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A Russian airplane out of control in flight?

A Tupolev Tu-154 appears to bounce maniacally around the sky. The video may be a fake--or may be a lesson for those wanting to test a plane that's been mothballed for a decade.

I've tended to avoid Russian airlines over the years, even when I lived in Warsaw.

Perhaps it's irrational. Perhaps it didn't help when a tale emerged of a Russian flight in which a 15-year-old happened to be at the controls. It didn't end well.

So when I saw the video that I've embedded, my rational and emotional sides held a dogfight. Was this for real? Could this be excellent trick Russian photography? Was this another case of some rather interesting Russian aviation?

I searched around some of the more serious aviation sites to see what was being said.

FlightGlobal, which I know is serious because its tagline is "serious about aviation," seemed to feel that this footage might be real.

It has discovered a flight registration number for this Tu-154 and offered that the flight might have taken place at the Chvalovsky airbase in Moscow on April 29.

It also discovered, as had I, that some reports had said that this was a test flight after the plane had been in cold, dry storage for something akin to a decade.

Personally, I contract gastro-enteritis just watching this thing, even though all reports and the video suggest the pilots somehow managed to land this plane safely. (Here's a longer version of the roller-coaster, should you be moved by such things.)

If it is fake footage, it is really quite well done.

I am sure that, in any case, the folks at Disney World will have already been inspired to think of a new ride, one they can welcome visitors with as soon as they land at the Orlando airport.