Huge Soviet Plane Picks Up Relief Supplies in Salt Lake

    “Huge Soviet Plane Picks Up Relief Supplies in Salt Lake,” Ensign, Aug. 1991, 77

    Huge Soviet Plane Picks Up Relief Supplies in Salt Lake

    The plane might be called a Soviet “space” ship. The Antonov-124 is one of the world’s largest airplanes, and it landed in Salt Lake City on May 27 to fill part of its cargo bay with relief supplies and equipment bound for Armenia.

    The materials were earmarked to aid victims of the 1988 earthquake that killed more than fifty thousand Armenians.

    Elders Boyd K. Packer, David B. Haight, James E. Faust, and Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve toured the plane, along with Elder John K. Carmack of the Seventy, President of the Utah Central Area.

    While the Church has been involved in substantial efforts to aid Armenians since the earthquake, the supplies loaded on the Soviet plane during its visit were not donated by the Church but by Utah businesses that were taking part in a relief project headed by Utah industrialist/philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman, who is also president of the Salt Lake Monument Park Stake.

    President Huntsman donated some equipment, which the Soviet plane picked up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that will be used in making houses of precast concrete for Armenians left homeless by the quake.

    The four-engine Antonov-124, which flew to Utah from Newfoundland, resembles a huge, almost oval tube suspended from long wings that droop toward the ground. It weighs 420 tons when it is fully loaded with its 120 tons of cargo.