One of the most remarkable pilots in the world – Anatoly Kvochur
Anatoly Kvochur (Анатолий Николаевич Квочур) was born in April 16, 1952 in the village of Mazurovka, Mohyliv-Podilskyi in the Vinnytsia Oblast of Ukraine. He is a Russian aerobatics test pilot and a Hero of the Russian Federation.
He began service as a pilot in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, served for two years before he was discharged from the Soviet Armed Forces in 1977 with a recommendation for admittance to the Test Pilot School at the Zhukovsky airfield. He graduated from the school in 1978, and till 1981 he worked as a test pilot at Komsomolsk-on-Amur, testing Su-17 aircraft and its modifications. He also studied further at the Moscow Aviation Institute, from whence he graduated in 1981.
He was transferred to the Mikoyan Design Bureau where he participated in the testing of more than 80 types of aircraft, including MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-27, MiG-29, MiG-31, as well as air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. Since then he has appeared in numerous international air shows, showcasing Russian aircraft.
In 1995 Kvochur participated in a very long range flight demonstration of Su-27PD and Su-27PU Flankers featuring an inflight refueling probe. He led an aerobatic team, known as the Test Pilots Team (Lyotchiki-Ispyttahteli), which also included the pilots Vladimir Loginovskiy and Aleksander Gamayev.
The Su-27 No 598, 595, and Su-30 No 597 demonstrators used by the group are equipped with the most sophisticated radio and navigation equipment, satellite navigation included, and they feature air refueling system. Their flight range at a cruise speed of 900-1,000 km/h and at an altitude of 12,000-15,000 m is about 4,000 km. When air refueled, Kvochur flown Su-27 covered 16,000 km within 24 hours with only three intermediate stops. This unique super long range flight took place in March of 1995 and the plane flew from Moscow via Tashkent and Singapore to Melbourne and back. Moreover, A Kvochur took part in almost every major air show.
Almost every air show hosting nation is eager to invite Kvochur, for his participation guarantees a spectacular aerobatics, with stunts changing each other without pauses at an extremely low altitude. One of the most vivid ones is of course the Cobra, when a plane brakes, hovering in midair with a very big angle of attack, which resembles cobra’s stance before it hits. Other figures include the Knife, when the plane moves forward with the 90-deg. turn, and the Bell. Being a test pilot since 1977 and having worked for the Mikoyan design bureau for over 10 years, Kvochur has been performing stunts ever since. He performed the Cobra in the early 1990s as part of the “Dogfight” program. It is worth mentioning here, that at that time the Su-27, with its superb characteristics, did not exist. Having performed this stunt that early, Kvochur proved its high effectiveness, thus opening a new era of the Russian combat aircraft employment.
He performed the Bell when a cadet of an Air Force college. Later he decided to make it more spectacular by avoiding rotation and working with the two engines separately. He also worked out safety rules. Nowadays, a lot of pilots perform the figure at an altitude of 1,000 m, while Kvochur can do it at 600 m.
Kvochur’s aerobatics can carry one away. His performance is called “little ballet”. Every movement of the aircraft is perfect.
Kvochur was involved in an air show accident in June 8, 1989 at the Paris Air Show. He was flying a single-seater Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum ‘Blue 303’, the latest fighter aircraft of the Soviet Union at the time. While executing a low-speed, high-angle attack portion of his routine, a bird was sucked into the turbofan of his right engine (a bird strike), causing the engine to burst into flames. Kvochur immediately turned the remaining engine to full afterburner. However his speed, at 180 kilometres per hour (110 mph), was too slow to maintain stability on one engine. Despite his efforts, the stricken aircraft went into a steep dive. Kvochur managed to steer the MiG away from the crowd and eject 2.5 seconds before impact. He landed 30 metres (98 ft) away from the fireball of the crashed plane.
The aircraft Kvochur was in Zvezda K-36D ejection seat at that time, which also save the lives of the pilots of two MiG-29s that collided mid-air at the Royal International Air Tattoo in July 24, 1993, and the pilot and navigator of a Sukhoi Su-30 that crashed from a bird strike at the Paris Air Show in June 12, 1999
Currently he is the Deputy Chief of the Gromov Flight Research Institute (ЛИИ), and widely regarded as one of the best Russian pilots.