The ORLIK aerobatic team. 1998.

Kraków 2020-02-05

„Orlik” aerobatic team. 1998.

ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
ORLIK. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

The "ORLIK" team was created by order of the WSOSP commander in Dęblin from 1998-01-01. In March 1998, the pilots began training to achieve readiness on demonstrations on 1998-04-15.

The name of the team came, as it was the case with "Sparks", from the aircraft used in the unit, which is the PZL-130 Orlik.

The first composition of the band from 1998 to 2001: Major Pil. Janusz Borkowski - leader, captain pil. Zbigniew Kosterna - right run, Capt. pil. Artur Bielas - left led, Lt. Col. pil. Andrzej Sowa - closing officer, Capt. pil. Dariusz Stańczyk - individual pilotage.

The debut of the ORLIK team took place on July 22-27, 1998, in which the most prestigious International Air Tattoo airshow took place - in Fairford, England. Radom pilots performed there successfully, and their show was warmly received by the audience. During the Air Show '98 in Dęblin, in addition to the pilot show pilots of the Radom unit (on the anniversary of the 80th anniversary of aviation) presented an unusual grouping, consisting of 21 aircraft, symbolizing the number 80. The ORLIK show itself was highly rated by making the program more attractive by introducing new elements , among others "Jordanian passing".

Since 2000, that is since the transfer of the "Iskra" team to Dęblin, the "Orlik" team is a continuator of the Radom aerobatic traditions and has become a showcase of the 2nd Basic Training Center in Radom.

The last years of the team's activity are a success story. In 1999, "Orlik" performed at air shows in Bratislava and Kaunas, where he was recognized as the best aerobatic team. That same year, Radom pilots appeared in Fairford for the second time, collecting favorable opinions about their show. Evidence of recognition for pilots was participation in the "peace parade" organized at the end of the demonstrations.

In the country, the team's exploits have not been left unnoticed. In November 2000, the commander of the Air Forces and Air Defense honored team members with the "Ikar" statuette. In 2000, the team participated in two prestigious events: the World Rally of Aerobatic Teams, held in Dijon, and in Biggin Hill air shows, organized on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, during which the team received a special invitation to perform the show in Plymouth.

In 2001, it was a period of major changes. The decision was made to increase the composition to 7 machines, and thus to recruit new members. The task was even more difficult, because it turned out that health reasons this season will not be able to fly closing - Lieutenant Colonel pil. Andrzej Sowa and it was necessary to find a deputy in his place. Lieutenant pil. Krzysztof Kidacki. The enlarged team presented themselves in spring 2001.

The increase in the number of employees resulted in the attractiveness of the entire show. New elements were introduced into it: formations called goose, delta and arrow, among others. Show time extended to approx. 20 minutes. The program consists of performances of all seven planes as well as four, a couple and a soloist. In addition, the team has developed two variants of the show, which are performed depending on the weather prevailing at the place of the show. The decision about the variant is made by the teacher. In 2001, the band presented themselves to the public in Angelholm, Leeuwarden, Hradec Kralove and in Radom at the Air Show '2001.

Another 2002, the band's activity resulted in performances in Góraszka, Gilze-Rijen and Radom. "Orlik" shows were more attractive because the planes were equipped with so-called streaks.

2003 was the year of further changes in the team. A total of 9 pilots are trained, which means that "Orlik" has become the most numerous aerobatic team in Poland. He has already performed demonstrations with 9 machines. 
The beginning of 2004 did not promise to be optimistic, as the team lost the lead. The current leader, Major Janusz Borkowski, was transferred to another job position and the team was forced to choose his deputy. And this problem was also overcome. Under the leadership of a new team leader, he resumed training and at the beginning of 2004 gave the first show in Góraszka. The next shows with the participation of Radom pilots took place in Kaunas (during the European Aerobatic Championships) and in Pruszcz Gdański, during the charity picnic of the "Ikar" foundation. The excellent pilot show during the International Air Fest in the Czech Republic resulted in the team being awarded the cup of the president of the city of Brno - for the most effective team piloting.

The pilots' involvement in the life of the aerobatic team and the desire to promote "Polish Wings" contributed to establishing cooperation with aerobatic teams from around the world. The team through their effective air shows proudly represented the Polish Air Force on the European arena, systematically strengthening its position.

In 2005, the main event at which the "Orlik" band demonstrated was were shows in Radom. Once again, the excellent performance of 9 machines was shown.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of the 2006 show season, inauspicious information from the Air Force Command about the imminent dissolution for economic reasons. Fortunately, this situation did not happen, although the team did not perform any demonstration flight and its further activity was questioned.

In 2007, there were no significant changes, despite the Air Show Radom 2007 that was to take place. In June 2007, however, there was a spark of hope and the fact that the team began training again. The only downside was the reduction of the composition to 7 planes during the show. The band performed at the Air Show Radom 2007 and received great recognition. Also in 2007, the "chessboard" figure of 16 machines was demonstrated, including 8 PZL-130 TC-I and 8 TS-11 Iskra.

In 2008, the band celebrated its 10th anniversary. The team showed up with 7 machines on 2008-08-30 in Minsk Mazowiecki during the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Polish Aviation. It was an excellent show.

The pilots included in the team serve in 2 OSzL (Aviation Training Center) and train the cadets of the WSOSP on a daily basis. The team's pilots are recruited from pilot-instructors flying in the 42nd School Aviation Base. The selection of candidates is made by the team leader in consultation with the other team members.

In 2009, the band's composition was as follows: Capt. Dariusz Stachurski - leader of the formation, Maj. Zbigniew Kosterna - right winger, see Michal Chmara - left winger, Capt. Olgierd Szerkszins - soloist, captain Dariusz Stańczyk - soloist, lieutenant Michal Anielak - 2nd right winger, Capt. Krzysztof Kidacki - 2nd left wingman, Capt. Robert Osys - 3rd right winger, Capt. Piotr Jabłoński - 3. left winger.

In 2012, ORLIK presented for the first time on PZL-130 TC-II aircraft. At that time, the team performed in the composition of four aircraft. The band presented themselves abroad and in the country. In Poland, one could admire shows in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, among others.

In 2013, the composition of the team was as follows: Capt. pil. Dariusz Stachurski - team leader, Capt. pil. Krzysztof Kidacki - left wing, Capt. pil. Michał Anielak - right wing, Major Pil. Dariusz Stańczyk - soloist, Lt. Col. Zbigniew Kosterna - right wingman, see pilgrimage Bartosz Niegrzybowski - right closing, Capt. pil. Robert Paciorek - left closing, Capt. pil. Sebastian Kwiecień - spare pilot, Capt. pil. Adam Ginalski - commentator.

By 2015, the Orlik team took part in over 100 shows and nearly 30 times abroad.

In 2015, the composition of the team was as follows: Capt. pil. Dariusz Stachurski - team leader, Capt. pil. Sebastian Kwiecień - right wing, Capt. pil. Robert Paciorek - left wing, Capt. pil. Michał Anielak - second right winger / soloist / synchronous pair, capt. pil. Krzysztof Kidacki - second left winger / synchronous pair, see pil. Krzysztof Łysakowski - right closing officer, 2nd lieutenant pil. Sebastian Rajchel - closing left, see pil. Bartosz Niegrzybowski - closing, 2nd lieutenant pil. Tomasz Litwinek - spare pilot, 2nd lieutenant pil. Ariel Adamski - commentator, Maj. pil. Dariusz Stańczyk - pilot instructor, Lt. Col. pil. Zbigniew Kosterna - pilot instructor, Lt. Col. pil. Piotr Jabłoński - pilot instructor.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman