Civil Aviation Pilot, Hero of the Russian Federation.
Vladimir I. Sharpatov was born in 1940 in the Zvenigovsky District (the Mari El Republic). V. Sharpatov took evening classes at the Kazan Aviation Institute and attended local flying club, where he became a glider pilot. He then entered the Krasny Kut Civil Aviation Flight School. After graduation, he worked at the Plekhanovo Airport (Tyumen).
In 1977, V. Sharpatov was the first Tyumen pilot who flew the IL-76 aircraft. He was able to perform a long-distance non-stop flight en route: Tyumen – Cape Kamenny – Sakha – Tobolsk – Khanty-Mansiysk – Tyumen, which lasted 10 hours and 40 minutes. He has been to Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sierra Leone in regard to peacekeeping United Nations activities.
Since 1995, he had been flight-instructor at the Aerostan Airline Company (Kazan).
On August 2, 1995, the IL-76 aircraft was performing a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Bagram (Northern Afghanistan). While flying over the Taliban-controlled territory of the Republic of Afghanistan, the cargo plane made a forced landing at the airfield near Kandahar. All crew members on board were subsequently held captive by the Taliban for a year until they successfully escaped by flying their own plane out of Afghanistan in August 1996.
In accordance with a Presidential Decree on August 22, 1996, Vladimir I. Sharpatov was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation with the Gold Star Medal for Heroism, Courage and Resilience shown during his captivity in Afghanistan.
After returning from Afghanistan, V. Sharpatov continued to work at the Aerostan airline company.
From 1999 to September 2002, Sharpatov was the captain of the IL-76 crew of the Tyumen Airlines (now UTair).
Vladimir I. Sharpatov:
- Winner of the Soviet Trade Union Prize (1982);
- Recipient of the Jubilee Medal In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Vladimir I. Lenin.
V.I. Sharpatov is the Hero of the Russian Federation, Honorary Citizen of the Krasnogorsk village of the Republic of Mari El.