On our way home from the Crimea in 2002 we had a chance to visit a very interesting site in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine.

This was a former air war school facility. It was shut down in 2002 because of financing cuts – pilots are not in a high demand nowadays.

Antonov An-24 plane.

The majority of the aircraft park consists of trainer L-29 planes made in Czechoslovakia.

The last time they were up in the sky was in 1994, according to the logbooks.

The beautiful MI-8.

The cabin hoods cracked up a long time ago.

Let’s take a look inside.

The aircraft have been lined into three rows on the ground.

Next to them there is some equipment designed for establishing an air base in the field.

A powerful floodlight is installed in the back of one of the trucks, and there is an antenna mounted on the house-type body of the other truck.

Abandoned military equipment.

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Inside this vehicle there is runway lighting and its control equipment.

Another floodlight.

MI-2 helicopters.

Since the blades are the most valuable parts, they were taken down a long time ago.

The dashboard.

These aircraft look like kids’ toys.

The cabin and the remains of the hand wheel.

They probably really miss the sky.

MI-8 looks like a giant next to them.

Support equipment.

A radar antenna mounted on some kind of chassis.

And these look like trainer An-2 aircraft to me.

One more pilot’s seat.

There are a lot of airplanes here.

The door leading to the passenger section of the helicopter.

The blades on the MI-8 are still intact.

This is a real airplane graveyard.

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Images by Denis Frantsuzov, reproduced with permission

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