Czech Air Force pilot flies 1000 Gripen hours

The Swedish Air Force has awarded a diploma to Major Otakar Prikner of the Czech Air Force to mark his achievement of 1000 flight hours on the Gripen supersonic fighter aircraft.

The diploma was presented at the Saab stand at NATO Days 2011 in Ostrava. Czech Air Force Gripen pilot Major Otakar Prikner has recently reached 1000 flight hours on the fighter aircraft. The Czech Air Force has in total flown more than 12,600 hours with Gripen since the aircraft arrived in the Czech Republic in April 2005, following a lease agreement signed between the Swedish and Czech Governments in 2004.

“The Czech Air Force and its pilots are among the best trained in NATO, as proven by their outstanding operational performance on exercise, and we at Saab are proud that they fly Gripen. Major Prikner’s achievement of reaching 1000 hours is an extraordinary success, and it is a pleasure for Saab to work with such true professionals”, says Bengt Littke, Saab Gripen Program Director - Czech Republic.

Image: Award to Major Otakar Prikner
Image: The diploma to Major Otakar Prikner was presented by Major General Anders Silwer chief of Air Staff, Swedish Air Force just after the fly past of Czech Air Force Gripens on September 24, 2011.

"On the occasion of achieving 1000 flight hours, I recall with gratitude the early days of flying Gripen in 2004, especially my instructors from Swedish Air Force who trained me to fly these excellent aircraft. To fly a supersonic fighter, one has to be hundred percent fit, so I am glad that my health has allowed me to fly Gripen continuously for eight years", said Major Prikner.