Interview with an Army Pilot aviationhaving experience flying Mi-8, Mi-24, Mi-35M and Mi-28N helicopters.
- What prompted you to choose the flight profession?
- I was born in a military family, father - helicopter pilot. I lived all my life in military camps, always with the guys ran to look at the cars, on the flights. He was interested in various aircraft. Therefore, it was a dream from childhood to become a helicopter pilot. Immediately after school, I went to flight school, where I studied the next 5 years.
- What type of helicopters did you learn at school?
- In the school all master the basic types. We started with the Mi-8, then the Mi-24: that is, a year - on the Mi-8T, two years - on the Mi-24. But, for example, in parallel with us, one group began to fly on the Mi-2, and then on the Mi-8T. Someone flew all three years only on the Mi-8 and was produced on it. Now I know that the school on the "Ansat" fly, Ka-226 will soon begin to carry cadets.
And after the release, where and how you will get: they can serve on Mi-8, they can serve on 24-ku, on Mi-26, Kamov machines.
- That is, on what type of helicopter in the part assigned, on this fly and will you?
- Yes. I originally wanted on the Mi-24, and hit it. The unit sent an attitude to the school where it was indicated that they were taking me as a pilot-operator, so I already knew what position I was going to the troops.
- Is there any competition between parts for promising cadets?
- There is. Representatives of army aviation came to the school and on the same North Caucasian Military District they were trying to gain more children. Representatives of the Air Force MVD, FSB also came, as the training of pilots was conducted in their interests.
- Is it possible for a cadet to ask for himself in one or another part?
- Yes, you can. Go to the part, take the attitude there.
- You have been flying for many years, how many types of helicopters have you mastered at the moment?
- Mi-8Т, four modifications of the Mi-24, Mi-35М, Mi-28Н.
- A lot ...
- “Eight” has mastered in the school, in the same place began to fly the Mi-24. In parts I got into the combat squadron on "24-kah", I flew them initially. Then they began to re-equip our air base on the Mi-28H, Mi-35M, and we had to master them. The most difficult thing was to relearn the Mi-28H, the new helicopter had practically nothing in common with 24-koy, the helicopter had one control, only the helicopter commander, unlike the two on the Mi-24. If on Mi-24 it is possible to conduct control flights, where the instructor will tell something during the flight, in an emergency situation, he will take control on himself, then this cannot be done on 28-m. This is what caused the presence of different types of helicopters in the troops: as long as there is no training Mi-28UB, we will learn to fly Mi-24, Mi-35М.
- Blog readers asked a lot of questions on certain types of technology. If you do not mind, let's start with the Mi-8. How do you call this car?
- We have stuck to her name "borschevoz".
- Why not?
- Yes, I do not know, I came to the part, they called it already. Humor is so peculiar. Returning from the departure, they ask on the ground: “While flying, you didn’t spill anything?” - “What didn’t splash it out?” - “Yes, carry some soup with you.”
- How is aiming on the Mi-8 when firing NAR (uncontrolled aircraft missiles - approx.)? With overhead cannons?
- The commander of the crew has an ordinary collimator sight: the aiming mark, on it thousandths, degrees and according to the table of aiming data from the height, from the distance it is determined by what angle to make an amendment. With gun containers all the same. Roughly speaking, aiming goes to the eye.
- Is it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of a PC as an onboard armament of the Mi-8 for use through a doorway? Through the ramp with the shutters removed?
- A machine gun set, they consider it effective. Crew commanders themselves suggest that they be put on if they are flying from a VSPShG (air search-assault group - note) or special forces groups for any tasks. On the ramp also put on new cars.
- Is the door on the starboard side necessary on the "8-ke"?
- Yes of course. The winch on the starboard side is now more heavy-duty, up to 300 kg, so it's easier to evacuate people. At one time, more paratroopers can pick up, load / unload anything.
- The same question as for the Mi-8: how do you call the Mi-24 between you?
- We have pilots of this helicopter called "drums." Sometimes this nickname is transferred to the car itself.
- A question that worries many: why is Mi-24P chosen for Syria?
- I can only express my assumptions here. The helicopter is reliable and proven not by one war, it is easier to operate. It does not have sophisticated equipment, the same GOES, for example, therefore it is less repair-intensive. But I do not exclude that in the future in Syria may appear newer types of helicopters.
Yes, as another possible option “for”: you can do bombing from “24-ki”. Mi-35M and Mi-28H are deprived of this opportunity.
- How effective is the bombing from this helicopter?
- I think that the efficiency is low. For bombing, it is necessary to withstand flight parameters: there must be a constant speed, a constant altitude on the combat course in order to at least approximately hit the target or the target area. There is no automation, like on airplanes, you have to count everything in your head, which gives a greater error than machine calculation. While you are flying with a constant course and at the same speed, then, roughly speaking, only a lazy person will not knock off a slingshot.
- How is aiming performed during bombing?
- Depending on the type of bomb is determined by the height from which to throw it. Parameters are the height of the discharge, the speed of the discharge, according to the table there are target data, the angle of sight is set on the PKI sight. When you throw training bombs on 50-70 kg, from a height of 200 m, you can reset when the crosshair covers the target on this corner. If the flight altitude is greater, then you set the angle of sight of the target; when you pass it through the crosshair, you make a time cut-off and reset by a delay. The drift angle and wind direction are also taken into account. But the more height, the less accuracy.
- Did you have to deal with bombing in combat?
- For educational purposes only. Once or twice a year, while we still had Mi-24. We flew with training bombs on 50-70 kg, once “weavers” were thrown.
- In Chechnya, throwing bombs?
- I have not had the opportunity, from colleagues and veterans of the unit also did not hear this, but I can’t rule it out.
- At the forum of helicopter pilots one of the users suggested that the choice of Mi-24П for Syria is due to the fact that it has 6 suspension points against 4 on new machines.
- As the practice of the same Chechnya showed, the helicopter rarely flew with 4 units of the NAR, because it is very hard. Especially if you take into account the hot Syrian climate, which is even more problematic for a helicopter. The use of all points of the suspension greatly reduces the maximum take-off weight, impairs the flight characteristics. And to quickly reduce take-off weight is only possible in one way: to refuel. But the lack of refueling will reduce the range of the helicopter.
For example, during the two campaigns in Chechnya, during the Five-Day War, the standard load was as follows: the NAR unit’s 2, guided missiles. But depending on the task and the conditions of the flight and on the 4 block it happened hung up.
- If it so happens that the evacuation of the crew of the aircraft, shot down in the depth of enemy territory, at a great distance from our airbase, would be a Mi-24 suspension like this: 2 suspended fuel tanks (XB), 2 missile-guided missile units?
“Maybe, but only as a cover for the Mi-8, which will be directly involved in evacuation.” Conditions are different, so you may have to evacuate with the help of the winch "8-ki", which is not on the Mi-24. Quickly pick up people, when on the way back they saw that you can sit down, or received a task directly in the air, of course, you can on the Mi-24.
- The videos from Syria show that our helicopters are attacking at low altitudes, almost near the ground. How dangerous are large-caliber machine guns of the enemy with such tactics, and the usual small weapon?
- We have a saying: “If you fly below, you live longer”. It is necessary to minimize the time spent by the car in the enemy's sight, for this purpose they fly at low altitudes. The lower you fly, the more options to slip and hide behind the terrain, behind artificial obstacles, behind the same trees. A small flight altitude provides a stealth approach to the goal, and this is the key to successful assignment. And even more there, as I understand it, it is still not known whether the militants have MANPADS or not. Judging by the personnel and the manner of piloting, no one wants to check this on their own skin, therefore they fly with a “pre-emption”, taking into account the worst flight conditions.
Yes, at the bottom, too, you can grab a stray bullet and even catch one bullet, the engine can fail, but the chances of such an outcome are much less.
- ATGM dangerous during such a flight?
- There is still need to get. If the helicopter is static, or flies “like at home,” then there is a possibility. “Launcher” (installation operator - approx.) Should be good.
- Syrian militants recently published a video with some kind of flying bombs based on condoms ...
- It seems to be funny, but I would not wish to meet anyone. This is still a bomb, if it explodes, then there will be little fun.
- The war in Ukraine worries readers, no less than the Syrian events, so the next question will be about the fighting in the Donbas. Why are there so often shot down Mi-24? Pilot errors or limitations of the machines themselves on the application?
- It is difficult to say, it is necessary to consider each case separately, to know the reasons for certain actions of the pilots.
- I was once described a case of the destruction of a Mi-24P helicopter near Lugansk. They say that the Ukrainian pilots passed over the positions of the enemy, turned around, and supposedly lay down on the combat course. We went to the forehead. They were fired at from automatic cannons of armored vehicles, small arms. The helicopters, without attacking, turned aside and went along the positions at a distance. As a result of the launch of the missiles, one was shot down. What can be said about their actions?
- One can be seen from the ground, another from the air. Similarly, I will not say again, little information, but if everything was like this, then we can assume the following. Maybe they did not have enough intelligence on the area, and the pilots could not understand that it was not their troops. And only after they opened fire on them, did they realize this. The effect of surprise has already been lost. Further. It is necessary to know in advance the location of the target, to calculate in advance the way how to approach it in order to strike at the first approach. The second approach can be done if the first one went well, when you created a panic, created an effect of surprise, and demoralized the enemy when the enemy just runs away and hides. Engaged in order of battle, the so-called "carousel", to prevent even the possibility to stick his head out of the trenches, and work one by one until you "unload" all the ammunition. But when they began to specifically snarl at you, when you had already profiled the first opportunity, when you didn’t have time to give even from a gun to frighten ...
And they could leave along positions, because they did not expect the enemy to have serious air defense weapons and wanted to reconnoiter the situation. It was thought, maybe, that the shooter is, well, maximum, the BMP / BTR gun / machine gun, so they went the distance, reducing the likelihood of defeat. In general, most likely, they acted recklessly. If the first time did not work out, then it was necessary either to go completely deeper into its territory, or to transfer targets to the airmen, so that they could process them from a height. Or leave, hide, and then try to go from an unexpected angle, on the other hand, and attack.
- Traditionally: does the car have a nickname?
- No special, the same “drum”.
- Is the difference between the Mi-24 and the Mi-35M great?
- In terms of design, yes. We say: "crossed the hedgehog with a snake, got the wire." Because in this car the part from "28 th" is taken, the part from "24-ki" remained. What kind of Frankenstein.
According to my feelings, it is less stable in flight. If the Mi-24 flies like an iron, and you don’t need to touch it, this one constantly wants to tilt, make a pitch, as if trying to leave somewhere. He must constantly be kept, to interfere in management more often. On complex aerobatics, this is my personal opinion, it is more pleasant to fly on the "24-ke." Again, the Berkuts abandoned group flights on 35's in favor of 28's.
- Worse resistance due to the fact that he has smaller wings?
- All factors are combined: the fact that the wings are slightly trimmed, and the fact that the carrier system is different. Still, the airframe and the entire aerodynamics of the helicopter were designed for a different carrier system and power plant initially.
- Has the speed dropped because of the non-retractable landing gear?
- Fell. Now the maximum speed of his 300 km / h, while the Mi-24 335 km / h was. In horizontal flight, this is not so noticeable, because they fly there at a speed of 200-250 km / h, and the maximum is needed for output from a dive. The greater the range of the speed of the withdrawal from the dive, the longer you can keep the target in sight, carry out shooting, and later bring the car out of the dive.
I would not say that all these flaws are somehow clearly felt, but all together they make themselves felt.
- Workmanship and reliability of the Mi-35M compared to the Mi-24?
- Almost everything is the same. More with electronics problems. With the same sighting systems. The thing is good, the machine counts well: it’s enough to click a laser rangefinder once, and then it puts out the aiming angles itself and aim and fire enough aiming marks, and the missiles go to the target. But these mechanisms are complex, require more careful maintenance. Not to say that a less reliable system, but something is not really.
- If during the shooting fails automatics?
- There are two shooting modes: automatic and manual. If the automatic fire fails, then it's okay, you can manually calculate, in the old manner.
- Is it more difficult to count manually?
- When preparing for the flight, you enter the aiming data into the sight, it is enough to set the aiming angle depending on the ammunition used. In the knee plates, this whole table of aiming is there, but with experience you remember the numbers, and they already have everything in my head. And depending on the range and speed, you already know how to impose a mark on the reticle to see where everything goes. Experienced pilots, for example, told that in combat conditions they let a couple of NARs, watched where they went - aha, almost there - corrected, switched to a long line and went to hit the target. All this already on automatism in the head scrolls, how and what to do.
- Mi-35M paired with Mi-24 feels good?
- Absolutely. We on the Mi-35M and with the Mi-28H in a pair of flew normally. From the side it only looks awkwardly, for the “28” the pitch during the flight is positive, for the “35” it is negative. Simply put, one flies up with his nose up, the other with his head down.
- Is it possible to say that Mi-35М is a “flying desk” for retraining from old helicopters to new ones?
- In terms of control, I would not say that the Mi-35M is a flying desk for retraining for new cars. Yes, and in terms of new systems, the same MFI, would not say so. The very principle of indicating parameters and input information on the Mi-35M and Mi-28H is somewhat different. At 35, all this information is for informational purposes only; it is not as integrated as at 28.
To be continued