Be-12PL of the Ukraine Navy about to touch-down at its once homebase Saky, the Crimea. 02 Yellow was slightly damaged at this base on 2 July 2008 when the left tyre exploded during the take-off run and the aircraft veered off the runway. The Seagull was ferried to its new homebase Mykolayiv-Kulbakino on 14 April 2014 after the misery started with the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.
The Russian-produced Beriev-12 "Chayka" (Seagull), NATO code name MAIL, was developed as an anti-submarine combat aircraft during the late 1950s. The first production Chayka encoutered its roll-out in December 1963. Almost ten years later, in June 1973, the last and 143rd Chayka rolled out of state factory number 86 in Taganrog.
The Ukraine Navy had in 2012 nine Be-12 on strength at Saky, only a few were airworthy. The aircraft were no longer allowed to land on water, but were only used for patrol missions and submarine hunting. Saky air base, located at the Crimea, was the direct access for the Ukrainians to the Black Sea.
At the Irkutsk Aviation Repair Plant 403 factory airfield with a pool of rainwater to put this extraordinary amphibian in an appropriate setting. Named 'Stoyki' and one of four converted for forest fire fighting duties. Most of the type's production run of about 140 went to the Soviet Navy