DALLAS – Ural Airlines (U6) will try to fly its Airbus A320 out of the field where it became stranded following an emergency off-airport landing on September 12.
According to key.aero, the plane, RA-73805, was en route from Sochi (AER) to Omsk (OMS) when it made the emergency landing. The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said there were 167 people on board, including 23 children and six crew members.
“A failure in the [aircraft’s] green hydraulic system occurred as the flight approached Omsk,” Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Ural Airlines CEO Sergey Skuratov as saying.
The green hydraulic system raises and lowers the landing gear, flaps, and slats. In addition, it assists in normal operations for the brakes, the reverser for engine 1, and some of the wing spoilers.
At a press conference following the incident, Skuratov said that the failure increased the required landing distance so that the plane could not land on the 2,500-meter runway at Omsk. A diversion to Novosibirsk Airport (OVB), located approximately 375 miles (600km) to the east of its planned route, However, that destination could not be reached.
“The flight increased fuel consumption, and the flight commander realized that there might not be enough fuel to land at Novosibirsk Airport. So, he decided to land the aircraft in a field… with landing gear extended, and he did so successfully.”
Fuel burn was increased by the aircraft’s low altitude, strong winds, and the inability to retract the landing gear. Per the airline, all passengers and crew were evacuated without injury, and the Moscow Times said passengers were housed in a nearby village.
The Moscow Times also reported that the airline denied that the problem resulted from a shortage of spare aircraft parts due to Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
The Russian airline issued a statement saying that it had considered “several options for taking off the aircraft from the field” and that it was awaiting the delivery of lifts to “carry out landing gear testing, testing of components, and additional studies of the aircraft design.” The plan also includes dismantling the seats to make the aircraft lighter, the statement revealed.
The airline reported today in its Telegram channel that it has performed a baroscopic examination of the engines, and company engineers have determined the powerplants will not require refurbishment. The airline performed repeated inspections, confirming that the engine flow section was cleared of soil and straw.
Ural is now waiting for lifts to “carry out landing gear testing, testing of components, and additional studies of the aircraft design.”
The ability of an A320 to take off from a grass field with no tarmac depends on several factors, including the condition of the field and the length of the runway, but it’s doable.
Most jet airliners, including the A320, have engines that are placed close to the ground, which can be a problem if the field is not paved. However, the A320 has a crosswind takeoff technique that can be used in certain conditions.
Featured image: Ural Airlines Airbus A320. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways