I learned two new things today.
First, there is still a Russian-built Ilyushin Il-62 in service outside of North Korea. Second, it is (well, perhaps was…) operated by a European airline.
Rada Airlines is a cargo airline based in Belarus, with one IL-62 in the fleet. The airline even has a website here.
Earlier today, it appears this IL-62 experienced a rough landing Khartoum, Sudan.
Rada Airlines Ilyushin IL-62 (EW-450TR) veered to the right at the end of runway 18 at Khartoum Intl Airport (HSSS), Sudan ending on soft ground. There were no injuries involved. This aircraft is the last remaining IL-62 in commercial operations. https://t.co/7ikTyjus9f pic.twitter.com/nAtEkqVQAl
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) August 18, 2018
According to reports, the aircraft landed hard, then overshot the runway. It is rainy season in Sudan and the runway was likely slick. More detail here.
This story piqued my interest because I have wanted to fly on an IL-62 for over a decade. Cubana used to use IL-62s and I always planned to experience the plane in Cuba, but it has since been retired. The only civilian operator left is Air Koryo, the flag carrier of North Korea. I still hope to visit North Korea sooner rather than later, though it is virtually impossible now.
It appears no one was injured in the rough landing, though it is not clear if the aircraft will be able to return to Belarus.
I may be asking for trouble in wanting to fly as many “vintage aircraft as possible, but I still hope to fly the IL-62s one day. Such a shame Ben and I missed out on the IL-114s when in Uzbekistan last year…
images: Rada Airlines