Timóteo Costa started flying with us on october 1995 and retired from his job as Captain in 2013. His name earned a place of honour in the Company´s History due to his key role regarding the choice of the first aircraft flying for SATA Internacional as a member of a multidisciplinary team carefully created for that purpose. Known for his sympathy and humour, Timóteo considers himself fortunate because his passion was in fact also his profession, therefore when flying he was truly happy.
He found the pilot profession at the age of 17 by chance, when he knew nothing about aviation and joined DETA, a Mozambican airline in which he ended up taking a pilot course. Then he was a pilot in Angola and also at Air Columbus, in Madeira island, where he was born. In 1995, he joined SATA Internacional and participated in the choice of the airline’s first aircraft, a Boeing 737. At that time, SATA was very different from today, more closed in on itself, and he had the opportunity to witness its admirable opening to the outside world with the Azores on its wings.
But his name also appears on the pages of SATA’s history following an episode in which expertise and experience both had as much prominence as did luck. On a day of magnificent weather, Timóteo was getting ready to take off from Funchal to Copenhagen, in an Airbus A320, not knowing what was about to happen. During the takeoff, a flock of seagulls on the runway took off, hitting both engines. Predicting that it would be difficult to get to the runway, he told the Control Tower that he would probably have to moor. Meanwhile, he was also told that the airplane had a luggage door open, which kept hanging, by a sheer miracle, representing the risk of hitting the tip of the wing where fuel, fluids, and electric wires go through. There was a happy ending to the story as 2 minutes and 50 seconds after taking off, the airplane landed safely among an authentic challenge of causes, happenings, and details.
In fact, Timóteo Costa says that the worst flights where the ones without challenges presented by winds, visibility, and faults in which the airplane didn’t shake, being too dull. He always believed in “his” machines, seeing them as the safest means of transportation in the world.
His smile is truly heartfelt when he talks about flying and that it was for him an enormous joy and luck to get paid at the end of the month for it.