Russian pilots should repair aircraft themselves, says official

Russia’s pilots should become mechanics and learn how to maintain aircraft themselves, according to the country’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Oleg Bocharov.  

“Together with the Ministry of transport we should prepare and certify pilots as universal soldiers: they should be pilots and mechanics at the same time. And the equipment should include the possibility of field repairs,” Bocharov announced during a session at the Eastern Economic Forum reported by Aviatorschina’s Telegram channel.  

While Bocharov primarily talked about regional aviation, his remarks have been widely interpreted as pertaining to Russian aviation as a whole, drawing heavy criticism from various news outlets.

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The official also revealed that the ministries are working on a completely new system to maintain the flightworthiness of various types of regional aircraft. According to Bocharov, some aircraft should be modular and allow pilots to replace parts and change the configuration of the cabin themselves.  A system like this would primarily be implemented on the Baikal, an upcoming single-engine turboprop intended to replace Antonov An-2, Bocharov also said.

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