Aviation News

September 9, 2010

Russian Jet Loses All Controls, Makes Miraculous Emergency Landing in Forest

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By: BNO News
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Alrosa Tu-154M

The Alrosa Tu-154M aircraft (RA-85684) involved in the accident touches down at Moscow-Domodedovo (DME). (Photo by Dmitriy Pichugin, shared under the GNU Free Documentation License)

Russian pilots successfully made an emergency landing in Taiga forest on Tuesday, saving the lives of 81 people, and causing minimum damage to the aircraft.

The Tu-154 aircraft belonging to Alrosa Mirny Air Enterprise was dealing with failed flight control and navigation and radio communication systems, as the aircraft’s electrical generating system crashed, forcing pilots Evgeny Novoselov and Andrey Lamonov to manage and land the plane manually.

On their third attempt with a failed maneuvering system, no aircraft-to-ground communication, and no air brakes, the pilots led the aircraft into the woods as a nearby grassy landing strip was too short for the plane. The plane descended, chopping tree tops and a 200-meter-long swath through the forest until making its final halt when the aircraft’s landing gear jammed in a marsh.

Local firefighters arrived at the scene, helping people out with inflatable escape chutes. The plane was carrying 72 passengers and 9 crew members, who all safely exited the aircraft.

An investigation is underway to determine what caused the accident. Alrosa Airlines, however, found the plane technically sound and is already seeking permission to place the plane back into operation if no failures are discovered.