Many people may have seen this video already, and many more may have not. But although the press reports on the poor state of Russia’s aviation industry by way of measuring crash statistics, there is no systematic way of measuring how poorly maintained the aircraft are kept by way of counting the number of incidents pilots and passengers experience on a day to day basis, which do not result in a catastrophic failure or loss of life.
The video below was captured earlier this year, on 29th April, 2011. Reports from eye witness accounts say that the pilots took off from Chkalovsky, in an aircraft that had lain mothballed for the last 10 years. Neither the pilots, mechanics or owners of the plane had bothered to do a full and detailed of inspection of the plane prior to taking her up into the air, and the pilots then struggled for 10-15 mins in the air trying to feel her out before landing safely. As a pilot myself, I can only imagine what must have been going through these guys heads when it all went pear shaped. Thankfully no one was killed and the crew lived to tell the tale.
But this video serves to highlight the clear and demonstrable lack of professionalism and the general disregard for flight safety and respect of human life that exists in the Russian aviation community, especially true outside of the large metropolitan areas of Moscow and St. Petersburg.