Famed former Soviet-Era test pilot warned Lt. Col. Eric Schultz one month before his fatal crash near Area 51


By Dario Leone
Sep 19 2017
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“You’ll perish, you can not do what I do,” Magomed Tolboyev, the test pilot for Soviet Buran space shuttle, said to Lt. Col. Eric Schultz a month ago

Magomed Tolboyev, the test pilot for Soviet Buran space shuttle, said he had been in contact with the late Lt. Col. Eric Schultz a month ago.

Actually according to an article appeared on Govoritmoskva.ru, Tolboyev said he warned Schultz not to carry out a certain maneuver that Tolboyev had performed on a Russian aircraft.

“I talked with him, I told him a month ago: do not do what we do. I showed him dead loops, but said: do not do this. It’s only our plane, dear, we know what to do with it. First you need to know what you’re on. The Cossack is only a Cossack on his horse.

I just warned them: you can not do this. The difference is 1 degree, exactly one degree. He was a good guy, he flew well, his fate is as follows. He was experienced, no questions asked. We must pay tribute: American pilots and English – great pilots, we appreciate them and never badly do not speak of them as professionals.

But there are some subtleties very deep, only we, the test pilots know them. I told him: “you’ll perish, you can not do what I do.” This is the line.”

The type of aircraft and maneuver was not disclosed in the article.

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Noteworthy the U.S. Air Force (USAF) revealed on Sep. 8, 2017 that Lt. Col. Eric Schultz (who actually had been the 28th person to fly an F-35) was killed in a crash on Sep. 5 while flying over the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) near the service highly classified facility commonly known as Area 51.

Actually the USAF withheld the type of aircraft involved in the crash, only saying the aircraft was assigned to Air Force Materiel Command.

In fact as reported by Military.com, Maj. Christina Sukach, chief of public affairs for the 99 Air Base Wing at Nellis, said in an email after the crash that “Information about the type of aircraft involved is classified and not releasable.”

Speculations that the aircraft involved in the crash may have been an F-35 were ruled out by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, who said to Military.com: “I can definitely say it was not an F-35.”

Famed former Soviet-Era test pilot warned Lt. Col. Eric Schultz one month before his fatal crash near Area 51

Finally on Sep. 11, 2017, Aviationweek.com revealed that the aircraft involved in the accident at the NTTR that killed Schultz may have been a foreign aircraft operated by USAF secretive “Red Hats,” the unit tasked to secretly fly non-U.S. tactical military aircraft (such as MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters) for test and training purposes.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin and Sukhoi

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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