A unique flight drill has been completed in Samara – the crew of the Hero of Russia, Ruben Yesayan, landed Tu-154 aircraft on the short runway of a Samara-based training airfield. The flight lasted for only several minutes and after that the jet landed at Smishlyaevka airfield intended for general aviation aircraft, Vesti.ru reports.
In order to prevent the runway overrun the jet’s weight has been decreased. The airliner had enough fuel for only two landing attempts. "Based on the weather conditions we should land the jet on the first try. If not – we would perform a go-around maneuver and land the jet on the second try", — the test-pilot Ruben Yesayan explained. The distance between the airport and the training airfield is only 3 km.
This aircraft has already been put out of operation by UTair. The carrier presented the jet to Samara State Aerospace University (SSAU). The training airfield was unable to service such jet without special preparation. The airfield is intended for general aviation aircraft and the landing of an aircraft larger than An-2 is a Black Swan event. "Once upon a time Yak-40 landed here, and even Yak-42. But Tu-154 jets have never landed here before", — head of the airfield, Vyacheslav Kostin, said.
The liner landed at the training airfield on the first try. The crew performed a visual approach. "We still use the visual approach, it is a common practice for a pilot", — Ruben Yesayan said.
The Dean of Flight Engineers Faculty of SSAU, Alexey Tikhonov, explained: "Why do we need Tu-154 jet? It is a fully operational vehicle and we used it for training of hundreds of our students. Many of them have developed into leaders of civil aviation enterprises".
The training airfield of SSAU is connected not only with the history of civil aviation, but also with many pilots. Hero of the Soviet Union, pilot-cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, performed over 30 flights piloting Yak-42 stationed there; Tu-104 and Tu-144 jets were piloted by another Hero of Soviet Union, Eduard Elyan. And now the Tu-154 landed by Ruben Yesayan, the Hero of Russia, will join them.