Bombardier CL-600-2B19, Moscow, Feb. 13, 2007–A U.S.-registered Challenger SE (a corporate variant of the Canadair Regional Jet) was destroyed when it crashed while taking off from Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport. The captain and first officer were seriously injured and a mechanic who was on board sustained minor injuries. The airplane was departing for Berlin Schoenefeld Airport.
Russian charter firm Jet2000 reached an agreement with Kaskol, Sokol and Myasischev, which jointly developed the M-101T Sokol (formerly Gzhel), to conduct trials of the new turboprop single on air-taxi services from Moscow Vnukovo Airport.
This makes Jet2000 the first commercial user of the business turboprop, which received Russian certification more than a year ago but has so far failed to win any firm orders.
Demand for large business jets is growing in the European executive charter market, according to the latest statistics from online charter booking service Avinode. According to the Gothenburg, Sweden-based company, large jets accounted for 29 percent of all requests in December, up from 17 percent in July.
One of three crewmembers was injured when their Challenger SE (special edition corporate version of the CRJ200 regional jet) crashed and burned February 13 while attempting to take off in a snowstorm from Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport on a ferry flight to Berlin for engine repairs. Moscow-based Fort Aero operated the aircraft, carrying U.S. registration N168CK.
Jet Aviation is working on plans to establish an FBO in Moscow, offering handling as well as business aircraft charter and management. The U.S.-based group’s Swiss division is running the project and it hopes to have an FBO operational at one of the airports in the Russian capital before year-end.
Business aviation has more than a toehold in Russia, as evidenced by this photo shot recently at Moscow Vnukovo Airport. On the ramp in the foreground are a pair of Challengers, a pair of Learjet 45s and two Hawkers. Rampant construction is obviously under way, indicating that future expansion is included in the airport’s master plan for private aircraft.
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