‘Field of Miracles’ on runway
All roads lead to town of Shchuchin for City Day and 75th anniversary of 10th separate aviation intelligence unit, for fans of skies and small aircraft
Leonid Yakubovich ‘in great demand’
Leonid Yakubovich seeks his roots
Like a hawk from the sky, famous Russian TV anchor Leonid Yakubovich flew to the festival. Everyone knows that he’s a big fan of aviation but, for the first time, he piloted a light-engine plane. He studied at Kaluga Aviation and Technical School in his youth. “I take part in events like this with pleasure,” he confesses. “I’m experienced in flying six airplane and two helicopter models. I’m sure that planes are the safest means of transport.”
Last year, he came to the village of Yakubovichi, in the Shchuchin District, in search of his origins. Belarus has three villages with this name, so Mr. Yakubovich continues looking for his relatives.
Citizens of Shchuchin literally pursued the TV star, asking him for autographs, taking selfies with him and requesting photos with their children. It was a good chance to stand near the ‘master’ of the Field of Miracles!
“Thank you for preserving your traditions. You can’t imagine what a rarity it is today,” Mr. Yakubovich told Shchuchin’s residents, speaking as an old friend rather than as a celebrity.
Parading in Shchuchin
It was a great party both on the ground and in the skies. The ‘MIG-19’ plane was launched, followed by stunts from pilots and parachutists. Visitors also watched a competition of sports cars and light-engine aircraft. Modern training and combat ‘Yak-130’ planes delivered from Russia to an airbase in Lida last year hit the sky and the show ended with three ‘L-39 Albatross’ planes, flown by the Belaya Rus air display team.
Veterans of the 10th separate Red Banner Moscow-Koenigsberg aviation intelligence unit were honorary guests at the festival. Wearing parade uniforms, orders and medals, they were easily spotted. Shchuchin still boasts many families whose fathers and grandfathers flew from this airport to conduct combat missions.
By Vladimir Kozyrev