Russian jet at Sawyer almost ready

The I-L 78 Ilyushin, a Russian cargo plane, has been sitting at Sawyer International Airport for the past several years.

It landed at Sawyer in 2009 for fuel en route to Pakistan. After it landed, its five crew members were arrested for expired visas.

After a Texas lawyer claimed the plane had been stolen, the plane was grounded.

Court proceedings, new owners and months of repairs finally led to the plane being out of the hangar Friday. Engineers were working on it and testing the engines.

The plane is close to being able to fly again, and airport Director of Operations Steve Schenden estimates that I-L 78 Ilyushin will be back in the air in three to six months.

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