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Skydiving and Aircraft Sports

Skydiving and Aircraft Sports

Man has always dreamed of flying in the sky, and there are plenty of opportunities today. Provided you have enough money and a craving for adrenaline, there is no shortage of air adventures in Moscow. However, all the flying clubs are located outside the city, so you will have to spent some time getting there. You can jump with a parachute, pilot a plane, or go paragliding. Just keep in mind that air sports require good health and a hefty dose of courage and cool-headedness. Large aero clubs offer comfortable accommodation and dining facilities, and all the activity equipment is included in price. You will pay roughly 7,000–8,000 RUB for your minimal flying experience (tandem skydiving or a short aircraft/airplane flying course), or you can fly as a passenger for 4,500–5,000 RUB. Video and photo packages can be added, and gift certificates are available.

SKYDIVING

What you need to decide firsthand is whether you want to skydive solo or in tandem. Jumping with an instructor is easier, safer, and less expensive. All you need to do is enjoy your free fall. Solo skydiving requires a good deal of training, as no one will let you jump from an altitude of 4,000 m above the ground without necessary experience and a relevant license.

AEROGRAD KOLOMNA (Russian: «АЭРОГРАД КОЛОМНА»)

This is one of the oldest aero clubs in Russia and Europe’s largest dropzone with a surface area of 250 ha. The club has an aircraft pilot training centre and a skydiving school with modern infrastructure. There is also a hotel, a restaurant, and a guarded car park. A skating rink and a piste are available in winter. The club has provided skydiving services using L-140 planes and a Mi-8 helicopter for over 15 years already.

Newbies are offered two options, Tandem Jump and Touch the Sky. Tandem Jump is skydiving with an experienced instructor from an altitude of 4,000 m, which costs 9,600 RUB. The Touch the Sky Program offers a solo jump from the same altitude under the supervision of a few instructors both in the air and on the ground. It takes two days to go through this program, which includes first jump theory, a tandem jump, and a solo jump. The program costs 22,900 RUB, equipment included.

Those who want to learn solo skydiving are welcome to take the standard Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) course. This is an accelerated method of skydiving instruction recognised all around the world. The full AFF course includes seven levels (that may be taken and paid one by one) and costs 64,700 RUB, equipment included.

Address: Korobcheevo Airfield, Kolomensky District, Moscow Oblast. Website: www.aerograd.ru

Pushchino SKYCENTER AND DROPZONE (Russian: SKYCENTER DZ «ПУЩИНО»)

This is another large and comfortable flying club with a hotel and restaurant of its own. Aircrafts L-410 and PAC-750 are used for skydiving. Novices can jump in tandem from an altitude of 4,000 m. Training and the first jump are performedde of this hen the Shuior or  on the same day. No pre-booking is necessary. Your jump, free fall, and landing are guided by an instructor. The program costs 8,700 RUB on weekdays and 9,600 RUB on weekends.

If you want to go solo, you can take the AFF course for the same price of 64,700 RUB. Alternatively, you can only take Level 1 with one jump for 13,400 RUB or Level 2 with two jumps for 22,900 RUB. Equipment rental is included in the price. Parafoil parachutes are used.

Address: Bolshoye Gryzlovo village, Serpukhovsky District, Moscow Oblast. Website: www.skycenter.aero

AEROKLASSIKA IN VATULINO AIRFIELD (Russian: “AEROKLASSIKA” NA AERODROME VATULINO or «АЭРОКЛАССИКА» НА АЭРОДРОМЕ ВАТУЛИНО)

Aeroklassika Aviation Sports Club uses An-2 and An-28 aircrafts for skydiving. A tandem jump from an altitude of 4,000 m costs 8,600 RUB if you weigh 80 kg or less. In case your weight exceeds 80 kg, you will have to pay extra 200 RUB for every 5 kg over the limit. No booking is needed on weekends, but you’d better pre-book your flight on a weekday. Don’t forget to bring your ID.

You can go solo skydiving after having completed a classical training course or an AFF course. The classical course involves jumping with training round parachutes and then learning to use parafoil parachutes. Under this training program, which may take anywhere from three to twelve months, you will pay 7,500 RUB for theory and 1,700 RUB for every jump. The AFF course costs 61,400 RUB and entitles you to skydive on your own.

Address: Vatulino Airfield, Moscow Oblast. Website: www.parashut.com

Other skydiving clubs in Moscow and Moscow Oblast:

Borki Dropzone and Airfield (Russian: Aerodrom “DZ Borki” or Аэродром «Д3 Борки»): www.borkidz.ru

Strizh Aero Club (Russian: Аэроклуб «Стриж»): www.dzkirzhach.com

Krutitsy Dropzone and Airfield (Russian: Aerodrom “DZ Krutitsy” or Аэродром «Д3 Крутицы»): www.krutitcy.ru

Volosovo Airfield (Russian: Aerodrom Volosovo or Аэродром Волосово): www.dz-volosovo.ru

AIRCRAFT SPORTS

Learning to fly an aircraft is time-consuming and expensive. In the end, getting a license of an amateur pilot is actually a challenging task. However, everyone has an opportunity to make this kind of sports their hobby or simply try it at least once. This is what pleasure flights and trial introductory flights are there for.

FINAM AIRFIELD (Russian: AERODROM FINAM or АЭРОДРОМ ФИНАМ) (BOLSHOYE GRYZLOVO)

This is a general aviation airfield with two runways, one concrete and one unpaved. You can come here in your own aircraft or rent one on the site. As a passenger, you can take an observation flight at the altitude of 400 m, which will take from 20 to 60 minutes and will cost you from 5,500 to 21,900 RUB, depending on the type of aircraft.

If you would like to try flying an aircraft yourself, you can opt for a trial introductory flight of the same duration. After some ground training, you will apply your newly-acquired skills up in the sky. Training is performed on Sierra and Twin aircrafts and costs from 9,000 to 23,900 RUB, depending on flight duration and aircraft model. Besides, aircrafts Yak-18t, Yak-52, RV-7, and jet trainer Aero L-29 Delfín are available for trial flights. Aerobatic maneuvres are performed with instructor’s approval and under their surveillance. Prices vary from 5,900 to 38,000 RUB.

In case you fear flying a real aircraft yet, you are welcome to use a Cessna 172 flight simulator. It feels almost like steering a real aircraft. Piloting a simulator for 30 minutes costs 2,500 RUB.

Address: surroundings of Bolshyoe Gryzlovo village, Serpukhovsky District, Moscow Oblast. Website: www.finam.aero

KONDOR-M AERO CLUB (Russian: АЭРОКЛУБ «КОНДОР) (MYACHKOVO AIRFIELD)

Myachkovo Airfield (Russian: aerodrom Myachkovo or аэродром Мячково) is a general aviation airfield with an asphalt-concrete runway. Kondor-M Aero Club offers familiarisation flights in Cessna 172 Skyhawk and Yak-52 aircrafts as well as in Eurocopter EC120B and Robinson R44 helicopters. Such flights include a pre-flight training course, some theory of flight, and pilot’s explanations of his/her actions during the flight. You are allowed to take a photo or video camera on board. Seven flying routes vary in duration (from 40 to 140 minutes) and price (from 9,900 to 128,000 RUB). In addition, there is the Romantic Flight option, which includes a 20-minute flight in a helicopter, a banner with a message, a photo shooting, drinks and buffet, and other services of your choice.

Address: Verkhneye Myachkovo village, Ramensky District, Moscow Oblast. Website: www.miachkovo.com, www.kondorm.ru

SEVERKA AIRFIELD (Russian: AERODROM SEVERKA or АЭРОДРОМ СЕВЕРКА)

This private aerodrome is equipped with a paved (asphalt) runway. It only operates in daylight hours under normal weather conditions. You can go for a familiarisation flight here, which includes training on piloting techniques and a trial flight in which you can do a straight and level flight, try performing turn maneuvres, ascents, and descents. They also offer sightseeing and pleasure flights designed to let you simply enjoy the views.

The airfield hosts a few flying clubs, each with their own range of offers and prices. For instance, the KVS Aero Club (Russian: аэроклуб «КВС») offers trial flights in Yak-52 from 6,500 RUB. The price covers pre-flight training, solo operation of an aircraft, and performance of basic aerobatic maneuvres: roll, inverted flight, loops, and zoom climbs. Familiarisation flights cost from 4,300 RUB and use Cessna 152, Yak-18t, Cessna 172, Tecnam 2002, and Tecnam P2006 Twin aircrafts.

Address: Myachkovo rural settlement, Kolomensky District, Moscow Oblast. Website: www.aviaseverka.ru, www.aviakvs.ru

Other airfields and aero clubs that offer training and familiarisation flights:

Drakino Airfield (Russian: Aerodrom Drakino or Аэродром Дракино): www.serpuhov-ask.ru

Fly-Zone Aero Club in Malino Airfield (Russian: aerodrom Malino or аэродром Малино): www.fly-zone.ru

First Flight Aero Club (Russian: Aeroklub “Pervy polet” or Аэроклуб «Первый полёт»): www.1polet.ru

Aist Aero Club (Russian: Aeroklub “Aist” or Аэроклуб «Аист»): www.aistclub.ru

Territoriya Poleta Company (Russian: Kompaniya “Territoriya poleta” or Компания «Территория полёта»): www.territoriapoleta.ru

GLIDING

Gliding implies using unpowered heavier-than-air aerial vehicles, or gliders. Such aircrafts use naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne; alternatively, they are used to descend from altitudes. Gliders can also be launched by aerotow. There are motor gliders as well, which only use motor for take-off.

SHEVLINO AIRFIELD (Russian: AERODROM Shevlino or АЭРОДРОМ ШЕВЛИНО)

This gliding airfield is the closest one to Moscow. Situated near the Istrinskoye Reservoir (Russian: Istrinskoye vodokhranilishche or Истринское водохранилище), it offers opportunity for flying above the water. Two types of gliders, G103C Twin III and L-13 Blanik, are used in Shevlino. Pre-booking and buying a ticket is necessary. As you arrive to the airfield, they give you instructions, launch a glider using a tow plane, and you are sent to a free flight at a speed of 80–90 km/h. Your flight instructor will show you how the controls work, explain everything, and put you in charge of the flight. You will be able to do some aerobatic maneuvres like spin, spiral dives, nose-downs, zoom climbs, loops, or zero gravity. The instructor will supervise every move you make.

Maximum allowable weight is 120 kg. You should be wearing comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes. It can be colder up in the sky than on the ground, so please keep this in mind. Flights are administered from May to October and in some rare cases in winter as well. Prices range from 7,000 to 18,000 RUB.

Address: Shevlino village, Solnechnogorsky District, Moscow Oblast. Website: www.shevlino.ru

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