The myriad of new airlines formed in the twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union was amazing, but also symptomatic of an industry where dubious operators were common and crashes rife. It somewhat reminds of the period immediately following WW2 in the USA and the rise of the non-skeds. Tretyakovo Airlines was just one of these airlines that picked up ex-Aeroflot equipment and flew until it had its licence revoked due to a crash!
Tretyakovo is an airport in the Lukhovitsy district of the Moscow Oblast. It is home to the factory of the Moscow Aircraft Production Association formerly part of MiG. In 1997 the air carrier Tretyakovo Air Transport Company was formed to operate passenger and cargo charters from the airfield and Moscow Domodedovo.
The first aircraft I can find record of joining the fledgling airline was an Il-18D, RA-74296. This arrived in 1999 and eventually gained the Tretyakovo livery which retained the basic Aeroflot cheatlines but had appropriate titles and an orange tail logo consisting of a circle with a chevron at its rear and stripes ahead of it. The aircraft was eventually christened 'Moskva', which was fitting considering that is what the Il-18's original type name was to be.
The fleet grew in 2001 when a pair of Il-62Ms were added. One was the 1993 build RA-86568, which had been flying with Orient Avia. The other was much older - the 1976 build RA-86452. This aircraft had seen service with Aeroflot until July 2000 when it joined Dalavia. By December 2001 it was with Tret'yakovo.
Neither of these Il-62s were configured for cargo operations so were no doubt restricted to what could be fitted through the existing belly and passenger doors.
Tretyakovo Airlines also acquired a trio of Tu-134A-3s in mid-2002 to join a fourth machine that had served with them since mid-2000. There is little information available about the carrier's operations but it would become briefly more notorious in October 2002 when it crashed one of its Il-62s.
Below: RA-65057 still wears the cheatline of VoronezhAvia in this photo
The aircraft was the older RA-86452, which departed Domodedovo on Wednesday October 23rd for an empty positioning flight to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. It seems the airline was involved in supplying Western forces fighting in Afghanistan. The aircraft departed with its water ballast tanks empty meaning the Il-62s famously challenging centre of gravity was outside allowed limits (this centre of gravity issue was why the type has the balancing retractable rear gear leg).
Approaching Bishkek-Manas International Airport the aircraft came in for its landing high and fast. At a height of 20 metres and speed of 297 km/h the thrust reversers on engines 1 and 4 were deployed. This was against regulations and together with the centre of gravity issue caused the nose to raise. The aircraft finally touched down 1,395 metres down the 4,200 metre runway.
The flight engineer shutdown the number 2 and 3 engines, without telling the pilot, and the crew couldn't get the nosegear to touchdown. With the thrust reversers retracted and elevator deflected the aircraft's nose came down hard but the aircraft ran off the left side of the runway and continued until its progress was stopped by a concrete obstruction. Fire quickly took hold and the aircraft burnt out.
Unbelievably all 9 aboard survived although the extent of injuries is hard to discern. US forces from the Gansi military base assisted in putting the fire out. The resulting investigation brought to life the incorrect ballast of the aircraft and poor handling. It turned out that at the controls was the airline's general director who did not have the correct qualifications to act as the pilot in command. The crash resulted in the airline's certificate of operation being withdrawn on January 30th , 2003.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: