Wishes come true: child gets a tour of Putin’s presidential plane

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MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. 15-year-old Arslan Kaipkulov, a sick child from Russia’s Bashkortostan, has visited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plane, Ilyushin Il-96-300. Arslan’s dream was to shoot a video report on board the presidential plane.

On Tuesday, Arslan and his mother were given a tour of the plane. “This is the top secret plane of the country, it is an honor for me to be on it,” he said. The boy added that his dream had come true.

Kaipkulov noted the high level of comfort on the presidential plane; however, he added that the cockpit was what had impressed him the most. The teenager said that he was able to sit in the captain’s chair and visit the conference room. “I’ve visited other places, but you cannot shoot there. It’s confidential there,” the boy stated.

A tour of the airport

On Monday, Kaipkulov was also given a tour of the Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow. The airport’s head Dmitry Saprykin told the teenager about the security measures at the airport and the preparations that the pilots undergo before flights.

First, Arslan acquainted himself with the airport’s dog handlers. The security personnel offered the boy to hide a fake device carrying the smell of explosives in a special cone, and the specially trained dog determined which cone contained the “explosives” without fail. The teenager also witnessed the training process, during which the dogs followed the handlers’ commands, both verbal and non-verbal. Arslan spent some time with the airport dogs, and took several pictures with them.

After that, Kaipkulov and his mother visited the pre-flight preparation zone, to which regular passengers get no access. An employee of the airport told the teenager about the way the pilots prepare for the flights, and about the medical examinations they have to undergo before take-off. Arslan asked several questions about the job of flight navigators, and was shown several documents necessary for the successful functioning of the airport.

A video camera from Putin

Arslan, whose dream was to shoot a report on the Ilyushin Il-96-300 plane, received a video camera as a gift from Vladimir Putin. The boy said that the camera’s model is familiar to him. Arslan added that he has already prepared the script for his report. The young director will post a fifteen or twenty-minute-long video on one of the popular video hosting websites in the near future.

The Bashkortostan’s teenager told journalists that he was happy to receive the gift and to find out more about how the airport operates. The boy has taken a great interest in aviation, and often plays video games simulating take-off and landing. Arslan was especially keen to find out about the Vnukovo airport, as the video game he plays only includes Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

The Dream With Me project

In early December, Putin visited a volunteer forum in Russia and acquainted himself with the stands on charity projects. The volunteers told the president about the Dream With Me project, which is aimed at fulfilling the dreams of children with serious illnesses. The Russian leader helped to fulfill the dreams of several ill children, including Regina, who interviewed the president on the RT channel, Artyom, who enjoyed a helicopter tour of St. Petersburg, and Veronika, who visited the Mosfilm studio.

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