Former Antonov Director Charged With Negligence: AN-225 Was Ready To Depart Before The Attack
The Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest commercial cargo aircraft in the world was destroyed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year in March.
Now the former General Director of the Antonov State Enterprise Serhii Bychkov is charged with official negligence by Ukraine's Security Service (SBU).
The charges are based on new evidence showing the general's failure to give the order for the An-225 to depart before the attack and also failure to correctly insure the aircraft.
"During the investigation, it was established that at the beginning of last year, the head of the state-owned enterprise had to organize the timely evacuation of the aircraft from the Gostomel airfield. To ensure the protection of the plane, it had to be transported to the airport in the city of Leipzig in Germany. According to the investigation, on the eve of the full-scale invasion, the An-225 was in proper technical condition, which allowed it to fly outside Ukraine. Instead, the general director of the company did not give an appropriate instruction regarding the evacuation of Mriya abroad." - SBU statement
According to news reports from Ukraine, Serhii Bychkov is currently held without bail. Reports further point out that the Hostomel Airport had sufficient fuel for the An-225 to operate a flight to Germany and the crew was ready for departure however no order followed despite warnings.
Experts claim it’ll cost USD 500 million for the reconstruction of the aircraft. Only one An-225 was ever built and operated. The development of the second An-225 did start however the project was never completed.