Martin Sonka

 

Martin Sonka was born on 26 March 1978 in Dvur Kralove nad Labem. When he was two years old, he moved to the south of Bohemia to Sezimova Ústí, where from 1984 to 1992 attended primary school. At that time began to pay attention to gymnastics and air modeling.

After primary school, he studied the Secondary Technical School of Mechanical Engineering in Tabor. Even before his A-level he was interested in everything that flies, studied books about aviation, and also liked to listen to his father’s enthusiastic narration about planes. At 17, Martin smashed his piggy bank up and went at the airport in Tabor where realized his first flight in a powered glider Vivat. And so it all began…

Even after landing he wanted to start flight training, but because theoretical training through the whole winter seemed to him too long, at least he started with skydiving. Over the winter he devoted himself to theoretical training and the following summer started flying gliders. Two years later began to fly prop planes.

After his secondary school, Martin decided to dedicate himself to flying. That’s why he joined the University of Defence in Brno, fighter pilot branch in 1997, where in 2001 completed a bachelor’s exam and was one step closer to his dream of flying. In years 2001-2005 he studied the Jan Perner Transport Faculty at University of Pardubice. In this period started racing. In 2001, began flying glider aerobatics and in 2003 powered aerobatics. In 2004 he became a member of the Czech national aerobatic team.

In the army Martin has flown L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros, L-159 Alca and JAS-39 Gripen.

In 2010, Martin became the first Czech pilot of the prestigious Red Bull Air Race. After a three-year break (2011-2013) the Red Bull Air Race World Championship came back in 2013. Martin took off this season with brand new Edge 540 V3.

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Martin’s older brother, Josef, returned to the Red Bull Air Race for 2014 as the team co-ordinator. Also back is Lance Winter, an experienced airframe mechanic and seasoned Red Bull Air Race tech, who has previously supported Adilson Kindleman, as well as World Champions Mike Mangold and Kirby Chambliss

Greatest Achievements:

Aerobatics Unlimited

  • Bronze at the Red Bull Air Race 2014 in Spielberg

  • European Aerobatic Champion, Freestyle 2014

  • Bronze at FAI World Aerobatic Championships in Freestyle 2013

  • Silver at FAI World Aerobatic Championships in Freestyle 2011

  • Winner of the Czech Nationals 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008

  • Winner of the Aerobatic Freestyle Chalenge 2012

  • Winner of the Elite Aerobatic Formula 2011

  • Winner of the Danubia Cup 2013

  • Winner of German Nationals 2012

  • Winner of Slovenian Nationals 2009