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An-12 Operations  
User currently offlineGecko From Singapore, joined Sep 2004, 68 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2820 times:

Just wondering if anyone in here has had any experience in or around AN-12's?

Personally I am a big fan, I spent around five years with them, not as an engineer just ops but it really never let me down.

The crews on the other hand, well I had some terrible ones, but they were far outweighed by the good ones. I know allot has been said about average russian crews etc. but I never had a problem flying with most of them.

My opinion on the AN-12 is it an excellent aircraft for what it was designed to do, provided you have a good crew and you abide by the limitations in operations manual you will have very few problems. I find that allot people/operators really have very little time for the aircraft, this opinion is normally based upon there poor accident history which I can understand. Although the overwheming majority of incidents have happpened in areas of the world where there is poor policing of Civil aviation matters, maintenance, duty times and operational conditions (ie overloaded, runway too short etc.) to name a few.

I believe that ALL aircraft operated under these conditions will become a hazard at some stage or another. Its just that the large majority of aircraft operating in these conditions are of Russian origin.

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineIL76TD From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2697 times:

i work around an-12's alot right now too (middle east & africa)

is this post in reference to the one that crashed in sudan 2 days ago, killing the russian crew

I'll be honest, we have a bunch of russian crews, and they are great, great pilots (ours are IL76). As a rule, i'd take a russian ex military crew over a flight school trained western crew in a second.

I'll also be honest, the An-12, although successful from an operational standpoint, and cheap as hell, is not the safest plane, and honestly i wouldn't get on one.

Our MX mgr calls it the poor man's C-130.

User currently offlineGecko From Singapore, joined Sep 2004, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

IL76TD I totally agree, except the safety issue - I agree that the aircraft doesn't have a great reputation but I do maintain if the engineering is done properly and the crew is excellent the risk is probably as small as with any other cargo aircraft.

The reason I say this is the simplicity of the aircraft - there are not allot of systems that can go down, because there simply isn't very many systems. The aircraft (apart from flaps) is totally manual control so hydraulic leakage as far as control surfaces is a non issue. The aircraft also has the capability (I am not sure if other aircraft have the same system or not) in the event of a hydrualic leak or loss of fluid the crew can pump fuel into the system at sufficient pressure to extend the landing gear.

There is no way that would board some AN-12' or in fact any until i was familiar with the crew, aircraft and their systems (maintence and flight).

You would have to agree that any aircraft is a danger if the maintenance hasn't been properly performed (either through poor workmanship or company being cheapskates).

I have had a mix of about 50/50 Russian military trained and Russian civilian trained crews. I would have to say I am far more impressed with the civilian trained crews over the military. I find that the purely civilian crews are far more capable of thinking outside the normal realms, also I find that since the fall of the Soviet Union many of these crews have flown very little if at all which leaves them a little rusty. Also these days many of the civilian crews have worked in many diverse regions, having exposure to the varied weather conditions especially in the tropics and Africa especially which are far different to the ones experienced at home.

I agree with your MX mgr it is the poor mans C-130, it isn't as good a performer, in terms of strip performance, uplift or cruise speed but $1000 USD an hour ACMI unless I absolutely needed the strip performance or the greater uplift I would take it any day of the week over the Herc. Personally I have never operated the Herc though correct me if I am wrong but aren't they very maintence intensive (wing root cracking) or similar and some mx intensive systems? In saying that if I needed those capabilities I would get one in a second, and have no trouble flying on one. But personnally I would rather take the cheaper option and make more money.

User currently offlineIL76TD From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2618 times:

you'd have to take the cheaper option, civilian ops can't get c-130's, they are a gem for the usaf and they don't let anybody but friendly militaries have them

User currently offlineCodeshare From Poland, joined Sep 2002, 1854 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2619 times:

My friend, who works in a cargo company, says that arranging a transport with an An-12 is a matter of just a few hours compared with some other a/c type.

The above concerns a transport to/from Poland. The Ans usually come from Russia, the Ukraine or Bulgaria.

How much A is there is Airliners Net ? 0 or nothing ?
User currently offlineIL76TD From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2580 times:

i can confirm that AN-12's are the cargo taxis of the sky,

User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1647 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2566 times:

I have only seen one, and it did not look it was in the best of condition.

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South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2561 times:

No civilian operated C-130s? I don't think so...

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Photo © Oliver Herting

I know some unfriendly militaries that operate them as well....

User currently onlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6458 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2522 times:

It reminds me of a scene in the Gumball 3000 (real life Cannonball Run!) series where a team that's lagging behind decides to charter a bulgarian An12. And one of the guy has a fear of flying - his first comment on seing the aircraft:

"This plane is a fucking wreck!"

His second comment:

"Smoking is allowed onboard. You see that barrel? That's the fuel tank!".

User currently offlineGecko From Singapore, joined Sep 2004, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days ago) and read 2499 times:

The designation for civilian C-130's is L-100.

User currently offlineFrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 4235 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2480 times:

I have been onboard an AN-12 once, and it juste loved it.

Russians have a way of building aircraft like tanks.
It felt more like I was aboard a battleship than an aircraft.

And the way the cockpit is arranged.. you goota love it!
I am a big fan of russian aircrafts, especially the ones from the cold war era.

All those old Air Force surplus soviet aircrafts operated by civilians have a bad reputation, wrongfully atributed if you ask me.

You can get those a/c's for so cheap, that many operators who fly them are mainly from underdeveloped countries, where civil aviation authorities do little in the way of safety inspections and where maintenance and pilot training is very defficient.

Yet I wouldn't blame the aircraft as I first would like to know how a C-130 would behave where most of those An-12 fly, an the way they are operated.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17491 posts, RR: 66
Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2470 times:

The Royal Swedish Air Force also has C-130s, and Sweden is not an ally of the USA, although to be fair it cannot really be counted as unfriendly  Big grin

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Photo © Stefan Sjögren
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Photo © Flavien Breitenmoser

The Swedish Military designation is Tp84 (TransportflygPlan 84) and it is operated by SMAC, the Swedish Military Airlift Command. That sounds huge until you realize they only have 5 or so.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Trivia: The USA also buys a bunch of military hardware from Sweden, or licenses production:
- The Hägglunds tracked transport.
- the AT-4 (US designation) anti-tank recoilless weapon.
- The BILL anti-tank missile.
- etc...

So much for the theory of not being allies as opposed to the reality...

[Edited 2004-10-11 20:07:31]

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineIL76TD From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 months 20 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

yea, but its a military, my point is that 99% percent of c-130 operators are military, and if i remember correctly the few that got their hands on ex us mil c-130's were lucky as that program (selling surplus) was quickly stopped by congress

User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 14834 posts, RR: 44
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2362 times:
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I love An-12s!

I've spent a lot of time in the Middle-East, and you get a lot of AN-12s there. My favourite place is Sharjah. You can't beat walking around the ramp while the MX guys work on some beaten-up old An-12. I've even seen a guy 'working' on an An-12 with a 5kg sledge-hammer  Nuts

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineGecko From Singapore, joined Sep 2004, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2352 times:


You should see them change a tyre on the ramp, I mean actualy change the tyre off the wheel, its all sledgehammers and swearing.

The MX guys are pretty good on some of those crews, the conditions they work under and the job they do is pretty exceptional.

User currently offlineIL76TD From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2333 times:


I work at the SHJ airport for a cargo airline. I am over at the maintenance base (VDG) often, some of the An-12's over there look like they just fell out of the sky, then a week later they are taking off.

They only use sledghammers to get the tire off the hub if the machine is not available, such as at outpost or underdeveloped airports. Our IL-76's carry a spare tire with them everywhere they go, for emergency changes.

There is an IL-76 in the maintenance by undergoing a major check. All the tires are off, the entire plane is jacked up, one engine is missing, and half the aircrafts parts are scattered around the taxiway that this is being performed on.

I think the most interesting part about SHJ is that all the MX takes place outside, seeing that it only rains 12 hours a year here.

Some of the An-12's here are complete POS's, i like the ones that still have the tail gunner turret (minus the barrels) and the side gun holes.

User currently offlineGecko From Singapore, joined Sep 2004, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2266 times:


Are you talking about the bank of three holes just forward of the tail doors?

I was told they were for flares - countermeasures if they were fired upon by RPG's back when they were in the military.

Some of the civilian ones ive used still have up to a tonne and a half of armour installed. Mostly in the form of plates around the pilots and up in the tail.

Im told that this isn't usually removed if the aircraft is planned to go into ops in Africa. A pretty good idea after some of the stories I have been told.

User currently offlineIL76TD From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2213 times:

yes the flare ejector holes

User currently offlineCospn From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Oct 2001, 1904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2161 times:

I Have flown in it from SFS to ROR and MDC nice airplane but needs to have tones of stuff removed from the AIrcraft so it can take more payload (chains,crain, crew kitchen, the Radio Alone must a ton) It is a Bit slow good for shorter trips to get max payload..only the Crew compartment is pressurized the Cargo hold is not..nice and cold back there..I din't quite work out for our operation...727 Can haul much more..and on pallets

User currently offlineGecko From Singapore, joined Sep 2004, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2123 times:

Allot of AN-12's have either permanent roller floors, or at least some kind of quick conversion to enable them to take pallets.

In this configuration they will take 4 P1P, PAG or PMC pallets.

Also if your cargo is to be transshipped on a lower deck, you can build to full height and width on the AN-12, you have to restow on the 727. Not knocking the 727, fantastic aircraft, but very expensive to operate.

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