Test Pilots of MiG-29 at Sokol airbase, Russia. Adventure in MiG-29 with russian pilots.

Sergey Kara
Yuri Polyakov
Andrey Pechonkin

Sergey Kara - 1st Class Test Pilot Chief Pilot of SOKOL Aircraft Test Station


He was born on February 5, 1965, in Nizhniy Novgorod. Since his childhood he dreamt of flying and after high school graduation in 1982, he entered High Air Force Pilot College in Kharkov, where he was trained to fly L-39, MiG-17 and MiG-21 jet fighters. After graduation, he served in the Soviet Union Army as air force pilot flying different types of jets, such as SU-17, MiG- 23, MiG-25 and MiG-29. After reassignment from the Air Force with the rank of Captain, he became a test pilot at Sokol Aircraft Plant. The quantity of aircraft piloted by him is impressive. He piloted 40 types and models of aircraft including MiG-15, MiG-21, MiG-29, MiG-25, MiG-31, SU-27, Yak-52, An-24, TU- 154 and M-101T. His total flight hours are more than 5,200, and he was awarded the title of Distinguished Test Pilot of the Russian Federation, in June, 2009.

Yuri Polyakov - 1st Class Test Pilot Honored Pilot of Russia

Born on June 27, 1958 in Tver, he graduated in 1975, from the high school where he decided to become a pilot and entered the Chkalov High Air Force Pilot College in Borisoglebsk City. After graduation he piloted numerous jets including L-29, MiG-17, MiG-21 and SU-17, also serving in the Soviet Union Army. In 1987 he entered the Air Force Test Pilot School and gained the skill to pilot MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-29 and TU-134. Since 1989 he has worked at SOKOL Aircraft Plant as a test pilot. His total flight hours are 5,150 and he piloted different types of jet fighters such as MiG-15, MiG-21, MiG-31, SU-27, Yak-52, An-24, TU-154 and M-101T. When he has free time he prefers to spend it with his family or playing football or volleyball. Yuri has two sons and he likes to watch and participate in team sport competitions.

Andrey Pechionkin - 1st Class Test Pilot

He was born on August 27, 1963 in Nizhniy Novgorod, and had his graduation from Chkalov High Air Force Pilot College in Borisoglebsk City he was sent to Air Force Regiment which was in Germany. In 1991, he became an airline pilot of Aeroflot and piloted AN-24s and AN-26s. In 1995, Andrey became the Commander of a squadron of IL-76MDs for the Ministry of Internal Affairs Air Force. After leaving the Russian Air Force, in 2000, he became a test pilot at the Sokol Plant. His total flight hours are 5,100 and he piloted a large variety of aircraft including, L-29, Yak -52, MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-27, MiG-29, MiG-31, Yak -130, An-24, An 26, IL-76, Accord-201 and M-101T. Andrey has two beautiful children… a 19 year old son and a 2 years old daughter. He speaks English and German fluently and has a working knowledge of French and Arabic. He likes sport–especially winter swimming.

Sokol Airbase Photo