An Indian Navy Il-38SD maritime patrol aircraft made an emergency landing at the Zhukovsky airport outside Moscow at approximately 08.00 p.m. local time, on 28 April, 2018 due to nose landing gear malfunction.
There were seven personal onboard the aircraft – four pilots and three technical specialists. They egressed the aircraft safely after the aircraft landed with its nose landing gear up.
The anti-submarine warfare aircraft was conducting a technical flight when the crew discovered that the plane’s front landing gear was malfunctioning and that they would have to land the plane immediately. Ahead of the emergency landing, the aircraft circled around the airfield to burn off and dump excess fuel.
The aircraft was performing the test flight as part of the repair and modernisation program of Indian Navy Il-38SDs undertaken by the Ilyushin design bureau. According to the aircraft’s manufacturer, there was minimal damage to the aircraft involved in the incident and it will be repaired.
The flight operations from the Zhukovsky Airport was temporarily affected by the incident.
The Ilyushin Il-38 “Dolphin” (NATO reporting name: May) is a maritime patrol aircraft and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. It was a development of the Ilyushin Il-18 turboprop transport.
Indian Navy operates five Il-38 aircraft which are upgraded into the Il-38SD standard.
The upgraded aircraft are equipped with the new Sea Dragon avionic suite, a new radar, a forward looking infrared (FLIR) turret under the nose and an electronic intelligence (ELINT) system housed in a box-like structure mounted on struts above the forward fuselage.