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Why No Russian Planes In The U.S.?  
User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5912 posts, RR: 6
Posted (10 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15079 times:
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Hi there! I'm sure this topic has been covered before, but I would like to ask again. Why are there no Russian airplanes flying into the U.S., besides the occasional Mavial Magadan Airlines Tu-154M into ANC? Is it the perceived notion that Russian airplanes are not safe? Are they inferior to U.S. airworthiness laws? Do they not meet FAA noise restrictions?

I used to see a lot of Russian planes flying into the U.S. IL-62's, IL-96's and Tu-154's into the west coast. IL-62's, IL-86's and IL-96's into the East Coast and Florida. What happened?

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineCactusHP From United States of America, joined May 2004, 348 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14868 times:

I think that after the Cold War, the general population (or all the population) would not ride on those jets just because they are a Russian product. And I think that trend continues today.


Sorry, I was on the landline
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14852 times:

The general population wouldnt have the foggiest idea that they were Russian-made.

Basically, the airlines here were traditionally Boeing/McDD... Airbus muscled in with quality products and good deals. Embraer/Bombardier moved in by catering to a niche that the big2 avoided.

No way in hell Soviet material would've been welcomed here from DeReg to the early 90s... and the Russian manufaturers more than likely lack the financing/scale/market-segment to do any of this in this current time.

User currently offlineDantiger From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14800 times:

The Russian aircraft have never had a good safety record or in flight service. Since the fall of Communism it has actually gotten worse. If they fly Airbus or Boeing aircraft that is only a slight improvement. Russia is a disaster right now. Their own government reports that one out of three Russian men has a drinking problem. One out of 6 women the same. These will be the ground and flight crews you will put your life in their hands. The poor Russian Army is practically starving. The streets of Moscow are as dangerous as South Central Los Angeles. Need I say more?

User currently offlineCactusHP From United States of America, joined May 2004, 348 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14773 times:

"The general population wouldnt have the foggiest idea that they were Russian-made."
Well, if you put it that way, but this is a pretty obvius answer, when the F/A comes over the mike and says "there are x amount of emergency exits on this
Tupolev-154 aircraft..." I think everyone would know that it's Russian. I mean come on, adults would of heard of Boeing and M/D before, right?


Sorry, I was on the landline
User currently offlineStearmanNut From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 14733 times:

Airworthiness certificates are hard to come by on aircraft that are not maintained and built to US standards. Also, any aircraft that enters US airpace has to conform to universal standards. That is the main reason you do not see many Russian aircraft in regular commercial air service in the northern western hemisphere.

If wishes were horses, a Tail Dragger I would fly...
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 14671 times:

Well, if you put it that way, but this is a pretty obvius answer, when the F/A comes over the mike and says "there are x amount of emergency exits on this Tupolev-154 aircraft..."

...apparently, you haven't flown enough to hear the ubiquitous wannabe-knowitall tell his kid "isn't this a big 747 son?!" right after the FA states that it's an A330  Insane  Laugh out loud

User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1184 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 14639 times:

errrr, because they suck!
I wouldn't get on one of those even if you upgraded me to the highest levels of service for free. I would never have booked a flight on a Russian plane to begin with but, suppose there was an interruption and they rebooked me on a different airline, I would not get on that flight.
My opinion, of course.

Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29802 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 14580 times:

Most russian A/C where/are not US certified.

There was a scam up here where a number of guys brought AN-2's up to Alaska and tried to sell them to some of the villages as "supply planes". The theory is that they would then be public aircraft and no subject to FAA regulations.

I don't know of any vilages that took them up.

User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 14470 times:

Sigh, I feel like I'm overhearing a convention of the village idiots. Russian, well, Soviet, now Russian & Ukrainian aircraft have as good a design safety record as any western design. I lived as an American in Moscow for the past two years and amassed many thousands of kilometers on SU, D9, and S7 with nary an incident. Nobody tried to kill me in the streets, which I am terrified of happening in my new abode of Washington, which vies with Johannesburg as the murder capital of the world. I could walk downtown at any hours of the night with relative certainty of my safety. I can't say the same for DC. My own home state of N.H. has a terrible problem with idiot hunters shooting kids off of swingsets because they look like deer. The cops won't do anything because they are the same people hunting. They reccomend you don't walk around on your own land and wear an orange vest (your dog too). You can bandy about statistics about drinking all you want, but while Russia does have a serious problem, how does that relate to its pilots? The reason why there aren't many Russian passenger planes flying into the US us because they are not fuel efficient or often very comfortable. It has nothing to do with their safety. BTW there are many IL-76s, AN-124s, AN-12s, and the AN-225 that fly heavylift items into the US because we have no competing designs. Did you also know that the US is dependent on Russian shipping and aircraft to move our own military equipment as we haven't built a proper commercial ship in the US in 50 years. Anyway, no one has Russian aircraft for the fuel and comfort reasons, not to mention the negative PR for such an aircraft. If enthusiasts have no idea what they are talking about, the general public doesn't either. Not to mention where are you going to get a Kuznetsov engine when your Tu-134 loses one in Topeka?

User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 14459 times:

Dont forget Tarom and Aeroflot into ORD! I saw my first 62's at ORD back on a Friday in the Summer of 92.

User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2112 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 14434 times:

"BTW there are many IL-76s, AN-124s, AN-12s, and the AN-225 that fly heavylift items into the US because we have no competing designs."

Our C-5 is nearly identical to the An-124 in size and performance. But unlike Russia, the C-5 is purely Air Force, whereas the Antonov is Aeroflot and is shared by the military and civilian uses. The An-225 is an anomaly, a one off (so far) whose size is a result of the need to carry the Buran or its external tank.

I don't disagree on your other points, but we do have competing designs, though not in civilian dress.

Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineAirbus Lover From Malaysia, joined Apr 2000, 3248 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 14415 times:

Let me fly on an IL62, IL86, IL96, TU154, TU204/214, TU134 or Yak42 anyday  Wink/being sarcastic I'd take it provided you give me seats up front Big grin

User currently offlineCarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2961 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 14392 times:

Almost all Russian designs do not conform to Western noise standards. The only ones are Il-96 & Tu-154M. The former have very few in numbers on the market. The latter is an old design, fuel inefficient, and need too many crew to operate. Support would be difficult too far away from home.

User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1184 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 14348 times:

I invite anyone to visit a country like Peru, or any other underdeveloped nation. The skies are filled with old Russian planes, that can be found for very cheap and scrapped for parts. In fact, there are a few pics in the a.net archive of the airport at LIM with old Russian planes sitting, abandoned, in shame. There have been several accidents with Russian planes in Peru, and I know that I have heard similar tales in other places, like Africa. For some strange reason, you don't hear nearly as much about 25+ year old Boeing aircraft crashing into the jungle.
I think it's infantile to call someone who disagrees with another person's opinion part of the "village idiots".
I stand by my initial comment that they "suck" compared to B or A.

Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 14331 times:

Isn't there something that all Soviet-bloc/Russian a/c registered in the US have to be registered under the experimental category...I recall being around a US registered An-2 (N87AN IIRC, in Lithuanian Airlines colors) at a local airshow a few years back and "Experimental" was clearly printed on it...


Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 14304 times:

I fail to see how poor maintenance standards damns an entire class of aircraft. I seem to remember SR-111's passengers dying for their PTVs, something that could happen again on an MD-11 without proper maintenance. Just because Alaska Airlines didn't maintain their MD-80's, does that mean the aircraft is inherently unsafe? How is it Tupolev's fault if Peru doesn't maintain its aircraft in a humid, hot environment? We don't hear about 25+ year old Boeings crashing, because most that are crashing are poorly maintained newer aircraft in Africa (737+727), or Asia (747-200). I seem to recall a spate of Bac-111 crashes and Caravelle crashes in Africa as well due to poor maintenance, not an inherent problem with their design. The C5 is a wonderful aircraft not available for civilian use because it can't compete price wise. Aeroflot does not own any heavy-lift aircraft anymore BTW, nor does it fly to Chicago anymore. In 50 years I can't recall any incident of a Russian passenger aircraft crashing inside the US. Poor maintenance inside the USSR and emergent Russia sure led to a lot of them, but again, it wasn't the design of the A/C. The Tu-154M doesn't have afew numbers on the market as well, it has HUNDREDS, just not for sale inside the US as they are not certified. Doesn't mean it is unsafe and can't be foreign registered. There just isn't a market for it. I'd be a lot more frightened to ride in a Bell Osprey than a Tu-154. How many Osprey's have crashed in relation to the number produced? I honestly can't believe aviation enthusiasts have such opinions. Flying is fun, why the pitchforks and torches?

User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 14285 times:

Why buy an outdated POS when you can buy a Boeing?

User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1184 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 14269 times:

Just to clarify something, I have never spoken of any DESIGN flaws. I just reread all the posts here, and I don't see anything about designs being flawed. I did read about how unreliable they seem to be, about how poor their supply network for parts is, about how they get peddled to poor countries/operators for peanuts, and about how they continue to have accidents at rates higher than "western" aircraft (and no, I have no specific statistics, go find them yourself). Someone said earlier that just the idea that they are "Russian" would spook many a traveler.
Today, most/all Russian planes must have some airworthiness issue or else they would fly to this country. I ask one question; why does Aeroflot fly western equipment internationally? I believe they own Airbus and Boeing planes (again, not certain of which, exactly) and use them for their international flights.
Read between the lines, Russian aviation isn't what it once was. I think all the posters agree with that. No one hates Russia, its people, its history, etc. Personally, I don't like Russian planes because they are less reliable than Boeing and Airbus (in no particular order, no A v B arguments, please). Oh, by the way, I have never flown commercially in an Osprey, an airplane that was (I believe) built specifically for a branch of the US armed forces. I would also never fly on a Caravelle, no longer in service. And I would stay clear of a BAC-111. I am not sure how that helped your argument.
Once again, people get so upset because someone disagrees with their opinion. That is childish. I don't fly JetBlue but I respect those who like it. I fly AA but respect those who prefer NW or DL or UA. I also favor B over A, but have flown AA's A300s to LIM several times.
I still don't like Russian planes, no matter what you say.

Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 14241 times:

Thats fine, people can agree to disagree certainly. Aeroflot does indeed fly many domestic aircraft to foreign destinations both in the CIS and outside. The IL96 flies to Japan, Italy, Britain, and charter destinations along with the IL-86 (of which only one has ever crashed). All of those countries have strict oversight. It is simply more economical to fly western equipment, simple as that. Russian A/C do not have the range for economical US operations. They are not "banned," they just haven't been certified for a US operator to fly domestically, doesn't mean they can't be. The TU-154M has no airworthiness directives more dire than any other comparable design that I know of? Unreliability is tied to the idea of design is it not? Since no aircraft has a perfect design, problems happen. Look at the US space shuttle. While the Tu-154 could never hope to live up to modern Airbus and Boeing dispatch reliability, it does pretty well considering it lands on unprepared strips at -40c ground temperatures regularly. I don't see how it could be fundamentally unsafe if it is the backbone of Aeroflot's fleet and one hasn't crashed due to maintenance in a long time. They do have higher accident rates specifically because they are used in underdeveloped countries sometimes without proper maintenance. The ones that fly into this country (where did you get the idea that they are banned) are perfectly safe. Perhaps more safe than a Boeing 747-100 with an empty center fuel tank or an A300 with an uncommanded rudder deflection (or that fell on its tail and was put into service anyway).

User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14190 times:

If passenger acceptance is the main issue, why do we not see more Russian planes in the freight market? Russian high-wing military type cargo planes have a major presence in the outsizefreight market. But you don't see Fed-Ex flying T-204's for example.

I would think the main issue is the availability of parts, and the unfamiliarity of western pilots and mechanics with Russian aircraft. If this were not the case the low price of the T-204, at least, would be attractive to western freight carriers. Getting JAA or FAA certification on the T-204 would not be that difficult, or so I have heard. The noise issue is real but the TU-204 and a few other new designs are stage-3 compliant.

One other problem is that many western businesspeople just don't like dealing with Russian companies. For some this is because of prejudice or cultural differences. But for others, it is because of bitter experience. The Soviet years did not prepare most Russians to deal with customers who are spending their own money rather than the government's money. Until recently, very few Russian companies have had the kind of honest, transparent and responsive customer service that commercial customers expect.

User currently offlineIakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3313 posts, RR: 35
Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14147 times:


Your idea is false and if you had done some thinking you would not post in the same way or not at all.

Russian/Ukrainian (civilian) planes and helicopters are a lot tougher than anything in the West.
They do on a daily basis what a Boeing or Airbus (etc) driver would not even consider doing once in the aircraft's lifetime.

For sure they do not have the sophistication, comfort, gadgetry, fuel efficiency of Western planes, but when it comes to having a workhorse that flies, nothing can compare.
Look at what the UN is using for their daily operations in third world countries and in extreme conditions.

In parallel, Russian/Ukr aircraft require a much less sophisticated and intensive maintenance. They are designed to comply with much stricter requirements than their Western counterparts, except in terms of economics and environmental standards.

User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (10 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14138 times:

Why are you mentioning the Space Shuttle in your argument about Russian vs. "Western" aircraft? You loose this argument on that basis alone, if you cannot prove your point without something as far out as that you don't have a point. You CANNOT compare a commercial airliner to the Space Shuttle and I'm not even going to go into why, this is something that you should know. You say that no aircraft has the perfect design. No, you are very wrong, any aircraft that Boeing or Airbus still makes is the perfect design. They fly everyday all around the world even in the same countries where the Russian aircraft are and they do not have anything close to the safety record that the Russian aircraft has. Like mentioned above if the aircraft was safe we would see an airline flying it. If nothing else we would see a cargo company flying it. It is no secret that Russian aircraft can be bought dirt cheap so my question is why wouldn't they buy it if it is just as safe as a "Western" plane? You can make up all the excuses that you want and try to compare Russian aircraft to all of these off the wall old aircraft to try to make your point sound better but what it comes down to is no one wants a Russian aircraft and no one wants to fly on one. They are not safe, if any "Western" aircraft had a record like they do they would be shut down. You can see my post backed up by fact buy just looking at any airport in the civilized world, you will not even find 1% Russian aircraft..

Good Day :::Slams The Door:::

User currently offlineTolosy From Luxembourg, joined Oct 2003, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 13873 times:


I don't understand why you don't fly JetBlue... I guess it is because they only fly Airbus.

I respect your opinion. However I have to admit that I don't understand why some people do not fly Airbus. They have the highest safety records (the same as Boeing).

I feel safer on a JetBlue Airbus than NW DC-9.

That is my opinion.

User currently offlineBiggles20 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 13784 times:


lakobos is right. As I understand Russian aircraft are generally designed to be very rugged and robust, as they have to perform to different criterion than Western-designed aircraft. Most Russian aircraft I believe were designed for good short-field performance, often flying from isolated and unprepared/unsupported airfields, often in terrible weather conditions. They were designed to operate with as little upkeep & maintenance as possible - to get the job done simply with less regard for comfort and service, etc.


25 OV735 : I've flown Russian/Soviet/Ukrainian aircraft many times and have no problem with them. The crews and their mentality, of course, can be another story,
26 Highflier92660 : ...and very few Yugos either.
27 IL76TD : In terms of ruggedness, there is nothing comparable to russian cargo aircraft. We fly IL76-TD's. These things are tanks, there is NO western equivalen
28 Iakobos : UAL747DEN, That poor door did not do anything to you boy... If your world starts and stops at North America, you are absolutely right. Anything else a
29 Post contains images Fly2HMO : To all Russia haters: Saying that you wouldn't fly an airplane just because it's Russian is stupid. Just like saying you wouldn't buy a Mercedes becau
30 FLY2LIM : It is obvious that some people have a hard time reading simple words. Some of you read well, too well, and read too much into a statement. Afay1 The o
31 Sovietjet : No matter what there will always be someone hating on Russian planes because they're Russian. It's not our fault there's ignorant people out there. Su
32 GRZ-AIR : @Afay1, very nice posts! @many others... In the few years I have been here one problem has really developed: Namely that many users state their opini
33 Sevenair : Well, where Istay, whenever i mention RUssian planes, people kinda shudder, and make a funny expression on their faces. My ma will not go near anythin
34 Iakobos : errrr, because they suck! I wouldn't get on one of those even if you upgraded me to the highest levels of service for free Today, most/all Russian pla
35 UAL747DEN : Lakobos writes Spending a few minutes searching for commercial and cargo airlines worldwide flying Russian/Ukrainian planes and helicopters would cert
36 Iakobos : UAL747DEN, you are of course free to believe what you want to believe, since this is your point. I take little risk in saying that I did my first loop
37 Sovietjet : UAL747 - You do understand that American people would obviously be biased towards American aircraft because most Americans still think Russia is bad a
38 N1120a : Um, DC-9s are hushkitted or (in the case of NW) reengined to comply with noise requirements. Same with many other older aircraft, as airports wont let
39 Sevenair : unfortunately, it is down to reputation, and in the past Russian a/c and its airlines have had VERY bad press. Which is why certingly in the UK we don
40 Iakobos : N1120A, You are right, there is (will be) a marketing aspect to Ru planes in the West. Public perception depends on so little. > channel 9: would make
41 UAL747DEN : I think that its important to mention that although I am behind my posts 100% and the facts that I mentioned are overwhelming in the favor of "Western
42 Gearup : ......The 737 is very versatile. However you can't take one and land it on an unpaved unprepared strip in Siberia with almost no airport service and d
43 Afay1 : Those 737's had specially modified landing gear, although the airframe is the same. Nobody is arguing the 737 is bad, there just aren't hundreds of fl
44 FLY2LIM : Nobody is arguing the 737 is bad Afay1: you mean to say "nobody is arguing that the 737 is GOOD", right?
45 Komododx : FLY2LIM, Yeah, the frase "Russian A/C suck" is REAAAALLY mature and well supported statement. Nonetheless, I would not fly them either. CHOLO CHABUCO!
46 Afay1 : I never argued the 737 is bad, and that isn't the point of this thread anyway. The point is that if one flies a Tu154M and a 737-200, one won't notice
47 Tu114 : I don't ususally rise to the bait but there's just so many people spouting opinions that one visit to any of the large (and very easy to find, people)
48 Tu114 : And after that outburst I should probably add that I have flown both the Tu134 and Tu154 quite successfully. I don't _appear_ to be dead!
49 Prebennorholm : Why no Russian planes in the US? You can just as well ask, why no Russian planes in Russia? 90% of the addition to Russian pax fleets during the last
50 Goose : So for all practical things, the Russian airliner industry has simply ceased to exist. During the last ten years they probably made fewer planes than
51 Post contains links and images Miamix707 : Very good posts Afay1, Iakobos, Sovietjet & GRZ-AIR @GRZ-AIR: Sad but not many people in the States, -even less if you live somewhere like in Denver k
52 Post contains links and images Afay1 : LOL! I've never had a Yugo, but I did have, and dearly love, a '97 Lada Niva. I miss her very much. BTW if anyone is looking, the Czech Government is
53 Miamix707 : 97' Lada Niva?? really, where? I remember the 1980-something Lada Nivas when I was in my early teens. Probably the coolest looking of any socialist-bl
54 Afay1 : I owned it in Moscow. It is a full-time 4x4 with locking center differential "borrowed" from a 70's Mitubishi. It has a 5 speed transmission, powerful
55 Post contains images Miamix707 : So the Niva was 4x4 That's what I thought, from the shape of the car and how high it rode off the ground, but I wasn't sure. The Ladas had better rust
56 IL76TD : we regularly get charter requests from Airbus for Il-76 aircraft to transport engines for their planes. They seem to trust russian planes.
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