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The man who saved the aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov"
Material posted: Publication date: 13-11-2016
The flagship of our group in Syria was not in the 90s sold abroad thanks to the pilot Timur Apakidze.

Sources in the Syrian army said that the militants asked about the peace talks due to the fact that our aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" threatens their positions.

Today heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser "Admiral Kuznetsov" - the flagship of our group of ships off the coast of Syria. Only few people know that the handsome "Hugo" remained afloat, and was cut for scrap in favor of our "partners", thanks to the courage and perseverance of one person — the pilot, Hero of Russia Timur Apakidze.

Apakidze was the first Russian combatant military pilots in 1991 after a test landing on the deck of "Admiral Kuznetsov". He taught this complex element of his colleagues than actually saved the only Russian aircraft carrier. Legendary pilot in the "time of troubles" refused to take the oath to Ukraine, refused to lead the Georgian air force.

Thanks Apakidze was saved domestic naval fighter aircraft

He was released only 47 years of life. About Timur Apakidze told us his colleagues and friends.

All who knew Timur Apakidze, noted his determination, inner strength and determination.

As a boy he was in the cockpit of a military transport plane Li-2. Sitting on the co-pilot enthusiastically held onto the control stick. The sky he was literally bewitched. And when in the Upper Vaenga (now Severomorsk) saw bury the crew of the crashed Tu-16, finally decided for myself that I would become a pilot and take the place of the dead pilots.

With his future wife, Larissa, whom he called Lesia, Timur met in 13 years, in a children's sanatorium in Essentuki. After returning home, told my mom I met a girl, which later married.

As a result, the pilot was, and the altar with the girl of his dreams went.

However, the way the sky turned out to be thorny...

Brought Timur's uncle, brother of his mother, naval officer Nicholas Ilyenkov. Timur's parents divorced when the boy was only a year. With her grandmother and mother, he moved to uncle Kolia on the North, to the ice-free Kola Bay in the Barents sea. 9 years after the Nicholas Markovich they went to Kronstadt.

Lived a wealthy life. To grandma and mom became a little easier, Timur entered the naval school, but has not stopped dreaming about the sky.

— From the Nakhimov College was to go on to higher naval school, — says the honored test pilot Roman Kondratyev, one of the virtuosos-falcons, which fostered Apakidze. And then Timur Avtandilovich with his friend, Alexey Vlasov wrote a letter to the commander of the Navy with a request: as an exception to send them to flight school. Both assured that he will not betray the Navy, and coming pilots already on the carrier, which must necessarily be the Soviet Union. And Admiral of the fleet Sergei Gorshkov gave the Nakhimov "good".

As a result, both was in Yeisk flying school.

There was a comic event, which loved to recall Timur Avtandilovich — continues to tell the Roman Kondratiev. — He was thin, blond, and despite the name, it's Georgian was not. He stood somehow in the outfit. Near it stopped the head of the flight training Department.

Seeing Timur icon Nakhimov schools, already whistled: "How did you get here, because even the cadets for getting hard?" Promising way to help the cadet, he said: "I watched the list of students enrolled, there are some Georgians, what do they climb here is not clear. You watch him more closely..." before Leaving, he asked: "Oh, by the way, what's your last name?" When Timur said, "Apakidze", — head of flight training Department froze with his mouth open, and then silently withdrew.

The school of Timur were very lucky with the first instructor. Vladimir Abramov cadets for bright red hair color called red. He went hard at preparing novices to stressful situations. Could in-flight, stop the engine, disconnect the main flight and navigational instruments. It was followed the behavior of the student. Under the leadership of Abram's future pilots mastered combat maneuvering, oblique aerobatics, unusual maneuvers, and learned to get on the road and fight in the air.

To The Max. 1997. Photo from the personal archive.

Timur flight was going to get to the bottom.

— While studying, being on leave, he found the fighter pilots, marine pilots — participants of the great Patriotic war, — says the Hero of Russia, honored test pilot Igor Votintsev. — Meetings with them, asked to recall the military episodes to talk about aerial battles and operations on the destruction of ground targets. Timur tried to understand the secret martial art, what are the qualities of a pilot, what is required of the aircraft. He kept stats, conducted a deep analysis of all the war episodes. All information recorded in a diary. And such notebooks Timur had accumulated quite a lot.

Became known as Nelson, later Admiral

After graduating from flight school, Yeysk Timur Apakidze got to serve in the garrison of the Island in the Pskov region. Here he became interested in karate. He recalled how his wife, Larisa Severikova, the literature on this sport was not, karate was banned, but Timur managed to get printed on a rotaprint copy of the book. On this manual, he and his colleagues started training.

One day at practice he got a black eye, and friends were jokingly called Timur Nelson. Subsequently it became known as the nickname of the Admiral. He signed the appropriate put. If you look closely, you can see that he interpreted it not as Apakidze, but as Admiral.

— Timur Avtandilovich believed that the pilot should be a fighter not only in the air but on the ground, — said, in turn, Roman Kondratiev. And gave an example from the life of Asa-fighter aircraft, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Lavrinenkov. During the great Patriotic war under the Eagle he shot down a Me-109. Seeing that the German pilot managed to land his car and tries to escape, Lavrinenkov sat down. Overtook the enemy, strangled him with his bare hands.

Subsequently Timur Apakidze had the opportunity to serve in Kaliningrad, and in 1986 after graduating from the naval Academy named after Grechko, he was appointed commander of the educated Hundredth naval fighter regiment which was based at the airfield in Saki, Crimea.

— I don't know of any other person who would so carefully prepared itself for naval landings, as Timur Apakidze, — says Igor Votintsev.

Photo from the personal archive.

November 1, 1989 for the first time in the Soviet Union, test pilot of the Sukhoi's Victor Pugachev the su-27K landed on an aircraft on the deck of the aircraft carrier "Tbilisi" (formerly the aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov"). Two years later Timur Apakidze was the first Russian naval combatant pilots landed on aircraft carrier serial carrier-based fighter su-27K, which is now known as su-33.

The Ukrainians said, as snapped: "Swear only once"

At the landfill landing systems "Thread" (ground test training complex aviation) in the village novofedorivka (Saki-4) was training pilots for the ship program.

— Once in the regiment to Timur Apakidze, who was then a young Lieutenant Colonel, I was struck by his modesty, says eminent carrier-based pilot Konstantin Kochkarev, now head of the flight of the Sukhoi design Bureau. — At the weekend I went on a bus from SAC to the garrison and was surprised to see in the cabin of the commander of the regiment. I asked: "Why not in a patrol car?" He said, "Today is the weekend, I'm not on official business, and personal".

And, of course, I was struck by his approach to training pilots, which radically differed from what I saw and knew.

Timur Apakidze believed innovator

— The Soviet system raised lack of initiative, open-minded pilot, who feared punishment for any mistakes. And punished, "flogged" pilots on any occasion as small children, — says Roman Kondratyev. — After each flight knew that at least something, but it is. To be in the air some initiative — it was all nonsense. It could decide one. Merit Timur Avtandilovich that he has collected at such "units". Ordinary people, as he was himself.

— Our company conducted a test on the complex "Thread" in Saki, where he based his Hundredth naval fighter regiment, says, in his turn, Victor Votintsev. — I have the feeling that at that time it was the best regiment in the air force. Timur Apakidze meticulously prepared pilots, they were the most prepared in the country. And he took them in both professional and purely human qualities.

In 1991, about 20 pilots of the regiment in the morning until the evening were training on the ship program, practiced the technique of take-off and landing aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier. But then the Soviet Union collapsed...

On January 3, 1992 Ukraine started to form their own army. The situation in the Center of naval aviation of the Navy escalated. Pilots Hundredth naval fighter regiment strongly inclined to take the oath of allegiance to the President and people of Ukraine. In the course went and promises, and entreaties, and threats... Timur Apakidze said as snapped: "Swear only once". He also rejected the offer to head of the Georgian air force.

According to the memoirs of subordinates, Timur Apakidze went all black, like he had lost someone close. Together with the airport and the simulator "Thread" left the meaning of his life...

Apakidze took to Severomorsk, where he was sent, 15 pilots and 85 officers from the technical staff of the regiment — only those who wanted.

— Kept a record of how the regiment said goodbye to those who have not taken the oath. Each of us was given a book, shake hands with, — says Konstantin Kochkarev. — We flew North on a transport An-12, taking only the most necessary. Everything went with a demotion. Comesky, Deputy commander of the squadron suddenly became rank-and-file pilots. Recovered within a year or two.

"If the fighters will not sit on an aircraft carrier, it will sell"

4 March 1994, the commander of the aircraft of the Navy Vladimir Deineko summoned the commander of the mixed ship aviation division of Timur Apakidze, was congratulated on the 40th anniversary and said that at the meeting, the defense Ministry decided that if the end of the year, the fighters will not sit on an aircraft carrier, the ship will have to sell.

Apakidze made a decision to put the pilots in harsh conditions and at almost any cost. The training was the shortage of fuel and spare parts.

He methodically flew with each of the pilots and estimated the assimilation of the flight program.

— Timur Avtandilovich believed that on the ship it is necessary to prepare "green" lieutenants, have no fear, — says Roman Kondratyev. — Me as a very young pilot regiment, as an experiment, was transferred to the first squadron. Included in the training group on the ship. Fuel for the year stood out a little. To prepare safely a few pilots to fly the ship, and the rest did not fly in the regiment. Were the pilots that during the year, generally did not make any departure.

Savings has been a surge of moral and physical strength of the pilots.

— We started to prepare a ship without a training complex "Thread". Then there was the conversation of Timur with us about whether we are ready to give life, — says Konstantin Kochkarev. — The five of us pretty well got to touch the ship, and then Ukraine suddenly "opened the gates" welcome to "Thread". Due to the fact that we have a program on the simulator was quite truncated, pulled another five people.

In late summer the leadership group, the Golden dozen, came back to the North. And at the end of August, September and partly in October, all the pilots in the Barents sea boarded the ship, having made ten takeoffs and landings.

Only the initiates knew what it was worth. Top carrier — as a matchbox. At the speed of 240-250 km per hour, the pilots need to go on a pad size of 4 to 40 meters. Anyway, that leak into the eye of a needle...

Thanks to the courage of the pilots and their commanders in Russia remained naval aviation.

In 1995, Timur Apakidze was the Hero of Russia, he was awarded the rank of General. But it did not affect his Outlook and way of life.

— Prior military service we came to it in Severomorsk-3 to prepare for the relocation of aircraft to the ship — says the honored test pilot, Hero of Russia Sergey Bogdan. Timur invited us to his home to have tea. As he was active and resolute as his wife Lesya was quiet and unobtrusive. I was struck by the housing General. Wardrobe, coffee table, chairs — all the furniture was breech, with inventory numbers. The only luxury was books.

In day of delivery of the star of Hero of Russia. 1995. Photo from the personal archive.

Friends say that Timur had no time to engage in personal well-being. He never had no car, no cottages. He lived with his family in the Dorm. But could the impressive part of the salary to spend on books and then distribute them to subordinates. And one day, when he received a subsistence allowance for a business trip to Ukraine, then half the amount sent to the widow of a friend.

Despite the high rank, erudition and great experience, Timur Apakidze he was constantly studying.

I remember he came to us in Zhukovskiy to assess the su-30MK, which was considered to be a ship's regiment, — says Sergey Bogdan. — We had to fly together. I was struck by how this experienced, reputable people were considerate, careful and delicate in flight. Behaved like a good student, like a sponge absorbed all the nuances, all the new knowledge. Moreover, that was a tough commander, proved to be more robust, inquisitive pilot.

After graduating in 2000, the Military Academy of the General staff, major-General Apakidze was appointed Deputy commander of the aviation of the naval fleet, but continued to fly.

"Died as a result of mental and physical overload"

Superstitious Timur was not perfect, but colleagues recall that he was a favorite leather jacket, a patched-pereletnaya. From time to time one of the arms she was a different shade. But Timur this jacket is very loved and all the time he took with him. Only fly in it.

July 17, 2001 during demonstrations at the festival in honor of the 85th anniversary of naval aviation, combat training Center and retraining of pilots of naval aviation at Pskov, the pilot ACE was killed.

Timur Apakidze has fulfilled all the aerobatics, coming in for a landing when his plane was just a few kilometers from the runway, behaved unstable.

— I July 17, was in the Island, at this feast, — says Roman Kondratyev. — The demonstration center was difficult. But Timur Avtandilovich worse things could do. He was, as we say, ulutan, well trained, almost every flight change can be seen as he flies at low altitude.

Then it was obvious that the plane came out of the maneuver, it goes down in a controlled flight. He went for the trees, he heard a loud sound, and then out of the trees, threw black smoke. The commentator was silent for 20 seconds. Then he said: "Apparently, something unexpected happened. Now there will go the car."

1996. Photo from the personal archive.

The state Commission issued the opinion that Timur Apakidze was lost due to mental and physical overload. The pilot turned off the limiters limit the angle of attack and overload to perform complex maneuvers. In the result during one of the maneuvers he experienced an eightfold overload and lost control of the car.

— The state Commission just needed to write something — hot Roman Kondratiev. — Really there are no documents on the basis of which it would be possible to make an unambiguous conclusion. After eight full-stroke overload he stayed conscious. This is a proven show records. The aircraft he ran. Is there any little thing could play a role, for example, could mask folding or get into eyes dust, as he already had... There are all sorts of guesses, but each they own. No one today can say what happened.

The limiters limit the angle of attack and overload cut off, to perform complex maneuvers, such as "bell". You want to include or not include, if you know what time the flying is over and you have nowhere to exceed these limitations, says, in turn, Igor Votintsev. — Now about eight times overload. Who-who, and Timur overload was not afraid. He had excellent health, an excellent pilot technique. But it was loaded with organization of this event, just exhausted in this training. As an experienced proteinic could afford somewhere to escape, to relax, to think about something else...

Timur Apakidze remember. Twice a year, on the day of his birth, March 4, and on the day of his death, July 17, in different parts of the country gather colleagues of Timur, his disciples, friends and associates to honor his memory. This Troekurov cemetery in Moscow, Severomorsk, and the plant in Komsomolka-on-Amur, and the garrison of the Island in the Pskov region, and Saki in the Crimea. Unheard of, even when Crimea was still Ukrainian, Russian General there put up a monument.


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