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Impression of British-Australian tourist living out a childhood dream. October, 2014.
This was a once in a lifetime experience!!! As a child you grow up wanting to be a fighter pilot and I have been lucky enough to experience this!
I had made my way to Nizhny Novgorod via Moscow, Volgograd and Saint Petersburg. This was my chance to visit Russia, to experience the long and varied history of the country, which many of my friends told me I was crazy to do especially dud to the political issues at the moment...
However, Russia has been an amazing place to travel and the people have been friendly!!!
I was meet at my hotel by my translator for the day, Dima. We travelled to the Sokol plant to prepare for and then make the flight.
After a couple of hours it was the big moment - I'd been trained in using the oxygen mask and procedures for the ejection seat, not something you want to get wrong, and dressed in my flight and G-suit - ready to go...
I was shown around the aircraft, a few photos, strapped into the seat, the pilot explained the various instruments and dials before we set off.
The plane taxied down the runway and we were off - full throttle - pushed back into my seat and I was flying in a million dollar Russian fighter jet!!!!!!!!!!
The package I had chosen was a 45 minutes aerobatics program, experiencing up to 6G and completing a range of loops, turns, inverted and dives. Unfortunately, the weather was less than perfect but we made the most of it...
The program was awesome - although it was very challenging on the body and the effects of G-force is nothing like I've ever experienced before! It is difficult to just lift your hand up or move your head.
The best part of the flight was completing the hammer manoeuvre - unique to Russian fighter jets - and the 600mph low level (15m off the ground!!!) pass over the runway. It was such an exciting experience!
I actually flew the aircraft! Yes, I had complete control of this multi million dollar fighter jet.
My pilot Andrew Pechenkin allowed me to fly by myself: a complete vertical loop and a 360° inverted roll. This was AWESOME!
My pilot Andrew was amazing and I thank him so much for the experience!!!
The whole process was excellent and extremly professionally managed! I would like to thank Varvara, Dima and Andrew for my once in a lifetime experience! I would recommend this to anyone!!!