The head of Russia’s Ultralight Aviation Federation – who famously taught President Putin how to hang glide so he could help endangered cranes migrate south – has died in a helicopter crash.
According to reports, Igor Nikitin died when a privately owned Robinson helicopter had to make an emergency landing outside the western Russian capital Moscow for as yet unknown reasons.
Nikitin became well-known for teaching President Vladimir Putin how to hang glide so that he could help endangered cranes begin their migration to wintering grounds in India and Iran back in 2012.
Sergey Minigulov, the vice president of Russia’s Ultralight Aviation Federation, said: “Nikitin taught the country’s leader hang gliding for over a year before his famous flight with the Siberian cranes.”
Minigulov also called the deceased one of the country’s best hang gliding instructors and said that he helped to develop one of the first motorised hang gliders in the USSR back in 1982.
According to reports, the Robinson helicopter crashed near the town of Solnechnogorsk outside Moscow on 14th July. The Robinson Helicopter Company is an American manufacturer of civilian use helicopters.
Nikitin and an unnamed companion both died during the emergency landing after taking off from the Shevlino Airfield where the flight was expected to return.
The local authorities are currently investigating the crash.
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