A Russian Ural Airlines Airbus A321 made an emergency landing in a cornfield outside Moscow’s Zhukovsky International Airport on Thursday after hitting a flock of birds during take-off, causing both engines to malfunction, according to the airline.
Two pilots, Captain Damir Yusupov, and First Officer Gregory Murzin executed a truly miraculous landing. After take-off, the plane sustained numerous bird strikes to its engines. The bird strikes caused dual engine failure and the pilots landed the plane with the landing gear up! The two pilots landed the plane near the village of Rybaki which is only 5km from the runway at Moscow-Zukowsky Airport.
The hero pilots
All passengers were successfully evacuated. The Ministry of Health said 23 passengers suffered mostly minor injuries in the landing, which Russian news program dubbed the “miracle over Ramensk” in a reference to 2009’s “Miracle on the Hudson” near New York City. Ural airlines reported that the pilots are highly experienced with more than 3,000 logged hours.
The May Moscow crash
A similar situation happened in Russia with a not so fortunate ending. In May 41 passengers died when a flight from a different Russian airline carrying 78 people crash-landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and burst into flames. Aeroflot flight, a Sukhoi SSJ-100 regional jet, had taken off for the northern city of Murmansk before it was forced to turn around with 73 passengers and five crew members on board, airport officials said. The airport statement said the plane’s hard landing started the fire. The jet experienced technical issues and they had no other option than to turn around. The incident caused at least 53 flights to be delayed and one canceled.