At the September 1988 Farnborough Air Show, the author met the chief test pilot of the Mikoyan Design Bureau, Valery Menitskii, who had accompanied the Soviet team to supervise the first flight demonstrations of the MiG-29 in the West. That contact led to several more encounters between the author and Menitskii during the ensuing year, culminating in an invitation from Menitskii to the author to fly the MiG-29. On December 15, 1989, the author flew with Menitskii at Kubinka Air Base near Moscow, thus becoming the first U.S. citizen to fly the MiG-29 and the first Western pilot invited to fly a combat aircraft of any type inside Soviet airspace since the end of World War II. This report documents that experience in detail.
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