The Antonov 124

In december 1988 I went on a mission to Armenia, in connection with the devasting earthquake, that killed 25.000 people and left 500.000 without shelter. From Geneva we where allowed on a relief flight from Aeoroflot, on the by then largest transport aircraft in the world, the Antonov 124.
After the Soviet authorities had realized that we where accompanied by the Secretary General of the International Red Cross, the former finnish minister for foreign affairs Per Stenbeck, we where given a VIP-breakfast at the airport in Kiev, with the Ukranian minister of health. On the second leg from Kiev to Yerevan we where invited to fly in cockpit. After having mentioned to the political officer on board that I held a privat pilots licence and flew the Cessna 172, he said,
– Then you must try this.
I was then offered the captains seat and with assistance of the first offcer allowed to pilot this beast for thirty minutes over the Kaukasus mountains.
Those where the days!