A BBC chronology of 2006 air disasters reads in its entirety as follows:
22 August: A Russian Tupolev-154 passenger plane with 170 people on board crashes north of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.
9 July: A Russian S7 Airbus A-310 skids off the runway during landing at Irkutsk airport in Siberia. At least 124 people on board die, but more than 50 survive the crash.
3 May: An Armavia Airbus A-320 crashes into the Black Sea near Sochi, killing all 113 people on board.
Given that I am about to start regular flights on shaky old Antonovs and Tupolevs with Vladivostok Air, I am more than a little nervous. Despite clocking up some 70,000 airmiles in three years, I am a nervous flier even when I’m with a decent airline who maintain their fuel pumps (a fear which is totally irrational). My intention is to do the short hop to Tokyo and catch a decent plane from thereon, or take the Aeroflot Boeing to Moscow. But the Yuzhno-Tokyo flight is not going to be much fun at all.
For those of you who can read Russian, here’s a report which just fills me with confidence:
В аэропорту Южно-Сахалинска вчера совершил аварийную посадку «Боинг-737», принадлежащий компании «Сахалинские авиатрассы». Никто из пассажиров не пострадал. Пилоты удачно посадили самолет, у которого при посадке не сработали закрылки.
Roughly translated as:
Yesterday a Boeing 737 belonging to Sakhalin Airways made an emergency landing at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport. The pilots managed to land the plane successfully after it was found the flaps were not working. None of the passengers was hurt.
(Hat tip: Tatiana V.)