WITH all due respect to the freedom of the press in general and to the independent status of your weekly newspaper, I’ve got a sound reason to assess once more the responsibility of editors and journalists of any media source.
I can’t but do this after running
through the “hot” article by Dumisani Ndlela and Shakeman Mugari “Govt orders ‘flying coffins’ for Airzim”, (Zimbabwe Independent, April 28). I am referring to an attempt by the authors to cast a strong doubt over the safety of Russian aircraft.
According to the article, Russian planes “had many technical problems over the past few years”. Moreover, the authors labelled the planes “flying coffins”.
Such acute methods of information war waging by competitors could misguide some readers. Regrettably, truth is the first casualty of that kind of war. Still most of the readers capable of reading between the lines can clearly realise whose interests are put forward.
Since the article touched on the certain types of airplanes produced by the world-famous Ilyushin Corporation, let us look through the international statistics of flights’ safety.
It clearly shows that Il-96 has the safety level as good as its best Western analogues A-34-200 and Boeing-747.
The achievements of Russian producers of safe airplanes are recognised among specialists across the world. A recent example is the international roundtable “The Civil Air Fleet in Russia: Tasks and Prospects” organised by the famous Fipra experts company.
The executive vice-president and senior adviser of Gecas, David Lloyd, in his remarks to the roundtable emphasised that until now, there have been no crashes of Il-96 aircraft which have been on regular flights since 1993. And only one Il-86 jet (used since 1980) was lost because of the mistake of a pilot, with no passengers on board.
True professionals highly appreciate Il-96. It is reliable, precise in piloting and has efficient avionics.
In comparison with the Airbus which has an exterior similar to the Il-96-400M, one can see some advantages of Russian aircraft.
For example, its wider body provides additional comfort for passengers especially during long-range flights.
Moreover, such characteristics as take-off weight of 250 tonnes and flight distance of 1 300km made it possible to convert this passenger aircraft into a cargo plane Il-96-400T.
By the way, it is well-known that Tupolev and Ilyushin aircraft are essentially cheaper than the Airbus and Boeing.
Aren’t these reasons making Russian aircraft more competitive on the market?
Ambassador of the Russian