Cessna Service Center

Cessna Service Center in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Tile floors! These guys are really raising the bar for GA facilities.

Legendary Sergey Alafinov

AeroVolga’s legendary amphibious aircraft founder, engineer, and aircraft manufacturer; Sergey Alafinov with his Husky; Lucky. Kransyi airport (UWWQ), Samara, Russia.

Romantic Flights

A few members of the official welcoming delegation at the Siberian Capital of Novosibirsk’s city airport, Gorodskoy (UNCC). Front and center are Russian Aviation Oligarch; Andrew Melnikov. His company Mag Aero (http://magaero.ru) operates a fleet of Cessna 172’s specializing in: “Romantic Flights”!

A swim in the Volga River

A flying trip across Russia would not be complete without a swim in the Volga River. My host for this historic event is none other than the famous Sea Plane designer and Test Pilot for AeroVolga; Dmitriy Suslakov. His latest masterpiece, the Boery. A two-place, Rotax-powered amphibious LSA (light sport aircraft). An avid fly fisherman, Dmitriy made sure that there was ample room for fishing and camping gear in the Boery, something missing in many LSA’s. Along with two of AeroVolga’s twin-engine amphibious aircraft, the L-8, a team of pilots and engineers flew the three aircraft, including the Boery around the world westbound in 2018. A pretty serious test of capability. Many thanks to Sergey Alafinov and Dmitriy Suslakvo for hosting me at AeroVolga https://AeroVolga.com located at the Krasnyi Airport (UWWQ), Samara, Russia.

Aleksey Antonov and Andrew Beketov

When you give two Russian Flight Instructors Carrabelle Flying Club T-shirts you get a bottle of Beluga Vodka in return. Aero Region Training, Myachkovo Airport (UUBM) Russia.

Evgeny Kabanov and Alexey Bvevich – July 11th

Evgeny Kabanov and Alexey Bvevich choppered in from Moscow today in Evgeny’s Robertson R66 Helicopter to my temporary Russian base at Konakovo to discuss the operation of General Aviation Aircraft in Russia. Evgeny operates Makgas.com which provides permits and handling services for General Aviation Aircraft and Alexey is Chief of the Russian Main Air Traffic Management Centre. The problems of the past to flying a small plane across Russia have been the availability of Avgas, English-speaking controllers, and access to the air traffic control system en-route system at altitudes below 11,000’. Surprisingly, security concerns have not generally been an obstacle. Evgeny and Alexey have set their sights on correcting all of this and along with several other agencies and individuals have made it possible to cross Russia with a small plane today. This is no easy accomplishment as Russia spans over 5,000 linear miles from west to east, crosses two continents, and has 11 time zones. Alexey explained that there are approximately 8,300 ATC controllers and 31,000+ employees of the Russian ATC system which will soon have 11 area control centers. Makgas.com not only provides permits and handling services across Russia, and other border countries, but also has been instrumental in organizing 100LL Avgas across Russia. See their fuel map at makgas.com.The official message from the Manager of the Russian Main Air Traffic Management Center and Makgas.com is that Russian Air Space is open for business and General Aviation Aircraft are welcome! My next stops are planned around some of the general aviation airports near Moscow including; UUBM, Myachkovo to visit the Russian National Aerobatic team, UUDN, Novinki, to visit the Cessna dealership and flight school and the S7 Airline training facility located at UUCT, Bityagovo. After Bityagovo it’s eastbound.

Far North Aviation at Wick Airport

Far North Aviation at Wick Airport, Scotland is operated by Adrienne and her son Ben. The building is the original control tower that served the No. 18 Group, RAF Coastal Command in WWII. The home base of flying officer Michael F. Suckling spotted the German battleship, Bismarck, from his Supermarine Spitfire. Even the original hangars are still here. Of course, a vintage Land Rover is the transport of choice. Adrienne and Ben have restored a real gem of aviation history.