As a pilot of supersonic aircrafts, during his flight service in the Yugoslav Air Force, Zaim Bešović received two plaques “for heroism in peace”, earned with the supersonic aircraft “MiG 21R”. After finishing elementary school in Tjentište, where he was born, he accidentally wandered where he felt the freest: the poetry and clouds.
He received the first plaque after a hawk flew into the air intake and the second one after the physical damage and decompression of cockpit.
In the first case, the bird was sucked in by the air intake and sent to the compressor, causing damage to the compressor. Damage to the compressor does not provide enough air for combustion of fuel, causing a significant reduction in thrust and the impossibility of take off, Zaim explained. All this happens in an instant, when the right decision has to be made: whether to terminate the take off and remain on earth or continue with the take off and catapult from the plane. Zaim opted for the riskier option – termination of the take off.
In the second case, there was an explosion in the cockpit, filling the space with smoke. Zaim felt the air passing through the cockpit. He noticed the cause of air flow only when he looked above his head. The right piece of the transparent part of the cockpit was missing, Zaim said. He was saved by the belts that kept him tied to the seat.
Zaim also fought with bears. He remembers the words of his mother Hatidža who begged him one morning not to go to the woods, because she had a bad dream. Zaim did not want to listen to her. A snake black as a cinder blocked his way in Crni potoci. He killed the snake and recalled his mother’s words. “A bad dream, Crni potoci, black snake – black thoughts,” he was thinking. However, he had no intention of going back. He had a fierce fight with a bear, who eventually gave up after wounding him seriously.
Zaim said that it was not easy to fight neither with clouds or the bear. However, as he said, the most unbearable and the most precarious is the fight with administrative plague here. He claims that there is no cure for it.
In the beginning of the Defensive Liberation War in the Republic of BiH, Zaim voluntarily put on the “detestable military boots”, formed units and commanded them. He says for himself that he is a re-pensioner, adding that there is probably no similar case in the history of pension systems: being retired from active employment seven times, each time retroactively to his detriment.