Congratulations to Captain Neverov and his Ilyushin 76 crew on their 100th blue-ice landing!
The Captain, his navigator Nikolay Skrypnikov, and radio operator Aleksei Semenov all completed their 100th blue-ice landing, when the Ilyushin touched down at Union Glacier on Dec 7, at 16:58 UTC (13:58 local time). A climbing group who were on-board reported that the crew 'brought the big plane in for the smoothest landing on an ice runway that the world has ever known'. Co-pilot Nikolay Teresaturov counted 97 landings, and will celebrate his 100th landing in the next week or so. Neverov and crew have flown for ANI for the past five seasons, averaging 20 flights per season.
Of course 100 landings is a drop in the bucket compared to the crew's thousands of hours on type, flying passengers and cargo to all corners of the globe, but in Antarctic circles it is no small feat. ANI is one of the few operators to maintain a blue-ice runway for wheeled aircraft landings and the only operator that regularly receives Ilyushin flights south of 75°S. So it's safe to say that Neverov's crew know Antarctic blue-ice like no other Ilyushin crew on earth. Their professionalism, experience, and level of commitment bring safety and efficiency to our air operations and it is a pleasure to welcome them back each season. We look forward to many future flights!
Our Punta Arenas staff work closely with the Ilyushin crew and are thrilled to celebrate their achievement with a special dinner. Each of the four crew members will be honored with a commemorative 100th-landing plaque and the crew as a whole, will receive a plaque to display on their aircraft, IL76TD UP17601.