Russia: September 2, 2003


Accidents with poorly maintained military equipment, run by poorly trained operators, is a growing problem. Helicopter and warplane accidents are the most obvious examples, because they are usually reported. The problems are another after effect of the end of the Cold War. Many of the aircraft that are frequently involved in accidents (like the Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopter) are being maintained with declining stocks of Cold War era spare parts and maintenance equipment. New stuff is no longer manufactured. Because of this, warplanes and helicopters are not flown often enough to keep pilot skills up to standard. The military wants more money, to at least increase pilots annual flying time, and also to buy new helicopters and warplanes. But the money is not likely to be available for another 5-10 years. Until then, Russian military flight operations will remain among the most dangerous in the world. 


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