Chile

Russian Pilot Fights Fires in Faraway Chile, Regrets He Can’t Save Everyone

A fire fighting plane, Ilyushin IL-76 from Russia, is seen at Santiago's airport after arriving to help to extinguish wildfires in Chile's central-south regions, Chile January 30, 2017
A fire fighting plane, Ilyushin IL-76 from Russia, is seen at Santiago’s airport after arriving to help to extinguish wildfires in Chile’s central-south regions, Chile January 30, 2017
An Il-76 military transport plane in Omsk, Siberia.
An Il-76 military transport plane in Omsk, Siberia.

Russian pilot Vladislav Podobny’s Il-76 plane is affectionately called Luchin by locals in Chile, where he’s spending the South American summer putting out devastating wildfires and becoming a folk hero in the process. In an interview with Sputnik Mundo, he shared his thoughts about what it was like to be part of the international effort.

Podobny is deputy commander of an IL-76 aircraft sent by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry to assist the country in coping with the disaster.

Vladislav Podobny
Vladislav Podobny

A Chilean company has already released a detergent called Super Luchin, named in honor of Russia’s IL-76 that took part in extinguishing forest fires in Chile.

Vladislav Podobny in the IL-76's cabin. File photo
Vladislav Podobny in the IL-76’s cabin. File photo

In an interview with Sputnik Mundo, Podobny said that he is already aware of a whole array of memes which emerged in the Internet to give kudos to Russia’s Luchin.

“Yes, I have seen the memes and thanks to you I have also learned about the…

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