Close Call For Russian Cargo Plane

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It was a testament to the ruggedness of the IL-76, but we’ll let others decide what it says about the crew flying it. According to a Transport Canada incident report published by Canadian Defence and Geopolitics, the Silk Way Airways plane was headed for Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario, in early June when it encountered poor visibility (half mile in fog, vertical visibility 500 feet, RVR 600, temperature and dew point 12 degrees Celsius) at the military base. The crew elected to try an instrument approach. The massive plane, loaded with military hardware from the Canadian Forces operation in Afghanistan, hit a perimeter fence, taking out 150 feet of it, touched down briefly 430 feet short of the runway and then managed to climb out, trailing part of the fence from its landing gear and peppered with damage to its belly. However, that wasn’t enough to prompt the crew to declare an emergency. According to the report, the crew climbed the airplane, still trailing barbed wire, to 3,000 feet and entered a hold for an hour. They then decided to divert to fog-free Ottawa, about 100 nm away. Ottawa officials were notified that the airplane had hit a fence and rolled emergency gear for the landing. The IL-76 landed uneventfully and went directly to an FBO. There, with help from the emergency workers, the crew untangled the barbed wire and took off again for Trenton, where the cargo was unloaded. In Trenton, it was revealed the aircraft had "substantial damage" and the events were classified by the Transportation Safety Board as an accident rather than an incident.