Red Corner: More Bad News for Russian Aviation

Just after posting yesterdays rant about the horrendous state of flying in Russia, I received my weekly update from Transitions Online covering the same topic-albeit with far less black humor and far more terrifying statistics.

Here’s one to really scare you: there have been “26 major Russian airline accidents since the breakup of the USSR” and 20 percent of them have occurred at a single airport-Irkutsk. Some blame the presence of a nearby mass grave from Stalinist times casting a curse over the runways. Others, perhaps more practical, blame a decrepit aviation system, aging pilots, faulty planes, and airport runways constructed with sagging concrete blocks.

And then there are the bizarre, yet uniquely Russian reasons why the aircraft industry is in such horrible state. Take, for example, the Vnukovo Aircraft Repair Works in Moscow. Workers were stealing parts from the local Saturn automobile planet in Rybinsk and using them to replace parts which had broken on the planes they were servicing.

If you plan on flying within Russia any time soon, take a moment to read this informative article. A few mores stories like the one above and you’ll start thinking seriously about Russia’s wonderful train system which rarely ever crashes.