contrails
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AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:33 am

This afternoon I spotted a Polet AN-124 on approach to TUL from El Centro, CA, flight 4205 (per FlightAware). Polet is an air cargo airline, and the AN-124 is the world's largest cargo plane.

I have seen an AN-124 before at HNL, but it was certainly a surprise to see one around here. I have no idea what it was doing here. Any A-Netters know?
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LAXintl
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:51 am

You kinda answered your own question.
If it was routed from El Centro is was on a military charter. Naval Air Facility El Centro is a busy training location with bombing ranges nearby and all.
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csturdiv
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:34 am

Quoting contrails (Thread starter):
and the AN-124 is the world's largest cargo plane.

I believe that title goes to the An-225.
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N243NW
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:44 am

TUL sees the 124 every so often - IIRC it has handled oversize oil drilling equipment and maybe even engines for the AA maintenance base in the past.
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ouboy79
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:41 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
If it was routed from El Centro is was on a military charter. Naval Air Facility El Centro is a busy training location with bombing ranges nearby and all.

Which I guess would make sense for the origin, but not the destination. Tulsa really has a minimal military presence to where I would not expect an 124 to be needed. Who knows. Maybe they needed somethings worked by the mx folks up there.
 
rfields5421
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:03 pm

The aircraft flew from RAF Brize Norton (BZZ) in the UK to MSP to NAF El Centro - obviously a military cargo.

The aircraf then flew to TUL - I do not see where it has departed or is scheduled to depart.

However, it would be very likely the El Centro-TUL leg was a positioning flight and the plane will be moving TUL origin cargo to another airport today (Sunday).
 
soonerflyer
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:05 pm

Spirit Aerosystems here in Tulsa makes wing components for Gulfstream jets. I don't remember the exact model of the top of my head. When I was working at the airport the An-124 would be I'm around once a month. Quite a sight to see takeoff and land. The main runway 36L/18R is currently closed for MTC, so it would have used 8/26.
 
Piedmont727
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:37 am

Quoting csturdiv (Reply 2):

well an225 was bigggest and sprus goose but when we talk about regular flying or still flying an-124 wins
 
khpn
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:50 am

anybody get a shot of this bad boy at SWF? looks like it arrived a little while ago according to flight aware..
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/POT4747
 
BlueSky1976
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:46 am

Quoting piedmont727 (Reply 7):
well an225 was bigggest and sprus goose but when we talk about regular flying or still flying an-124 wins

An-225 is in regular cargo charter service by Antonov Airlines, I believe, so don't put it in the same drawer as the Spruce Goose, please.
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contrails
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:27 am

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 4):
If it was routed from El Centro is was on a military charter. Naval Air Facility El Centro is a busy training location with bombing ranges nearby and all.

Which I guess would make sense for the origin, but not the destination. Tulsa really has a minimal military presence to where I would not expect an 124 to be needed. Who knows. Maybe they needed somethings worked by the mx folks up there.

Also, can the US military charter a plane from a company based in Russia?

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
If it was routed from El Centro is was on a military charter.

Make

Quoting soonerflyer (Reply 6):
The main runway 36L/18R is currently closed for MTC, so it would have used 8/26.

That would explain the unusual (at least to me) approach. When I saw it the wind was out of the south, but the plane was well to the southeast of the airport and heading due east. It then went quite a ways east before heading north. A landing on 8/26 would explain that.
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Spacepope
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:04 am

Quoting contrails (Reply 10):
Also, can the US military charter a plane from a company based in Russia?

Yes, usually the flights to MSP are for MNANG deployments. We get AN-124s regularly here in COS for deployments from Peterson and Ft. Carson. Even the odd IL-76.
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rfields5421
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RE: AN-124 Sighted On Approach To TUL!

Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:06 am

Quoting contrails (Reply 10):
can the US military charter a plane from a company based in Russia?

Yes, it happens quite frequently. The US military is one of the steady AN-124 customers.

There are certain cargo's where the AN-124 is the only civilian aircraft available to carry the load. There are also other times when the AN-124 owners/airline are the definite low bidder for certain types of load/ routes.

Quite a bit of US military cargo, and personnel are moved on civilian charters.

Military organic airlift are usually focused on classified cargo or other sensitive items not suitable for civilian transport.