Flying a plane is a complex job. Part of that job includes performance calculations so the flight goes smoothly. As this edge-of-your-seat Rada Airlines Ilyushin Il-62 takeoff shows, somebody got something wrong.
Yikes. What’s going on here? It doesn’t look good. The risky takeoff occurred at Serbia’s Niš Constantine The Great Airport back in July. Rada’s Il-62 used up all of the runway and just barely cleared the obstacles at the threshold (end of runway). In doing so, the pilots left no room for error and no room for failures.
The Il-62 should have rotated (raised the nose) long before the end of the runway. It does appear all four engines were operating during its roll down the tarmac. Based on the aircraft’s lack of climb after that tree-trimming takeoff, the aircraft may have been overweight for the conditions.
The video of the takeoff recently went viral. Professional pilot and YouTuber Mentour Pilot broke down what could have gone wrong here:
It’s possible the pilots made an error in their performance calculations. Pilots should not use the whole runway on the takeoff roll as planes need a safety margin. Should an engine fail on takeoff, there needs to be enough room to either follow through with the takeoff or stop, both of which require runway. In the case of this Il-62, if an engine failed right before rotation there would not have been any room to continue or to stop. The aircraft’s lack of positive climb is also a sign of a miscalculation.
In case you were wondering, the Ilyushin Il-62 is a rare bird.
Rada Airlines’ Il-62 — registration number EW-450TR — appears to have first flown with Interflug in 1985 and landed in Rada’s hands in 2015. EW-450TR is believed to be the last civilian Il-62 outside of North Korea. This isn’t the first time the dinosaur was almost written-off as the plane veered off a runway in 2018.
This vintage beast somehow remains in the skies, let’s hope it never gets that close to doing some landscaping again.