Two of my pilot friends flew to eternity today. Hakan Cetinkaya @flyalacati and Serkan Ozcezarli @flyserkan789 passed away when their fixed wing ultralight plane crashed in Cyprus. They were both highly experienced pilots. Hakan was also a pharmacist, guitarist, flight instructor and aerial photographer.

There are some people so extraordinary that you only get to meet such unique characters once in a lifetime and once you lose them, no one else can replace. Hakan Cetinkaya (@flyalacati) was one of those that left a mark. My best friend, my mentor in all aspects of life and my flight instructor. The one who taught me how to fly, how to take aerial photos, how to cope with life’s obstacles. Our deep relationship dates back almost a decade and in that decade we’ve managed to fit countless memories, thousands of photos, hundreds of miles flown together, five AERO EXPO’s, exhibitions, coffee sessions at the hangar & pharmacy and sooo much more.

Hakan published an aerial photography book in 2012 and we were currently working on preparing his second book. Luckily we managed to decide on the concept and on the photos before he passed away. I and a few of his close friends will continue to legacy and will finalise his book and publish it in 2020.

Here is an excerpt from the Prologue of his unfinished second book;

“I’ve named my first book “Freedom Break in the Sky”. As I was working at my Pharmacy during the day, I day-dreamt of the moment that I would get out of work, head to my hangar and make love to my aircraft. Some days I used to wake up before the sunrise and head directly to my hangar before going to work. I never got tired of flying. Whenever you ask someone about what they think about flying, the common answer is usually “freedom”. Being free like birds they say. I don’t know how free the birds feel as they fly… Most probably, flying is just a natural activity for birds, just like us walking. They need to find food and stuff to build their nests with. Thus flying is the routine of birds and can be considered their drudgery. Nevertheless, flying was freedom for me. Unfortunately it always ended within a certain period, after which I was forced to head to work or to my house. It was for this very reason that flying was the freedom break that broke the routine of life.” – Hakan Cetinkaya.

Apparently you were an immortal soul destined for eternity. I will remember you forever my mate. Till we meet again up there in the blue…

Hakan Cetinkaya (Left) and Serkan Ozcezarli (Middle) passed away on Oct. 29, 2019. This photo was taken at AERO Expo in Friedrichshafen. We used to visit there every year.