The Yakovlev Yak-40 is a three-engine short-range jet transport aircraft for up to 2 crew and 31 passengers.
Development the Yak-40 as a replacement of the ageing LI-2, Il-12 and Il-14's, started in 1965 by the
Yakovlev Design Bureau. The first of five prototypes flew on 21 October 1966.
Deliveries of the Yak-40 (NATO reporting name 'Codling') started in 1968. The Jak-40 airplane is equipped
with three Ivchenko AI-25 turbojet engines. Two of them are pylon-mounted in the fuselage tail section,
and the third one is installed inside it. All three engines are operated on take-off, but the central
engine may be throttled back to idle for fuel economy during cruise. When production ended in 1980, 1011
Yak-40 airliners were built in Saratov in the former USSR.
Estonian Air was established as a state company on 1 December 1991, immediately after
the re-establishment of Estonian independence. The airline is based at Tallinn Airport,
Estonia. In 1996, the airline was privatised after the Government sold 66% of their shares.
On 3 July 1994, their Yakovlev Yak-40 ES-AAT came in at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands.
A number of Dutch authorities should fly with this Estonian Yak to Riga in Latvia.
When the aircraft left for Riga with a delay of over an hour it was fully loaded, not only
with passengers but also with barrels herring. The passengers on this flight had really the
feeling if they were packed like sardines. Yakovlev Yak-40 s/n 9511639 ES-AAT was registered
before as CCCP-87347. After being withdrawn from use by Estonian the airliner was sold to AirPass
Swaziland and registered 3D-YAC. After the plane was transferred to Centrafrican Airlines as TL-ACO
the Yak-40 crashed at Berberati in the Central African Republic on 19 May 1999.