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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Russian Antonov An-124 Makes Rare Appereance at West Palm Beach Airport

So I'm driving on I-95 around Palm Beach Gardens, when I spot a giant plane between clouds heading in a South-Westerly direction. As the excellent plane spotter that I am, I immediately see that it is not your average airliner. What I have just seen is the gigantic Russian Antonov 124. It was at low altitude and judging by it's heading it was going to Palm Beach International. At first I thought "Nah!" that plane is too big to land there. But then I realized that there is no other airport close by that could probably accommodate it, and military cargo planes usually are made to land on short unprepared runways.

I called Bagger Bill to tell him the great news, and lucky me I had my camera with me, so I decided to scrap my immediate plans to go to work, and head to PBI to see if I could photograph this strange visitor. I couldn't get there on time to see it land, but sure enough there it was lumbering over all the puny executive jets... So here are two of the pictures I took. Unfortunately they parked it in a place where I couldn't get too close. I wish I would've had the time to see it take off, but I have to have lunch and get to work before I no longer have a job. And I almost didn't take my camera with me today...

If anyone has information as to what this airplane was doing at PBI today, I surely would like to know. My guess is that it was either refueling or had some technical difficulties. I know NASA hires this plane to ferry rocket parts to Cape Canaveral which is about two hours north of here. Anyhow it was a treat to see.
View from I-95

Learn more about the AN-124 [here]


  1. I saw this thing yesterday also. However this is the second time I've seen it at the airport. last time was probably 4-5 months ago...same plane, judging by the coloring.

    I saw it on its approach, since I live in Wellington, then as I was driving downtown on Southern, I could see it parked out on the east side of the airport with its nose cone raised. So I assume someone had to fly a big ass piece of cargo in the area and needed it ASAP.

  2. Hey thanks a lot for the comment and the info. It was definitely a sight to see...

  3. they come here every 4-5 months .. i work at the airport, they come here to transport mil. helicopers, fuel trucks and cargo. there was nothing wrong with it ... they usually spend a week after their long trip backto russia. hope i answered ur questions.