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Svetlana Kapanina, six-time female absolute aerobatics world champion

Great Russian women - Svetlana Kapanina - best aerobatic pilot of all times

Svetlana Kapanina

The Russian miracle, the "Queen of the Skies", "Siberian Angel", "Russian Valkyrie", "Genius of aerial acrobatics", are just a few titles of the best pilot of the century - Russian Aerobatic Pilot Svetlana Kapanina.

This fragile woman is the finest pilot of all times, six-time female absolute aerobatics world champion, two-time absolute champion of the World Air Games, two time European champion, repeated champion of Russia and the most titled female pilot in the history of world aviation.

Kapanina is universally admired. Best male pilots take off helmets to her as Svetlana managed to leave most of her male colleagues trailing in her wake. Military aces of Japan, Korea, France, the USA, Spain and UAE applaud watching Kapanina's light maneuverable Su-26 "dance in the skies". There are Svetlana's fun clubs in many countries all over the world. The portrait of Russian aviatrixe are on covers of glossy magazines. She has won a total of 39 gold medals in World Aerobatic Championships. The FAI (International Air Sports Federation), added to that impressive collection, by presenting her with the FAI medal for Best Pilot of the Century.

Svetlana Kapanina was born 1968 in Shchuchinsk, Kazakhstan. In 1987 she graduated from medical school, speciality - pharmacist. The following year she started flying in Kurgan. In her interviews she always says she came to the aviation by chance. Svetlana explains that she wanted to try parachute jumping and signed up for air sports classes. Besides, she also took gymnastics classes at the time which played a major role as well.

Kapanina started flying in 1988. In 1995 she graduated from Kaluga aeronautical technical school. By 1991 had been a member of the Russian Aerobatic Joint Crew and by 1995 she had graduated from Kaluga Pilot's School. Although Kapanina believed she would never devote her life to flying, what started out as a hobby has turned into serious work as a professional aerobatic pilot.

In 1991, she was Absolute Champion of Russia and in 1993 she won silver at the European Aerobatic Championships, her first international aerobatic contest. She was awarded the medal "For Service to the Motherland" in 1995 and "Award of Honor" in 2002. In 2003 Kapanina became the first pilot to win a World Championship title more than twice. She achieved this feat by winning the 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2003 competitions.

Having a good vestibular system, Kapanina manages to do daredevil air tricks hardly anyone in the world can. She says she loves planes and would want to fly for ever.

Svetlana Kapanina lives in Moscow. She is a mother of two kids. Both of them were airborne even before they were born, as Svetlana continued to fly for as long as she could while pregnant. Svetlana is married. Her husband Vladimir Stepanov is an instructor in martial arts and honored trainer of Russia in karate.

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