Hugues Jurion Adventures In Russia
MAK General Aviation Services assisted the world tour of brave pilot Hugues Jurion in summer 2017. He was then 77 years old. Hugues started his journey from New Caledonia and successfully completed his world tour. We publish some of his notes about visiting Russia.
"Vladivostok! The adventure starts here, not of Tintin in the Land of Soviets, but Papi and his horse in Russia.
Customs, police and immigration formalities passed (turned out easier than I expected) and I step out of Vladivostok airport. A blond wide shouldered giant sporting gold teeth meets me. This is Alex.
He will take care of me during my stay in Vladivostok. His diplomatic talents will help me to establish relations with airport management, I could hardly do without him.
Russians make no jokes about security issues. When it was needed to bring automobile gasoline to feed my horse I turned witness to never ending talks starting with ‘niet-niet’ and then ending with ‘karatcho da-da-da’. For the rest of the time I sat dumbly not understanding a word of their talks. Only Alex’s smile made me sure Gulag does not await me immediately.
It’s worth mentioning he does not speak a word of English, to say nothing about French. We communicated through Google translator, sometimes starting to laugh uncontrollably.
Alex (in Russian) – Where would you like to have dinner tonight?
French translation – Yes, Papa eats his evening chicken.
Khabarovsk on love!
Amour, love – this is the name of the river that flows here. People say that when Amour leaves its bed, girls get pregnant!
In any case this is my best stop en route, be it due to the river or its name.
I’ve also drank vodka and tried Kamchatka crab and other Russian delicacies on invitation from friends and friends of friends of merry pilots from AOPA Russia. These guys work on reviving general aviation in their country and they have glorious plans and ambitions. I owe this trip to them to a large extent.
Then I went to Magadan. I had to fly over cold waters of Okhotsk Sea and this is why Sergey told me – Try these life-saver overalls and take one that fits.
Take? Maybe borrow? No, no, take… Vadim took me aside and said – Trust you won’t need it. But I wouldn’t refuse one when our helicopter broke and we had to swim. I heard him loud and clear."
Hugues Jurion has flown from Korea to Vladivostok UHWW, Khabarovsk UHHH, Magadan UHMM, Anadyr UHMA to Nome PAOM Alaska.