Kapanina was born on 22 December 1968 in Shchuchinsk, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union (now Kazakhstan). She dedicated herself to several sports modalities at school and always liked motorcycles and other motor vehicles. She enrolled at medical school in Tselinograd (now Astana), where she graduated in pharmaceutical sciences. She started flying at age 19, in 1988, on a Sukhoi Su-26M3, while working as a technician at the Kurgan sports aviation club of DOSAAF. By 1991 she was already an instructor pilot at DOSAAF's Irkutsk club, and then back at Kurgan. Also in 1991, she became a member of the Russian national aerobatic team. In 1995 she graduated from Kaluga aeronautical technical school.
Achievements in aerobatics
Kapanina was World Aerobatic Champion in the women's category in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011 and has won the title more times than any other pilot in the category. Additionally, she was overall World Air Games Champion in 1997 and 2001.
Together with Mikhail Mamistov and Oleg Spolyansky, she won the team gold medal in the 16th FAI European Aerobatic Championships 2008 in Hradec Králové (Czech Republic). She placed fourth overall and was best female participant.
- Haute Voltige: pilot profile of Svetlana Kapanina - accessed February 2008
- FAI Awards received by Svetlana Kapanina - accessed February 2008 Cite error: Invalid
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- 19th FAI World Grand Prix / Report #2 - accessed February 2008
- EAC2008 results - accessed 2008-07-21
- FAI Centennial - accessed February 2008
- Official website (Russian only)
- Aerobatics results, Svetlana Kapanina
- smugmug: article on Svetlana Kapanina to appears in Aero Australia Magazine #12
- Aerobatics website with Svetlana Kapanina videos
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