During the week of December 11-17, Fred Grampp and I went to Moscow to fly a MiG29. I had heard about these flights for a couple years, but only recently decided to look into it. There are two providers of the service. The first, Fly-With-Us, is a front organization based in Miami that collects the money yet has no responsibility if there is an accident. The second, MiGs Etc., is a copycat company that was one of Fly-With-Us's first customers and set up a competing organization. MiGs Etc has no Moscow-based people. Anyway we went with Fly-With-Us.

The cost is high. The cheapest is two flights in an L39 trainer for $3000. All prices are exclusive of air fare to/from Moscow. All prices include everything while in Moscow. The most expensive package is $50,000 which includes a side trip to St. Petersburg and a flight in everything that they can get their hands on. There are two options for living accommodations, VIP and standard. We chose three flights in an L39 and one flight in a MiG29 and VIP accommodations. Each flight is 45 minutes with about 30 minutes in the air. The price was $12,000 each.

We flew to/from Moscow via Lufthansa. The flight was fine, but seemed to be pessimally timed. We left/arrived at rush hour and had four-hour layovers in Frankfurt early in the morning. Anyway we arrived at 4pm Moscow time on Sunday. Fly-With-Us representative and founder, Andrey, met us and whisked us through the airport. The only place he wasn't able to exert influence was with passport control where there is a mandatory five-minute stare-down with an armed guard. It is not clear if he is waiting for divine inspiration or a bribe. I've been to Moscow twice now and have had the exact experience