A Russian passenger aircraft carrying 170 passengers safely executed an emergency landing in a field on Tuesday, with no reported serious injuries, according to officials.
The Airbus A320, operated by Ural Airlines, was en route from the Black Sea resort of Sochi to Omsk in eastern Siberia when the flight crew alerted authorities to a hydraulic system issue. Consequently, they sought permission to land at Tolmachevo Airport in Novosibirsk, which boasts a longer runway.
Sergei Skuratov, the Director General of Ural Airlines, disclosed that the pilots later realized they did not possess sufficient fuel reserves to reach their intended destination and instead opted for an emergency landing in a field approximately 200 kilometers to the west of Novosibirsk.
Authorities confirmed that no one sustained serious injuries during the incident. However, two passengers required medical assistance due to hypertension, while several others underwent medical evaluations for minor bruises.
Russian media outlets showcased images of the plane resting in the field, exhibiting no visible signs of damage. Passengers aboard the flight commended the crew for their skill and composed response to the situation.
The aircraft’s captain, 32-year-old Sergei Belov, hails from a lineage of pilots, with both his father and grandfather also pursuing careers in aviation.
Russian prosecutors have initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the emergency landing.
Skuratov vehemently denied allegations that the incident resulted from subpar aircraft maintenance, pointing out that such claims have arisen amidst sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies due to Russia’s military activities in Ukraine. These sanctions included prohibitions on the transfer of spare aircraft parts from Western sources. The head of Ural Airlines stressed that the company has diligently upheld the safety standards of its fleet despite the sanctions.
In 2019, another A321 aircraft owned by Ural Airlines executed an emergency landing in a field near Moscow after colliding with birds during takeoff, resulting in injuries to 74 out of 233 passengers on board. The crew members received state honors for their actions.