AUral Airline flight from Moscow to Simferopol was forced to crash land minutes after take-off. The Airbus A321 flew into a flock of seagulls and some of the birds hit the engines, causing engine failure. Pilots had no option of returning to the airport and managed to crash land safely in a field near the airport.
When the flight ran into the flock of birds, the left engine was hit first and it started to stall, followed by the right engine. As the engines lost thrust, the flight lost altitude swiftly. Captain Damir Yusupov took over controls and manually landed the flight. One of the engines caught fire but fortunately, the fire did not spread.
226 passengers and seven crew members were on-board the flight. The crash caused injuries to 23 people.
Out of the 23 people injured by the crash, nine are children between the ages of two to nine years.
Both engines stopped responding after the bird hit. Pilots did not get the time to deploy the landing gear. The aircraft sustained major damage. Airline representatives have stated that the aircraft will no longer be flown due to the damages sustained.
An investigation to figure out the cause of the crash will be conducted. The crew of the aircraft remains suspended through the duration of the investigation.
Videos emerged of passengers walking through a cornfield away from the crash. Russian media has dubbed the incident as the "miracle over Ramensk."
The incident is being compared with the 2009 US Airways incident where the flight was safely landed on the Hudson River after geese hit the aircraft engines.