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Moment plane lands on frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 February 2020

The ice is visibly cracked but the team led by photographer Vadim Makhorov successfully landed Cessna 172 on Lake Baikal.

This stunning picture of a Cessna 172 plane on ice of Lake Baikal was taken by Vadim Makhorov 

There have been warnings this year about thin ice on the lake, which covers an area roughly the size of Belgium and - beneath the frozen surface - contains 20% of the world’s unfrozen freshwater. 

'This year I've tested the ice of Baikal in a very unusual way,’ said Vadim.

He explained his adventure of landing and taking off from the lake during which he obtained stunning footage and pictures.

'Along with Andrey Melnikov and two other pilots we flew over Baikal on a small Cessna 172 plane from Listvyanka to Svyatoy Nos Cape. Despite the fact that this year's brought quite a lot of snow, we found some large areas of pure ice and landed there. 

'Just take a look at the photos I've managed to take from the plane!

'It's not usual for planes to land on ice. There may be some risks whether that be ice drift, cracks or thin ice.’

Moment plane lands on frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake


Moment plane lands on frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake


Moment plane lands on frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake
Along with Andrey Melnikov and two other pilots we flew over Baikal on a small Cessna 172 plane from Listvyanka to Svyatoy Nos Cape. Pictures: Andrey Melnikov, Vadim Makhorov


Vadim said:  'We'd done a preliminary exploration of the area and only after that we decided to land. 

'It's been the first time in my entire life when I really gave a big hand to the pilots during the landing.’

In future, he is contemplating offering winter tours including an epic landing on the ice.

Moment plane lands on frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake


Moment plane lands on frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake


Moment plane lands on frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake


Moment plane lands on frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake
Vadim's stunt came despite warnings from the Russian Emergencies Ministry that drivers should take extreme care using the lake’s winter ice roads. 

The warning stated: ‘Ice formatting is a lot slower than usual this year.

‘Right after initial freezing we had a lot of snowfalls, with the heavy mass of snow delaying active build up of ice.

‘It creates the effect of a thermal pillow above the ice. 

‘There are  areas in the north and centre of the lake with ice being as thin as 2 or 3 cm - which are very hard to notice as you drive.’

Along with Andrey Melnikov and two other pilots we flew over Baikal on a small Cessna 172 plane from Listvyanka to Svyatoy Nos Cape


Along with Andrey Melnikov and two other pilots we flew over Baikal on a small Cessna 172 plane from Listvyanka to Svyatoy Nos Cape


Along with Andrey Melnikov and two other pilots we flew over Baikal on a small Cessna 172 plane from Listvyanka to Svyatoy Nos Cape
The ice is visibly cracked but the team led by photographer Vadim Makhorov successfully landed Cessna 172 on Lake Baikal. Pictures: Andrey Melnikov, Vadim Makhorov


In January, experienced father and son hikers Boris and Zachary Sarapulov fell through thin ice evidently caused by hot springs bubbling from there floor of the mile-deep lake. 

They were 300 metres from the shore but managed to pull themselves out of the icy water.

Then, soaking wet, they walked six kilometres across the ice to find help. 

LAKE BAIKAL ICE LANDING, video by Vadim Makhorov

Comments (2)

That is a well maintained Cessna 172!
David B. Benson , Pullman, Washington state, USA
05/03/2020 16:57
0
0
Nice filming of landing on Lake Baikal, Population does not get to see this very often. Nice job! I wish I was there!!
Bradley Babic, Talkeetna Alaska
05/03/2020 11:39
0
0
1

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