And you thought your last flight was a doozy. This video of a Russian propeller plane taking off from an extremely muddy runway is well worth a look. The mud flies, the plane slides, and, after about 45 scary seconds, the dirt-encrusted plane takes off to destinations unknown. Hopefully somewhere with an industrial-strength car wash.
We first saw the clip over at NYC Aviation. A blog explains that the plane is a UTAir Antonov An-24 and it was taking off from the town of Bodaybo. The blog, written by Matt Molnar, goes on to explain that while the video was uploaded recently, the footage may have been taken several years ago.
We spoke with Molnar about the video. "I've seen a good number of crazy takeoffs, but nothing like this," he said via email. "There's significant danger here of the plane skidding off the runway, of the engines getting clogged with mud, of damaging the landing gear and/or the mud splatters affecting the plane's controllability once it gets airborne."
Wanna know what it looked like from inside the plane? Here you go, complete with commentary (in Russian) from a passenger. We asked a co-worker to translate. The passenger says what the rest of us are thinking. The gist of it (we're paraphrasing here)—"There's practically no runway at all. I hope the plane won't slide during a turn. This is ridiculous. ... OK, we took off, and we're still alive!"