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Russian Ural Airlines plane with 234 people on board Crash-Lands in Cornfield
Ural Airlines Airbus 321 passenger plane following an emergency landing in a field near Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow Region, Russia August 15, 2019.
Ural Airlines Flight U6-178, an Airbus A321-211, registration VQ-BOZ, performing flight U6-178 from Moscow Zhukovsky (Russia) to Simferopol (Ukraine), was substantially damaged when it force landed to a cornfield shortly after takeoff due to a dual bird strike and engine failure.
The aircraft with 226 passengers and 7 crew, was in the initial climb through 750 feet out of Zkukovsky’s runway 12 when the aircraft flew through a flock of birds and ingested birds into both engines (CFM56).
Both engines failed, one emitting noises as if the engine spools up and down, forcing the crew to stop the climb at 750 feet and land the aircraft in a corn field about 2-3nm past the runway with gear retracted. The occupants of the aircraft evacuated via slides, there were 23 injuries (including three children).
“There are currently 23 injured, including nine children. The children’s ages are between two and nine,” an unnamed source in the emergency services told the state-run TASS news agency. The injured have been taken to nearby hospitals, the report added.One of the engines caught fire after birds were sucked into them but the fire didn’t spread into the passenger cabin, TASS quoted an unnamed emergency services source as saying. Passenger-filmed videos showed people evacuating the aircraft as it sat in a cornfield near the airport.
One passenger, Fyodor Galin, told the Mash Telegram channel that the plane began to shake about 5 seconds after takeoff.“Then the lights started flashing and there was a burning smell. The plane landed and we all ran out,” Galin can be seen saying in a video published by the Telegram channel.
State television said the maneuver was being dubbed the “miracle over Ramensk,” a reference to the Moscow region district where the plane came down.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid lauded pilot Damir Yusupov as a “hero,” saying he had saved 233 lives, “having masterfully landed a plane without its landing gear with a failing engine right in a cornfield.”
Some drew comparisons with U.S. Airways Flight 1549 which performed a landing on the Hudson River in 2009 after striking a flock of geese.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into violation of air traffic safety and aircraft operation rules following the landing, Interfax reported.
Safety concerns have plagued Russia’s airline industry since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, though standards are widely recognized to have sharply risen on international routes in particular in recent years.