Ural Airlines Flight 178 is a Ural Airlines scheduled passenger flight from Moscow–Zhukovsky to Simferopol, Crimea. On 15 August 2019, the Airbus A321 operating the flight carried 226 passengers and seven crew. The flight suffered a bird strike after taking off from Zhukovsky and crash landed in a cornfield, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi; 2.7 nmi) past the airport. All on board survived; 74 people sustained injuries, but none were severe.
|Ural Airlines Flight 178|
VQ-BOZ, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen in 2013
|Date||15 August 2019|
|Summary||Crash-landed following bird strike resulting in dual engine failure|
|Site||Near Zhukovsky International Airport, Moscow, Russia |
|Aircraft type||Airbus A321-211|
|IATA flight No.||U6178|
|ICAO flight No.||SVR178|
|Call sign||SVERDLOVSK AIR 178|
|Flight origin||Zhukovsky International Airport, Moscow, Russia|
|Destination||Simferopol International Airport, Simferopol, Crimea|
|Footage shortly after takeoff|
|Footage during landing|
|Aerial footage of landing area|
|Footage of the landing site and plane shot by a passenger after landing|
The aircraft suffered a bird strike shortly after takeoff from Zhukovsky International Airport, Moscow, Russia, bound for Simferopol International Airport, Simferopol, Crimea. A passenger recorded the plane's descent into a cornfield after a flock of gulls struck both CFM56-5 engines. The first bird strike caused a complete loss of power in the left engine. A second bird strike caused the right engine to produce insufficient thrust to maintain flight.
The pilots decided to turn off both engines and opted to make an emergency landing in a cornfield near the airport runway. The aircraft made a hard landing in the cornfield 2.8 nautical miles (5.2 km) from Zhukovsky International Airport. The pilot chose not to lower the landing gear in order to skid more effectively over the corn.
Everyone on board the flight survived. There have been differing reports on the number of injuries sustained as the criteria for counting a person as "injured" are not overly strict. According to some reports, 55 people received medical attention at the scene. 29 people were taken to hospital, of whom 23 were injured. Six people were admitted as in-patients. The number of injuries was finally fixed at 74, none of whom was severely injured. All passengers were offered ₽100,000 (US$1,714) as accident compensation.
The aircraft was an Airbus A321-211, registered in Bermuda as VQ-BOZ, msn 2117. It was built in 2003 for MyTravel Airways (as G-OMYA), who decided not to accept it; it was then transferred to Cyprus Turkish Airlines as TC-KTD. It then operated for AtlasGlobal as TC-ETR in 2010, and Solaris Airlines in 2011 as EI-ERU, before being delivered to Ural Airlines in 2011 as VQ-BOZ.
The aircraft was damaged beyond repair in the accident and the airline announced that it would be cut up in situ to be scrapped, in an operation scheduled to commence on 23 August 2019. The accident represents the sixth hull-loss of an Airbus A321.
The pilot in command was 41-year-old Damir Yusupov who graduated from the Buguruslan Flight School of Civil Aviation, in Buguruslan, Russia, in 2013. He has also received a degree in Air Navigation from the Ulyanovsk Institute of Civil Aviation, in Ulyanovsk, Russia. At the time of the accident, he had over 3,000 hours of flight time.
The proliferation of birds near Moscow–Zhukovsky is attributed to illegal waste dumps. The deployed bird control measures are overwhelmed and insufficient. In 2012, the management of one of the waste sites had been sued in Zhukovsky district court, alleging that "the waste sorting facilities attract massive numbers of birds due to significant content of edible refuse, and with the site located at the distance of 2 km (1.2 mi; 1.1 nmi) from the airport runway this could lead to collisions between birds and aircraft, threatening human life and limb". The court did not find sufficient grounds to rule in favor of plaintiffs and their demands to enjoin the defendants from sorting or storing household waste at the specified site.
As of 2019, this site is no longer sorting or storing household waste, instead compacting it and transferring it further for disposal; the operations, however, are conducted outdoors.
We issue warnings to every departing aircraft. The birds come to sit on the runway — there's the river and the dump nearby, so they're here constantly.
In September 2019, Rosaviatsiya proposed to work with law enforcement authorities to check the legality of waste dumps near airports, and will also examine the frequency of scheduled and unscheduled inspections of airports for the presence of birds.
Shortly after the accident, Ural Airlines released a statement on Twitter stating: "Flight U6178 Zhukovsky-Simferopol on departure from Zhukovsky sustained multiple bird strikes to the aircraft engines. The aircraft made an emergency landing. There were no injuries to the passengers and crew." The airline praised the professionalism of the pilots.
The pilot in command, Damir Yusupov, and first officer, Georgy Murzin, were awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Russian Federation; the other crew members were decorated with the Order of Courage.
While being praised in Russia, the crew of the aircraft was entered into the blacklist of Ukrainian NGO Myrotvorets ("Peacemaker"), which accused them of "knowingly and on multiple occasions making illegal crossings of the state border of Ukraine".
The Interstate Aviation Committee (Russian: Межгосударственный авиационный комитет, МАК) opened an investigation into the accident. The investigation is being assisted by Rosaviatsiya, the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch, and the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were both successfully recovered and their data downloaded.
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Flight 178 may refer to:
Air France Flight 178, crashed on 1 September 1953
Ural Airlines Flight 178, crashed on 15 August 2019Hero of the Russian Federation
Hero of the Russian Federation (Russian: Герой Российской Федерации) is the highest honorary title of the Russian Federation. The title comes with a Gold Star medal, an insignia of honour that identifies recipients.
The title is awarded to persons for "service to the Russian state and nation, usually connected with a heroic feat of valour". The title is bestowed by decree of the president of the Russian Federation. Russian citizenship or being in the service of the Russian state is not obligatory.
The title was established in 1992 and, as of 2015, was awarded more than 970 times, of which more than 440 were posthumously.Kukuruznik
Kukuruznik is a Russian word derived from "kukuruza", maize. It was used as a nickname for the following.
Polikarpov Po-2, a utility aircraft used extensively in agriculture
Antonov An-2, a purpose-built agricultural aircraft
Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, known for indiscriminately introducing corn throughout the Soviet UnionList of accidents and incidents involving the Airbus A320 family
For the entire A320 family, 119 aviation accidents and incidents have occurred (the latest one being Ural Airlines Flight 178 on 15th of August 2019), including 36 hull loss accidents (the last one also being Ural Airlines Flight 178), and a total of 1393 fatalities in 17 fatal accidents (the most recent being EgyptAir Flight 804).Through 2015, the Airbus A320 family has experienced 0.12 fatal hull-loss accidents for every million takeoffs, and 0.26 total hull-loss accidents for every million takeoffs; one of the lowest fatality rates of any airliner.Miami Air Flight 293
Miami Air Flight 293 was a military charter from Guantanamo Bay to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, operated by Miami Air International. On 3 May 2019, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft operating the flight overshot the runway on landing. Twenty-one people were injured. The aircraft was written off, making it the 17th loss of a Boeing 737-800.Skydive Umeå Gippsland GA8 Airvan crash
On 14 July 2019, a Gippsland GA8 Airvan crashed on a river islet in Sweden, killing all nine people on board. Structural failure of a wing is suspected as the cause of the accident. Consequently, the Gippsland GA8 Airvan was grounded by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Australia, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAANZ) in New Zealand and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in the European Union.
The grounding order was issued on 20 July and was due to run until 3 August, but was lifted early as CASA found there is no evidence for an unsafe condition, and the EASA said the wrecked aircraft had been exposed to aerodynamic loads beyond certification.Taquan Air Flight 20
Taquan Air Flight 20 is a regularly scheduled commuter flight operated by Taquan Air from Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base to Metlakatla Seaplane Base. On 20 May 2019, the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver floatplane operating the flight overturned in the harbor in Metlakatla, Alaska, United States during a water landing, destroying the aircraft and killing both persons aboard. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Aviation accidents and incidents in the Soviet Union and Russia