Counter-aircraft defence in Moscow failed to detect a sport plane


A plane with disabled responding device flew unnoticed into the zone of protection of the air defense of Moscow.

Recently an aircraft L-29 “Dolphin” was performing a flight from Nizhny Novgorod to Stupino as usual, nothing interesting was happening, but it got into thick clouds and icing started. Among other parts, the antenna that is used by the respondent (Squawk) was iced, so not only the radio shut down, but the plane itself disappeared from radar screens of civil aviation. Dispatchers did not see it since civilian radars detect only aircrafts emitting signals by the responder (Squawk). It wouldn’t be anything special if it wasn’t Moscow: two rounds of defense, the most powerful air defense, and no one saw it! It wasn’t seen even by military radars that have to watch the sky and see everything. Air defense radars did not see a big plane, which is much bigger than a warhead which they have to detect timely.

The pilot did the right thing: he has chosen the nearest airfield Chkalovsky, went over the airfield, waved wings, drawing attention and showing that he has no radio, and that would give him permission to land. All as it should be, according to instructions, but no one at the surface understood anything, as a result he landed successfully. But clearly shows a complete breakdown of air defense that protects the territory of Moscow, and the other area is not protected at all. But this time it was not Mathias Rust, who flew on a small plane at very low altitude, so would not show up on a military radar. It was a big plane on a fairly high altitude, and it was not hiding. He just lost a radio signal. It disappeared from civil radars, and military one simply did not see it.



Image: “Aero L-29 Delphin” by Dmitry A. Mottl