An Ilyushin-78 military transport plane of the Ukrainian Air Force crashed on July 17 while approaching Asmara airport in Eritrea, killing the crew of eight Ukrainians and a Bulgarian representative on board. Based near Zaporizhzhya in Ukraine, the plane had been leased by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Air Transport Company (AIT) to the Bulgarian commercial firm Air Sofia. It was carrying an unspecified forty-ton cargo from Burgas, Bulgaria, to Eritrea.
An Ilyushin-76 plane of the Ukrainian Air Force, also with a forty-ton cargo, crashed into the Persian Gulf during the night of July 13-14, killing all eight on board. It too had been leased by AIT to a commercial firm. (Concerning the Defense Ministry’s aircraft leasing program see the Monitor, July 15)
The Russian-built Ilyushins were, in both cases, flown by highly experienced Ukrainian officers. Following the second accident in the space of one week, Kyiv has suspended all flights of Ilyushin-76 and -78 planes. (UNIAN, Western agencies, July 18; Eastern Economist Daily [Kyiv], July 20)
USSR REVIVAL MOVEMENT LAUNCHED IN KYIV.