Dog On Runway Promts St. Petersburg Boeing 737 Go Around

On September 10th, a Pobeda Boeing 737-800 flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg had to perform a go-around after a dog was spotted on the runway during the aircraft’s final approach. This is the latest in a string of incidents where animals have been spotted on the runway – particularly in Russia.

Shown here is a Boeing 737-800 in Pobeda livery. Pobeda is the low-cost arm of Russian flag carrier Aeroflot. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

Incident details

According to The Aviation Herald, the Pobeda aircraft (registration VP-BPK) was performing flight DP-201 from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport to St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport on September 10th. The plane was on final approach just after 08:30 when a dog was observed on runway 28R.

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Pobeda VK201
Flight DP-201 performed a single go-around due to an animal observed on runway 28R at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo. Photo: 

As a result, the crew was instructed to go around. Positioning for another approach, the 737-800 made a safe landing 10 minutes later, after a runway inspection found no dog or other obstacle on the runway.

The aircraft went on to perform five more flights that day, in and out of St. Petersburg Airport.

Pobeda Airlines, June Resumption, Domestic Flights
Russian low-cost carrier Pobeda resumed some of its domestic flights on June 1st. Photo: Getty Images

Animals on runways in 2020

It’s not just aircraft of Aeroflot’s low-cost affiliate that has experienced animals on runways. In fact, incidents like this seem to happen periodically. Here are some of the stories that Simple Flying has reported on in 2020 alone:

  • At the beginning of this year, in January, an Etihad Airways Airbus A320 had hit a wild boar when landing in the capital of Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, the boar had managed to dig underneath the airport perimeter fence. This enabled it to roam freely around the airport vicinity. There were no reports of damage to the aircraft, and the incident did not affect any operations that followed. 
  • On July 14th, a Transport Canada report indicated that a skunk was struck and killed at Ottawa International Airport. The aircraft involved was a WestJet Boeing 737, which was landing after a flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport.
  • And just last month in Russia, an S7 Airlines flight was forced to perform a go-around when a grizzly bear wandered onto the runway. The August 17th flight traveling from Novosibirsk to Magadan landed safely approximately 20 minutes later.

About Pobeda

For those who have yet to recognize the name Pobeda, the airline is the low-cost affiliate of Aeroflot. The airline’s first flight took off on December 1st, 2014. The carrier calls itself “the first and unique fully-featured…low-cost air carrier in Russia,” saying that it has “become the most successful in the history of modern civil aviation.” 

That might sound like a little bit of an exaggeration, but the airline reported quite a boom in ticket sales when it first launched. It recorded 7,000 ticket sales in the first 12 hours of sales and had transported a million passengers within its first six months of operation. Almost five years later, in September of 2019, the airline had carried 25 million passengers.

The company has a fleet of 34 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft.

Have you ever flown with Pobeda before? Please share your experience with us in the comments.