World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Aleksandr Zuyev (pilot)

Alexander Mikhailovich Zuyev (Russian: Александр Михайлович Зуев; 1961 – June 10, 2001) was a captain of the former-Soviet Air Force (VVS) who piloted his Mikoyan MiG-29 to Trabzon, Turkey on May 20, 1989.

Zuyev had married the daughter of the Chief-of-staff of the Air Division at the age of 25, and had applied to the test pilot school in Aktyubinsk due to his excellent performance but failed to get selected. Zuyev turned bitter about the rejection and when his marriage fell into difficulties, coupled with his personal doubts about the Soviet system, he decided to defect to the United States of America.


  • Defection 1
  • Life in the United States 2
  • Work 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Zuyev was an interceptor pilot with the Baku PVO regiment at Gudauta, along the northeast coast of the Black Sea. The day before his defection he drugged his unit using a large amount of sleeping pills in a cake he baked. At this time a mechanic who came to shift change failed to awaken any of his comrades. Zuyev tried to disarm the mechanic, but failed, shot him with a pistol and wounded him. The aircraft were almost ready and Zuyev took off in one. After takeoff, he had planned to shoot other aircraft on the ground, but failed because he forgot to remove one of the two locks on the gun. He then flew 150 miles (240 km) south across the Black Sea to Trabzon, Turkey, where the aircraft was impounded.

He was allowed to immigrate to the United States where he settled in San Diego, California and opened a consulting firm. Zuyev wrote a book titled Fulcrum: A Top Gun Pilot's Escape from the Soviet Empire (ISBN 0-446-51648-1). Originally Zuyev faced criminal charges such as hijacking in the Turkish courts, but the charges were dismissed for political reasons.[1]

Life in the United States

On January 3, 1993, Zuyev revealed that the reason that Korean Air Lines Flight 007 succeeded in crossing over Kamchatka without being shot down was because Arctic gales had knocked out the Soviet radars on Kamchatka ten days previously.[2]

On June 10, 2001, Alexander Zuyev died along with another aviator, Jerry 'Mike' Warren, in a crash near Bellingham, Washington, USA when their Yakovlev Yak-52 entered and failed to recover from an accelerated stall.[3]


  • Fulcrum: A Top Gun Pilot's Escape from the Soviet Empire, by Alexander Zuyev, 1992, ISBN 978-0-446-51648-8

See also


  1. ^ Fulcrum: A Top Gun Pilot's Escape from the Soviet Empire, pp. 348-350.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "SEA01LA116". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.