiach, former Air Support and Helicopter Division Commander, has served as a flight instructor in the academy’s Helicopter Division for over a decade
“I have no doubt that the graduates are good at what they do and uphold a high level of professionalism, they are receiving flight wings for a reason. I usually advise them to cooperate and work properly in teams. I think that teamwork above all, characterizes the helicopter divisions,: we always fly in pairs and formations and out together beats the one. As instructors, we have the privilege of seeing young men and women building themselves and becoming better versions of themselves throughout their period in the academy”.
Maj. Itay, Commander of the Transport Navigator and Flight Engineer Squadron in the IAF Flight Academy and a Transport Navigator in the “Knights of the Yellow Bird” Squadron
“After the festivities come to an end, you will take your first steps in your operational career. You have prepared for this moment for three years and you are full of motivation and a will to succeed. But with time and without noticing, everything becomes routine and the need to improve and lead is pushed aside in favor of thoughts like ‘Why change? Everybody does the same anyway’, ‘Who am I to change something?’. Don’t let the routine tire you, make sure you stay concerned and work to create the reality that you want. There will always be reasons to not do, but it's your responsibility to be on the side that promotes important things. Find a place to volunteer outside of the military, it’s a chance to connect to our society and enrich your world”.
Photography: Mor Tzidon
Capt. Yotam, Commander of the Advanced Stage in the Academy’s Transport Helicopter Division and a pilot in the “Rolling Sword” Squadron
“I encourage my cadets to develop and broaden their horizons beyond their demanding and time consuming military career. Narrow minded people will not advance the IAF, which draws its power from the creativity of its personnel. We definitely don’t want robots in the cockpit. They have to have a life outside in order to be better at what they do here, so I encourage them to develop other interests – jogging, sailing, reading or drawing – anything that makes them take a break from work and come back more focused”.
Photography: Celia Garion
Lt. Itay, Course 173 Graduate
“The most important thing I learned in the academy is that a feeling of capability is something that you build and not necessarily something you are born with. The things we experienced here proved to us that we can overcome the challenges that lie ahead. There is a stigma that states that aircrew members work alone, but we usually fly in pairs and even when we don’t, many people rely on our success. You have to be deeply acquainted with the aircrew member beside you, know how he reacts to success and failure, how to properly communicate with him and which methods he uses. There are even moments where you have feel him without saying a word. The bonds between us strengthened us and helped us take everything on with a smile. Throughout the course, we set small goals for ourselves, like passing the checks, the preparation stage or the next navigation. We never thought about the day we will stand on the parade ground, we held on to daily achievements”.
Photography: Celia Garion