Giant transport plane makes layover at Port of Moses Lake

Aug. 10—MOSES LAKE — The 15-member crew of a Russia-based Volga-Dnepr Airlines transport plane will be spending the next few weeks in Moses Lake.

As will their airplane, a Russian-built Antonov An-124-100 Ruslan, the largest military transport aircraft currently in regular service.

“They just came in,” said Jeff Akridge, president of Columbia Pacific Aviation, where the giant four-engined plane was parked Monday. “They offloaded a cargo in Portland, and didn’t have another scheduled flight for several weeks, so needed a place to park the plane.”

“They’re just here hanging out,” Akridge said.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines is based in Ulyanovsk, Russia, and specializes in transporting large and heavy cargoes. The 12 Antonov An-124-100 Ruslans in Volga-Dnepr’s fleet can each carry up to 120 metric tons of cargo and 88 passengers, and the aircraft have transported material as varied as rocket boosters, submarine rescue vehicles and supplies under contract for the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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