MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian passenger plane with 170 people on board made a successful wheels-down emergency landing in a field Tuesday, and no one was seriously injured, officials said.
The Airbus A320 belonging to Ural Airlines was flying from the Black Sea resort of Sochi to Omsk in eastern Siberia when the crew reported a problem with the hydraulic system and requested permission for the plane to land at Tolmachevo Airport in Novosibirsk, which has a longer runway.
Ural Airlines Director General Sergei Skuratov said the pilots later realized they did not have enough fuel to make it and decided to land instead in a field about 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) west of Novosibirsk.
Officials said no one was hurt, but two passengers required medical assistance for hypertension, and several others received checks for small bruises.
Russian media carried footage of a plane sitting in a field with no visible sign of damage, and they cited passengers praising the crew’s skill and composure.
The plane’s captain, 32-year-old Sergei Belov, had pilots for a father and a grandfather.
Russian prosecutors launched an investigation of the emergency landing.
Skuratov rejected allegations that it resulted from poor plane maintenance amid the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies over Russia’s military action in Ukraine.
The sanctions banned the transfer of spare plane parts from the West, among other restrictions. The Ural Airlines chief insisted the company has maintained the safety of its fleet despite the sanctions.
In 2019, an A321 that also belonged to Ural Airlines made an emergency landing in a field near Moscow after colliding with birds on takeoff, injuring 74 of the 233 people aboard. The crew received state awards.