Illyushin Il-78 Finally Departs Texas...But What's it Doing?

It was filed to OSH, but it diverted to SAW after reaching Wisconsin.

Does anyone have any idea what it’s up to? Making its way to Airventure 2009, perhaps?

landed this morning at SAW around 10:30am,after being diverted from OSH, rumor is that it is grounded for an undetermined amount of time

pictures I took this morning are posted at

Why that diversion? It probably wasn’t mechanical, at least nothing serious, or they wouldn’t have flown past Oshkosh.


a little more info,

TV6 reports on tonights newscast that all 5 detained had visas that expired on the July 1st

It’s still a very :question: situation. The flight was originally filed from GYI to OSH. One could surmise that it was going to be on display at the EAA show. So why did it end up in SAW? And, it’s an “N” registered aircraft…what is it being used for, and by whom? :confused:

Not sure about the particulars of the “crew issues” and the flight plan etc… but I’m pretty sure it’s a DOD contract tanker used for ARF missions during joint training missions. I saw it once on the ramp with a group of Polish Mig-29s.

Well that would certainly explain the retro-fitted drogue pods on the wings and aft fuselage…


They were probably going home and decided to drop in at OSH on the way. I don’t think the USAF ever actually awarded a contract, there was an err… emotional thread over on PPRuNe involving one of the principals a year or so back.

Overheard the crew ( the 2 that spoke english anyway) say that the plane was enroute to Pakistan.

After the 5 were detained the remaining ones checked out of the hotel, rented a car and left to destination unknown

Looks like it’s now filed to Keflavik:

Local Media reports this morning that the 5 are supposedly being released this morning and they will be departing to Pakistan via Iceland.

They also report the plane is being converted to a water carrier
( in Pakistan???)

All immigration issues have been chalked up to “administrative problems”

as Whiskey November noted , they are filed to Keflavik

:question: not sure what is up now, but I just drove over to the field and they have the plane boxed in with snowplows.

This is getting good…

:exclamation: heres the snapshot of the local 6:00PM news.

  1. local judge has filed an injunction for a preliminary trial in relation to a injunction filed by a TX court over unpaid fuel/repair bills

  2. released ukranian crewmembers ordered out of country and are reported to be leaving by commercial aviation means

Let’s start a pool on how long the IL-76 (IL-78 ?) will be left there.

I’ll start off with 5 years.


I’m in for wheels-up from KSAW on Aug 11, 2009.

I say it’ll be gone in a week. I daresay some friend of Putin owns that aircraft, albeit through a leasing company, and it won’t be long before he’ll want it back.

It’s ex-Ukranian not Russian, although there may well be some err… debate as to how the Ukranians got hold of it in the first place.

No, I think she’s just a tramp looking for work anywhere. Preferably without having to pay any bills along the way.

Putin’s croonies may be tough, but they’re no match for a bunch of determined Yoopers.