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"Maestro" in the air. The story of the pilot, with whom Putin flew to hot spots
Material posted: Publication date: 07-03-2020
During a conversation with the General-the Lieutenant of FSB Nikolay Gavrilov was a strong feeling that I communicate with the hero of the adventure books. This feeling, apparently, passed on to the employee cafe, where we talked, which broke down and said, "This man did something fantastic?" Nod, wondering how exactly the young man picked up the epithet to the history of General.

Fantastic – the supernatural means, is not feasible. Much of what made the pilot Gavrilov, was considered impracticable. In 2007, he is the first ever made on the rotary-wing aircraft Intercontinental flight and landed the helicopter at the South pole. He first landed the helicopter on top of mount Elbrus. "On top there is almost no air. Just imagine: you swim in the water, then be on land. To swim without water can't. That Mi-8 without air there is nothing to "pull" the blades". However, the test pilot Gavrilov car on the top of the highest mountain of Europe planted. Together with the passenger – the then head of the FSB Nikolai Patrushev. It was anti-terrorist exercises, designed to show that terrorists who like to hide in the mountains, will not escape punishment even on top of mount Elbrus.

9 years in the war

Almost all his flights were with risk of their lives. Immediately after graduation, the young Lieutenant Gavrilov was on the war in Afghanistan, where with brief interruptions he spent 9 years. "This war is not accidentally called "helicopter". Roads there either not there, or they were mined, so the delivery of the goods mostly went through the air, – says Nikolay Fedorovich. – Military strikes, the evacuation of the wounded and other maneuvers performed in the sky. Then the Americans supplied the spooks stinger is a formidable weapon against helicopters. We started out at extremely low altitude in order to escape, but in this case, the available small arms."

Это фото Гаврилова попало на обложку советского журнала.
This photo Gavrilova appeared on the cover of the Soviet magazine. Photo: From personal archive

In Afghanistan, the helicopter pilots died more often than others. Looking back, Gavrilov himself is surprised – having made more than 3,000 sorties, he was not even wounded. Wife comrades noticed it. Before travel and asked: "And Gavrilov you going?" If Yes, then calmed down.

The main objectives of the pilots was a cover of our fighters from the air and the evacuation of the wounded. "In the battle helicopter was shot down by my chief of staff Peter Korneva. Saw in the blue sky was a black pillar of smoke. I was on the other side of the gorge, loaded with mortars, I had to quickly finish loading and go to the place of tragedy. The helicopter broke apart. Inside the fuselage, two soldiers were killed, the cockpit was torn away, thrown into the gorge. But all crew members were alive. The Navigator and the flight engineer carried the wounded commander. Landed on the mountain path on which they moved. Were already visible pursuing their spooks. Plunged into the car. Despite the shelling, was able to leave."

Caches memory Gavrilova keep many stories Afghan pores. "I brought down one of our helicopters. The crew was evacuated, and the stricken helicopter remained in the mountains. Our crew flew to the disaster area. You can see from the cockpit, as the bandits down to the car. It comes to the decision to sit next to a black helicopter and try to start it. Happened. Then one of my colleagues with my flight engineer on this "wounded" helicopter take off and take the car. I stayed to cover them. When the bandits approached, introduced the momentum, let loose and dust in this cloud flew up to catch his."

Night flight

The Afghan experience Gavrilova is very useful during the events in the Caucasus. In 1999-2010 Nikolai Fedorovich served in the aircraft of FSB of Russia, supervised the anti-terrorist group "alpha" and "Vympel". During this time Colonel Gavrilov made dozens of sorties, 14 of which were flights in hot spots together with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

In 2002, Colonel Nikolai Gavrilov for courage and heroism in the execution of special missions, was awarded the title of hero of the Russian Federation. Details of the operation are classified. We are talking about the destruction of dozens of leaders of the terrorist gangs gathered in the mountains at a special meeting. The departure of the helicopters (there were two, the machine Gavrilova has been leading), as well as the special operation took place at night. The pilots were on a mission with documents in a false name. The prisoner to fall, was impossible. "Maestro" – this is the Callsign Gavrilova – together with friends and this time completed the task. Not only killed the terrorist leaders, but bombed underground storage fuel, cutting energy bandits "oxygen".

В Афганистан Николай попал молодым лейтенантом после окончания с красным дипломом училища.
In Afghanistan Nicholas got a young Lieutenant after graduating with honors from College. Photo: From personal archive

Gavrilov does not get tired to admire the helicopters: "This machine can be anywhere to land, take off vertically, to back, to turn, to sit on the roof. Can save, can strike". But when the young Nicholas was worried that I was studying to be a helicopter pilot, not the plane. The fact that the closest to his native land flight school was located in Syzran and taught there for helicopter pilots. Nicholas was born in the village of Anglici Kanashsky district of the Chuvash Republic. On the choice of profession was influenced by an example of another native Chuvash Republic – cosmonaut No. 3 Andriyan Nikolayev. "About Nikolaev in Chuvashia knew every boy. I understand that the pilot needs to study well and to be well prepared physically. In the woods made several distances from 100 m to 1 km, got Hold of a stopwatch. Staged races, increased the results. And the house was a horizontal bar".

Day rural boys Gavrilova was painted by the minute. Besides sports and school, no one was removed from his worries on the farm. He was the eldest of 5 children. She cared for animals, weeded the garden. Father pilot died early – when he was a cadet. And he became the eldest male in the family. Mom left a few years ago. The parents buried together. Nikolai Fedorovich made them a monument with his own hands. The small home is often. Here for him the most delicious food – water from the well and homemade brown bread. In the yard of his school and the helicopter decommissioned equipment the Hero of Russia Gavrilov turns into monuments. There, in the school, organized by the Museum of military glory. And now with Gavrilova local boys take an example – go to flight school. Growing a new generation of those who will save people, to win the pole, to protect the country.

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