Sunday, May 22, 2022

Ukrainian Il-76 airlifter conducted secret flight to Salt Lake City

Ilyushin -76 cargo plane of the Ukrainian Air Force conducted mystery flight to Salt Lake City in USA, according to a report published on The War Zone website on 3 January.

Citing online plane trackers, the Ukrainian Air Force Il-76 plane was on the ground in Salt Lake City before 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Dec. 3, 2019, after traveled from Melitopol to Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport.

Also, Joseph Trevithick from The War Zone website, has noticed that Ukrainian military aircraft was showing up as 737 airliner with the registration UR-IVK, which belongs to Ukranian airline Dniproavia. But it is worth noting that Dniproavia does not fly any routes to the United States at all and a 737 from that airline would be a very long way from home.


The Twitter account @CivMilAir also noted that this could be an error with the tracking software or an issue with the aircraft’s transponder—one made by mistake or otherwise.

Then, at 4:00 PM EST, plane spotter Anthony Carpeneti posted a picture on Twitter confirming that the aircraft in question was indeed an Il-76 and was sitting at the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base, which is situated at the eastern side of Salt Lake City International Airport. This facility is home to the Utah Air National Guard’s 151st Air Refueling Wing, which operates KC-135R tankers.

Joseph Trevithick has speculated that mystery mission of Ukrainian military cargo plane could be conducted for delivery of an unspecified mobile radar system as part of a U.S. Air Force contract.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.