Volga-Dnepr Airlines, the expert in the air transport of super-heavy and oversized cargo, has restarted commercial operations of the Antonov An-124-100 known as Ruslan. This flight restart follows the accident that occurred on November 13, 2020 during a flight from Novosibirsk to Vienna where an An-124 had suffered a broken dawn on a turbojet engine, followed by a crash landing.
Return in flight of the first An-124-100 Ruslan
After a short ground stop, the first Antonov An-124-100 took off after completion of technical checks and execution of maintenance directives. Volga-Dnepr has taken a thorough approach to the re-launch of the An-124's commercial operations to ensure greater flight safety. A look back.
...Following a fan blade failure
On November 13, 2020, a Volga-Dnepr Antonov An-124 flying from Novosibirsk to Vienna with a heavy cargo of spare parts on board had to return to land just after take-off. Carrying 84 tons of cargo with full tanks, suffering an engine failure and the loss of part of the controls, the crew managed to avoid the catastrophe. One of the aircraft's engines suffered a fan blade rupture, which damaged the aircraft's wiring at the left wing root. The plane landed on the airport of Tolmachevo from which it had just taken off, not without undergoing many damages, in particular at the level of the wing, the nose gear which was erased and the turbojet Ivtchenko-Progress D-18T number 2.
12 aircraft involved in extensive inspections
Following this accident without loss of life, Volga-Dnepr decided on November 27, 2020 to ground all An-124 in its fleet. The airline was concerned that such an incident could happen again on one of its aircraft. Throughout December 2020, the airline worked with its team and regulatory officials to determine the extent of the problem. Several inspections were conducted, including those on the Ivtchenko-Progress D-18T turbofan engines that power the aircraft. Volga-Dnepr currently operates a fleet of 12 Antonov-124-100 aircraft. The aircraft's pressurized cargo cabin with a total volume of 1,050 m³ allows the transport of various types of cargo, including oversized parts requiring special transport conditions.