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Questions You Would Ask A Russian Airline Pilot?  
User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (14 years 7 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3331 times:

Howdy all

I am needing some ideas here.

I am currently working on a website which deals with Russian aviation, and as part of that site, I will be getting some pilots from Russia to give analogies and information on what it is like to be an airline pilot in Russia/CIS today, and in the past.

The people I will be getting this information from have piloted a diverse range of aircraft including: An-2, An-12, An-26, An-30, An-32, Il-18, Il-62, Il-86, Mi-2, Mi-8, Tu-134, Tu-154, Tu-204, Yak-40, Yak-42 and others, and also Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

So what I need to know (from an enthusiasts perspective, as the site will be for them), is if you were to meet a Russian airline pilot, and you wanted to know what their experiences are and what it is like to fly the aircraft that they fly, then what questions would you ask them?

Any ideas are totally welcome, and expected  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

If you have questions which relate to specific aircraft, or anything at all, then give me those ideas.

You can either leave them here, or you can email me on scotty@aviatsiya.ru

Thanks for your help people.

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 47
Reply 1, posted (14 years 7 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3244 times:

One question I would have is about handling characteristics of Russian aircraft, and what they are like to fly. For example, I have heard anecdotal evidence that the IL-62 can be a difficult aircraft to fly. It is tailheavy, even with perfect weight and balance, and can be very unforgiving in an emergency.

This is something we do not hear much about, and what would interest me.


Charles, SJ

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlinePlaneguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 7 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3208 times:

"Will you or your son be flying the aircraft?"

User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3183 times:

Howdy Charles (so we meet again)

That is one question I have already asked him, and I already have some responses on that, but I am just in the process of translating a lot of stuff at the moment.

Will let ya know when it is all ready.



User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8654 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3175 times:

Sounds like a brilliant concept for a book.

I would ask if there had been any stories like UA232 (DC10 flew for 30 mins without any controls, two-thirds of the pax survived). Surely for all the A310s that were crashed because the pilot's brats were at the controls, there must have been some amazing feats of airmanship and stories of survival against the odds?

There is a book about the Il62 (in German and English) about an Il62 of Interflug that landed (on it's gear) in a field so it could be displayed permanently at an aviation museum in a small German village (which had no airport). They even managed to taxi after landing! So what about unusual missions, landing sites (on ice for instance?).

Really envy you with the project, sounds fascinating. Good luck!

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3158 times:

When was the last time you sat in the left seat Sober?  Laugh out loud

User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3148 times:

How much fuel do you and your F/O use per hour of flight in the cockpit?
If answer is 0: Are there any suicidal tendencies in your family?
Which currency did you use to pay for the fuel? (and this time I mean fuel that is needed to operate the engines, as opposed to question 1!!!)
If the answer is "no convertible Western currency" start praying!!!

I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineRA-85154 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 618 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3140 times:

I would ask them:

"Do you prefer the cockpit the Soviet / Russian way: a captain, first-officer, navigator and flight engineer. Or would you think the western way is better: just a captain and a first officer?"


[p.s. please let me know when the site goes online]

User currently offlineWill_ATL From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3125 times:

How did Air Traffic Control in the former Soviet Union differ from that of the west?
How has it changed? Was/is all radio communication in Russian? If so, what language problems occur with the rest of the world using English?

User currently offlineSushka From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 4784 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3123 times:

I would ask them what their limit of flying hours a week is, how old they are, and their flying background.

Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3113 times:

Ask them if they have flown sober?

User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3099 times:


Hmmm.....a book you say? Don't get any smart ideas there. I have already trademarked the concept  Wink/being sarcastic


How about I ask them if they are a commercial pilot? The difference between if I asked them and asked you, is that they would answer Yes!!!. Get a life, child.

To everone else, I appreciate the ideas. Some of them are quite new, but please keep them coming if you can.



User currently offlinePilot3xx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3083 times:

Id like to ask them... If they ran out of fuel do they put Vodka instead to keep flying??  Laugh out loud

MIAspotter  Nuts

User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3066 times:

Can you stop with the lame attempts at jokes? (directed at the smart-a$$es who replied to this thread, and not to Russian airline pilots!  Smile ).


Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineJAT From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3033 times:

How do you find the transition between Russian aircraft and Western aircraft?

Overall, what is the main, characteristic difference between Russian and Western ACs?

What practical solutions that are used on Russian ACs are over-complicated on Western ACs (if any)?

Does the higher level of automation on Western/newer aircraft make your work easier or less interesting (i.e. less things to do)?

Do you find it difficult to make the transition in communicating figures from metric to imperial?


I'd really like to know the answers to these questions...

User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3032 times:


Your comments may have been a little humourous in the first instance. In the second instance, it was not warranted.

You seem to go out of your way on these forums to insult as many people as you can, and in whatever fashion you see fit.

My point about being a pilot? My point exactly was that there are thousands of pilots within Russia/CIS who do a sterling job, and with smart-arse comments like yours you are not only disrespecting all of them, but you are also disrespecting those who I have come to know quite well over the time (and would have no problem in calling them friends). You disrepect my friends.....you disrespect me. Got it?

Two points:

1) The majority of these guys don't speak English, and as such have no right of reply, because forum rules state any posts must be in English.

2) Those who do speak English, and who I have tried coming onto these forums to divulge some of their experiences and information, have told me quite bluntly, that these forums are full of know-it-alls who think the sun shines out of their arse. You are one of these people Iain (as are Planeguy, Andrea and Pilot3xx). And it is for people like you, why I may just give up altogether also. There are plenty of Russian language forums where I can go and discuss my passion for aviation, and there is none of the shit on their sites which is so prevalent on this one.

Now until you can do a better job than these guys and gals, I suggest you go and get that vodka bottle (which you accuse them of using whilst on duty) and shove it where the sun don't shine.

Is that frank enough for you Iain?

Now, in regards to your comment about being a homo. Yeah, I am a poof. Big f**king deal. Where does that even remotely come into this equation Iain?

Now if you have anything intelligent to contribute Iain, I suggest you take it elsewhere.

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8654 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

Not a question, more of an answer (?). Aeroflot also carried a radio officer on the flight deck on international routes. Considering the vast number of pilots at Aeroflot, it was easier and cheaper to carry a radio officer who spoke English, than teach it to aviation standard to ALL the captains and ALL the first officers. A dedicated group of professional operators for international flights was the most economic solution.

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3019 times:

What's it like being in a cockpit like this for 4 hours??

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Dmitry Avdeev

-FSPilot747 Big grin

User currently offlineLAPA_SAAB340 From France, joined Aug 2001, 410 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (14 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 3007 times:

I'd be very interested to hear anecdotes about the IL-62 and the IL-86 in particular, but any Russian a/c interests me. I'd like to know what is it like to fly them, how they handle, whether they have any quirks, and the things they like/hate about the different models.

I'd also be interested to hear about their experiences flying into unprepared fields, such as the one Cedarjet mentioned above. From what I've read, the ability to operate from unprepared fields is one capability that Russian a/c have over Western aircraft.

Please let us know when you got the site running!  Smile

User currently offlineChristianbothe From Germany, joined Jan 2000, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (14 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 2994 times:

How did you learn to fly? On which aircraft type? I know a lot of the airliner pilots started as military pilots, how does this affect the way they fly (if it does)?

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy christian

User currently offlineRP TPA From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 852 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (14 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2984 times:

"Hi....are you the pilot who shot down that Korean Air plane?"

Hi, I'm the grandson of Gary Francis Powers....mind if I fly the plane for a while?"

"So, ...which of those really old flight attendants in the drab dresses have you, you know..."

User currently offlineCovert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (14 years 7 months 10 hours ago) and read 2955 times:

do russian airliners have fly by wire, or are the hydraulics very hard?

User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6811 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (14 years 7 months 6 hours ago) and read 2943 times:


I'd like to know about their Flight Time Limitations. Yesterday an An124 flew in from Marseilles to HKG, sat on the ground for 4 hours then departed to Macau. For us, that would be way past our flight time limits. I wonder what their limits are, and how strictly they adhere to them....if at all.

User currently offlineYak42 From Ireland, joined Oct 2000, 806 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2920 times:

If you could find pilots who fly Il-62s and Yak-42s in partricular, I'd love to hear how the pilots like them/dislike them and about their performance etc.

User currently offlineCOLAXCARGO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2917 times:

What is it like to fly the SU37. That plane is awesome. And would you take me for a ride?..hehe

User currently offlineSchreiner From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 25, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2913 times:

Where do yo get the nerves?

Soaring the internet...
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