Russia-based Polar Airlines, which provides regional connectivity to and from Yakutia, Russia, operated flights with aircraft that were not properly maintained.
The report comes from the Telegram channel Aviatorschina, which cited sources from the government of the Yakutia and the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. In total, Polar Airlines reportedly operated more than 1,500 flights with aircraft with incomplete maintenance that the State Aviation Safety Supervision Agency, part of the Federal Service for Supervision of Transport of Russia, is now investigating.
Allegedly, the state-owned carrier used five aircraft that were equipped with expired parts and no longer fit for usage. Two Antonov An-26s, two An-24s, and one Let L-410 aircraft operated at least 730 flights.
The list of affected parts includes fuel pumps and sensors, oxygen supply units, feathering valves, wiper drives, magnetic compasses, pressure gauges, inductive pressure sensors, and others. For example, the airline operated the L-410 turboprop with a fuel pump whose overhaul was delayed for 20 months. The aircraft completed over 100 flights. In addition, the L-410 had a fuel sensor that expired a year and a half ago. Meanwhile, a pair of An-24s and An-26s flew passengers for over 770 flights without visual, eddy current, and magnetic control inspections. Furthermore, the agency found that 97 people, including pilots and mechanics, were allowed to operate and maintain aircraft without proper training.
Polar Airlines released a statement on May 24, 2023, saying that representatives of The State Aviation Safety Supervision Agency conducted “an unscheduled inspection of certain areas of activity of Polar Airlines” in April 2023.
“The comments identified during the audit were eliminated, a plan of corrective measures was adopted in order to further prevent the identified shortcomings in certain types of activities. Personnel decisions were also made and a number of employees were brought to disciplinary responsibility,” read the carrier’s statement.
Currently, Polar Airlines’ operations are running normally. The airline continues to provide regularly scheduled passenger services, including “socially significant intra-district transportation, as well as urgent sanitary tasks and other types of custom work”.