Road to heaven

Lipetsk region became the center of a small aircraft! Until a few years ago, such a statement provoked a skeptical smile. Today it is perceived almost as a fait accompli.

And it's not just that the airport "Lipetsk" gained international status, and under Usman built Russia's only multipurpose complex for the production and operation of small aircraft. It is important that a strong initiative has gone from the bottom. In Lipetsk, appeared a small company that makes the dream of the sky for hundreds of people a reality. And its creators are without any support, relying in this complex and costly business but their limited opportunities and boundless enthusiasm. With the director of "Format" Andrey Potapov we talk about the present and the future of small aircraft in the Lipetsk region.

— Andrey, you are a civilian pilot in the past?

— Former pilots do not happen, it's not just a profession but a way of life. Here's my commercial pilot's certificate of civil aviation. Every year we go through training with the delivery of tests and a medical examination. The sky will not let their pets, even if they no longer work on the main profession. By the time of the dissolution of flight unit Lipetsk airport it was 105 people. The fate of many pilots dramatic. Someone went taksovat, someone was drinking. But I have an important task — to return to their favorite cause. Little by little, my former co-workers regain their wings.

— Do you like them found?

— I grew up a sickly child. Constant colds and bronchitis negates any dreams of a heroic profession. Parents were purely civilian people: father worked as an engineer on the bread-baking, and my mother — Secretary Lipetskenergo. But in the twelve years I have set myself the goal to become healthy and ran away from the doctors and disease. And ran in the literal sense of the word. Behind my parents began to run in the winter in shorts and swim in the hole. Since then, never cold. So I proved to myself the simple truth: if you want to be healthy — be it! The same method I tried to choose a profession. Not having any idea of flight operations, went to enroll in one of the best higher schools of Civil Aviation of the USSR — Kirovograd. I just went to an elite school, but he graduated with honors. In 1989, he came to work in the Lipetsk airport where flying the Yak-40. The timing was interesting. Steel operate charter and charter trips. With foreign delegations I looked all over the country. For example, we were flying from Lipetsk to Dixon. And my wife of U.S. Ambassador Rebecca Matlock two weeks have flown attractions of Central Asia: From Samarkand to Bukhara. Before I had time to visit and the chairman of the trade union crews Lipetsk. But this fascinating period did not last long, as along with the country began to collapse and domestic aviation. Lipetsk Airport is no exception to the general rule.

— There have in your flight practice emergency situations?

— In the airplane frequently experience minor faults, it's just a machine. But they do not affect the safety of fatally until the time has not yet formed a whole chain of events. Among the safety issues important role played by the human factor. In 1994, I began graduate of the Moscow Institute of Civil Aviation, where he wrote a thesis on this theme. In it were generalized mathematical and psychological studies on the basis of practice. I have made conclusions are supported by the example of those accidents that happen from time to time in the sky. One pilot error or equipment never lead to disaster. Valid three errors, while the fourth is already in unpredictable and tragic end.

 

— Can you give a specific example?

— Last year in Kamenka district Zadonskiy our pilot nosing made YAK-18T (revolution through the nose) for a run after landing. Thank God everything went without serious consequences for human health, but not so on the plane, which has yet to recover. There are layered so that multiple errors. Acceleration speed on the steep final approach — the final approach, landing on three points instead of two, and hard braking, causing the screw began to strike sharply on the ground. The Commission found that the cause of all human factor. With this pilot we have left. Well, I re-read the manuscript of his thesis and insecure and made allegiance to the conclusions.

— Why did not defend himself?

— The middle of the nineties — a complex and murky time. I had to think about how to feed their families. I therefore dramatically shifted the helm of their own destiny, and went to work in a bank. Risen to deputy manager. I had to visit not only a banker, but the tax police. Then he took up a small business — so far I own a small construction company. But do not forget about the aircraft never flew on the airfield DOSAAF in the mud. Instructor was not profitable to take me, and I do not claim to wages. On the contrary — as many as fourteen years the number of "eternal" cadet and he paid the money for the flights. Sure, it was painful to watch as it was falling apart once debugged, powerful organization. And the year before that I took with Griazinsky airfield pilots and enthusiasts. Together we took a broken airplane of my acquaintance who has defended eight years in the barn. Repaired, brought in divine form and raised on the wing. So long love of heaven turned into a business. However, it does not bring profits. But every year requires more attention, time and effort. It turned out the division: aviation as a hobby, building — for revenue. But I am satisfied that doing the work to which he studied for many years, and which I love. When work brings more fun and it's for men is happiness.

 

— As the song says, first of all planes, well … family?

— The wife Tatyana all aerobatics yourself unscrewed, daughter Irina besides even with parachute jumps. So a family that understands you and supports — is double happiness.

— You have created a year from scratch a small but nevertheless airline. How were you able to do what others take years?

— I will not dissemble, is hard work. It was necessary to put in order all documents to register the site, collect virtually anything from airplanes. And now the airline has earned as one. We fly three aircraft: An-2, Yak-18 and Yak-12M. The base aerodrome use was empty before this court, "Stebaevo", which is located twenty kilometers from Lipetsk aside Hlevnoe. Also officially registered the site in the New Village.

But that's not it. I am happy to see how positive emotions bring our work to people. When we arrange "pokatushki" Yelets or Zadonsk a queue of those wishing to see the ancient city from a bird's flight. Familiar monasteries and churches, rivers and forests look different than we are used to seeing them. Such a divine panorama opens that takes your breath away. At the word "aircraft" Many people think of
the big liners and going beyond the horizon of the runways. But usually the road to heaven begins with a small aircraft that helps indescribable feeling of flying experience, to see the vast expanses of our beautiful land. Today it has become accessible to almost everyone.

Often people scratching their heads: what to give the person? Give him the joy of heaven. I will never forget, as we have a woman on the fiftieth anniversary of his brother bought a certificate for a demonstration flight with elements of acrobatics. It turned out that he had always dreamed of being a pilot. But the dream did not come true. So he took to the air for the first time, I gave him hold the steering wheel. When we landed, had seen life of a man, an invalid, crying like a baby. Another young man booked a flight and took his beloved proposal in mid-air. Well, I like the commander of the aircraft and the government representative in the air then issued an official certificate that the offer was made in heaven. Kata and weddings on several planes. Often working with paratroopers who come to us for jumping from all neighboring areas. Just last weekend was more than thirty people. One pair of Voronezh arrived just after the registrar's office. Bride jumping right into a veil, the groom — in a tuxedo. True, they blew in different directions, but they were happy. For the sake of those moments you can work in spite of all the difficulties of this business.

 

— Tell us about his associates.

— They are few: eight pilots and six technicians. But this unique people, real fans of aviation. My deputy Andrei jugs — a remarkable aircraft. Now the small aircraft spread across Russia, and with it the glory of those who know the winged machines. Call us from all over the country with one request — send us Andrei fix the plane. He took courses and we are now not only a good engineer, but also an amateur pilot.

— You can of everyone who wants to make a pilot?

— There are two options. Or after the first flight of the tour people will never come to an aircraft, or has not drag on the aircraft. So this hobby is not for everyone. Especially as training for several years costing half a million rubles.

— But not cheap.

— It depends. In the year comes a little more than a hundred thousand rubles, which is comparable to some premium faculties of universities. But keep in mind that the cost of operating the aircraft is quite high. Another thing is whether such costs are a particular cadet? And here provides an interesting arithmetic. Let us take the first option. The man decided to go to the big aircraft. Kirovogradske School, which I graduated, left the Ukraine, Aktobe — Kazakhstan. Higher education is available flight only in Ulyanovsk and St. Petersburg or affiliates of these institutions. But they only take up to 23 years. Do not have time, then forget about the dream? We can help in this situation. So, we have learned not a resident of Voronezh, which was over thirty. Having obtained a private pilot's license and fly two hours on the Yak-18, he enrolled in training courses with a private pilot to commercial pilot in Ulyanovsk. Now he can go to work in the big aircraft, which has developed a huge shortage of staff. The salary in Moscow airline pilot is from 350 to 500 rubles a month. So a few months you can pay back all the costs of training, and then a long and fruitful fly, enjoying very good money.

Let us consider the second option. Man learns to fly on a private jet for his own pleasure. In this case, the cost is not too prohibitive, we are talking about wealthy people, and even patients sky. As I said one leader, today it is fashionable to have no right to the motorist, and the certificate for the aircraft control.

 

— In our area there are owners of private planes?

— In our region, this movement is gaining momentum. Here are the figures for comparison. In total there were about two thousand small aircraft. Of these fifteen hundred fly in the Moscow sky, and we have in private hands until only four airplane. Their owners are not necessarily very rich. Thus, the An-2 is in good condition can be bought for one million rubles, Yak-18T — for two million rubles. Well, for two and a half million can already buy a new Czech "Eurostar". Two of our cadets have bought planes and handed over to us for free use. We provide repair and maintenance of machines, free teach their owners. One Muscovite, and the other — a resident Dobrinka. Men have already taken place, not young, but at this age have found the strength and the means to implement a lifelong dream.

— On what aircraft you bet?

— Many training centers cater to foreign technology. Indeed, it is easier to learn to fly a Cessna. But then transfer to another single-engine plane harder. A domestic Yak-18T — it's like a small training set. There's a lot of equipment which, at first glance, it may seem unnecessary. But if the student will master all of this and learn to fly, then he will sit easily on any import plane of small aircraft. It is no accident Smolensk plant resumed production of Yak-18 and all of them are equipped with flight school. I'm not talking about that and get parts to fix a Russian plane is always easier. The uniqueness of our famous aircraft have repeatedly confirmed in practice.

— Are you talking about my own experience?

— We have recently carried out an order for aerial photography M4 highway from Voronezh to Moscow on our An-2, the production of which is also going to resume. So because of our "maize" even closed Domodedovo Airport for forty minutes. The fact that the conditions of aerial photographs imply very low speed and smooth turns without heels. An-2 for this purpose perfectly. Entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Emergency Situations circled on forest fire hazardous period. We can help traffic police to report the accident. We fly at low altitudes, great review.

 

— To what heights you want to raise your "Format" in the future?

— We want to collect all the small Chernozemya aviators, including the so-called "guerrilla" under his wing and put it in motion the legal mainstream. Motodeltoletchiki we are already in the summer of Stebaevo and are under the supervision of a fellow. In the same store three "Snipe" (aircraft such as "Sigma"). Why is it important to organize a legitimate flights? In the past year we went to the landing Yak-12. It turned out that the guy from Kirzhach flies without a pilot's certificate and the manager did not even warn their flights. End in such a guerrilla based on stupidity and folly, may tragically.

Small aircraft can not be stopped. And today you need to think about her future. For example, in the United States for three hundred thousand private small aircraft. We need to equip the site that, as in America, the plane could sit down every fifty miles. We in the field of 34 sites that were used to selhozaviatsii. But they are mostly abandoned. The two of them back to life. We are going to support the club and the young pilots, which will create a non-profit educational organization.

If we talk about the strategic objective, it is more
important. My dream — to raise the common efforts of the previous level of regional aviation. Organize flights from Lipetsk to Ryazan, or Kursk — no problem. And it is now to be done. So far we are lagging behind in Moscow for at least seven years to eight. I was recently on a small suburban aerodromchik Gryzlovo. There bustling, every fifteen minutes arriving and departing aircraft. We have to catch up with the Muscovites. In our region, with rich years of tradition, has the opportunity to not only put a small aircraft on the wing, but also to bring it to a decent height.

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