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Moscow-Saratov day trip Saravia Yak 42

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  • Moscow-Saratov day trip Saravia Yak 42

    This flight was taken on the Alpha Mike Tours 2006 trip to Russia.
    We were booked on the 09.20 departure fromDomodedovo. Check in formalities were completed quickly and it was off to the very through security screening before boarding Sar Avia Yak 42D RA-42361 via a jetbridge and a very low forward door.
    [photoid= 5766084]
    Onboard the seating was 3+3 with pitch at a level that made charter flights feel comfortable in comparison. In flight service consisted of drinks followed by a cold meal that contained amongst other things a bread roll, a packet of salami, some spreadable cheese and a pot of strawberry jam. One of the group then proceeded to put all three items in his roll and eat it. After an hour and 20 minute flight we landed at . Disembarking via the rear air stair taking care not to step in the yellow puddle that had formed outside the toilet we noted the rest of the Sar Avia Yak 42 fleet (2 out of 4 airworthy) plus a single Yak 40.
    The original objective of the day was a visit to Engles Air Force Base but this visit had been cancelled after our air tickets to Saratov had been issued. The first stop was at Park to view the aircraft collection along with various other bits of military hardware. Unfortunately the larger exhibits are difficult to photograph due to the rapidly growing trees. Next was Dubki a DOSAAF field nearby where we may have been the first foreign tour group to visit. Based here are a number of ROSTO An 2s and Mi 2s with one or two examples of each being airworthy plus 15622 Mi 2 of Barkol. The airfield also boasts a small museum dedicated to Yuri Gagarin who was from this area. Finally we took a drive out to Engels to photograph the gate guard aircraft and for the number crunchers to read off the museum collection over the fence from the bus. As our request for a ramp tour at Saratov had been blocked by the very keen new KGB man in town we briefly took advantage of some holes in the fence to photograph the occupants of the ramp before checking in for the flight back to Moscow
    [photoid= 5617884]
    The old terminal building at Saratov is no longer used for it's original purpose but houses all the landside facilites and is surrounded by a public open space. Check in and boarding are now carried out in a prefabricated building on the edge of the apron, however they have retained the scale with the permitted baggage weight for various aircraft types including the An 2 posted on it.
    RA-42361 also operated the return flight with the group occupying the front section of the economy cabin. Service was the same as the outbound flight, however the airline had not made provision for a group of 20 thirsty aviation enthusiasts with all the beer sold out by the third row. The meal was the same as in the morning but I did not take any notice of how people were eating it.

  • #2
    Interesting reading, nice reading Alpha Mike is still around, is it still headed by Andy March and at times by Chris Hebert ?
    Alain
    Thanks for visiting
    *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *
    *JetPhotos*
    Airliners*Pbase.com

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    • #3
      Yes Alpha Mike is still run by Andy Marsh but he still only does about three trips a year fitted in around his day job.

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      • #4
        Good reading he is still around. I remember he was doing this average number of trips yearly although he used to venture as far as South America and China. When I met him, he was an ATC. Another question, was Rudi the Hungarian Fixer around too ?
        Alain
        Thanks for visiting
        *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *
        *JetPhotos*
        Airliners*Pbase.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Sadly Rudi is no longer with us, all I heard was that he was killed in an unexplained car crash in South America whilst on a business trip several years ago.

          All ramp tours now are arranged with a formal contract between the Russian tour company used and the airfields. In most cases fees are not paid until the tour takes place.

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