The coronavirus pandemic has caused many changes in the world, and while most have been negative, some have been new positive findings – as in the case of a Turkish airline professional from Istanbul who rediscovered an old interest and became an amateur radio enthusiast.
Working for over 15 years in the aviation industry as a crew member, crew chief and crew trainer, Levent Tamay was finally able to devote time to his old amateur radio hobby when the industry was hit hard by the pandemic in March.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Tamay explained how an unpleasant surprise – his temporary suspension from employment with reduced pay due to the pandemic – introduced him to the unknown but exciting world of amateur radio. . The airline industry has been one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic around the world. The outbreak has reportedly led the airline industry to record annual losses of $ 84 billion as 2020 is the “worst year in aviation history,” said the International Air Transport Association (IATA ) in June.
Tamay said, “After a few weeks of confusion, frustration and indecision, I determined that occupying myself with a hobby would be the best way to preserve my sanity. I then remembered my long-standing interest. date for amateur radio. “
“Being part of a community spread all over the world and communicating with them in a not so common and more difficult way makes me feel a little bit special,” he added.
He noted that personal encounters played a role in his interest in amateur radio.
“In 1999, I participated in the search and rescue efforts following the earthquake in the northwest of the province of Düzce as a volunteer. There, I witnessed how a handful of volunteer amateur radio operators made essential communication possible when the phone lines collapsed.
He stressed that the importance of amateur radio operators was appreciated by Turkish state institutions. In the lessons learned from the earthquake in 1999, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) eventually assigned wireless radio operators to search and rescue teams.
Tamay also pointed out that contemporary technologies such as cell phones and the Internet, and future technologies such as satellite communication and satellite broadcasting share the same basic technology as radio, namely electromagnetic waves.
“In this context, encouraging the Turks, in particular the younger generation, to take an interest in amateur radio would ultimately lead to a curiosity for science and therefore to an increased interest in engineering and the natural sciences”, a- he added.