We all have seen Jurgys
in numerous airshows. Definitely in Estonia, but lucky ones probably in other
countries as well. Maybe not in a person, but in the blue sky for sure. He is a
living Legend and
a the fact that our Rector Koit
Kaskel has not even washed his T-shirt that got Jurgys’ signature over 19
years ago is a good example that proves it.
Jurgis Kairys was born in
1952 and after graduating Aviation Technical school in Viborg in 1974 he became
an aircraft mechanic/engineer. At the same time, he started aerobatic flights
at Kaunas Aerobatic Club. Did you know that the style of acrobatics we
see today was developed in the end of 70s'?
In this summer Jurgys
performed in Estonia twice – in Jõhvi and Estonian aviation days. The last show
was also the time, when we agreed to make this short interview. 1. Jurgys, how did you
find your way to the aviation?
I found my love for aviation watching
the birds and then planes as a child from my country place in Berze
village near Varniai in Lithuania. My family had just returned to our
parents' place from Siberia. The dream to become a pilot was my biggest secret
and surprised everyone.
2. What and where did you
After graduating secondary school
in 1970, I went to Vilnius and after entry exams I was accepted to start
studies to get technical education in Viborg aviation school. After graduation,
I started working in Kaunas Airport as a Mechanic/Engineer.
At the same time, I joined with the aerobatic club in Kaunas, started flying
and after two years of hard work I was selected to the Lithuanian Aerobatic
team. Then in 1977 I started representing the Soviet Union Aerobatic Team and from
1989 worked as a test pilot in Sukhoi Factory, helping to design sports planes
SU-26, Su-29, Su-31.
3. Is the higher
education important in aviation in your opinion?
Education is important, but the
will, passion and hard work are also important.
4. You have had a truly
effective career. Can you bring out, what are your 3 most memorable experiences
during that and how these experiences have developed you?
One of these is definitely a day, when
the first medal came and I was invited to the Lithuanian Aerobatic team. Next
medal came already from the Soviet Aerobatic championship. The second
achievement is founding the way to modern aerobatic flights in Freestyle
programs that dominated in the World from 1988 to 2011, winning freestyle
medals in World Championships and World Grand Prix contests. For that I got an
award "10 year the best Aerobatic pilot".
Thirdly, one of my favorite airshows
has been "Inverted flight under pedestrian bridge in 2000 in Kaunas. That
was crazy, but everything went well!
4. You have participated
in numerous airshows, including in Estonia. What brings you back here basically
Yes, I have had
possibilities to fly in top contests and I have participated in the best
and biggest airshows all over the world – in France, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia,
UK, New Zealand, South Korea, China, South Africa, UAE, Norway, Sweden,
Finland, Egypt, Philippines, Poland, Austria, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Greece,
and of course in the Baltic countries. There are hundreds of places, where
I have been invited.
Airshows here have created many memories and nice Friends. The special and warm
atmosphere here has made me feel to come back again and again.
5. What would recommend
to 18-years old Jurgis?
the same WAY and see the World.
6. What makes you happy
at the moment?
Passion to fly in different Skies
and of course flying with crazy planes and with extraordinary
What does this interview tell you? Jurgys is an Aviation Hero, but it
has not happened easily. Hard work, following your goals and continuous
learning are the key words that have played a great role in that. Our true passions can start from everywhere. Also, education is a key, but we all must turn the key, if we want to open the doors.
afraid to dream big!´, encourages he all our current and future students!
Thank you, Jurgys!