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An-225 & Il-76 in Malpensa

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this week there have been 2 Russian surprises in Malpensa (ok, the Antonov is actually Ukrainian, but when it was built it was still in the URSS...)

First of all, the Beast herself, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, that loaded some components for a refinery. The last time it landed in Malpensa was in 2003:





Then a smaller guy, but it's still quite rare: Ilyushin Il-76 Volga-Dnepr Airlines (pictures taken during a guided visit to the apron):







Thank you for watching :smile:

Edited by DySkO
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The Avia PS-90 engines make a nice lifting to the Candid silhouette, looking more gracious and powerful ! Superb shots.

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thanks, great shots! Love the Antonov

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Nice photos. Thanks for sharing those!

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What he said. Very cool pics, especially the Antonov. Thank you.

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Once in 1994, I went from Sarajevo to Zagreb. I flew with a UN charter organised by the (in)famous

'airline company' Maybe Airlines. They frequently flew with Il-76s with Ukrainian civil crew.

It was a rattling, bone shaking frightening experience to be in a Candid, taking off in the typical

way for Sarajevo. End of runway, steep near vertical ascend....... Aaaaaarrrgghhh!

Well, I also experienced it the other way around; flying back from Zagreb to Sarajevo

in an Il-76 and be one of the lucky bastards to experience the typical steep near vertical descend...

Damn, that Il-76 felt like it was going to fall apart.... but it didn't.


Famous quote (reporter David Hands):


Maybe Airlines was the official airline flying to and from Sarajevo during the war. It was a joint operation run

by Norwegians and flights where British, Canadian, US, Norwegian and German. The typical plane used

was the C-130 Hercules or the Il-76 Candid. As you can imagine, with a name like Maybe Airlines, and a joint

UN operation there are many stories to tell.


Why call it Maybe Airlines? Well, this was a typical conversation you had with the "check-in" counter:

You: "Is there a plane going to Split today?"

Maybe Airlines: "Maybe"

You: "Is it taking journalists?"

Maybe Airlines: "Maybe"

You: "Are there seats on this plane?"

Maybe Airlines: "Maybe"

You: "Is it going to be on time?"

Maybe Airlines: "Maybe"

You: "Can I take all my equipment on board?"

Maybe Airlines: "Maybe"

You: "Are we going to be shot down?"

Maybe Airlines: "No"

You: "No? What do you mean by NO? You are supposed to say Maybe."

Maybe Airlines: "We never say maybe on that question because you may be shot down and we don't want to scare you off. Have a pleasant flight!"

You: "Maybe"


You are boarding the airplane. You find your seat, sit down and get comfortable. The air steward stands in the isle and makes his announcement.


"Welcome onboard Maybe Airlines flight to Sarajevo. Please listen carefully to the

following safety instructions. This is a non smoking flight. Please refrain from smoking in the toilet and near the ammunition. Make sure your seat

belt is fastened at all times. Please put on the life vest over your bulletproof jacket. Please wear this parachute over your bulletproof jacket.

Some of you may have never used a parachute before but do not worry about it. When we say jump, jump. Thank you for flying Maybe Airlines,

have a pleasant flight" (fright?) Maybe!


Our exit from Sarajevo was without too many events. We heard a noise as we where taking off, probably a bullet, but since we were still

flying I assumed we were doing all right.


Almost an hour later and we were still airborne and getting close to Split Airport in Croatia. We started to descend and then surprisingly we started to

ascend again. We overshot the runway and started to turn around. A crewmember run to the back of the plane. He started to hit something with great

passion, I could not see what. He stopped and run back to the cockpit. The plane then started going from left to right, jerking violently. The crewmember

run back once more. The whole process was repeated and then we started to descend again. I held on to anything that looked solid and waited.

We landed and to my surprise it was a nice smooth landing. As I was getting off the plane I saw the crew member who was running up and down a few

minutes ago and I asked him if everything was OK. "Yea, sure mate" he replied with a grin on his face "We just couldn’t get the landing gear down.

Will you be flying with us soon?"


"Maybe yes, maybe no"

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You could make a career out of rotating tires on that Antonov!

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