Sunday, March 15, 2009


An Ilyushin-76T formerly with GST Aero has been destroyed in an accident at Entebbe, crashing into Lake Victoria bound for Mogadishu with supplies for the Burundian military. Burundian and Ugandan officers were on board. The aircraft, S9-SAB serial number 73410301, was owned by Aerolift, a company banned in the EU which officially ceased operations in 2005 but keeps turning up. We'd met this plane once before.

Its roster shows that it obtained aircraft from GST and also supplied them to it; interestingly, a whole string of planes reported here passed through its hands, including ST-WTB/1003499994, the Il-76 which crashed at Khartoum in August 2008, ex-Air Leone, East Line, and GST, UP-I7623/3344804, an ex-GST and ex-Air Leone Il-76 now with East Wing, and none other than An-12 9L-LEC/4341803, a friend since August 2004 which was used both by Viktor Bout and by the makers of a film about him, and which was also eventually wrecked at Entebbe. PPRuNe has more.

Relatedly, the PR war cranks up. Channel 4 has an interview with yer man; AP has a useful story on the superpower politics involved, even if I find it hard to credit that Bush would have raised the issue. Perhaps someone passed him a note.

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