Bernie standing in front of a Air Koryo IL-62 - Photo: Bernie Leighton

Bernie standing in front of a Air Koryo IL-62 – Photo: Bernie Leighton

We always love when other media outlets want to share some AvGeek goodness. This story posted today on CNN, written by Thom Patterson, talks about some of the adventures that our Bernie Leighton and others have had chasing old Russian metal in North Korea. Here is an except: 

The moment he stepped aboard the North Korean airliner, Bernie Leighton felt like he’d entered a Cold War time machine.

For an aviation enthusiast like Leighton, it was nothing short of thrilling. After years of anticipation, Leighton, a real estate investor, finally snagged a seat on a rare 1980s Soviet-built Ilyushin IL-62 airliner.

Air Koryo's IL-76 with a Russian made ground-start vehicle.

Air Koryo’s IL-76 with a Russian made ground-start vehicle – Photo: Bernie Leighton


Patriotic military music filled the cabin. Flight attendants handed out communist propaganda magazines. As Leighton put it, that 2012 flight on Air Koryo airlines from Beijing to Pyongyang was an experience “beyond belief.”

That’s high praise. Leighton may rank among the most accomplished “avgeeks” in the world. He said he’s flown on at least 50 kinds of aircraft and racked up an estimated 2 million air miles.

“The IL-62, by Western standards, was quite old, but it was actually one of the newer planes I flew on while I was there,” Leighton said. Only a handful still fly in commercial service worldwide, he said.

Continue reading Stalking North Korea’s Odd Cold War Time Machines on

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1 Comment

I went in 2014 and probably will go again in 2015. It is the best aviation tour ever. The tour also included regular sightseeing around North Korea as VIP. I also spent a day at Beijing China Aviation Museum before the North Korea tour. One needs a week to go through all the exhibits in this Museum.

Please contact me if anybody wants to know more about this tour.

See you at AGF15 in 3 weeks.


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