VQ-BOZ, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen in 2013
|Date||15 August 2019|
|Summary||Crash-landed following bird strike resulting in dual engine failure|
|Site||Near Zhukovsky International Airport, Moscow, Russia |
|Aircraft type||Airbus A321-211|
|IATA flight No.||U6178|
|ICAO flight No.||SVR178|
|Call sign||SVERDLOVSK AIR 178|
|Flight origin||Zhukovsky International Airport, Moscow, Russia|
|Destination||Simferopol International Airport, Simferopol, Crimea|
Ural Airlines Flight 178 is a Ural Airlines scheduled passenger flight from Moscow–Zhukovsky to Simferopol, Crimea. On 15 August 2019, the Airbus A321 operating the flight carried 226 passengers and seven crew. The flight suffered a bird strike after taking off from Zhukovsky and crash landed in a cornfield, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi; 2.7 nmi) past the airport. All on board survived; 74 people sustained injuries, but none were severe.
|Footage shortly after takeoff|
|Footage during landing|
|Aerial footage of landing area|
|Footage of the landing site and plane shot by a passenger after landing|
The aircraft suffered a bird strike shortly after takeoff from Zhukovsky International Airport, Moscow, Russia, bound for Simferopol International Airport, Simferopol, Crimea. A passenger recorded the plane's descent into a cornfield after a flock of gulls struck both CFM56-5 engines. The first bird strike caused a complete loss of power in the left engine. A second bird strike caused the right engine to produce insufficient thrust to maintain flight.
The pilots decided to turn off both engines and opted to make an emergency landing in a cornfield near the airport runway. The aircraft made a hard landing in the cornfield 2.8 nautical miles (5.2 km) from Zhukovsky International Airport. The pilot chose not to lower the landing gear in order to skid more effectively over the corn.
Everyone on board the flight survived. There have been differing reports on the number of injuries sustained as the criteria for counting a person as "injured" are not overly strict. According to some reports, 55 people received medical attention at the scene. 29 people were taken to hospital, of whom 23 were injured. Six people were admitted as in-patients. The number of injuries was finally fixed at 74, none of whom was severely injured. All passengers were offered ₽100,000 (US$1,714) as accident compensation.
The aircraft was an Airbus A321-211, registered in Bermuda as VQ-BOZ, msn 2117. It was built in 2003 for MyTravel Airways (as G-OMYA), who decided not to accept it; it was then transferred to Cyprus Turkish Airlines as TC-KTD. It then operated for AtlasGlobal as TC-ETR in 2010, and Solaris Airlines in 2011 as EI-ERU, before being delivered to Ural Airlines in 2011 as VQ-BOZ.
The aircraft was damaged beyond repair in the accident and the airline announced that it would be cut up in situ to be scrapped, in an operation scheduled to commence on 23 August 2019. The accident represents the sixth hull-loss of an Airbus A321.
The pilot in command was 41-year-old Damir Yusupov who graduated from the Buguruslan Flight School of Civil Aviation, in Buguruslan, Russia, in 2013. He has also received a degree in Air Navigation from the Ulyanovsk Institute of Civil Aviation, in Ulyanovsk, Russia. At the time of the accident, he had over 3,000 hours of flight time.
Proliferation of birds near airport
The proliferation of birds near Moscow–Zhukovsky is attributed to illegal waste dumps. The deployed bird control measures are overwhelmed and insufficient. In 2012, the management of one of the waste sites had been sued in Zhukovsky district court, alleging that "the waste sorting facilities attract massive numbers of birds due to significant content of edible refuse, and with the site located at the distance of 2 km (1.2 mi; 1.1 nmi) from the airport runway this could lead to collisions between birds and aircraft, threatening human life and limb". The court did not find sufficient grounds to rule in favor of plaintiffs and their demands to enjoin the defendants from sorting or storing household waste at the specified site.
As of 2019, this site is no longer sorting or storing household waste, instead compacting it and transferring it further for disposal; the operations, however, are conducted outdoors.
We issue warnings to every departing aircraft. The birds come to sit on the runway — there's the river and the dump nearby, so they're here constantly.
In September 2019, Rosaviatsiya proposed to work with law enforcement authorities to check the legality of waste dumps near airports, and will also examine the frequency of scheduled and unscheduled inspections of airports for the presence of birds.
Shortly after the accident, Ural Airlines released a statement on Twitter stating: "Flight U6178 Zhukovsky-Simferopol on departure from Zhukovsky sustained multiple bird strikes to the aircraft engines. The aircraft made an emergency landing. There were no injuries to the passengers and crew." The airline praised the professionalism of the pilots.
The pilot in command, Damir Yusupov, and first officer, Georgy Murzin, were awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Russian Federation; the other crew members were decorated with the Order of Courage.
While being praised in Russia, the crew of the aircraft was entered into the blacklist of Ukrainian NGO Myrotvorets ("Peacemaker"), which accused them of "knowingly and on multiple occasions making illegal crossings of the state border of Ukraine".
The Interstate Aviation Committee (Russian: Межгосударственный авиационный комитет, МАК) opened an investigation into the accident. The investigation is being assisted by Rosaviatsiya, the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch, and the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were both successfully recovered and their data downloaded.
- US Airways Flight 1549 – 2009 accident after both engines failed following a bird strike shortly after takeoff; ditched in the Hudson River, New York
- Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604 – 1988 accident after both engines failed following a bird strike shortly after takeoff
- Eastern Air Lines Flight 375 – 1960 accident after the aircraft suffered a bird strike shortly after takeoff
- "VQ-BOZ accident details". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
- Cole, Brendan. "Russian Plane With 234 People On Board Crash-lands in Cornfield After Birds Fly Into Engine Causing Fire, 23 Injured". Newsweek. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
- Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Ural A321 at Moscow on Aug 15th 2019, bird strike into both engines forces landing in corn field". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
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- "Заявление на получение компенсации пассажирам рейса U6 178 Жуковский-Симферополь" [Application for compensation to passengers of flight U6 178 Zhukovsky-Simferopol]. www.uralairlines.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-08-19.
- "Ural Airlines VQ-BOZ (Airbus A321 - MSN 2117) (Ex TC-ETR TC-KTD ) | Airfleets aviation". www.airfleets.net. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
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- ""Они каждый у меня — граненый бриллиант". Об экипаже, сумевшем спасти сотни жизней" ["Each of them is a faceted diamond". About the crew, who managed to save hundreds of lives]. ТАСС (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-08-19.
- "Выпускники Бугурусланского лётного училища стали героями «второго чуда на Гудзоне»" [Graduates of the Buguruslan Flight School became the heroes of the “Second Miracle on the Hudson”]. orenburzhie.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-08-19.
- "Свалки и стаи птиц: что показала проверка территории вокруг аэродрома Жуковского" [Landfills and flocks of birds: as shown by a check of the territory around the Zhukovsky airfield] (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-08-18.
- "Как владельцы свалок у аэропорта Жуковский связаны с губернатором Подм��сковья" [How landfill owners at Zhukovsky airport are connected with the governor of the Moscow region] (in Russian). 2019-08-15. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
- "Легкая мишень для чаек" [Easy target for seagulls]. Новая газета (in Russian). 2019-08-17. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
- Kaminski-Morrow, David (5 September 2019). "Russian authorities to probe airports' exposure to bird risk". Flightglobal.com.
- @Ural_Air_Lines (15 August 2019). "На рейсе U6178 Жуковский-Симферополь при вылете из Жуковского произошло многочисленное попадание птиц в двигатели самолета. Самолет совершил вынужденную посадку. Пассажиры и экипаж не пострадали" [Flight U6178 Zhukovsky-Simferopol on departure from Zhukovsky sustained multiple bird strikes to the aircraft engines. The aircraft made an emergency landing. There were no injuries to the passengers and crew.] (Tweet) (in Russian) – via Twitter.
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- "Путин присвоил звания Героев России летчикам самолета, совершившего посадку под Жуковским" [Putin awarded the title of the Heros of Russia to the pilots landed the aircraft near Zhukovsky] (in Russian). TASS. 2019-08-16. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
- "Экипаж аварийно севшего в Подмосковье А321 внесли в базу «Миротворца»" [Crew of A321 which crash-landed in the Moscow Region added to the "Peacemaker" database]. RT на русском (in Russian). Retrieved 4 September 2019.
- "Plane crash-lands after hitting flock of birds". BBC. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
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