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KYIV Spotting Assistance

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  • KYIV Spotting Assistance


    I am planning a trip to Kyiv in the coming months and I would like some advice on whether or not the airports are spotter friendly or not. Are there any particular areas which are popular with local spotters?

    I do not mind going to either of the main airports in the city, but if I could get any military aircraft that would be a bonus. Would really appreciate any assistance if anyone has been.


  • #2

    both IEV and KBP have some resident military aircraft. IEV has a National Guard unit that flies the Mi-8, An-72 and An-26. KBP has an Air Force unit with Mi-8, An-24/26/30 and a lone Tu-134.

    South of the city is Vasylkiv air base which is home to the Air Force's largest MiG-29 unit, which also flies quite a few L-39s. Farther out, to the west is the city of Zhytomyr, on the outskirts of which is the Ozerne air base which hosts a Su-27 (and L-39) unit. Vasylkiv appears to have better photo opportunities due to its closer location to populated areas, roads etc. Vasylkiv also has nearly twice as many flying aircraft as Ozerne, so more photo opportunities. Bonus: no two Ukrainian fighter jets have ever been painted the same. Ozerne is interesting because unlike all other air bases in the country it has no junkyard row, with the exception of one airframe all aircraft on base are flightworthy.

    In recent years western spotters have managed to arrange group trips to Ukrainian military airfields with all-access treatment, to the chagrin of the local photographers who are largely shut out.

    Note that the fighter units will be flying a maximum of 2 to 3 days a week.

    On the civilian side:
    - as you probably know, there is an outdoor aviation museum at IEV
    - I would advise you to visit to get an idea for the photography opportunities etc. Consider contacting the regulars there, many speak English