Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin eased into the cockpit of a Be-200 air tanker after takeoff and took an active part in fighting the devastating fires ravaging Western Russia by releasing water over two fires today.
After hitting the button, Putin glanced toward the pilot and asked, “Was that OK?”
The response: “A direct hit!”
The stunt was classic Putin. In past years, he has copiloted a fighter jet, ridden a horse bare-chested in Siberia and descended to the bottom of Lake Baikal in a mini-sub. Just last month he drove a Harley Davidson motorcycle to a biker rally.
Uncommon leadership in my opinion even if it was only symbolic. The kind of thing that lifts the spirit of those affected in the region as well as providing a boost to the morale of the firefighting forces throughout Russia. Our leader should be taking notes.
Be-200 in action. Quite an impressive aircraft.