Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s historic personal plane has been found rotting in an aircraft graveyard in the Arctic. The rusting twin-engine Ilyushin Il-14P, which he flew after succeeding Stalin in the Kremlin, was located in Chersky, in the north of Russia’s diamond region Yakutia. It lies alongside other relics of Soviet aviation in a ghostly aircraft boneyard.
Soviet Ilyushin Il-14P with tail number СССР-61755 was spotted by a helicopter pilot and aviation enthusiast Timur Fatkulov. It was manufactured at the Znamya Truda plant in 1957, with its maiden flight in 1957 and the final journey in 1987, when it was abandoned in Chersky. There was unusual and very cool American navigation equipment on board for the time. In particular, the plane had (radio equipment) that could tune to five world radio stations, among them definitely Japan, Australia, New York, and after adjustment it provided current coordinates of the aircraft in flight, apparently, using the triangulation method.
In Soviet times, the planes were flown from Chersky as a centre of polar aviation. Many of the abandoned planes carried drillers, geologists, mail, food, and performed medical flights. Another plane among the many discarded in the Siberian town was a Il-14 which is now lying by a lake originally belonged to Hungarian state airline Malev before it moved to the USSR.
Other relics of Soviet aviation, including the IL-14 СССР-04199, USSR-Н629 of the Polar Aviation, lie in the ghostly plane boneyard. When Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s flew for the first time to the US, he used a different aircraft, the Tu-114 long-range airliner, based on the Tu-95 strategic bomber. Nikita Khrushchev’s later rejected the Il-14 for an Il-18 four-engined airliner believing the two additional engines guaranteed more safety.