Staunton, February 23 – The governor of Magadan recently purchased what he said were two new airplanes for the population. The government spent 350 million rubles (six million US dollars) for the pair. But then two things happened: the engine of one dropped off on landing, and the serial numbers revealed that the planes were manufactured in 1980 and 1982.
And adding to that disastrous combination was the devastating conclusion offered by “Magadan Speaks,” the local independent radio voice. It pointed out that metal fatigue is to be expected in plans which are 40 years old (govoritmagadan.ru/ustalost-metalla-a-chto-vy-hotite-ot-samoletov-kotorym-po-40-let/).
Many Russian confront the problems that aging infrastructure presents, but few have their noses rubbed in it so thoroughly with officials lying about the planes being new rather than used and spending enormous sums nominally to provide them with safe transportation but in fact buying old ones and likely pocketing the difference.