Test pilot who saved Le Bourget crowd in 1989 dies

Russian test pilot who saved Le Bourget crowd from crashing MiG-29 fighter dies

Hero of Russia, test pilot Anatoly Kvochur died on April 15 following a serious illness. He would have turned 72 tomorrow, April 16.

"Many of his achievements are unique. His contribution to the development of domestic aviation is difficult to overestimate," the United Aircraft Corporation said in a statement.

Anatoly Kvochur was born on April 16, 1952 in the village of Mazurovka, the Vinnitsa region of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. He graduated from the Yeisk Higher Aviation School of Pilots, the school of test pilots, and the Moscow Aviation Institute.

The pilot tested the Su-17 and its modifications, the MiG-29 and MiG-31, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, the MiG-29K carrier-based fighter, systems of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, as well as latest models of MiG family aircraft. He was the first pilot who made the first takeoff and landing in the USSR from the deck of the Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov aircraft carrier at nighttime.

In 1988, Kvochur performed the "bell” aerobatic manoeuvre for the first time at the Farnborough Aviation Show in England.

In June 1989, at the air show in Le Bourget (France), while Kvochur was performing aerobatic manoeuvres on the Soviet MiG-29 fighter at an ultra-low altitude, a bird flew into the aircraft engine. As a result, the MiG-29 fell onto its wing, but the pilot managed to steer the falling fighter away from the people, no one was hurt.

"Anatoly Kvochur ejected from his MiG-29 only after he was convinced that the fighter would not crash down on people. The pilot's parachute did not have time to fully open, but it saved his life,” a message posted on the website of the Russian Defence Ministry said.

In March 1995, the pilot flew a single-seat Su-27 fighter to Australia, and in July and September 1999 he flew over the North Pole on a closed circuit.

In 1992, Kvochur received the title Hero of Russia. He was awarded, among other things, the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, III degree.

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Le Bourget plane crash
Author`s name Angela Antonova
Editor Dmitry Sudakov