Flight TV - Issue 17




The Helicopter sports world cup was launched in 2017. Its creation was spearheaded by Irina Grushina, Russian Helicopter Sports Federation president and, at the same time, deputy president of FAI Rotorcraft commission. The goal of this cup is to hold competitions in different countries and to popularize helicopter sports outside Russia, and this year it underwent serious changes. It was Irina Grushina's initiative again. The reason of yet another rules alteration is the phenomenon that was to be avoided at the first place: all six stages of the 2017's Helicopter Sports World Cup were won by the Russian team.

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The Helicopter sports world cup was launched in 2017. Its creation was spearheaded by Irina Grushina, Russian Helicopter Sports Federation president and, at the same time, deputy president of FAI Rotorcraft commission. The goal of this cup is to hold competitions in different countries and to popularize helicopter sports outside Russia, and this year it underwent serious changes. It was Irina Grushina's initiative again. The reason of yet another rules alteration is the phenomenon that was to be avoided at the first place: all six stages of the 2017's Helicopter Sports World Cup were won by the Russian team.



Irina GRUSHINA

Russian Helicopter Sports Federation president

After those competitions were completed we held a working meeting with representatives of Helicopter Sports World Cup participant countries. During that meeting, as well as during past competitions, we realized that there is a huge gap in crew levels. So we decided to create the Masters class where all participants compete, and the General class where six best crews of the last year are not allowed // Thus, less prepared crews // got a motivation, because this way they can reach top places. We have a proverbial wall in front of us because of extremely competent crews who won't allow anyone to get past them.



The FAI Rotorcraft Commission agreed to that new Irina's proposal and officially acknowledged awards in Masters and General classes as equal. According to FAI decision, only four stages of the World Cup will be held this year: in Russia, the United Kingdom, Poland and Belarus.



Sergey ANANOV

Russian Aviation Sports Federation president, FAI Representative in Russia



The choice of location and the whole calendar are defined by democratic decision at FAI Rotorcraft commission meeting // Delegates from all participating countries define that by vote, one voice per one country.



In the new rules the five crews per country restriction has been lifted, so any number of crews can apply for the General class competition. Prior to the cup there are preliminary stages, so the actual competition starts with quarter finals. According to those rules, each competing crew has only one attempt in prelimiaries, and that made things really interesting in the Masters class. This year the Russian World Cup stage won't see two most strong crews, including last year's second place winners, Andrey Orekhov and Vadim Sazonov.



Mikhail BIBISHEV

Helicopter World Cup Russian Stage announcer



This year we didn't see neither Maksim Sotnikov, nor Andrey Orekhov. Their crews were announced for the Masters class, they are extremely strong. Yet, they made mistakes during qualifications and somehow watered down the show for us... but gave a chance to others.



Can you imagine in any other sport that the previous year champions fail to qualify for the next year?



Irina GRUSHINA

Russian Helicopter Sports Federation president

We had amazing flights today, about half of crews flew very interestingly, there was a suspence and adrenaline. Well, I'm really happy that in Slalom competitions for the 3rd and 4th places, and in finals we have four crews from four different countries. That is fabulous! That is our goal in the General class, because we want our foreign colleagues to be interested in helicopter competitions. You know that Russian crews are next to perfect and there is little reason to compete with them... and now there is a reason!



Creation of the General class allowed news stars to rise. The second sensation of this World Cup stage became the crew of Maria Mus and Jakub Malik from Poland who made it to the finals, while last year they were in the end of the rankings. Maria Mus flies since the age of sixteen, has 1300 hours in her pilot's log and about one hundred hours in sports.



Maria MUS

Helicopter Sports World Cup participant



Even one hundred hours of sports flights is quite humble even for the General class, where there are participants with sports experience of many hundreds of hours. Apart from will to win, training location really matters here. Konakovo airfield, where the first stage of the World Cup is held, is the base of the world's only helicopter sports academy. Everyone can enroll and for the four years since foundation several dozen crews from Russia, Belarus, Austria, Ukraine and Norway were trained here. The education here is not too costly and is, in essence, a series of overview practical lessons where cadets are shown the trade secrets, which they perfect later at their home airfields.



Maksim SOTNIKOV

International Academy of Helicopter Sports co-founder



Our program is about 2–3 days long, it is about 5 to 6 hours. We're focusing on navigation, our trainers work at low altitudes // We teach cadets how to handle the yoke and  collective pitch, how to choose the winning tactics. // That is the very use of the acadmemy, here we exchange our experience and teach people to fly safely.



Producer and reporter:

Evgeny MAXIMOV





Cameraman:

Anton CHEKRYGIN



English edition producer and narrator:

Ignat SOLOVEY



Video editor:

Vladimir SHULMAN



This production is supported by:

Russian Helicopter Sports Federation

International Academy of Helicopter Sports