“Versatile fighters”, that’s what pilots should be in the eyes of Oleg Bocharov. Not only do they need to be able to fly planes, they also need to repair them, Russia’s deputy minister of industry and trade said at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. You have to train them and then approve them.

Bocharov spoke about regional aviation. It is particularly important for Russia in order to be able to efficiently reach remote communities in the 17 million square kilometer country.

In his opinion, not only the pilots will have to do more in the future, but also the aircraft themselves. “The technology must provide for the possibility of on-site repairs,” the telegram channel “Aviatorshina” quoted the deputy minister as saying .

They are also working on a modular concept for regional aviation. The cockpit and ground staff should be able to quickly convert aircraft – from cargo to passenger or to a combination of cargo and passenger transport. “Indeed, we are about to enter the good old Soviet system at a new level, when the USSR operated more than 4500 aircraft.”

However, his ideas on the multifunctionality of the pilots are not well received in Russia. “Everyone should mind their own business,” Igor Deldyuzhov, chairman of the SPLS aviation union, told the BK55 portal.

β€œIn order for a pilot to be able to repair aircraft, he must attend a technical institute or school in addition to his flight school. He must then complete practical training to validate his knowledge, skills and abilities. But who will teach the pilots how to repair planes? Who will pay for this?”

Oleg Prikhodko, vice-president of the Russian airline crew union, said the proposal was impossible to implement. They are two completely different professions.

The big project in Russian regional aviation is the LMS-901 Baikal. The Ural Works of Civil Aviation single-engine turboprop aircraft is designed for nine passengers or two tons of cargo. It is to replace the still active Antonov An-2 and will be delivered to the first customers in 2024. In addition, Ilyushin is working on the new version of the Il-114, the twin-engine Il-114-300, which will offer space for up to 68 passengers. It should also be delivered from 2024.

This article was written by Stefan Eiselin

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The original of this article “Russian pilots should repair planes themselves” comes from aeroTelegraph.