The affair whistleblowers: how a Soviet pilot fled from the Soviet Union to

Another 28/01/20 affair whistleblowers: how a Soviet pilot fled from the Soviet Union to “maize”

may 28, 1987, the Day of border guards, German Matthias rust shocked the residents of Moscow, landing on the aircraft “Cessna” right on red Square. However, few people know that just a day before this happened another high-profile aviation incident – dismissed Soviet pilot stole the aircraft An-2P and flew it to Sweden.


the Resident of Nikolaev Roman whistlers, which in 1987 was 24 years old, was a graduate of the school, Buguruslan civil aviation. In 1985, he resigned from “Aeroflot”, where for two years he worked as the second pilot of the aircraft An-2 Nikolaev squadron. The Soviet press has linked the dismissal of the pilot with what he took from colleagues to borrow ten thousand rubles, and did not give them.
“went to live with his brother in a farm in the Mykolayiv region, where he toadstool, doing odd jobs and was subsequently fired from the farm for indiscretions”, had described the newspaper “Izvestia” further biography of the future air of a pirate.
the hijacking Svistunov, may have pushed the court’s decision, which in the autumn of 1986 at the suit of one of the creditors decided to collect with men 6 thousand rubles. Not to pay money, former pilot, according to the Soviet media, disappeared. In Ukraine the man is survived by his wife Marina with his son and daughter (it was alleged that the whistleblowers wife divorced just a few days before the incident).
This information is not contrary to the words of the Novel itself Svistunov, who claimed that it faced a problem of “survival”. However, the hijacker also said that his mother was extremely critical of the Soviet system, which he was unable to continue his military career. For the first time the thought of escape abroad came up to the young man in 1984.

the Escape

In may 1987, the novel whistlers arrived in Saldussky district of Latvia – here he lived one of his classmates at school who worked in local 342-m squadron. A man was visiting a friend a week, having at that time to meet with many of his colleagues on the force.
Stealing other’s keys, whistlers got on the tarmac of the collective farm “Druva”, where it without problems missed new friends who thought he was a aircraft mechanic (according to one version, the theft was preceded by the drinking of alcohol with the collective farm watchman). At five in the morning by starting the engine, the pilot lifted the aircraft into the air.
the An-2P is the most common “maize” used in the Soviet Union for local air transport and spraying of agricultural fertilizers. To prevent escapes abroad, in the squadron of the Latvian SSR tanks are never filled to the end. Therefore, the whistlers took a huge risk making a flight over the Baltic sea. To reach the shore he has failed – after 2 hours, the plane landed in shallow waters on the Swedish island Ostergardsskolan to the East of Gotland. The an-2 went down, and the thief swam to the land. He was very wet and I decided to climb to the building on the shore to take clothes – there he was detained by the rescue helicopter pilot Lars Flemstrom. After a few hours of the “windfall” Russian already gave testimony to police.

the Fate of fugitive

a Request of the Soviet side about the extradition of the criminal, and the return of the aircraft with all the equipment in Sweden ignored. To communicate with representatives of the Embassy of the USSR, the man refused.
the Court of the Scandinavian Kingdom sentenced a Roman Studio to two years of probation for illegal use of the aircraft, and that for him it was much more important, gave the Soviet citizen as a political refugee. In the same year, whistleblowers received a residence permit.
According to the Swedish press, in the future, a former pilot and worked as a Baker in pizzerias and restaurants in Sweden and abroad. In 1992, when the borders were opened, whistlers went home and took out his wife and children. On crime, the fugitive is never spared.
Extracted from the water plane, which flew hijacker, is currently in a Museum in Gotland. In 2016, the affair whistleblowers was personally present at the opening of the exhibition dedicated to his daring flights.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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