Anatoly Kvochur - Born To Fly! (English subtitles)

Uploaded by BitnikGr on 13.09.2012

"Wings of Russia" studio
My mom told me a story: "I saw a dream, almost after your birth, that you was flying around the room."
She said in Ukrainian "Small Tolya letaet po khatte."
Without a plane, he simply flies.
Also, when I was about 5 years old, new jet fighters MiG-15 and MiG-17 started appearing and they were leaving a trace in the sky, and I was watching them.
And I clearly remember that I saw a dream at about that age, that a small plane flew into our terrace we had.
And I was trying to catch it. And it had a shape of MiG-15, as I remembered it when I was watching them in the sky.
Born to fly
Well, I was born in Ukraine, in family of field workers. My parents had an agronomical education.
They had finished a technical school and they were working in kolkhoz, of course, just like everyone else.
In perfection of a master, a meaning of "teacher" plays a huge role during entire his life.
Father and mother were teachers for Anatoly Nikolaevich during his early years. His first school teacher - Nadezhda Petrovna.
And then his grandpa and his godfather, Afanasiy Markovich.
During summers, when grandsons were living at grand parents, most of their time were passing under direct guidance of those relatives.
Boys were getting special attention.
They were getting on the top of the highest tree, deal with snakes, build airplane models, to build temporary shelter for oversleep in a forest,
in order to get a comprehensive development and Spartan training.
It's also known that my uncle was playing big role in it. So, when we were gathering all together during summer time, he was always organizing war games.
I almost had drowned once, when they were teaching me to swim at the lake. They simply pushed me over the boat.
From his childhood, Anatoly got accustomed with the idea that a human can achieve basically any goal,
under conditions that he has self-discipline, hardworking and love to his motherland.
Apparently because of that an ineradicable wish to become a defender of motherland started being forming in him since when he was about 10 years old.
And he could imagine that only in role of combat pilot and of course only as a fighter pilot.
When Anatoly decided to go to Flight School, all his teachers were surprised and they expressed themselves against such step.
Parents were not discouraging him, but they were not supporting him either.
And my fate was decided by my grandpa.
As far as I know, grandpa from my Russian line was also criticizing my idea and he thought that this wish will simply pass away.
So, I visited him right before my graduation and I asked for his advice. I presented all arguments.
My grandpa was quite mighty. He was very educated for a village... Yes, my grandpa from mother's line.
So, he was the highest authority for me. So, I told him everything.
He listened carefully and he said: "Well, son. Decide for yourself. Do what you have to do."
In 1969, after graduating a 10-grade school, Anatoly Kvochur passed exams to Yeysk Highest Military Aviation Academy named after Komarov.
With the beginning of the first flights with training planes in Academy he understood that occupation of a pilot doesn't mean only ability to fly.
It's an almost unlimited possibility to self-perfection through knowledge. Discovery of yourself through ability to fly.
Both in Academy and during later Kvochur's career, the further mastering of flying job and new types of flying vehicles was mostly based on his own initiative.
The need to know as much as possible about world of flight, constant learning of all kind of catalogs and special documentation, were not required, but they were useful.
Calculations of all kinds of airplane's properties and specific maneuvers...
All these combined helped making his long-term participation in test flights quite simple and safe.
Anatoly got lucky in the Academy. His professors were First Lieutenant Ivan Nikolaevich Dosko with the first trainer L-29.
Captain Kim Vladimirovich Nikitenko and First Lieutenant Valeriy Ivanovich Kondratyev with the first combat plane a supersonic fighter-bomber SU-7B.
These men were real enthusiasts of their job. They were good and in some things they were even the best experts of Training Regiments.
I started dreaming since the second year that it would nice to become a test-pilot. And this wish became steady during the third year.
So, when I flew with SU-7... and SU-7 is a serious machine... I started asking questions and people described what roads exist.
Then there was also a second problem. They were intended to give a place of instructor. And I almost crashed.
I was doing my penultimate flight prior examination and I flew by at very low altitude and quite high speed and then I did a steep turn after that.
So, the Colonel Kuksa said: "Well, Kvochur, now you'll become an instructor for sure! I won't forgive you this!"
He decided to punish me. However, he was just joking. After all I got an assignment to Germany.
Well, to be more exact it wasn't exactly an assignment. They gave a list of countries to choose.
There were no free place to one country which I wanted to select, and among others were Poland, Czechoslovakia, some others and Germany.
Well, what is there in Germany? Cause I didn't know much... "Germany is a frontline" they said.
Well, how would you imagine? They told me that it's a frontline and I would ask to be sent somewhere else? I asked to be assigned to the frontline, of course.
It's 1973. After graduating from the Academy, Lieutenant Kvochur is sent for service to Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.
And he was lucky to meet real masters of their job.
One of them was a deputy of Combat Regiment Commander Leontiy Nikolaevich Grigoriev.
He wasn't just a model of flying professional for the young pilot, but he was also an example of bravery.
One time, an engine of Grigoriev's SU-7B, which was loaded with bombs, stopped during exercises over populated area.
With risk to his life he guided the plane to safe zone and ejected at almost zero altitude.
Similar event will happen in fate of Anatoly Kvochur too, but this will happen later. Meanwhile he serves in Eastern Germany.
Simply as a regular pilot of SU-7B fighter initially and as a Flight Commander of fighter-bombers later.
The most important thing for Lieutenant Kvochur is flights.
Except that, I was illegally flying a bit with helicopters. There was a helicopter team close to us.
And since we were friends, our homes were next to each other too... so we've ganged up.
So, when I was leaving them later, they wrote in my flight book 108 flight hours with Mi-2 and Mi-8.
This experience gave a lot of new knowledge. It was very interesting for a boy like I was yet.
Generally speaking thou, all these were done in order to become a test-pilot in the future.
In 1975, Division Commander General Koryukin noted the talent of the young Lieutenant and he wrote a recommendation letter to the Test Pilot School.
The letter was addressed to the Chief Pilot of Mikoyan company Alexander Vasilyevich Fedotov.
He read it and he said:
"Well, if Volodya wrote such things about you, then I won't drag you to get to our School, but I can tell you when next recruitment will take place.
But you are too young". And I was young indeed. Just couple of years passed after graduation from the Academy.
"However, since Volodya wrote for you... and I like when young pilots gets to our School."
25 years old Anatoly successfully passed the exams.
During training process and later, during assignment to new place of work, Alexander Vasilyevich was exaggeratedly not interesting about fate of his protege.
Kvochur's comrades from Yeysk Academy, former instructors Valeriy Kondratyev and Viktor Pugachyov, study with him in Test Pilot School at the same time.
Kvochur's instructors in the School were Fyodor Ivanovich Bourtsev, Oleg Vsevolodovich Druzhinin, Em Velovich Karma, Viktor Konstantinovich Alexandrov.
VIKTOR PUGACHYOV: Respected Test-Pilot of the USSR, Hero of the Soviet Union "Years of study in the School have shown absolutely clearly that he is in right place.
Meaning that he is not just a pilot, but he is a thinking pilot. Pilot who prepares, who can analyze, who can make conclusions and control the situation.
And this proven during one flight with MiG-23, when I think he was flying with Uran or with Sasha Pelekh,
so, a simple compressor stall occurred during take off and this required immediate actions.
He had to turn it off, then to glide to a certain altitude in order to start it again.
Compressor stall is an insidious thing and as a rule it may end up tragically.
And exactly then, this pilot proved that he is in right place.
In December of 1978 the young test pilot was assigned to aviation plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
He tests SU-17 serial production fighter and its versions there.
Work at the plant was proved to be a good school for Kvochur.
It was exactly there, where he got an opportunity to meet the full cycle of production of combat plane. From the blank sheet as they say.
Anatoly Nikolaevich was mastering his flight skills here by trying out many maneuvers with which he amuse the entire World at air shows.
I made friends there. I got involved in the process. I had many interesting event there.
I had unlimited possibilities for self-perfection, because no one was controlling anything. The only thing I had to do is to return back.
Beginning of 1981. Three leading test-pilots of Mikoyan Experimental Design Bureau, including Fedotov himself,
are out of service for some time, because of injuries, which they got during test flights.
So, Fedotov was laying in hospital with broken leg. Engine of his MiG-29 had exploded.
And current situation was that Mikoyan hasn't enough pilots.
Well, I found out not that Mikoyan has not enough pilots, but that Fedotov is in hospital.
I called Galina Vasilyevna and asked: "Galina Vasilyevna, what's going on?" And she told me where Sasha was.
So, then I asked how can I visit him. "Yes" - she gave me a phone number. I called there and I went there in appointed time.
He was laying there. It was prohibited for him to get up.
We talked about it. So, what's next?
I understood that if I wanted to work for a Company it's not enough to fly a lot, to fly well and to keep learning. You also must have some connections.
"No. That's not true. Don't think like that" - he said. "Come back here in a week" - he added.
So, I came back after one week and he said "Well, we decided..."
- We'll take you.
Anatoly Kvochur became a test pilot of Mikoyan Company in March of 1981. And that just at 29 years old.
Such transfer was a quite seldom case for that time.
The job of test-pilot in World wide famous MiG Company was a cherished dream for majority of test-pilots in the country.
As test-pilot Komarov said once "Probability to become a test-pilot in Mikoyan Company is approximately equal to probability to win 100.000 rubbles by tram ticket."
We may say that Kvochur got such lucky ticket.
Anatoly Nikolaevich, just like many other test-pilots of Mikoyan Design Bureau, considers himself as a Fedotov's student.
It was exactly him, who became a developer of flight tests philosophy for those young pilots.
Same role in development of Flight Test School was played by the Company's Chief Pilot Grigoriy Alexandrovich Sedoy.
Kvochur names Sedoy-Fedotov's school as a school of effective and safe test flights.
Many pilots lived much longer than an average pilot, thanks to this school, and they've brought a lot of good to the State.
Anatoly Kvochur conducted numerous tests of new planes and weapons during years of work as a test pilot,
including flight tests of MiG-29. Anatoly has in his score tests of new generation air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles,
test flights of deep modernization of MiG-29 and MiG-31,
tests of MiG-29's deck version, together with tests of systems on the first indigenous aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov".
Kvochur made the first night landing and night take off from the carrier. He trained the first deck pilots.
As a leading test pilot, he took part in development of next generation fighter MFI, since the middle of 80s.
It took off in the air for the first time in 2000.
Anatoly Nikolaevich got the title of Respected Test-Pilot of the USSR in 1990.
He, just like his instructor Fedotov, became the youngest pilot who earned this title when he was 38 years old.
"Our country demonstrated 4th generation combat aircrafts abroad for the first time.
Success of MiG-29 was so high that its icon was embedded in Air Show's emblem, while one newspaper stated "MiG-29 stole the Air Show!"
In '88-'89 Kvochur participated in the first demo flights with Soviet fighters abroad.
His performances at Farnborough, Le Bourget, Abbotsford left an unforgettable impression in spectators' hearts.
So, for the first time in that impressive demonstration for the World Aviation community, we demonstrated such an extraordinary maneuver as "Bell".
Maneuvers which belong to sphere of super-maneuvers hadn't been presented by anyone till then.
So, "Uncle Tolya" performed it and showed to the World for the first time that our planes can move toward the tail, fall back and get out from that maneuver.
France. Le Bourget. 1989.
However, nothing goes always as smooth as we would like too. Unfortunately, there was an event, when at low altitude and in mode of minimum speed,
which is a very difficult mode for an aircraft, it sure couldn't get out of there with just one engine, despite that Tolya did everything possible then,
and he started getting out from that mode. I have a right to say that as an eye-witness.
No one was blaming me at that time directly.
Despite that later some freaky ideas were circulating that it was possible somehow to fly away from there with one engine.
After my recovery I tried it several times. No, it was not possible to get out of there. I was really trying it, but 1000m higher.
And that's without considering of psychological factors... and when the ground is so close.
Because in such situation man doesn't think so much with his head, as with his soul.
Alexander Kharchevsky: Respected Honoured Combat Pilot of Russia, Major-General "You know, when a man tries to become one with the aircraft's soul,
because an aircraft is like a living soul. And then suddenly a moment comes, when you must break this connection.
And it bears a risk for life and loose of the plane and creation of situation, which threatens your life.
It undoubtedly leads to a trauma. Psychological trauma at first and also a physical injury, because suffering such overloads...
Even at the moment of ejection itself, when G loads increase to 20Gs in matter of seconds... then you understand for yourself how difficult it is.
In March of 1991, Anatoly Kvochur move to Flight Research Institute named after Gromov, as a test-pilot and Chief of Lab of Ergonomics.
Since 1996 till today he is a deputy of Director in Institute of Defence Affairs.
The job at Scientific Research Institute itself implies existence of two very connected subjects - test-flights and science.
Exactly this combination is a basis of Aviation’s progressive evolution.
NIKOLAY MOSKVITELEV: Respected Combat Pilot of the USSR, Air Force Colonel-General "Why am I next to Kvochur? If anyone would ask me this question. Why am I next to him?
Because I see the highest talent in him and promising, smart aviator, not just as a pilot, but also as a future scientist or as a big aviation leader.
Also, we have a perfect relationship simply as people.
For bravery and heroism presented during tests of new aircrafts, Anatoly Kvochur was awarded with a high title of Hero of Russian Federation in 1992.
He also had been awarded with order of "Labour Red Flag", "Service to the Motherland of 3rd degree".
- What for did you get the title of Hero of Russian Federation? - I don't know. Nothing special. For my job. 10 years in Company and many things had happened.
State's Unitary Enterprise "Flight Research Center" was funded by Kvochur in 1992 in Flight Research Institute named after Gromov,
for conducting research programs for cockpits' design and control instruments for maneuverable aircrafts, satellite and radio navigation, midair refuelling,
extra long no landing ferry flights, supermaneuverability, medicine and also with purpose for professional demo flights with SU-27, SU-30, MiG-29, solo and in teams.
During its past, the team performed a serie of demo flights at 29 different International Air Shows,
including so famous ones as MAKS, ILA, Farnborough, Australia, Le Bourget, Prague, Singapore, Jakarta, Johai, Lima.
Also it participated dozens of times in demo flights in 20 countries around the World -
the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Poland, Finland and others.
A super-long flight to Australia and back in March of 1995 must be mentioned separately.
A single seat SU-27 fighter, which was commanded by team's leader Kvochur covered about 16.000km with mid air refuels
and only with two intermediate landings in Tashkent and Singapore on its way to Australia.
In October of 2001, SU-27 piloted by Kvochur covered distance from Zhukovsky to Malaysia in 10 hours and 43 minutes with just two midair refuelling.
Two trans-Arctic flights were conducted over waters of North Arctic Ocean, with passing over the North Pole, in July and September of 2009.
A record duration of flight for a single seat fighter was achieved during one of those flights - 11,5 hours.
Both flights were conducted in tense coordination with Long-Range Aviation.
Combined tests had been conducted for several scientific-technological developments.
First of all in sphere of high accuracy relative inter-plane radio navigation.
On-board computer avionics can bring the plane to refueller's cone with accuracy of just 1-2 meters, from a distance up to 800km.
Six satellite navigation receivers were also evaluated,
plus new onboard digital black boxes, new head-up display, and also a colour LCD multi-functional display.
Extremely valuable medical-physiological data was collected about pilot's condition.
I don't know... I am sweating. 12 hours and I'm constantly wet.
Russian flying legend. Pilot gifted by God. That's how Anatoly Kvochur is called by domestic and foreign experts and Mass Media.
Already in 1988, foreign observers included him to symbolic TOP-10 of the best test-pilots of the World.
Organizers of any Air Show try to secure specifically the participation of Anatoly Kvochur.
Because HE is a guarantee of spectacular demonstration, when high-level aerobatics maneuvers replace one another without any pauses at extremely low altitude.
Regarding if he's a hooligan or not. No. Definitely no, because he hadn't done a single voluntaristic or an adventurist move.
And I am absolutely sure about this, because I know that every his move and every of his action are absolutely correctly and thoroughly calculated.
And he is responsible for it.
I always bless him in my thoughts and Kvochur knows that and I know that he feels my blessing when he sits inside the cockpit, either I am next to him or not.
He feels it. He told this to me himself "Nikolay Ivanovich, thank you for this.
I know that if you send me with a good feeling then I'll perform everything and I'll return back successfully."
I remember that when he was invited to any flights, there wasn't a single case when he replied "I can't".
He was doing always everything in order to "can".
There were even such moments, when we were starting our Air Show and weather was bad.
And then suddenly weather becomes good. Sun comes out. No clouds... And then Kvochur walks in.
I even had asked him a question once: "Tolya, you are already 50 years old. Is it enough to fly maybe? Maybe you have to start to do scientific work."
And Anatoly Nikolaevich replied back: "No. I want to fly till my 60. I'm a pilot and combining flying with scientific job gives the best results. I'll keep flying."
Congratulations, my friend! Happy Birthday! I think we'll live and work together for many years ahead.
"Wings of Russia" studio - 2002