Fascinating Video: Russian Pilots Of The Congo

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While browsing YouTube early this morning (because I couldn’t sleep due to jetlag) I stumbled upon a fascinating video from VICE. As I’m sure you can imagine, I had to click when I saw the headline “Russian Pilots of the Congo.” The video is several years old, so I’m surprised I hadn’t seen it before.

Growing up I always wanted to be an airline pilot, and had dreamed of working for a foreign airline. To this day, I’m fascinated by the nationality of pilots on various airlines. There’s something cool about boarding a flight on Hainan Airlines or Fiji Airways and hearing a familiar American accent, for example.

In general the aviation industry is hot right now, and there are lots of opportunities for ex-pat pilots to work abroad. However, I don’t think I’ve seen a story on ex-pat pilots who are quite like these guys. Specifically, this story is about some Russian pilots flying ancient cargo planes around the Congo. They all fly every day, they all live together, and they seem to have very unusual lives.