Alrosa Mirny Air Enterprise Tupolev TU-154M (RA-85684) sits in the mud outside a small, closed, regional airport.
On September 7, 2010 a Alrosa Mirny Air Enterprise Tupolev TU-154M (registration number RA-85684), took off from Udachny Russia, heading to Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow. While cruising at about 35,000 feet, it experienced an electrical failure, causing the loss of their navigational systems and fuel pumps, leaving the pilots only 30 minutes worth of fuel.
The TU-154M sits about 520 feet past the end of the runway at Izhma Airport.
To make matters worse, the pilots also lost control their flaps, slats and radio system. Luckily they found that Izhma Airport was close to attempt an emergency landing, but there was a bit of bad news. First of all the runway was closed and no longer in use, plus it was only 4,347 feet long. Typically, the TU-154M needs a runway over 7,200 feet long to stop safely. Since they were short on options, they made the attempt to land anyhow.
The Alrosa TU-154M took quite a beating, running off the end of the runway.
The pilots made two attempts to land before finally putting the aircraft down on the third try. The odds were against the plane, as it did not have control of flaps to slow down and it ended up running about 520 feet off the end of the runway, through trees, bushes and mud.
Airliners were not made to hit trees and bushes. They did a number of the body of the TU-154M.
Amazingly, after the aircraft came to a complete stop, all 81 passengers and crew were able to safely evacuate the aircraft and no injuries were reported. It was determined that the batteries overheated causing a thermal runaway, affecting the failed components of the aircraft.
The two pilots of Flight 514: Andrei Lamanov and Yevgeny Novoselov stand in front of TA-85684
The two pilots of Flight 514: Andrei Lamanov and Yevgeny Novoselov were regarded as heros for their successful landing of the stricken aircraft. They were made Heros of the Russian Federation, which is the highest honorary title that a Russian Federation citizen can received. The other seven crew members were rewarded with Orders of Courage. Passengers were rewarded with their lives and an incredible story to tell for the rest of their lives.
After minimum repairs, Alrosa’s TU-154M took off from Izhma Airport – Photo: Aleksey Nagaev
So now what? Alrosa had this “Lucky TU-154M” that was damaged at an airport that doesn’t have a runway long enough for it to properly take off. Well, if there is a will, there is a way and the airline decided to make needed repairs to get the aircraft back in the air.
About six and a half months after the Tupelov crash landed, enough repairs were completed to get it airborne again. After reducing its weight as much as possible, on March 23, 2011 the TU-154M successfully took off from Izhma Airport and flew to Ukhta, Komi Republic for additional inspections. Finally it was sent to Samara where final repairs were completed before the aircraft was placed back into service.
The TU-154M was designed to successfully operate in Russian’s tough climate and air infrastructure and it seemed to pay off. I am not quite sure how other aircraft might have fared during the same situation.
If you look at Donavia Airlines livery it might look a bit like Aeroflot’s. There is good reason, the airline is 100% owned by Aeroflot.
Donavia started in 1925 out of Rostov Airport and has a long history serving Russia. After the fall of the Soviety Union, The airline’s name was changed to Donavia and absorbed regional parts of Aeroflot Airlines. Then in 2000, Aeroflot bought 100% stake in the airline and was changed to Aeroflot-Don. Then in September, the name was changed back to Donavia.
Donavia currently runs a fleet of TU-154s, Boeing 737-400 and 737-500‘s. The airline flies in Russian, Europe, Egypt and western Asian countries.
If you like old school liveries on old-time Russian birds, do I have an airline for you! Kyrgyzstan Airlines has a great combination of a bunch of different aircraft types and different liveries.
The airline is based in Bishkek, Krygyzstan and offers service to Russia, China, Tajikistan UAE, India, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Their English version of the website doesn’t seem to be working and I can’t find too much information why there are so many livery types for an airline that has only been around since 2001. I am assuming they are liveries of previous airlines they purchased their aircraft from.
I kind of prefer the blue tail the best, but it looks to be an older style livery. Here are just some of the more interesting combinations I found:
Balkan Holidays Airline (or BH Air) is a special charter airline for Balkan Holidays that provides special tours. to Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia and Romania. The tour company has been around since 1966, but the airline was created more rently in 2002. The airline flies chartered flights to the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, and others.
The charter airline started with one lone Tuplov TU-154, but today they have four aircraft, all Airbus 320’s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bh_air_a320-200_lz-bhd_takes_off_at_manchester_arp.jpg
Tupolev Tu-154, LZ-HMI, Balkan Holidays, Manchester, June 2006
Balkan Holidays Airline (or BH Air) is a special charter airline for Balkan Holidays that provides special tours. to Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia and Romania. The tour company has been around since 1966, but the airline was created more recently in 2002. The airline flies chartered flights to the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, and others.
The charter airline started with one lone Tupolev TU-154, but today they have four aircraft, all Airbus 320’s.