Unqualified Passenger Allegedly Took Control Of A Passenger Flight Over Russia

According to reports coming out of Russia an unqualified young woman was allowed to fly a passenger plane on a scheduled flight in Siberia.

The unqualified woman can be seen flying the An-24 in the video. Photo: Gleb Osokin Wikimedia Commons

If you have had safety doubts about flying with a Russian airline your reservations could be right following a video of a woman passenger flying a passenger plane on a regularly scheduled flight. Extraordinary footage has appeared of the woman sitting in the co-pilots seat aboard an IrAero flight over Siberia.

The footage of a young woman in her 20s flying the 44-seat IrAero twin-turboprop Antonov-24 is now being investigated by Russian prosecutors. In the video, you can hear the male pilot giving instructions to the female passenger in the cockpit during the 1hr 45min flight from Yakutsk to Batagai.

A spokesman for the Russian airline when commenting on the reports told The Siberian Times website: “There are doubts that these materials have anything to do with our airline’s activities in providing passenger transportation.”

Originally a video was posted on Instagram of the flight

The inappropriate use of letting an unqualified person fly the aircraft took place on August 31st, 2019, but are only now just coming to light. The woman named Anna posted photos and a video of herself flying the plane on Instagram, but these have now all been deleted.

In the video, Anna can be heard saying in Russian “this was unbelievably cool” and “thank you!”

Russian television channel 5-TV is reporting the pilot’s name as being Krill S. and describes the young woman of being his girlfriend.

In the video, The Serbian Times says you can hear the pilot giving her instructions on where to turn the joystick. When asked by his girlfriend “why can’t I get there?” Pointing at the navigation screen he answers saying “Well, I have no idea why you can’t get there.”

Transport prosecutors in the region of Yakutia are currently following up on the incident with IrAero Airlines telling news outlet Ykt.ru that it has also begun a “thorough check” into the allegations.

Who are IrAero Airlines?

Founded in 1999 as a cargo transport company IrAero now operates passenger flights throughout Russia and internationally to China.

The An-24 is a rugged aircraft. Photo: Evgeniy Trufanov Wikimedia Commons

IrAero is based at International Airport Irkutsk (IKT) in Siberia where it operates a fleet of 18 aircraft. The IrAero Airlines fleet is made up of three 777-200s, five Bombardier CRJ-100 Series and five Sukhoi Superjet 100s.

IrAero also operates a mixed fleet of 17 Antonov An-24 and An-26 aircraft.

What is the AN-24 like?

Designed in 1957 in the Soviet Union by the Antonov Design Bureau the Antonov An-24 is a 44-seat twin-turboprop transport/passenger aircraft.

cockpit An-24
The An-24 was designed in the Soviet Union in 1957. Photo: Elke Wetzig Wikimedia Commons

Built to operate from remote locations and on rough landing strips, the An-24s high wings helped protect the engines from ground debris.

Also with a high power to weight ratio, the An-24 is a rugged aircraft that requires minimal ground support equipment.

If you have ever flown an An-24 or been a passenger on one we would love to read your thoughts in the comments section.