I was born in Gorlice, a small town in southern Poland, a place known of the mining equipment industry, crude oil drilling and the “Battle of Gorlice”, which some historians call the “second Verdun”.
Both of my grandfathers were interested in technology, that is why I turned my interest towards aviation, though there was no such tradition in my family. When my passion became reality, my mother often complained because of glue smell and paper planes hanging under ceiling. Every time, when she opened doors, the air draft made all the planes started to “fly” on its wires.
My first planes were the plastic kits and later, the paper ones, to which, I’m still faithfull today.All collection counted then some 80 pieces.
In that time, Andrzej Podsadowski, my distant cousin apeeared. Because of his influence I turned completely on aviation. Andrzej, at that time was a student of the Rzeszów Institute of Technology. Later, we met at the WSK Mielec aircraft plant.
I started to attend the engineering school. After 3 years of study in a class of aviation technology I passed my exams to aviation technology college specializing in airframe engineering.
Today, from the time perspective I see, I made a right choice, however sometimes I regreted my decision. As a pupil of vocational school I had a lot of practical exercises and by the end of study we were de facto WSK plant employees. That fact was not very welcomed by a young men.
Sure, that despite some difficoulties, that job gave me a basic, practical aviation know-how no book would ever taugh.
Just when I started my study, I joined modeller club at the Mielec Aeroclub. I was introduced there by my class mate, Wojtek Sojka. It was him who lounched with me a hot air baloons on a fields of Cyranka village.
In a club we also built and flew, the F2B class, aerobatic, tethered models. There we built our first RC aircraft model., which, despite some major design “kicks” did fly!
Sad to say, Wojtek, a devoted paraglider flyer passed away some years ago. The modellers club doesn’t exist either. The most important person in the club was Jozef Trela, my instructor. A modest man, born modeller, showed me a “real” model-making. I think, my activity in the club made that I’ve got a proposal from my three collegues to join them in building a real aeroplane.
The idea seemed unreal but we made it! The next 3 years we spent in the cellar of the house of Jaroslaw Rumszewicz, an aviation designer, “father” of the WSK Dromader Mini agricultural plane. Many afternoons we spent there, working late on our “Gacek” (bat).
Our design got a first place during contest meeting at Olesnica and became a subject of the diploma work of all us four.
That period was next, “real” lesson of aviation. Wood gluing technology, structures fabric covering, static tests, Civil Aviation Authorities certificates – all it was new to us and Mr Jarek presented it in a master’s way. Still today I’m using knowledge he taught us. I left Mielec after spending there 7 years. Today, I’m not a freqent visitor there, but for me it is an unfergotten time and place.
My next planned step was (of course) to start study at the Rzeszow Institute of Technology, wher my friends- Jarek and Tomek already studied. Unfortunetely, I failed an examination and was send away to make a “second circle”.
To not waist a whole year, I started to study at the Technical Drafting College in Krakow, where I mastered in reading and tracing technical drawings. Accomplishing that study a time has come for me to start a new one, but this time at the Krakow Institute of Technology.
Here, I came upon again Jarek Gosek, who moved to Krakow from Rzeszów
and studied here, working in between time at the Polish Aviation Museum. After paying a visit at the Museum, I also decided to work there, and in a short time I packed my gear and moved to Krakow, where I started my non-resident study, enabling me also to work at the Museum.
Such situation didn’t last long however. I couldn’t sit and listen to a boring lectures on Saturdays and Sundays. I couldn’t compare it with restoration of the old aeroplanes. It then came to my mind, what I really want to do in my life, so I quited study and became a full time employee at the Polish Aviation Museum. Still, I work there. There was only a few years of break, when I focused on my own projects.
In that time I restored a few historical aircraft, made propellers replica and did some restoration of the other technical exhibits. I also visited some aviation museums, where the air-minded guys just like me, were doing fantastic projects.
Here, at the Museum, I have also an atractive and interesting work, sometimes is complex and difficoult, but never boring. Only from time to time, rude and jealous people throw a sand into my cogs, but luckily they know nothing about restoration of the old planes.
The only goal in my professional life is to keep going in that direction I set my course.
At home, I have great and healthy kids so I’m happy.