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The heroic courage of the pilot of a Russian Airbus-321 has been praised after he succeeded in making the descent without the jet's landing gear, singlehandedly saving the lives of all 226 passengers and crew.
A Russian passenger jet crash-landed in a cornfield outside Moscow's Zhukovsky International Airport after it flew into a flock of birds on Thursday. Overall, 23 people were injured during the incident and were subsequently taken to hospital for treatment.
Bird strikes on planes occur regularly around the world, even though airports use bird distress signals, air cannons and other methods to chase them away from runways.
The Emergencies Ministry said that 55 people asked for medical assistance after the incident.
When one engine failed they thought they could still turn back to the airport, Capt Yusupov said.
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The plane's engines were turned off when it executed the emergency landing and it also had its landing gear up, according to Elena Mikheyeva, a spokeswoman for Russia's civil aviation authority. At the same time, according to Izvestia, the ornithology group responsible for clear skies in the area of all airfields, was shut down six years ago, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Russia's natural resources watchdog said late yesterday it had identified an illegal rubbish dump roughly two kilometres from Zhukovsky International, which is southeast of Moscow, as being the possible home of the birds which caused the emergency landing.
"It was quite a feat to keep the plane from stalling and quickly find a place to land", Viktor Zabolotsky, a former test pilot, said in televised remarks.
The A321 was literally merely 15 mins into its trip, right after takeoff out of Moscow's Zhukovsky flight terminal, when a pack of seagulls became pulled right into its motors, triggering both of these to stop working.
Sound on a video taken by a passenger appeared to show the crew repeatedly trying to restart the engines.