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Invitation: 33 years of Matthias Rust's flight to Moscow

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Invitation: 33 years of Matthias Rust's flight to Moscow

Postby TeXnicer » Wed May 13, 2020 6:19 am

Invitation to follow my reenactment of Matthias Rust's historical (in my opinion legendary) flight to Moscow.
From Western Germany via Faroer, Island, Finnland in a Cessna C172P.

Wikipedia (en): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathias_Rust
Wikipedia (de): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathias_Rust

You are welcome to follow, chase, escort (without disturbance though) my flight as close as possible to sources and up-to-date.
I fly default, current version of Flightgear 2020.2.0, using the default cessna c172p (as of fgaddon) using the matching livery:

http://liveries.flightgear.org/liveries.php?id=970 (thanks to lomar for the hint!)

FG Tracker: https://fgtracker.ml/modules/fgtracker/?FUNCT=FLIGHTS&CALLSIGN=D-ECJB&PAGE=0#r7

If you are able to present a MiG-23 exterior modell for the leg Helsiniki-Moscow on may 28, that would be perfect. (MiG-29 welcome).

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Re: Invitation: 33 years of Matthias Rust's flight to Moscow

Postby TeXnicer » Wed May 13, 2020 7:12 am

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Re: Invitation: 33 years of Matthias Rust's flight to Moscow

Postby TeXnicer » Wed May 13, 2020 7:21 am

Leg 2: EDHE (Uetersen) - EKVG (Vagar)

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Re: Invitation: 33 years of Matthias Rust's flight to Moscow

Postby TeXnicer » Thu May 28, 2020 1:06 pm

Starting now, due to work, 2,5hrs late.
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Re: Invitation: 33 years of Matthias Rust's flight to Moscow

Postby TeXnicer » Thu May 28, 2020 3:49 pm

The eagle has landed.


Nice website I found: https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/d-ecjb/
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Re: Invitation: 33 years of Matthias Rust's flight to Moscow

Postby Johan G » Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:49 pm



Apparently he had a very big influence in the outcome of some of the Soviet-USA disarmament treaties (but I will not give any spoilers).

Towards the end of that article there is a link to this interesting documentary by Danske Radio (DR, the Danish public service radio and TV)
Janus Troelsen (uploaded 24 June 2014), "Mathias Rust (DR documentary)", 24 min


Here is a then Soviet guy's perspective (with a few very interesting comments in the comment section):
USHANKA SHOW (uploaded 31 January 2020), "When The Eagle Has Landed In Moscow. Mathias Rust Story #USSR", 13 min


Asp Tuber wrote:This is one that has really etched itself into my memory. Our summer cottage is not very far (25-35km?) from the airfield (it's not the main one, but the older smaller one) in Helsinki from where Rust took off.

I was there this day, and was listening to the radio. I remember the news about a small plane from there going missing, and I listened up because they said it had disappeared just a few kms from where I was - you know how it is when suddenly a very local place name is mentioned on the news, you pay attention.

I think there was one further mention of the search for the missing plane, and then that news bulletin that was too good to be true: first the sensation of a small plane landing in the middle of Moscow, and then an update about the fruitless search for the presumed crashed Cessna. Without any connection between these news items. I vividly remember putting the too things together, chatting with my grandmother about it. Then half an hour later the stories where combined into one.

I didn't know about it being Border Force Day in the Soviet Union that day, that's really too much.
Can't remember if anything happened to border force types here in Finland (probably not), but I do remember that there was lots of talk about how Rust must have flown really low, like tree-top low, to evade radar. Which is why they initially thought he had crashed in the sea close to our cottage.

Arturs Berzins wrote:The production manager at the place I work actually served in the soviet air defence forces at the time of this. Stationed in the St. Petersburg district. He told me he was at the radar screens during this whole situation and that they directed interceptors twice towards the plane but they never made contact as the german was using clouds and terrain to evade detection and they didn't have enough time to direct the MiG's precisely. He said that they had him on screen for a couple of short moments and when he was gone they basically said to themselves that it was nothing. A couple of hours went by and a call from Moscow came that a western aircraft landed in Moscow and came from the north. As you can imagine shit hit the fan at that point ??. He also explained that in real life radars are far from the ones we see in movies and such. Theres a lot of things visible on the screen - clouds, larger bird groups etc. That's why they couldn't detect him properly

Ilkka Murometsä wrote:The Finnish president Koivisto tells in his memoirs that the Soviet Union (through their diplomatic mission in Finland) was concerned of the flight because they believed that it may have been a US/NATO reconnaissance operation.

The SU believed that the US did not know about the capabilities of the SU in detecting and monitoring slow low-flying objects like cruise missiles. That their radar systems would not be adequate. Matthias Rust's Cessna's plane was a slow low-flying one. Many of the cruise missiles would have been launched from ships and planes north of Norway so their trajectory to the SU would have gone through pretty much the same route as Rust's flight did. In the 1980s Finland was concerned about US cruise missiles flying over the country on their way to the US in the case of a war. Remember that Rust's flight to the Soviet airspace started in Helsinki, Finland, not for example Germany from where he could have flown over Lithuania to Moscow, but for an unknown reason he had to go to Finland.

The SU speculated that by making Rust do his trip, for whatever purpose, the US could use their Awacs planes to monitor Soviet airspace and find out if the Soviet detected him and sent fighters to intercept the flight, which the SU actually did. The Soviet Embassy in Finland said that they did not want to shoot down the plane because they knew it came from Finland and they did not want a diplomatic incident with the country. Also, the Leningrad military district flew planes around Rust's Cessna, which Rust acknowledged later, but when the responsibility moved over to the Moscow military district, nothing happened. This error was the reason why people were laid off.

This is all as explained in Mr Koivisto's memoirs. Finland was involved because the plane took off from Finland. It's disappearance from international air space, as the plane diverted from its original stated course, resulted in a search instituted by the Finnish government for a missing plane. This was a considerable expense.

Mario M wrote:I remember when this happened, and I always thought Rust was bait, a provocateur. He must have been inadvertently a western intelligence asset. This put the Soviets in a really tight spot. Especially after the KAL 007 disaster. If they let the plane land, they're laughingstock. If they bring it down, they're cold hearted monsters. After 9/11, no one, no one asks this question again. It could also have been a setup to weed out hard liners in the Soviet air force.
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