Kummolovo, Saint Petersburg (RU-0069) - 31 May 2010

We arrived overhead the airfield of Kummolovo from Gostilitsy which was 20nm to the southwest and found there was a Russian Government Mi-8 sitting on the grass runway with its engines idle. Our pilot took control and simply did an approach that involved landing over the Mi-8. The short-field performance of the An-2 of course had no problem with this.

After a little confusion with the man on the ground radio about where he wanted us to park, we shut down and piled out to have a look around. We were told we could wander anywhere we wanted and Olga told us we couldn't shoot the camouflaged Mi-8, but of course we did as it was not a true Air Force aircraft - pseudo maybe but not cut and dry military. The Mi-8 was taking up parachutists and was winding up as we started to explore the airfield. There was only one other airworthy An-2 parked here but another four were behind one of the hangars languishing in the weeds. RA-51472 looked like it had been burned and would certainly never fly again. Quite rare to see was the fact that three of these were all in the same drab green colour scheme and all in sequence registration wise. (RA-51470 to RA-51472). The last one was in the old classic Aeroflot white scheme and still showed signs of its CCCP markings.

Other notable items present was a nice looking Yak-12 in a hangar and a preserved Ka-26 in a prominent position in the centre of all operations. One of the Yak52s was painted in Luftwaffe markings complete with swastika on the tail. We were told the aircraft was painted like this for use in a film. There were also gliders present with a very home-made looking powered glider that was most probably almost vintage with the rest of them being Russian Air Force airframes only carrying a bort number under the wings. We shot the Mi-8 some more as it continued to take up more parachutists before we were herded up to go fly again. I was ushered back to the right-hand seat to go fly again - who am I to complain?

Next stop Seltso.

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