Russian official suggests pilots fix their own planes – Airways Magazine

DALLAS – Russia’s Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Oleg Bocharov believes pilots should train to become mechanics and learn how to maintain their own aircraft.

“Together with the Ministry of Transport, we must prepare and certify the pilots as universal soldiers: they must be both pilots and mechanics, and the equipment must include the possibility of repairs in the field,” Bocharov said during the meeting. a session at the Eastern Economic Forum.

Bocharov spoke mainly about rural aviation, but his comments were generally interpreted as referring to all of Russian aviation, which drew heavy criticism from many news outlets.

The official also disclosed that the ministries are developing a brand new mechanism to keep various types of regional aircraft airworthy. Some planes, according to Bocharov, should be modular so that pilots can swap components and rearrange the cabin as needed.

According to Bocharov, such a system would be widely used on the Baikal, a future single-engine turboprop intended to replace the Antonov An-2.

However, there are countless cases of Russian companies struggling to maintain their planes and laying off large numbers of employees due to financial problems.

After sanctions were imposed on the Russian aerospace industry following its large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, problems began to arise. There have been stories of Russian pilots being instructed to “be careful” with other hard-to-replace equipment and using an aircraft’s brakes less to conserve brake pads.

According to numerous sources, the main Russian airlines have also already cannibalized planes to keep at least part of their fleet flying. In May 2022, changes to Russian aviation legislation were implemented to allow companies to use non-certified parts.

In addition, when the country’s aviation business began to slump, many major airlines laid off or laid off a significant portion of their workforce.

Feature Image: This is one of SU’s A330-300 aircraft. Photo: Davide Calabresi/Airways

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