Military pilot – about the first takeoff and landing, superstitions and love for the sky

Heaven for three. In the Karev family, a father and two sons are military pilots. More details about their fate – in the material of the correspondent of the agency “Minsk-Novosti”.

Major General Alexander Karev occupies the highest position in this troika. He is the deputy commander of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces – the chief of aviation. His eldest son, Alexander, is in charge of flights at the Machulishchi air base, lieutenant colonel. The youngest, Vladimir, is a major, flies on Yak-130 planes in Lida.

– Alexander Mikhailovich, are there military men in your family?

– Not. The parents were geologists. My childhood was spent in the village of Kameshek, Kemerovo region. It was there that the love of aviation was born. I often admired the beauty of the sky and flying planes. I liked reading adventures and science fiction. Favorite authors – Jules Verne, Alexander Belyaev, Ray Bradbury, Strugatsky brothers. Like all boys, I enjoyed watching Soviet films about the war.

– It was not easy to enter the flight school in the USSR …

– It helped me that I studied at school perfectly. True, one grade four in the Russian language crept into the certificate. All others are fives. With such indicators in 1983 he entered the Barnaul Higher Military Aviation School. And a year later, he flew on an L-29 jet aircraft over the endless expanses of the Altai Territory. I was 17 then.

The Karev family

– I can imagine what a beauty!

– Even the desert looks great from above. And what to say about the landscapes of our regions. Especially when you take off on a gloomy day and everything is gray on the ground. But you break through the clouds, break out upward and see a blue-blue sky, white clouds and a bright sun. At this moment, you understand: there is no better spectacle in this world.

– You continue to fly today …

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– A real aviator, regardless of rank and position, learns and improves in flight skills all his life. And I, as the chief of aviation, must be able to fly the main types of machines. When you communicate with a pilot, you must speak the same language with him. And for this you need to know the technique yourself. So that it does not work out as one military man said, jokingly: “I did not fly, but I can share my experience.” Over the years of service, I had the opportunity to master the L-29, MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-27, Su-24, Su-25, Yak-130 aircraft, Mi-8 and Mi-172 helicopters.

– Remember your first takeoff and landing?

– You won’t forget that. Although I confess: then I did not experience pleasure and delight. In the yard – June 1984. After landing, I got out of the cockpit and did not feel any emotions. I think to myself: I probably shouldn’t have become a pilot. The instructor Sergei Lavrinenko looked at me and said: “Don’t worry, student, everything will be fine, you will fly.” And so it came true.

Alexander Karev with his son Vladimir

– In 2016, you happened to land a Su-25 attack aircraft on a highway, and even in the dark. This is aerobatics.

– The task is not easy. Nowhere is it spelled out how to land a combat aircraft on the track at night. I had to try it myself, to make sure it was possible. The width of the carriageway is 18 m, the wingspan is 14 m. On approach, the landing strip looks like a thread for 4 km. And you need to get on it, so that the wind does not take the car away at speed. Then I felt a lot of tension in the cockpit, the adrenaline in my blood increased. But the task, together with Andrei Rachkov, was completed and shown to other pilots: it is real to do it.

– Does your wife worry when you are in the sky?

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– Previously, my wife was worried about me, now about Volodya. I am also worried about my son. At one time, Larisa Anatolyevna performed a parachute jump in tandem with an instructor. Together we flew in a hot air balloon and ultralight aircraft. She is my aviation person. We met in school years. I remember once said to Larisa: “I’ll go to flight school and get married.” And so it happened. The wedding took place on February 14, when I was in my 4th year. 34 years have passed since then. All this time, my wife was with me wherever I was sent to serve. And I had to travel.

– Is Alexander Karev a superstitious person?

– To some extent, yes. Like all aviators. There are things that cannot be predicted and predicted. According to one instructor pilot, you cannot make an airplane safe, because metal is heavier than air and always tends to the ground. It is on the car in case of breakdown, you can turn to the side. This cannot be done in the air. I also had some unpleasant situations. Once, on takeoff, my Su-25 got into a flock of birds. One hit the engine, the engine stopped. I had to complete the flight on the second engine. It would seem that landing on one engine does not cause much difficulty. But you don’t know what state the second is in. And to catapult … I do not know such heroes who would dream about it. Although morally the crew must be prepared to use this extreme (military pilots do not use the word “last.” Approx. ed.) way of salvation.

In aviation, there are two or even three degrees of control. That is, one unit or unit is carefully inspected before departure by two or three specialists. No one will allow faulty equipment to fly. But whatever the test on the ground, anything can happen in the air. For example, birds, lightning strikes. The pilot’s readiness to act in special cases must be up to the mark.

Together with Vladimir (left) and Alexander

For reference

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Alexander Karev has been serving in Belarus since 1987. He rose from a pilot to the chief of aviation. He has the highest class qualification “sniper pilot”.

Photo from the archive of Alexander Karev

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