World

Pilot of Russian plane crash-lands in cornfield near Moscow, averts tragedy

Bloomberg August 15 | Updated on August 15, 2019 Published on August 15, 2019

The Ural Airlines Airbus 321 passenger plane had to make an emergency landing on Thursday after a bird-hit   -  REUTERS

Engine hazard due to seagulls forced Airbus A321 jet to land near Moscow

A Russian airline pilot averted disaster on Thursday, safely landing an Airbus A321 jet with over 230 passengers and crew on board in a cornfield near Moscow after it struck a flock of seagulls and lost power in both engines.

The Crimea-bound Ural Airlines plane was forced to touch down without landing gear deployed after seagulls damaged its engines shortly after takeoff from the Zhukovsky Airport, the civil aviation watchdog said in a statement.

“After takeoff, the birds got caught in the engines, with the left engine stalling immediately,” co-pilot Georgy Murzin, 23, said in a video posted on a Ramenskiy page on VK.com. He added, “Then, they got caught in the second engine and it became unstable, and also stalled. There wasn’t enough thrust, and we lost altitude. We landed in a field manually, the commander took control.”

News website Life.ru posted footage of people walking through the corn plants away from the plane, which sat in the midst of the green stalks.

A total of 55 people sought medical attention after the crash, including 17 children, according to local officials quoted by RIA Novosti.

The Health Ministry said that the crew’s skillful landing prevented any serious injuries and that one of the injured was treated and released. Photos from the site showed one of the engines torn off the plane in the crash landing.

The flight was carrying 226 passengers and seven crew, according to the Emergencies Ministry.

Published on August 15, 2019
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