The captain of the plane that crashed into a cornfield after it lost all thrust as flocks of birds got sucked into the aircraft’s engines was dubbed a hero after safely landing the plane.
Despite being a captain pilot for just one year, 41-year-old Damir Yusupov was able to protect the lives of 226 passengers by making a safe landing after the plane’s engines gave up shortly after takeoff.
The incident involving the Ural Airlines Flight U1678 occurred just off Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport when flocks of birds crashed into the plane’s engines as it took off.
After one engine stopped working and the other one caught fire, the quick-thinking pilot managed to land the aircraft on a nearby cornfield.
Fortunately, no one was severely wounded by the crash. While 23 people were sent to the hospital, only one had to remain there to undergo additional treatment.
“It all happened in a few seconds… We took off and came back down,” Irina Usacheva, one of the terrified passengers, said in an interview with Rossiya 24.
“We have to pay tribute to the pilot, in the circumstances he landed as softly as possible,” passenger Svetlana Babina added in an interview with RIA Novosti.
“The crew of the Ural Airlines flight showed fantastic skill and cool-headedness,” Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev praised.
Following the incident, Ural Airlines representatives spoke out and confirmed:
“While taking off from Zhukovsky airport, multiple birds got into the engines of the plane of the flight U6178. The plane had an emergency landing. The crew and passengers were not hurt.”
Warning of the problem at hand, aviation safety experts claimed that illegal dumping sites near the airport attract various birds that pose danger to aviation security.
“The problem with birds is enormous. It comes from, among other things, landfills that are scattered in violation of all regulations,” Alexander Romanov said.
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