View Full Version : Flying in Russia, what to expect? good idea?


KM737
17th Nov 2011, 11:19
Hi all,

I am hoping that someone can give me some information about Flying in Russia, what to expect, License conversion etc.....

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Thanks

KM737



timzsta
17th Nov 2011, 12:10
Snow, men with big furry hats, vodka, and beautiful women.

KM737
17th Nov 2011, 13:28
Well two out of three aint bad, woman and boos....thanks for that. :)

PosClimb
17th Nov 2011, 13:37
beautiful women

Till they turn 23... then they go downhill VERY fast. Next thing you know they look like they're 60.

dcoded
17th Nov 2011, 15:00
Are you a Russian Citizen?
If not, sorry but there is no chance.

They are talking about letting expats in in the country because they have a huge lack of pilots. But until that happens (if it will ever happen) you, me and the rest of us are out of luck!

Met up 4 russian cadets, straigt out of flight school last year when doing my training. They were all on a 757 Type course, all paid by the company.

They also told me how easy it was to find a job!

Bearcat F8F
17th Nov 2011, 15:16
I'm a Russian and a UK citizen. I have no idea about the license conversions etc, but I do know that Russia is a not a place where you should be eager to go fly unless of course you are after some Su-35 or MiG-29 hours!

There are far too many incidents these days that relate to either very poor pilot discipline or outdated equipment, or airlines pressuring crews to an extent where lives are lost as a result of accidents. There have also been so many reports of pilots flying airliners drunk that it's just totally unacceptable. Most recent example being Aeroflot Nord (iirc)... everyone on board the 737 died as a result.

Also we have a family friend who retired after many years flying Su-27s. He got offered a job flying some smaller stuff... some forest fire related aviation. But he refused entirely because of the quality of the equipment. So unless you are flying for one of the major airlines, unfortunately it's not a safe environment to work in. Maybe one day it'll get better. And I sure hope it does!

Also, knowing Russian is a must IMO. But then again I've never flown there so maybe there's a way round the language barrier.

Bearcat F8F
17th Nov 2011, 15:18
Oh and yeah, women wise it beats the crap out of any other place! No idea what the "after 23 they go downhill" thing is all about, but anyway...

redsnail
17th Nov 2011, 15:24
I fly to several Russian cities. Some are more "advanced" ATC wise than others.

I believe metres are going and feet are coming in. Either way, that was a potential source of fun and games.

QFE is used instead of QNH.

Do not expect a nice line up onto the ILS. You'll be given a 90 degree intercept and it's up to you to turn onto it.

If you're expecting your SID or STAR in good time, forget it. You're likely to be given it just as you're lining up or half way through the arrival. If in doubt, fly what's filed. If it's a different rwy to what you were expecting, ask early.

In Moscow expect a lot of frequency changes shortly after departure. Climb at a sensible rate so you don't level bust.

If you have a technical problem, for heaven's sake, don't tell them over the RT. Just say you need to return etc. Otherwise, you'll have a mountain of paperwork to fill in and your a/c won't be released for days.

If any Russian leader's flying. You won't be. Take extra fuel. Be patient.

Their definition of braking action is interesting. Expect it to be worse than advertised. Expect the taxi ways to be impersonating ice rinks. Fun times. But they do work quickly at sorting it.

If you get told "no flight plan in system" - it means one of two things. 1. Immigration hasn't sent the approval - call the Handling agent. 2. You're a few too many "down the screen" and he/she can't see your plan.

Be patient - did I mention that? The people are fine. Be understanding and pleasant to them. Don't what ever you do open the door before Immigration has turned up.

:ok:

Bearcat F8F
17th Nov 2011, 15:32
I fly to several Russian cities. Some are more "advanced" ATC wise than others.

I believe metres are going and feet are coming in. Either way, that was a potential source of fun and games.

QFE is used instead of QNH.

Do not expect a nice line up onto the ILS. You'll be given a 90 degree intercept and it's up to you to turn onto it.

If you're expecting your SID or STAR in good time, forget it. You're likely to be given it just as you're lining up or half way through the arrival. If in doubt, fly what's filed. If it's a different rwy to what you were expecting, ask early.

In Moscow expect a lot of frequency changes shortly after departure. Climb at a sensible rate so you don't level bust.

If you have a technical problem, for heaven's sake, don't tell them over the RT. Just say you need to return etc. Otherwise, you'll have a mountain of paperwork to fill in and your a/c won't be released for days.

If any Russian leader's flying. You won't be. Take extra fuel. Be patient.

Their definition of braking action is interesting. Expect it to be worse than advertised. Expect the taxi ways to be impersonating ice rinks. Fun times. But they do work quickly at sorting it.

If you get told "no flight plan in system" - it means one of two things. 1. Immigration hasn't sent the approval - call the Handling agent. 2. You're a few too many "down the screen" and he/she can't see your plan.

Be patient - did I mention that? The people are fine. Be understanding and pleasant to them. Don't what ever you do open the door before Immigration has turned up. Haha that sounds pretty messed up! SVO is the WORST airport I have ever been to as a passenger. I'ld imagine Bangladesh airports have better organization of things... it's like things are deliberately made super difficult to figure out! From your description as a pilot it paints an all too familiar picture I must say!

Hopefully some day things get better :(

redsnail
17th Nov 2011, 17:23
I started flying into Russia in 2005. 7 years on and it has improved a lot ;)
Rifles used to be levelled at you if you opened the door before Immigration turned up. Now they just yell at you to close the door. :}

Beirut Airport is entertaining from a passenger POV.

SVO, ah yes... We were there when the pax kicked off about the lack of de-icing stuff. Fortunately, we were waiting for transport at the VIP section so missed all the fun. Duty free is worth looking around. (VIP section)

DMO, is fun. Travelling in uniform works there :E

My personal fave is St Petersburg. ATC pretty good, Handling very good. People great. :ok:

I have flown to a few other more remote airports. It makes Moscow look like London. ;) How you get yourself established and on the approach is up to you. :ok:

The runway surface is something else. Rough just doesn't describe it. :ooh:

There are worse countries. And they are in Europe... :ugh: :hmm: :{

Bearcat F8F
17th Nov 2011, 19:20
Can I ask you actually... why do they always use "follow me" vehicles in Russian airports? Not once have I experienced this flying on commercial jets in Europe or the US.


The runway and taxiway surfaces in Russia are something special. Definitely not designed for Western aircraft. I've asked the question before as to why the surfaces are so bad and the answer I always get is that it's because of the winter temperatures, and because it can be so hot in summer and so cold in winter. But in Canada they don't seem to have this problem and the climate there is similar. So I think it's just crap build quality.

St. Petersburg has renovated runway and taxiway surfaces now... was pretty smooth last time I was there.

AIMINGHIGH123
17th Nov 2011, 20:23
Sounds like a great challenge, especially if you are over the east side. Look up Yakutsk has a huge weather change between summer and winter. lol

Firestorm
17th Nov 2011, 21:16
Metres staying redsnail, but RVSM 1000'/300m separation due today I think. Russians are like white Africans: if you've flown in Africa you'll know what I mean.

If you learnt to fly in Western Europe you will find the East a shock, and not in a good way.

redsnail
17th Nov 2011, 22:13
"follow me" vehicles? Oh, we get them all the time. (Bizjets you see) Another way of gouging money.

Milan Linate is the airport that takes the mickey with "follow me" vehicles. But hey, that's another story.

With Russia, if you expect ATC like you get in Germany or the UK, then you'll be sadly disappointed. If you understand you need to be well ahead of the game, proactive with requests and fly conservatively, you'll be fine. ;)

Have your visa ready. :}

At ULLI - one day that other runway will be ready....

Oh cool, love that metres stuff... Thanks for that. :ok:

grumbles69
17th Nov 2011, 22:24
In communist Russia, Plane flies You!:E

Fulcrum_vol
20th Nov 2011, 10:22
I'm sure it's no a surprise to anyone, but some (all?) corp. jet operators in Russia put enormous pressure on pilots (whether russian pilots or not) And it's not only when s* hits the fan, it's daily business practice to make things 'more profitable' at expense of anything.

Let's just say the pax on those jets shouldn't get too comfy next time they fly into questionable (what's minimums?) weather at 18th duty hour...

redsnail
21st Nov 2011, 21:13
Just flew into Moscow this evening.

Normal "Western" Flight Levels on 1013.2 "STD" until FL050. Then it goes to metres and QFE. Nice.

Sassy91
25th Nov 2011, 09:35
Unless you have Russian citizenship ad fluent Russian then forget it. If you meet that criteria then changing your Licence should not be a problem. Also don't forget the COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICE for one year. Unless you do that as well you won't get anywhere.
Large companies like S7 and Aeroflot are absolutely safe. The pilots who have to fly crap equipment are the ones who don't speak English. Eg most air force pilots.
If you can meet all the criteria the flying is great and there are heaps of opportunities. There is a huge shortage of pilots.