One of the things I hate about articles like this RFE piece about the FSU's terrible airlines is that they only provide good pictures of the planes after they've crashed -- when they're nothing but useless heaps of twisted, burnt metal.
Carpetblog is about nothing if not filling in the gaps in your body of useless knowledge as well as helping you navigate the most culturally sophisticated part of the world. We've already expounded at length about the perils associated with flying in the FSU as well as addressed some common concerns about in-flight etiquette. We're happy to share our photo-library of Crapistani airlines.
Take a look at this Aerflot-Don Tupolev. Betcha can't wait 'til your next flight to Rostov, can you?
And while we're on the topic of Tupolevs, here's one from Azal. It's fondly dubbed "Astara," after everyone's favorite skanky border town where Azeris have been known to sell their daughters to Turkish truckers for $10. Better hurry, though. Since Azerbaijan is so close to being a part of Europe, that -- and the chance to ride in a plane in which the doors are tied shut with seatbelts - is probably a limited time offer.
And don't forget Ukraine's ARP-410 Airlines. I'm pretty sure that's a code share with Delta now, right? You're looking here at the landing gear compartment (I want to say on an Anatov --domestic pride and all -- but only the good memories fade). Stenciled on the fuselage right behind it were the instructions "strike here with ax in case of emergency." Duly noted.
And no discussion of shitty airlines would be complete without a quick Ariana Afghan reference, even though it's not, strictly speaking, former Soviet. Close enough though. While this not a Brezhnev-era Soviet-made plane, it is a Brezhnev-era Boeing. The Ariana flight from Kabul skidded off the runway here a few weeks ago and had to be evacuated. The reason? The runway was wet. Don't believe Ariana is that bad? Read this.
Finally, I don't see anything wrong with this Dutch Air Force Cargo plane taking off in Kabul. I just like the photo. And in other news, The Netherlands has an Air Force.