Monument to V. Karvat in Arabovshchina
Vladimir Nikolayevich Karvat was born on November 28, 1958 in Brest. He graduated from Armavir Higher Air-Force Military School which trained pilots for fighter planes with anti-aircraft defence units, and from there, in 1981, he was sent to the settlement Kalinka, Khabarovsk territory.
In August 1994, of his own free will, he transferred to the Armed Forces of Belarus. On September 11 of the same year, he took the oath of allegiance and soon was made head of airborne-firing and tactical training at airbase 61 in Baranovichi.
On May 23, 1996 on the SU-27 plane, hull No. 29, lieutenant-colonel Karvat became airborne. That evening a training flight had been planned in the clouds with large roll angles of the aircraft as well as practicing air combat tactics at low altitudes in adverse weather conditions at night.
At 22 hours 44 minutes, the fighter started rolling. At 22.52, the aircarft was flying at the altitude of 900 metres at a speed of 540 km/h. At this moment, on display in the cockpit came a signal that in the first hydraulic system the pressure had fallen. Contacting the ground, Karvat received orders to terminate the mission and return to the base. In half a minute, the fallen pressure signal disappeared, but suddenly there came signals of failures in other systems of the fighter. At the altitude of 600 metres, when the speed of the aircraft was 440 km/h, the aircraft control system failed. The pilot was ordered to bale out, but at that time the aircraft was flying over the villages of Arabovshchina and Bolshoie Gatishche, so lieutenant-colonel Karvat made up his mind to turn the falling plane aside. 14 seconds after the reported failure, at 22.54, the SU-27 crashed 1 km away from Arabovshchina. Local people hurried to the burning aircraft; 20 minutes later a fire brigade arrived and managed to extinguish the fire preventing cockpit inflammation. But the pilot died in the crash.
Expert examination found that the cause of the crash was a fire in the left fairing of the SU-27 tail-end. There had been a leak in the hydraulic system; the electric cables burned through and the aircraft went out of control.
At the cost of his own life and owing to his skills of a pilot, lieutenant-colonel Karvat Vladimir Nikolayevich prevented the aircraft crash on a populated area thus saving a great many human lives.
By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 484 of November 21, 1996, posthumously, V. N. Karvat was awarded the title of “Hero of Belarus”. The pilot became the first Hero of Belarus. His name has been put for ever on the list of the 61st airbase 1st air squadron personnel.
Geographic coordinates: N 53° 15' 42,00" E 26° 02' 38,40"
Foto: Владимира ЗУЕВА, Татьяны ГРИНКЕВИЧ, Андрея ПОНОМАРЕВА