A Russian pilot has been hailed as a hero after he successfully crash-landed a passenger plane without power in a cornfield after birds were sucked into both engines, causing them to fail.
Ural Airlines Flight U1678 was taking off from Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport at 6.10am local time bound for Simferopol, Crimea, when it suffered a double bird strike, causing one engine to burst into flames and the other to stop working.
Captain Damir Yusupov, 41, radioed the airport asking to make an emergency landing but was forced to ditch into a cornfield a mile away after realising he was not going to make it back to the airport.
Yusupov brought the plane down with no power in either engine and with the landing gear retracted.
In total, 23 of the 226 passengers and seven crew on board were sent to hospital for minor injuries, though only one – a 69-year-old woman – required further treatment.
Captain Damir Yusupov, 41, was hailed as a hero after he managed to bring the plane down without any engine power or landing gear and without causing any major injuries.
Ambulances, a medical helicopter and passing vehicles stop to help after a passenger plane crashed near Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport.
Passengers and crew evacuates.
People make their way out of the field towards a line of waiting ambulances following the crash.
Members of the Russian Investigative Committee surround the aircraft in the corn field, which is located around a mile away from the airport where it took off.
Experts have suggested that illegal dumping sites close to some of Russia’s biggest airports have been attracting birds, which contributed to the crash.