Commander of Russian Knights Gone Forever
On Saturday, in the Moscow suburb of Kubinka, Russian airmen will say good-bye to the commander of the Russian air force aerobatic team the Russian Knights, Guards Colonel Sergey Klimov. Thursday evening the 40-year-old airman died in St. Peterburg from stomach cancer. On the day of the farewell, his comrades will demonstrate in the skies Klimov's favorite aerobatic figure - the ``tulip.``
``He went through almost all the recent wars - Afghanistan, Vietnam, he survived after the catastrophe in Camron Bay. But he died in an ordinary way: in a hospital bed,`` said the director of the Fund for Aviation Assistance, Lt. Colonel Yuriy Zheltonogin. "Before the final, third operation, Sergey joked that he either would die under the doctor`s knife or live a long time. It didn`t turn out that way. We have lost a just man, we have lost a fine airman and commander. We have lost a friend.``
Guards Colonel Klimov was flying to the last. At the end of 2001, he underwent a check-up - there was suspicion of a stomach ulcer. The diagnosis turned out to be awful: cancer in the final, fourth stage. Two operations in Moscow. A third in St. Peterburg. Everyone collected money for it — American, Canadian and Russian airmen.
After the operation he hovered for 8 days between life and death. The doctors first spoke about an improvement of his condition, then they lowered their eyes. On 29 May Klimov was no more.
Guards Colonel Sergey Klimov was born or 4 March 1962. In 1983 he graduated from the Borisoglebsk Chkalov Higher Military School for Airmen. He spent his service in the Moscow Military Okrug. He was a participant of the military operations in Afghanistan and Vietnam. From 1989, he serviced at the Kubinka air base. He had 1,700 flying hours in L-29, MiG-21, MiG-23 and Su-27 airplanes. He qualified as ``military sniper pilot.`` He was involved in the aerobatics team since 1990. From 1995, he flew with the Russian Knights aerobatic team as its right wing man. He had been commander and leader of the aerobatic team since 2001.
Source: 31.05.02, Izvestiya
Translated by Roy Cochrun /http://www.toad.net/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/royfc/today/acft_news.html/AVIA.RU - Информационное агентство "Российская авиация и космонавтика"