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Nor t h Kor ea!

O V1 0 BB r o nc o Ci vi lAvi at i on

Ti ger ,Ti ger !

NATO Ti gerMeet2012

Axi sAi rDi spl ays’

PLUS: Bi zj et s:EBACE 201 2 The1 991Hungar i an Ai rFor ce

BückerBest mann

Pal mdal e’ sAi r par ks


Paul Fi l merl ovesnot hi ngmor et hanheadi ngof ft hebeat ent r ac ki ns ear c hofnotj us tavi at i on par toft hewor l d-atl eas tf orWes t er ner s :TheDemoc r at i cPeopl e’ sRepubl i cofKor ea.Not andTu1 54ai r c r af t !


on, butal s oot herc ul t ur es , andhec er t ai nl ydoest hatwi t ht hi sof f er i ngf r om aver yr ar el yvi s i t ed tc ont entwi t hdoi ngt hi ngsbyhal ves , t hevi s i ti nc l udedf l i ght sonexampl esofAn24, I l 1 8, I l 62


I wasal er t edt oat r i pt ot heDemoc r at i cPeopl e' sRepubl i c ofKor ea( DPRK) vi aanews gr ouppos t i ngwhi c hpr omi s ed t he oppor t uni t yt of l y on a var i et y ofS ovi etai r c r af t i nc l udi ngt heI l 62andt heI l 1 8. Af t erdoi ngal i t t l er es ear c h and t al ki ng t ot he t ouror gani s er ,Davi d Thomps on of J uc heTr avel S er vi c es( J TS ) i nLondon, I dec i dedt ot aket he pl unge.Ot heroper at or shaveat t empt edavi at i onc ent r i c t our si nt hepas t , butphot ogr aphyoft heai r c r af ti nvol ved hadbeenal mos ti mpos s i bl e, s ot hec hanc eoff l i ght spl us phot ooppor t uni t i eswasabi gpul l f orme.

Vi s i t i ngNor t hKor ea Al l vi s i t st ot heDPRKmus tbec oor di nat edvi at heKor ean I nt er nat i onal Tour i s m Company( KI TC) , whi c hi sas t at er un c ompanyt hatpr ovi dest r ans por tandgui des ,asyouar e s t i l l notal l owedt ot r avel i ns i det hec ount r yi ndependent l y. Themaj or i t yofvi s i t or sar r i vevi aChi na, asonl yahandf ul of c ount r i eshavef l i ght st ot heDPRK,andAi rKor yohasa s mal lf l eetwi t hr es t r i c t ed r out esduet os anc t i onsand bans . Ourt ourwoul ddepar tBei j i ngCapi t al Ai r por t , whi c h i st hemaj orhub f ors uc hf l i ght s ,wi t h mul t i pl es ec t or s oper at i ng on s ome days .Ot her des t i nat i ons s er ved i nc l ude S henyang i n Chi na,Vl adi vos t ok i n Rus s i a and Bangkoki nThai l and.

Above-Gr andMonumentofMansuHi l l-br onzes r ecent l yt hi swasaasi ngl est at ueofKi mI lSung,b

Bel ow -Pyongyangonami st ymor ni ngf r om t heT


st at uesofKi mI lSungandKi mJ ongI li nPyongyang.Unt i lver y ,buti nApr i lt hi syeart hesecondst at uewasunvei l edal ongsi de

TaedongRi ver

Hi s t or y I twoul dber emi s st onotment i ont hel ong andc ompl exc hangest hathavehappenedt o t hi sc ount r yovert hel as tc ent ur yt oputt he c ur r entpol i t i c alc l i mat ei nt os ome ki nd of per s pec t i ve. J apanannexedKor eaf r om 1 91 0 unt i lt heend ofWor l d WarI I ,when J apan s ur r ender ed,andt hec ount r ywasdi vi dedat t he3 8t hpar al l elbyt heUni t edNat i ons ,wi t h t heS ovi etUni onadmi ni s t er i ngt heNor t hand t he Uni t ed S t at est he S out h.Bot h Kor ean gover nment swant edt oc ont r ol t hewhol eof t heKor ean peni ns ul ar ,and bor derc onf l i c t s es c al at edovert heyear sunt i laf ul l s c al ec i vi l warbr okeouti n1 950,t hei nf amousKor ean War . Thi sc oul dal s obedes c r i bedast hef i r s tar med c onf l i c toft heCol dWarbet weent heS ovi et Uni onandt heUni t edS t at esandc r eat edt he i deaofapr oxywar , wher et hes uper power s woul df i ghti nar emot ec ount r y.TheNor t h managedt opus hal mos tal l t hewayt ot hef ar s out h bef or e event ual l ybei ng f or c ed bac k nor t hwar ds .Anar mi s t i c ewass i gnedi n1 953 wher et he or i gi nalbor ders eti n1 945was r ees t abl i s hed. Par toft hedeal wast hatS ovi et and Amer i c an f or c es wer et ol eave t he peni ns ul ar , butonl yt heS ovi et sl ef ti nt heend, l eavi ngal ar geUSpr es enc ei nS out hKor eat o t hi sday.

Monument t ot he Par t y Foundi ng – t hi s 50 met erhi ghmonumentbui l ti n1995,r epr esent s t het hr eear msoft heWor ker ' sPar t yofKor ea; t hewor ker s,f ar mer sandt hei nt el l ect ual s


I nt ot heUnknown Af t ermaki ng ourway t o Bei j i ng t he advent ur es t ar t ed.Nooner eal l yknew how t heac c es si nt heDPRKwoul dpan outori fwe' devenbeal l owedt ot ake phot os .Myr eas onf orgoi ngwast wo f ol d.F i r s t l y Iwant ed t of l y on t wo ai r c r af tt hatI ' das s umedwer enow l ong deadaspas s engerai r c r af t :t heI l 62M, ofwhi c h Ai rKor yo i s now t he l as t c ommer c i alpas s engeroper at ori nt he wor l d, andt heI l 1 8, whi c hi sot her wi s e onl y oper at ed i n a pas s enger c onf i gur at i on i n Af r i c a.S ec ondl yI ' m al ways f as c i nat ed by t r avel l i ng t o pl ac esof ft hebeat ent r ac k,orapl ac e t hatpeopl es i mpl ydon' tvi s i t . Wi t honl y ar ound3 000Wes t er nvi s i t or speryeart he maj or i t y oft our i s t s bei ng f r om Chi na - Iwas n' ts ur ei fI ' ds ee t he c ount r yasi tr eal l ywas , ori fwewoul d begr ant edj us tas mal lwi ndow ont o t hi sl i t t l eknowns oc i et y. Theeveni ngbef or et het ourbeganI ' d bumped i nt ot wo peopl e Ial r eady knew atourpr et ourdi nneri nBei j i ng wher ewewoul dc ol l ec tourvi s as , andI hadal r eadymetupwi t hS t eveKi nder ear l i eri nt heday. Ther ewer eal s oaf ew ot herf ami l i arnamest hatIknew f r om mai l gr oups , andi nal l t her ewer e3 0of ust aki ng t hi si naugur alavi at i on t r i p or gani s edbyJ TS . On S at ur day 1 2 May our I l 62 was al r eadypar ked on i t sgat e atBei j i ng Capi t al ’ sTer mi nal2,andl uc ki l yt hi si s oneoft hegat eswher eyou’ r eabl et o s hoott hr ought hegl as swhenr eadyt o boar d.Bei j i ngai r por ti spr et t yr el axed aboutt aki ng phot oss o we had no i s s uesget t i ngours hot s ,al t hought he c ons t antBei j i ngf ogwasi nf ul lef f ec t . P885i sanI l 62M del i ver ednewi n1 97 9 andi soneoff ourI l 62soper at ed. Two ar ef i t t edouti nVI Pc onf i gur at i on.


I l 62M P885wai t sf orusatGat e7atBei j i ngCapi t alAi r por t .Thebegi nni ngofouradvent ur e


TheI l yus hi nI l 62 I s ec ur edar earr i ght handwi ndow s eat( 25F ) onf l i ght J S 1 52t ogett hemos tofl i s t eni ngt ot heol dengi nes , and, aswepus hedbac k, t henoi s edi dnodi s appoi nt , t hef ourS ol ovi evD3 0engi nespr ovi di ngas ui t abl y i mpr es s i ves ens at i onofpower .Theonboar dpubl i c addr es ss ys t em wasweakatt her earduet ot henoi s e, ast hec abi nc r ew mades ur eal lt hepas s enger swer e s eat ed and buc kl ed i n,wi t h manypas s enger snot s eemi ngt ounder s t andt her equi r ementt os i tdown ast heyf us s edwi t hl uggage.Aswel i nedupont he r unwayones t ewar des swass t i l ls or t i ngoneel der l y Chi nes ewomanout . Las tt i meIf l ew anyt hi ngs i mi l art ot heI l 62wasa Br i t i s hAi r waysVC1 0bac ki n1 981ont hef i nal London t oNew Yor kf l i ght . TheVC1 0l i t er al l ymadeyous i nki n yours eatasi tac c el er at eddownt her unway, butt he I l 62gavemor eofagent l es hoveasweac c el er at ed bef or er ot at i ng and begi nni ng t he c har ac t er i s t i c s hal l ow c l i mb awayf r om ourdepar t ur epoi nt .The f l i ghtwas ext r emel ys moot h and,att he t op of des c ent i nt o Pyongyang,t he under c ar r i age was l ower edt oai ddec el er at i oni nt ypi c al Rus s i ans t yl e, as woul dhappenonal l ours ubs equentf l i ght s . AyoungChi nes eguywass i t t i ngi nmyr ow andt he f i r s tt hi nghedi dwhent aki nghi ss eatwast oc hec k t hatt hes i c kbagopened! Hewasobvi ous l yaner vous f l yer ,bec aus easwewer eont hef i nalappr oac ht o Pyongyang’ sS unanai r por tandi nt ot hef l ar e, het ook hi ss eatbel tof fands t oodups ohec oul dl ookoutt he wi ndow t oc hec kt hegr oundwasr eal l yt her e!

SunanAi r por t Touc hdownwasbar el ynot i c eabl eunt i l r ever s et hr us t wasengaged, r emi ndi ngusal loft hegr eatnoi s ewe woul dhavehear di ndaysgoneby, mar ki ngt heendof t he 1 hour 1 5 mi nut ef l i ght .S unan Ai r por ti s appr oxi mat el ya3 0mi nut e dr i ve t ot he nor t h of Pyongyang and hasan unus ualr unwayl ayout .I t s mai nr unway, 01 / 1 9, i s1 2, 460f eetl ongandi sr emot e t ot her es toft heai r por tt ot henor t handl i nkedbya s i ngl et axi wayvi as omeagr i c ul t ur alf i el ds .Runway 1 7 / 3 5i swher eyounor mal l yexpec tt of i ndar unway, par al l el t ot heai r f i el dpr oper , butt hi si snoti nus e. Taxi t i mei sar ound1 01 5mi nut es .


S oher ewewer ei nt heDPRKwi t hnoi deaofwhat woul dl i eahead. Wewer et ol di nadvanc et hatr amp phot ogr aphyatPyongyangmi ghtbet r i c kyandwe woul dhaveabet t erc hanc eatt hequi et erout l yi ng ai r f i el dswewoul dbevi s i t i ngl at eri nt het r i p.AsI exi t edt heai r c r af tatt het opoft hes t eps , t odes c end ont ot her amp, I l ookedar oundwonder i ngi fI s houl d c hanc emyar m andgetmyc amer aout . Ther ewer e uni f or meds ec ur i t yper s onnelever ywher eIl ooked, i nc l udi ngs omewi t hdogs , butt hepi c t ur el ookedal l

wr ongass omeofourgr oupwer eal r eadyont he r ampandhappi l ys nappi ngawaywi t houts omuc h asas ec ond gl anc ef r om anyone.Tr ut hbet ol dI r eal l ywas n' tpr epar edf ort hi sf r eedom af t eral lt he s t or i est hatI ' dhear d, s oI j oi nedi nandwet es t edt he wat er sf ur t herbyt ur ni ngar oundands hoot i ngt he Tu204behi ndusal ongwi t ht hel i neupofs omeof t her es toft hef l eet ; agai n, nobodybat t edaneyel i d. Tot al l ys ur r eal .

A pai rofI l 76andaMi 8Tl ur ki nt hebackgr oundoft hi sshot


Wewer ef i nal l yus her edi ns i det het er mi nal ,wher e t hec us t omsandi mmi gr at i onf or mal i t i esl ayaheadof us .I n ourc us t omsdec l ar at i on we had t ol i s tal l el ec t r oni cdevi c es , andwe' dbeenwar nedaheadof t i met hatourmobi l ephoneswoul dbet akenaway f orc ol l ec t i ononexi tf r om t hec ount r y. Wewer eal s o t ol dt hatl ongl ens eshadt hec hanc eofbei ngt aken away, butnoat t ent i onwaspai dt omywhi t eCanon 7 0200mm f / 4l ensi nmybag.Theonl yt woi t ems t hatt heywant edt os eewasmyc ompac tc amer aand myi Pad.I ts eemst hatt heyar emos t l yc onc er ned wi t hdevi c est hathaveGPSc apabi l i t i es , whi c hi st he r eas onf ort hemobi l ephonec onf i s c at i on. Apar tf r om t hatal l wasver ys t r ai ght f or war dandc or di al .

Ai rKor yo

Af t eradayt oac c l i mat i s e, ourf i r s ti nt er nal f l i ghtwas dueonMonday1 4May. AnI l 1 8Dhadbeenc har t er ed s pec i al l y and woul dt ake ust o an ai r por tc al l ed Crawl i ngal loverandar ound‘ our ’I l 18atSamj i yonwas S amj i yoni nt henor t hoft hec ount r yonf l i ghtJ S 3 1 01 . Wewer et ol dt hatonl yabout1 00Wes t er nvi s i t or s peryeart r aveli nt ot hi s ar ea,as t her e ar e no s c hedul edai r c r af ts er vi c es , andt heonl ypr ac t i c al way i st of l y. Wewer ej oi nedbyas mal lgr oupofpeopl e f r om anot hert ourwhot ookt heoppor t uni t yoft he f l i ghtt ovi s i tt hear eawi t hus . Wef i r s thadavi s i twi t hanAi rKor yor epr es ent at i vei n t headmi ni s t r at i onbui l di ngwhot ol dusaboutt he hi s t or yoft heai r l i neandans wer edanyques t i onswe had. Thes t at eai r l i newasf or medi n1 950asS okaoas aj oi ntKor eanS ovi etvent ur et ol i nkNor t h Kor ea


sar ealpr i vi l egei ni t sel f !

wi t hMos c ow, butt hi swass hor tl i vedduet o t heKor eanWar .Thec ur r entai r l i nes t ar t ed s er vi c es i n 1 954 as t he Ci vi l Avi at i on Admi ni s t r at i onofKor ea( CAAKal s oknownas Chos onmi nhang) . CAAKbec omeAi rKor yoi n 1 993 and s t i l loper at es a mi xed f l eetof Rus s i anbui l tai r c r af tt ot hi sday. The c ur r enti nvent or yc ons i s t sofover40 ai r c r af t i nc l udi ng An24, I l 1 8, I l 62, Mi 8/ Mi 1 7 , Tu1 3 4, Tu1 54, Tu204andI l 7 6 ai r c r af t , andwewoul ds eeexampl esofeac h onourt r i p.

I l yus hi nI l 1 8 P83 5wasr eadyont her ampont hi sdr i zzl y andover c as tday. Thi sI l 1 8Dwasdel i ver edt o t he oper at orf r om new i n1 969.Ihad a wi ndow s eatr i ghtatt hef r ont( 1 A) , andwhen I boar dedt hec apt ai nwasr el axi ngi nmys eat . Ther adi o oper at ort ol d met hatt hec r ew us est hef i r s tr owt or es t , buthehadnoi s s ues movi ngf orme.Thi sai r c r af toper at eswi t ha c r ew off i ve; c apt ai n, s ec ondpi l ot , engi neer , navi gat orandr adi ooper at or . I nf ac twehad t wof l i ghtc r ewsonboar d, onet ot akeusout , andt heot hert obr i ngusbac kt henextday. Ai rKor yowant edadoubl ec r ew wi t husas we wer e deemed i mpor t ant and t hey want edal l phas esoft hef l i ghtt obeass af eas pos s i bl e.Thi s was al s o a new,unknown vent ur ef ort heai r l i ne.


We t ook t he l ong t axiout t o Runway 01 at Pyongyang and t hen hel d whi l et he pr opswer e s ync hr oni s edandf i nalc hec kst ookpl ac e.Wel i ned upandt hef ourI vc henkoAI 20engi nesr oar edi nt o l i f e, andagai nwewer eai r bor nei nver yl i t t l et i meand f ol l owi nganunc anni l ys i mi l ars hal l ow c l i mboutt o t heI l 62. Thef l i ghtwass ur pr i s i ngl ys moot handqui et aswehummedal ongi nt hi s43yearol dai r f r ame. Dur i ngt hef l i ghtIhadt heoppor t uni t yt oc hatwi t h t her el i efr adi ooper at orandas kedhi m how hewas s el ec t edt of l yont heI l 1 8.Hehads t udi edf or ei gn l anguagesatuni ver s i t yandhadel ec t edt ogoi nt o t hi sf i el daf t erpas s i ngexamst os eei fhewass ui t abl e. Hewasas s i gnedt hi spar t i c ul arI l 1 8andt hi si st he onl yai r c r af thef l i eson. I t ' st hes amewayf ort her es t oft hef l i ghtc r ew.Hemayc hangei nt hef ut ur ei f s omeonei sneededel s ewher e, butf ornow t hi si shi s ai r c r af tandt hewhol ec r ew ar ever ypr oudoft he ai r f r ame.Thec apt ai nhadbeenf l yi ngP83 5f ors i x year sandt ol dushehopest of l yi tf oranot hert en year si nt ohi sr et i r ement .

55mi nut esl at erandwet ouc heddownatS amj i yon ai r por t .A gl i mps e ofs i l verMi G1 5UTI sappear ed t hr ought het r eesf oras ec ond,andl at er ,whi l ewe t ookt het i met ophot ogr apht heI l 1 8ont her ampi n gl or i ouss uns hi ne,we c oul d hearac oupl e oft he f i ght er sengi nesr unni ng. Agai nwewer es hoc kedat t hef r eedom wehad atwhati satl eas ti n par ta mi l i t ar yai r f i el d. Luc ki l yt hes unwasnow s hi ni ngand we wer e gi ven ampl e oppor t uni t yt o getal lt he phot ogr aphi cangl eswewant ed. Wewer eal s ogi ven t heoppor t uni t yt ot akephot osoft hec oc kpi t , andwe woul dbeof f er edt hatonal l s ubs equentf l i ght s . Wet hens atandat eapac kedl unc hout s i det hes mal l t er mi nal over l ooki ngt her ampasi ft hi swast hemos t nat ur al t hi ngi nt hewor l d.


Above-Thecapt ai ngi veusaf r i endl ywaveasweboar df orPyongyangatSamj i yon Bel ow -Gr andMonumentofLakeSamj i ,wasbui l ti n1979asamemor i alt ot her evol ut i onar yachi evement sofKi m I lSung

Wes aws omei nt er es t i ngs i ght s , i nc l udi nganabor t ed at t emptt ogett oMountPeakduduet os now ont he r oad,dur i ngt her es toft hedaybef or er et i r i ngt oa s omewhat‘ di f f er ent ’ hot el .Iwoul das s umet hi swas t heonl yhot elf ormi l esar ound, andi thads ett i mes t hathotwat erwoul d be avai l abl e and when we ar r i ved t he el ec t r i c i t y wasof f .The pi l l owswer e har dert hant hebeds , butt hi swasonl yoneni ghts o nobi gdeal , i nmybookanyway, al t hought her ewer e gr umbl esf r om s omeoft hegr oupasperus ual . Thenextdayaf t ers omemor ni ng s i ght s eei ng we ar r i ved bac k att he ai r por tf orourf l i ghtbac kt o Pyongyang, andofc our s et ot akes omemor ephot os ont her ampofouri mmac ul at ebeas t .Wewer eal l ‘ wanded’bys ec ur i t ybef or eboar di ng,andbec aus e t heai r por twass oqui ett hec r ew s i mpl ydi da1 80


t ur nf r om ourpar ki ngs potont ot henear byRunway 07t oexer c i s et hepr opsandper f or m powerc hec ks , bef or et aki ngof fi nt heoppos i t edi r ec t i ont ot heway we l anded t he day bef or e.Ther ei s n’ tac t ual l ya t axi wayt hatl ar gerai r c r af tc anus e, s oyouei t herl and t owar dst het er mi nalatoneend,orbac kt r ac kt he r unwayonl andi ng. Al l ofourf l i ght sus edt heeas i es tdi r ec t i onf ort akeof f and l andi ng t o mi ni mi s et axit i me,asdur i ng t he whol et r i pt her ewasnowi ndt os peakof ,andof c our s ewi t ht hel i mi t edf l yi ngdonei ns i det hec ount r y t her ei ss el dom anyc onf l i c t i ngt r af f i c . Af t eranot hers moot h1hour3mi nut ef l i ghtwewer e bac ki nPyongyang, andf ort hef i r s tt i mewes aw s un att hec ount r y’ sc api t al .


Pyongyang’ sPr es er vedI l 1 4

AnI l 1 4hadbeens pot t edac oupl eoft i mesandobvi ous l ywehadment i oned t oDavi dt hatwe' dl i ket os hooti t .Manymeet i ngsand negot i at i onswer e ongoi ngi nt hebac kgr oundt hr oughoutt het our , and, aswedi s embar kedt he I l 1 8,wewer et ol dt hatt heai r por tbuswoul dt akeust ot heI l 1 4wher ewe woul dhaveaboutonemi nut et ogetout , s t ayneart hebusandphot ogr aph t hi sr ar emac hi net hathadn’ tbeens eenbef or e. Af t erac oupl eofmi nut esi twas dec i dedt hatt heext r anonavi at i ont ourpas s enger ss houl dbet akent ot he t er mi nal l eavi ngusmor et i met ogetdi f f er entangl esi nt heper f ec tweat her . S o t her ewewer eonar emot er ampatPyongyangAi r por t ,wi t hj us tas i ngl e s ec ur i t yper s onpl usoneofourl oc alt ourgui des , wi t hani mmac ul at eI l 1 4i n f r ontofus . Thatwasc er t ai nl yoneoft hehi ghl i ght sandwasmos tunexpec t ed. Thi sI l 1 4i spai nt edas53 5andi spr es umedt obeanexmi l i t ar ymac hi ne. We wer et ol dt hati twasi nf ac tanai r c r af tt hatKi mI l S ungus edt of l yi n. I thasbeen pai nt edi nol dCAAKc ol our sandi sduet obemovedt oaper manentexhi bi t i on hal l i nt hec i t ys omet i mei nt hef ut ur e.


Pyongyangatni ght .Thel i ght edt oweront her i ghti st heToweroft heJ ucheI deawhi ch st andsat170met er shi gh

Ant onovAn24Fl i ght Ournextf l i ghtt he f ol l owi ng day ( 1 6 May)wason a c har t er ed An24 on a r oundr obi nf l i ghtj us tf ort hehec kofi t . P53 7i sanAn24Bdel i ver ednew t oCAAK i n1 97 6.Unf or t unat el ywes pentmos toft het i mei nt hec l oudsast heweat her was n' tpar t i c ul ar l yi ns pi r i ng, butwehadf unanywayonour57 mi nut ei nt er l ude. On ourr et ur nwet ookaf ew phot osont her ampandt hebusc ameal ongt ot akeus bac kt ot het er mi nalasweal ls al i vat edasaTu204wast axyi ngi nbound.Mos t pr obabl yawar et hatt heywoul dhavet odealwi t h3 0avi at i onnut sbl oc ki ngt he ent r yt ot het er mi nalt ot heTu204pas s enger saswet ookphot os ,wewer e whi s keds t r ai ghtl ands i devi aagat e, t hwar t i ngt hatpar t i c ul arphot ooppor t uni t y.


Tu1 3 4t oHamhun

Thenextdayon1 7Mayi twast i me r oc kett hati st heTu1 3 4.Thi sf l i g t he i ndus t r i aleas toft he c ount pl anned t o be an An24,butw pas s enger sf ort hat ,s ot he Tu1 i ns t ead. Whoam I t oc ompl ai n, asI my l as t‘ 1 3 4t wo year sago.P81 Tu1 3 4Bandi sr epor t edl yt hel as tT i n1 984. I twasl at erupgr adedt oTu An24af t erourr et ur natPyongyangAi r por t

Theengi nes t ar tdi dn' thavet hec h asmy pr evi ousTu1 3 4f l i ght sh ai r f r ame,bei ng par t of t he l as pr oduc t i on l i ne,hast hr ee c ompr engi nes i ns t ead oft he or i gi nal l ayout .Thi s made t he s t ar t up s moot her . Buts t i l l bei ngl owbypas ont akeof fs t i l ls oundsl i keaf i gh l eapsi nt ot heai rl i keas c al dedc at .

Wel andedatHamhungAi r por tt o ofmi l i t ar yAn2ai r c r af t–40pl us , I w t axi ed i n,a s t r eam off ourof mac hi nest ookt ot hec i r c ui t , al lt ou t o wher e we wer e par ked.Yet al l owed t ot ake phot oson t he i ns t r uc t i onsnott os hoott hemi l i t a pr oxi mi t y. Unf or t unat el yt hes kyw dr i zzl i ng wi t hr ai n agai n,s o phot wer en' tt hebes t , butwewoul ds ee t hef ol l owi ngday.

Whi l ei nt hec i t ywes aw ac oupl e f l yi ngar oundf r om adi f f er entai r f i e

Whenwear r i vedbac kt hef ol l owi n outbutphot osf r om t her ampne s uf f er edf r om heathazeandwew t he s hor tj our ney t o our ai r c r a f or mal i t i es .By now t he s ec ur i t bec ome a l i t t l e ner vouswi t h al l unf or t unat el yweonl yhadt heop t heai r c r af tf r om t hebac kl i ts i de.

Ont het akeof fal oneLi 2wasa t hi sai r c r af twasnotai r wor t hy. 23m mi nut esr et ur ns at i s f i edmyl us tf o ofmyf avour i t eS ovi etai r c r af t .


Readyt oboar df orourTu134f l i ghtatPyongyang

ung

met of l yt hepoc ket l i ghtt oHamhungi n nt r y wasor i gi nal l y we had t oo many 1 3 4 wasc har t er ed sI t houghtI ' df l own 81 4 wasbui l tasa tTu1 3 4Bt obebui l t Tu1 3 4B3s t andar d.

c har ac t er i s t i cbangs have had,ast hi s l as t bat c h of ft he pr es s or si ns i de t he alt wo c ompr es s or ps equenc e muc h as sengi nest her oar ght erj et ,andi ts t i l l t .

t os eel i nesandl i nes I woul dgues s . Aswe ft hes e vener abl e t ouc hi ngdownnext etagai n we wer e er amp wi t hs t r i c t i t ar yai r c r af ti nc l os e waswhi t easi twas ot osofourTu1 3 4 eeourmountagai n

l eofMi G21f i ght er s f i el d.

i ngdayt hes unwas nextt ot het er mi nal ewer et henbus s ed c r af t af t er s ec ur i t y r i t y per s onnelhad al lt he c amer as ,s o ppor t uni t yt os hoot

al s os een, al t hough mi nut esoutand25 f ort i meont hi s , one Thef l i ghtcr ew f orourTu134f l i ghtonourr et ur nont heSunanAi r por tr amp


Tu154B2al r eadyboar di ngf orourr et ur nf l i ghtt o

Pyongyang-Bei j i ng Thef i nal f l i ghtbac kt oBei j i ngt oc onc l udemyt i me i n Nor t h Kor ea wasdue t o be on one oft he Tu204s , whi c hi sbec omi ngar ar ebeas tt of l yon. 20ors ooft hegr oupel ec t edt of l ybac kt oChi naon t heS hengyan( S HE)s er vi c ewi t hi ss er vedbyt he Tu1 54. I r oni c al l ywewer et ol dt hedaybef or et hat bec aus eofl oadf ac t or st heS HEs er vi c ewasduet o bef l ownbyanI l 62andourBei j i ngs er vi c emi ght pos s i bl ybet he1 54i ns t ead.F unni l yenough t he ext r a20pas s enger si nourgr oupmos tpr obabl y c aus ed t he ext r al oad f ac t or .Thi sc aus ed muc h gnas hi ngoft eet handr eques t st oc hangef l i ght sby manyoft heS HEgr oup, butt hef l i ght sc oul dn' tbe c hangedats uc hs hor tnot i c e. Atl eas tt hey' dgett o f l yonanI l 62agai n. Ont hedayi nques t i on,1 9May,t her ewer et wo f l i ght st oBei j i ngwi t hi n3 0mi nut esofeac hot her , andwewer ebookedont hes ec ondf l i ghtat09: 3 0 ( J S 221 ) . Whenwear r i vedatt het er mi nal wel ear ned t hef i r s tf l i ghtwast obeoper at edbyaTu204and t hes ec ondf l i ghtbyaTu1 54B2. F r om mypoi ntof vi ew ei t herwoul dbeanew t ypef ormet of l yon, butwi t ht hes ebei ngt heonl yB2exampl esl ef ti n c i vi l i ans er vi c e,i tendedupbei ngani c ebonust o wr apupt het r i pon. P561wasdel i ver ednew t oCAAKi n1 984, andt he Tu1 54hasi t sownuni ques oundats t ar tupandt he noi s ej us tbui l dsandbui l dsunt i l t heai r c r af ti sr eady t ot axi . Iwasneart her eart ogett hef ul lef f ec t , of c our s e!Thef l i ghtt oBei j i ngwasanunevent f ul1 hourand40mi nut es-al i t t l el ongert hannor mal as we wer e puti n a hol df ora t i me.Agai nt he under c ar r i agewasl ower edatt het opofdes c ent and,af t erexi t i ngt hehol d,wef l ew s t r ai ghtand l evelatar ound3 4000f eetf orqui t es omet i me, under c ar r i age dangl i ng and mos t l i kel y i nt er c ept i ngt hegl i depat hf r om bel ow,al t hough t hati s pur es pec ul at i on.As us ualBei j i ng was s hr oudedi nf og, aswer eal l mydaysi nt hec i t y. Af t eraf ul l 20mi nut et axi ar oundwhats eemedl i ke t hewhol eofBei j i ngCapi t alAi r por touradvent ur e f i nal l yc amet oanendandwes ai dourgoodbyes .

Tu204300 P632 i sAi rKor yo' ssol eexampl eof known as t he Tu234. The ai r cr af ti s shor t ened Tu204,has a l ongerr ange,and conf or ms t o al st andar ds


t oBei j i ng

ft he300 ver si on,and i sal so d by 20 f eetf r om t he basi c al lwest er n saf et y and noi se

Thevi ew l ooki ngaf tf r om t heai r st ai r soft wooft heTu154’ st hr eeKuznet sov NK82U t ur bof anengi nes


Oneoft hr eeI l 76MD ai r cr af tseenatPyongyang cockpi tcanopi es

DPRKi mpr es s i ons ? I nt er es t i ng? Yes .S ur pr i s i ng? Yes .Unexpec t ed? Yes . Manyoft hef ac t spur por t edbyt heWes t er nmedi aar e f r ankl yunt r ue,butt heDPRKal s oengagesi ni t sown pr opagandas ot her het or i cgoesbot hwaysandt he t r ut hi ss omewher ei nbet ween. Wef oundal lt hepeopl et obef r i endl yandgenui nel y c ur i ousbutal s over ywi l l i ngt oengage,es pec i al l yt he c hi l dr enwhower ewi deeyedandwoul dal waysgi ve us a wave i f we i ns t i gat ed i t . Res t r i c t i ons on phot ogr aphyofnor mall i f ewer el ar gel ynonexi s t ent when c ompar ed t o asr ec entast hr ee mont hsago, ac c or di ngt oDavi d, s oi ts eemsl i ket hec ount r yi ss l owl y openi ng up,maybeduet ot hec hangei nl eaderor maybepar tofal ar gerpl ant hatwasal r eadyi npl ac e. I ' dr ec ommendanyonet ogoandvi s i tandgat hert he f ac t sf ort hems el ves . I dor eal i s et hatwemaynothave s eenever yf ac etoft hec ount r y, butf r om whatwes aw c ondi t i onswer enowor s e,andi nmanyc as esbet t er t hanmanyAs i anorS out hAmer i c anc ount r i est hatI ' ve vi s i t ed. I t ' sc er t ai nl ybet t ert ogetf i r s thandknowl edge andexper i enc es .


g.WheneveranyAi rKor yoai r cr af tar epar kedup,t heyar eal wayswr appedupi nt hei r

I l 76MD ( P912)al ongsi det hesol eMi 8T( 108)obser vedont het r i p


The Democratic People's Republic of Korea