sTORY
The last flight of
"The Hero of Izhma" Tu-154
Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
On September 29, 2018, the Tu-154M RA-85684 of Alrosa Airlines performed its last flight en route Mirny - Novosibirsk. "The Hero of Izhma" – the famous Tupolev, which was restored to the flying state after the emergency landing on the abandoned airfield of Izhma, caused by complete blackout during the flight in 2010.

Alrosa Airlines treats its airplanes with great respect, so the company's management decided to save the airliner from being decomissioned. Instead, it will be installed as a monument in the aviation museum of the Tolmachevo airport, Novosibirsk.

Our reporter Artyom Kuzhlev shares a first-hand experience of flying on this historic aircraft.

Having learned that the Tupolev will perform its last flight on Thursday afternoon, on Friday evening I was alredy on my way to Mirny, since this flight seemed to me as an opportunity not to be missed.

On Saturday morning, I have arrived at the concrete strip of Mirny Airport. At 10:40AM local time, the boarding began. All Alrosa employees based at Mirny, including the airline CEO — Andrei Gulov, came to say goodbye to the legendary airliner.
Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
I boarded the plane and leaned back in my seat comfortably. The crew was very sentimental as they had a flight with the symbolic number 6R-684 ahead of them, which was going to be the last for this liner.

After the quick start-up the three Soloviev D-30KU engines started singing their "simphony". The aircraft started to taxi, and after a few minutes time we lined up on the runway. "The Hero of Izhma" took off for the last time. After performing a farewell passage over the city of Mirny, where the board was based for 20 years, we climbed to a flight level 30000ft. and took course bound for Novosibirsk.
Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
The flight took us 2 hours and 40 minutes. Before landing, the crew performed a low pass over the runway at an altitude of less than 20 meters. We performed a circle-to-land approach over Novosibirsk and the Tu-154 touched the runway for one final time.

At the taxiway, the plane was met by three escort vehicles, which we followed to the parking lot. The flight engineer turned off the engines and the famous aircraft went silent forever.

Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
The 6R-684 flight was performed under the guidance of the hero of Russia — captain Andrei Lamanov (who performed an emergency landing in 2010), other members of the crew included first officer — Alexander Leshkevich, navigator — Igor Rodionov and a flight engineer — Konstantin Beznogov.

Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
In Novosibirsk, the flight was met by aviation photographers, media representatives and Tolmachevo airport management. Evgeny Novoselov, who was a first officer in the Izhma incident, also arrived at Tolmachevo to say goodbye to the mighty Tupolev.

Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
In conclusion, I believe that this is not the end of the story for the RA-85684, on the contrary, a new chapter in its history begins and this is truly an enjoyable moment for all the Russian aviation enthusiasts.

Artyom Kuzhlev / AviMedia
Article: Artyom Kuzhlev
Photography: Artyom Kuzhlev
02/10/18


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