Today I had a special flight instructor for my 157 & 158th flight hour. His name is Nickolay Sergeev and he's a retired Russian Air Force pilot with 8,000 super-sonic hours looged. I flew the Cessna 172 to the training zone 3, which is actually a very scenic area by the Pacific coast and over the jungle, to review the maneuvers for the practical test in a weeks time.
I proceeded to with "Chandelles", "Lazy 8's" and I myself thought I did them pretty well according to what my western instructors had taught me over the years.
At a point in the middle of a chandelle he looked at me and asked me if he could show me how to do a real chandelle. I looked surprised at him not understanding why he wasn't satisfied with my work and said "sure". He took control of the airplane, put it in straight and level flight, and asked if I was ready. I uttered another "sure".
What followed might easily have been the most gut wrenching thing I've ever endured as he pointed the Cessna's nose almost straight down in a way that I could feel the heat of my blood rushing to my face and the shoulder harness pressing harder and harder against me because of the negative g's, reached 135 kts. and pulled back on the yoke and turned right, at this point I felt like the skin in my face was going to rip as my cheecks were holding on to dear life. The VSI had already reached it's max and was stuck on it. the airspeed indicator dropped from 135kts. to 40kts. and stayed there on the dot. The bank indicator showed a steady 45 degree bank until the very point where Nikolay eased the pressure on the controls and leveled out. Altitude gained, close to 1,000ft. compared to my lousy 300-400 (on a good day).
After the blood had reached my brain again I looked at him astounded and full of amazement. He proceeded with lazy 8's In which I could taste my morning coffee again. I'm sure if I had a G-meter with me in the cabin it would show a perfect 3.8G's for each maneuver.
Then S turns above a road, which I never thought would be so much fun and we did a couple of simulated emergencies before heading back. I now have logged my 158th hour and can only say that I'm sad that I didn't meet Nikolay earlier, that he wasn't the one who introduced me to flying. I can only hope that one day I will have such a knowledge of an airplane's limits...
I will be ready to take the test next week, but won't, not until I have flown a couple of more times with this Mig pilot who has spent more than 8,000 hours of his life above 1000km/h. To learn how fly that Cessna Sukhoi style and to do those maneuvers the Russian way!!!