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Russian aircraft Antonov flew over the island of Madeira at dawn

The strange noise, the strange route and the unusual hour awoke some Madeirans.

An Antonov aircraft flew over the island of Madeira during the early hours of Monday morning, surprising not only by the noise caused but also the rare trajectory of the Russian-made plane, which ‘crossed’ the island in a ‘diagonal’, entering through Funchal and leaving in Porto Moniz.

It was not until 5 o’clock in the morning when several Madeira Islanders, especially residents of the western part of the island, from Funchal, awoke with the unusual sound coming from the air, especially considering the time of the rare event.What many would have thought was a low-flying plane that might have picked up a flight from Madeira Airport, hence the ‘noise so close’, after all it was Antonov Na-12BP (pictured) that ‘ripped’ the sky over Madeira to more than 7,300 meters of altitude.

Considering the altitude at which the aircraft was, the possibility of having taken off from some airport in the Region only made sense if it had come from Porto Santo. It was a hypothesis that was not confirmed, and Diario Noticias checked, already in the morning, that this unusual airplane had finally departed from Las Palmas Airport in Gran Canaria,and was bound for St. John’s in Newfoundland, Canada. Hence the strange route that led the Antonov to pass over the island of Madeira and off the north coast of the main islands of the Azores Archipelago, São Miguel and Terceira.

Because it is a four-turbo-propeller transport plane, similar in size and function to ‘our’ C-130 Hercules, this is the reason for the ‘excess’ of noise caused in the stillness of the night, even though it is flying at cruise and the considerable altitude.

Despite being a military-use aircraft model built in the Soviet Union between the late 1950s and the early 50s, the four-engine concerned belongs to the Ukrainian Air Alliance, a Kiev-based airline that operates charter passengers and cargo.