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The crash landing of Ural Airlines Flight 178. The Cornfield Miracle.

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

The Story :

After Ural Airways flight 178's take-off, the aircraft suffered a bird strike. The birds first struck the left side engine and it lost its thrust immediately. The same happened to the right engine and suddenly the plane became a floating boat halfway through the safe flying altitude and the cabin crew left with nothing but to try as best as they could to land as soft as possible with 0 thrusts from both engines, basically the pilot and the co-pilot left with a huge metal vessel in the air floating steadily but directly to the ground with increasing pace every second courtesy huge mass of the plane and the gravity.

Both pilot and co-pilot were suddenly forced to make an emergency landing at a cornfield that is just 1000 meters from where they took off with almost zero experience doing the same.

To start of pilot immediately turn off the fuel flow to both the engines to avoid potential fire accident when they supposedly land. He also pulled back the landing gear to land as soft as possible. Also, a little side note here is that by not landing with the help of the landing gear pilot potentially almost pushing the body structure of the plane to its peak as the plane might deform upon impact with the land and also without landing gear there is virtually no maneuverability of the plane once it landed as the landing gear acts as a front tire to the plane.

Even with all these odds pointing towards collateral damage the plane hard landed in the cornfield safely without any fire accidents or any other catastrophe mentioned above.

Although there are people who injured and taken to hospital on an immediate basis, according to some deep reports, 55 people were receiving medical treatment at that time, then 29 people were taken to the hospital, that 23 of whom were injured with 6 of them were admitted as patients in the hospital.

The number of injuries was finally determined to be 74 passengers, with none of them seriously injured. Although some early reports stating there was one with brain damage but it appears it was still not a major injury.


The Heroes who made this miraculous landing :

Pilot - Damir Yusupov,

Damir Yusupov is a 41-year-old pilot, he graduated in 2013 from the Bukurslan flight School of civil Aviation at Bukurslan, Russia. At the time of the event (August 15, 2019), he had 3000 flight hrs experience.


Co-pilot - George Murzin,

George Murzin is a 23-year-old pilot, he is graduated in 2017 from the Bukurslan Flight School of Civil Aviation at Bukurslan, Russia. At the time of crash landing (August 15, 2019), he had 600 flight hrs experience.


What is even more fascinating is that even though both have a very decent amount of experience they are still fairly normal pilots in the aviation world as both come from a very humble background and not from the Military. But anyway what it really means is that effectively they are both everyday persons doing superhero-level stuff. So, one conclusion is that it is more than important how quickly you react and improvise than that of knowledge and experience in the problem-solving world. But there is no substitute for hard work and pure knowledge but reacting at the moment is a very special skill and is what makes normal people experts in certain tasks.


Relation with Hudson river landing :

It is obvious that this just another Hudson river landing but in a cornfield about which you can read here: Miracle on the Hudson or watch(Language - Tamil ) :

But this does not mean that this has no significance as it should have its own place in its history as it is been considered that ditching( water landing ) is a plausible one throughout even before the infamous Hudson event but never even a hard landing in land is considered to be nowhere near safe. But it is more than just a coincidence that both the planes are from the same family as Airbus A 320s and both have almost identical engines CFM 565 engines. Hudson - CFM56-5B Cornfield - CFM565

Now comes the bigger question when do we really need to retire Airplanes as in this fast-paced world now and then there is an upgrade to even a tiny little thing. So there has to be some regulation to how long a thing can exist as retiring on a flight hours basis is a maintenance thing, not a safety perspective to the issue and also if you notice the flight that ditched in Hudson river is superior one than the one that crashed in Russia. The only action is required.


History of Ural Airlines Flight 178:


The aircraft is a type of Airbus A321-211,

  1. In 2003, it was built as a MyTravel airway and It was registered in Bermuda, but after it was not accepted for MyTravel Airways, the aircraft transferred to TC-KTD, Cyprus Turkish Airline.

  2. In 2010, the Aircraft operated as a TC-ETR which is Atlas Global.

  3. In 2011, the Aircraft operated as an EI-ERU which is Solar Airlines. And the same year 2011, The Aircraft operated as a VQ-BOZ which is Ural Airlines.

  4. On 2019 August 15, the Ural Airlines flight 178 was irreparably damaged in the cornfield crash landing.

  5. 5.On 2019 August 23, the airline announced that it would have to be removed and it was marked as the sixth hull loss of an Airbus A321.

Why Sea Gulls? :

The growth of birds in nearby Moscow-Zhukovsky is the result of a growing problem of shedding illegal waste.

Sorted bird control measures are very high.

The sorting facilities attract a lot of birds and 1.2 miles with the site located at a distance of 2 km from the airport runway, which leads to conflicts between the airport and aircraft.

Zhukovsky Air Traffic Controller(ATC) announced that every aircraft is alert because birds come to sit on the airport, plane, runway, etc.

There is a river and nearby garbage, so the birds are constantly here.

So that in September 2019 Rosaviatsiya suggested working with law enforcement officers to verify the legitimacy of the waste nearby Airports, and the frequency of planned and unplanned inspections of airports for the birds.


The Investigation :

The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee(IAC) opened an investigation into the Ural Airlines Flight 178 aircraft crash landing.

The investigation is being assisted by Rosaviatsiya,

the British AAIB(Air Accidents Investigation Branch), and the French Civil Aviation Security Investigation and Analysis Office.

Both the flight data recorder & cockpit voice recorder were successfully recovered/collected and their information downloaded for investigation.


Similar crash landing:

Miracle on Hudson(2009) Vs Cornfield landing(2019)

Similarities :

  1. The two aircraft crash landing are the same thing, a very rare bird strike and something that engines certified to be work fine even after the considerable strike.

  2. For example, two planes were struck only by birds, and 2 engines of the planes were damaged severely to an extent there was 0 thrust from either case.

  3. Both planes were from the same family of airplanes.

  4. There were no casualties in either of the two plane crashes and has zero damage to the other parts of the plane.

Differences :

  1. The Ural Airlines Flight 178 had just climbed 240 meters above the ground that too in less time, but the US Airways flight 1549 had 975 meters above the ground, which was three times higher than the Ural Airlines.

  2. The Ural Airlines Flight 178 had relatively less cargo and hard landed onto the ground whereas the other one was ditching.

The last is a reflection of success:

  1. Pilot Damir Yusupov and Co-pilot George Murzin were both rewarded as "Hero of the Russian Federation" for their stupendous work.

  2. The other 5 crew members were awarded as "Order of Courage" for their thankless job after landing during evacuation.

Summary :

  1. Ural Airlines Flight 178, an Airbus A321-211 plane on 15th August 2019 was scheduled to fly from Zhukovsky Airport in Moscow to the Simferopol international airport in Simferopol, Crimea.

  2. The aircraft carried 333 people, 226 of them were passengers the rest included 5 Flight attendants and one pilot, and one first officer ( Co-pilot ).

  3. The plane took off from Zhukovsky Airport, Moscow.

  4. The plane crash-landed in a Cornfield which is just a kilometer away from the runway it took off from.

  5. But thankfully nothing collateral as everyone on board the plane returned safely to home and with some having minor injuries.

Conclusion:

However, these two emergency crash landings were the most perfect, most efficient, most intelligent landing, and so on to say many wonderful words.

i.e. both aircraft landed was wonderful to the extent that the world watched and was amazed without any casualties, so it is a very commendable thing.

We should also consider the number of flights active per year it is literally 40M imagine the scale of accidents per year it is very negotiable but we always insist on one thing

"EVERY LIFE DESERVES TO BE LIVED"

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