She might be 99 years old, but she’s not slowing down any time soon. Last week, World War II veteran and 13-time record holder Maria Koltakova piloted an Su-34 flight simulator in her native city of Voronezh, Russia.
Sat alongside professional pilot Lieutenant Colonel Andrey Dyachenko, Koltakova took control of the aircraft at the Baltimore military airfield. The simulator looks like a real cockpit and recreates perfect flight conditions.
Nicknamed the ‘Iron Grandmother’, she has already performed numerous feats, including parachute jumping, scuba diving and a hot air balloon flight.
According to Dyachenko, Koltakova performed a barrel roll with his assistance but then took over the controls herself.
“The impression is cosmic. I liked everything. I flew through the clouds and saw Voronezh,” she said.
Writing on Instagram, the veteran thanked Dyachenko, explaining that they practiced “aerobatics” and “refueling the plane while in the air,” noting her disappointment that it was only a simulator.
A former volunteer in World War II, she participated in the crucial Battle of Kursk, and was part of the army that liberated much of Eastern Europe, including Kharkov and Lvov.
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