I could spend all day tracking planes and never get bored. This must be one of the strangest flights to ever operate, as noted on airlines.net.

Belarusian cargo airline flies from Libya to Venezuela and beyond

The fleet of Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft is operated by the airline. The carrier's cargo services have only gotten more unusual recently, given the situation with Russia.

At the moment, the registration code for the Rada Il 62 is EW-505TR. The plane's registration is blocked from most flight tracking sites, meaning you can't track the plane's movements over a long period of time.

Where has this plane flown recently?

  • On Saturday, May 14, 2022, the plane flew from Tripoli, Libya (MJI) to Bridgetown, Barbados (BGI) in a flight time of 10hr41min
  • On Monday, May 16, 2022, the plane flew from Bridgetown, Barbados (BGI) to Caracas, Venezuela (CCS) in a flight time of 1hr19min
  • On Monday, May 16, 2022, the plane flew from Caracas, Venezuela (CCS) to Mazatlán, Mexico (MZT) in a flight time of 5hr34min
  • On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the plane flew from Mazatlán, Mexico (MZT) to Caracas, Venezuela (CCS) in a flight time of 5hr21min
  • On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the plane flew from Caracas, Venezuela (CCS) to Casablanca, Morocco (CMN) in a flight time of 7hr55min

The plane left Casablanca and is currently over Saudi Arabia. I would have to think that the plane is headed to Iran based on the countries visited so far.

Rada Airlines Il-62

While we are talking about this plane, it has a lot of history.

  • The plane was delivered in 1992
  • The plane first operated as a passenger jet for Orient Avia, a Russian airline that no longer exists
  • The plane was then converted for cargo operations, and flew for Manas Airways as of 2016, which is a cargo airline based in Kyrgyzstan
  • Then in 2020 the plane was taken over by Rada Airlines; there aren’t many airlines taking delivery of Il-62s in the 2020s 😉

The tail number is not the exact one, but you can check out the below video of an extremely risky takeoff.

What on earth is even going on with this flight?

I can't imagine what's going on with this particular cargo flight and what it's carrying. There are a few thoughts.

  • I’m sure we can all appreciate the ties between Libya and Venezuela, so that segment isn’t too surprising
  • I would have assumed that the Bridgetown stop was just for refueling, but the plane stayed there for an extended period of time, so I’m curious about that
  • How does the roundtrip from Caracas to Mazatlán fit into all of this? I mean, Sinaloa is the drug capital of Mexico, so is it really this obvious?
  • I’m also curious how Casablanca fits into this, but I suspect that might have just been a refueling stop enroute to wherever the plane is currently headed (maybe Iran?)
  • What kind of cargo flew on various segments here?

I'm curious but don't have an answer to the question. I don't want to make a lot of assumptions, but I can't help but wonder if there are checks that are always carried out on cargo planes.

We've seen nonstop flights between Iran and Venezuela, and I can appreciate how no one on either side is going to bother anyone. Do authorities in Mexico and Barbados inspect these planes because they are a bit more suspicious than your typical FedEx plane, or do they just mind their own money?

Rada Airlines Il-62

One of the most intriguing and suspicious cargo flights we have ever seen is currently being operated by a Belarusian cargo. The plane flew from Libya to Bridgetown, then to Venezuela, then to Mazatl, and finally to Casablanca.

What is going on here? Is there anyone else who finds this fascinating?

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