• Ural Air A320 in a corn field

    From Aviation HQ@2:292/854 to All on Fri Dec 1 01:09:40 2023
    The 159 passengers of Ural Airlines flight 1383, which landed in a Russian cornfield in September, will receive a thousand euros in compensation per person. This is much less than they are entitled to. Some reports mention pilot error as the cause of the ditch. The aircraft is still out in the field.

    The 159 passengers, who all got off the A320 unscathed, received 100,000 rubles, which is a thousand euros. International treaties on compensation for civil aviation accidents contain much higher amounts. Ural Airlines, based in Yekaterinburg, says it is nevertheless adhering to the rules.

    There were 159 passengers and six crew members on board the Ural Airlines A320 on September 12. The plane was en route from Sochi to Omsk when the pilots reported hydraulic problems just before landing and made a go-around. They wanted to divert to Novosibirsk airport because of the longer runway. However, the additional distance was 600 kilometers.

    Partly because the landing gear doors could no longer close and there was a strong headwind, the aircraft consumed a lot of fuel and they could not reach Novosibirsk. The captain chose to land the Airbus in a wheat field near the village of Kamenka. The crew carried out the emergency landing very successfully: none of the occupants suffered any significant injuries. The passengers and crew were later evacuated by land.

    Who is to blame?

    The Russian authorities have now looked into the situation, but their conclusions are not clear. In some reports, the pilots - both of whom have been suspended - are blamed: they should have landed in Omsk, because the captain should have known that he did not have enough fuel to reach Novosibirsk in the first place.

    Other researchers defend the crew. A theory that is also doing the rounds in Russian aviation circles is that Ural Airlines has used inferior parts for repairs due to the Western boycott. The airline has denied this.

    In the meantime, the A320 is still in the cornfield. The aircraft has not suffered any major damage and could technically fly again, but Ural Airlines does not yet know how the aircraft can be removed. Taking off and using the field as a runway is one option, albeit a risky one. Other solutions are not yet available.

    And the harsh winter is approaching in the area, with lots of snow and extremely low temperatures. The company now appears to have chosen to pack the aircraft and look for new options for salvaging the Airbus in the spring of 2024.

    --- DB4 - 20230201
    * Origin: AVIATION ECHO HQ (2:292/854)