Back in the USSR

No, really this time.  Or at least, as close as you can get.

Approaching the plane. Which loads from the middle. We had to wait on the bus as they loaded the plane with luggage via the same stairs we would use to board. Awesome.

Last week I headed to Taldykorgan, capital of the Almatinsky Oblast, for work.  One of the joys/adventures/hilarities of the place, inaccessible except by car or by once-daily flights from the capital is that the one airline that act flies there has a fleet (of three planes, mind you) entirely comprised of Soviet era Yakovlev Yak-40s, a 30 passenger plane produced between 1968 and 1975.  The results are slightly hilarious.

Coworker Erik and wife Deanna get situated. Let's just say there wasn't a lot of space.

When we first got on and took off, things were fairly normal.  But by some sort of inexplicable phenomenon (except maybe heat rises? er…), the plane got increasingly warm as we got higher and higher.

To illustrate the size of the plane. Note: most of the plane is sitting in front of me.

Ah, well.  All’s well that ends well.  And a long two hours later, we arrived in the bustling airport, and I guess the staff came prepared for their twice daily spell of work–one for take off in the morning, one for arrival in the evening.  Needless to say, the airport was pretty tiny.

Deanna, Erik, and Lena wait for luggage in the busy airport. You can see me taking the picture if you look.

And, luggage retrieved, we piled into our taxi and headed towards the city.  As we would be leaving by car, we bid our farewell to the tiny airport.

The front entrance to Taldykorgan's airport.


3 thoughts on “Back in the USSR

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