Many Ghanaians could not hide their amazement and joy when Captain Solomon Quainoo, a Ghanaian pilot together with a co-pilot, Faisal Alhammadi landed the biggest airplane in the world, Airbus 380 [A380] at the Kotoka International Airport [KIA] on Tuesday, October 2.
Captain Solomon Quainoo is the first ever Ghanaian pilot to fly the biggest airplane, A380 belonging to Emirates.
Captain Quainoo works at the Emirates Airlines in Dubai, United Arab Emirates [UAE].
Responding to how he felt when flying the A380, he said: “I felt extremely happy to have flown the biggest airplane. Because, when I decided to become a pilot, I never dreamt I was going to be the first Ghanaian to fly the biggest airplane in the whole world to Ghana for the first time. So, the excitement was really extreme,” he said on Peace FM during an interview on Thursday, October 4.
About Captain Solomon Quainoo
Captain Solomon Quainoo is known in private life as Solomon Nana Kwaakye Quainoo.
He hails from the Central Region of Ghana. His mother comes from Apam in the Central Region and father, Tutu Akuapem in the Eastern Region.
He is the last born of six children.
He attended the Koforidua Senior High Secondary Technical School [SECTECH] in the Eastern Region.
After Senior High, he decided to go to the Airforce Training School because he had always desired to become a pilot since age six.
Nana Quainoo could not attend the Airforce Training School at the time because his parents could not afford his fees.
As a result, his friends used to laugh at him for thinking of becoming a pilot when his parents were poor.
However, with the confidence he had in himself, he made the effort to attend the Airforce Training, when he was assessed and passed.
When it was time for him to start the training, he was sick and could not attend.
So, he was asked to come the following year.
The inability to attend the Airforce Training got him devastated and he did not know what to do anymore.
A friend of his called Kwadwo Omari Tenkorang bought and filled University of Ghana, Legon form for him.
He was offered admission at Legon to read Mathematics and Physics for three years.
After Legon, Nana Quainoo travelled to the United Kingdom [UK] to continuously pursue his piloting dream.
Due to lack of money to start the piloting school, he started working as a construction labourer.
As a construction labourer, he was being paid £5.00 per hour which was still not enough for him to get the required amount to start piloting school.
So, he decided to get another job. He then started sweeping one Catholic Church for an extra money.
He used to do that early in the morning, then around 4pm, he will go carry out the construction work, and after that he will go to do pizza delivery, from about 7pm to midnight.
Nana Quainoo engaged in these menial jobs for about 2 years.
He was later blackmailed by his Ghanaian friends in the construction work, and was fired.
After he [Quainoo] told his friends about the other menial jobs he was doing to get extra money, with the feeling of resentment, they had gone to tell the foreman that he [Quainoo] sleeps during break, after which he was fired.
He continued to engage in other minimal jobs then later decided to go back to school.
Nana Quainoo got admission to study Aerospace Engineering in the UK. He got employed at British Airways as a design Engineer afterwards.
Still having the desire to become a pilot, he got the opportunity to be among those who underwent pilot training at British Airways after passing an assessment.
He was to start piloting training in October after vacation, but when 9/11 occurred in America, the British Airways cancelled the course he was going to do at the piloting school.
He had to find another money for the course later. So, he decided to go for a loan at the bank. It was not easy to get the loan, he says. Later, a friend by name Jojo Blankson used his house as guarantor for him to get the loan from the bank for his piloting training.
The bank, however, stated that the house was not enough guarantee, so another friend called Joe Dave also used his house as guarantor for him to get the loan.
According to Nana Quainoo, he and Jojo and his brother had known themselves as mates and friends at Legon, so being good friends and knowing him to be a genuine person, they trusted him to stake their lives for his desire to become a pilot.
So, after all, he went to the piloting school and after completion, he got a job at British Midlands. He worked there for 2 years and then moved to British Airways.
He worked at British Airways for about 8 years after which he went to Emirates.
According to him, he had not decided to quit British Airways, but had just filled the Emirates forms.
However, as he kept updating the Emirates form, he was once called for an interview. He then decided to attend. After passing the interview, he was told he could be made a Captain in four years.
He then accepted the offer as he could wait for 10 to 15 years before he could be made a Captain at the British Airways.
Nana Quainoo has worked with Emirates for a little over 7 years.
Solomon Nana Kwaakye Quainoo is currently the Captain of the Emirates A380, the biggest airplane in the whole world. He flew it to Ghana last Tuesday, October 2, 2018.