Old friends Avient have got it wrong, losing their newly acquired MD-11F in an accident on take-off from Shanghai. We’ve blogged about this lot here, here, here, and here; I also happen to know they sometimes read the blog. There is much material on PPRuNe as well – try here.
The weird bit about Avient is that they seem to enjoy some degree of official toleration. While others were banned, they’ve been able to use first Chateauroux, then Chalons/Vatry airfields in France without trouble, despite all the allegations detailed above and the innately weird nature of an airline with its management in the UK, its place of registry in Robert Mugabe’s capital, and its operational base in France. Weirdly, as I mentioned in this post, the French government was willing to start a row with its No.1 pal in Africa, Gabon, over their right or otherwise to operate freight flights there.
And the civil aviation authorities can’t plead ignorance; very few Ilyushin-76 are compliant with Stage 3 noise regulations. Although it’s possible to hushkit some of them to this standard, Z-WTV is possibly the oldest airframe in circulation, the last Il-76T flying. In fact, when its last major overhaul came up, they decided to put it in storage/leave it to rot as very little fatigue life remains. So every movement their Il-76 made through the EU required an individual exemption, which gave away a certain amount of information.
More recently, yet another scandal blew up around them when they executed a midnight flit from Chalons, moving their base overnight to Liege, and allegedly welshing on €1 million worth of fuel. The aircraft that crashed in Shanghai had apparently spent much time sitting in storage since Varig sold it.
(Also, does anyone know if Avient people were around in South Africa in 1998?)
Update: Here’s a visualisation of Avient traffic through the UAE.